Conder Campsite, Dent

There is something about Dentdale that I don’t like. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but I think it has something to do with its round featureless hills on either side of the valley, making it feel rather claustrophobic. The paths are also not as well maintained and a lot of the area is boggy throughout the year. However there is one factor which makes it unique if you compare it to its neighbouring Lakeland and Yorkshire Dales (although Dent is in the YDNP it is some what separate). And that is, it remains pretty much untouched by the tourist industry. The cobbled streets in the heart of Dent suggest nothing much has changed in the past 100 years or so. Yes there is a large campsite on the edge of the village (far too expensive for me to stay at!) and a few pubs offering beds for the night but the number of visitors at any time of year is far fewer than anywhere else nearby.

So it is for that reason that I decided to camp here over the August Bank Holiday. I have to admit that I didn’t really want to go away but Malham is not a place I like to be on a Bank Holiday, it’s a totally invasion, something other residents will understand! And again it’s that constant struggle, finding the right balance of tourism, which is vital to the villages future, and the environment and residents well being which is equally as important. I still don’t have the answer.

Before I start my review of Conder Campsite I’d just like to say this.

My stay here was totally ruined by a group of loud, obnoxious scousers who seemed to be totally unaware (or just didn’t care) of their over amplified voices. Every single word any of the uttered was clear for all to hear and every conversation (if you can call it a conversation) had a swear word inserted into it for good measure. Aside from this they had two yapping dogs which insisted on barking for more than I would deem acceptable (I don’t mind dogs! I have one. They bark. That’s fine. But this wasn’t!). They didn’t follow campsite etiquette and reduce their noise level after 10:30, but in fact seemed to do the opposite and get louder towards midnight, until they decided it was time for them (and everyone else on the campsite) to go to sleep. But overriding all that was the way they acted towards Rooh and I. I could hear them talking about me, and they made no attempt to hide the fact. They are either deaf or didn’t care that I was listening to it. At first I wanted to cry, then I wanted to pack my bags and leave (not practical at 8pm) but then I wanted to shout at them and tell them how rude, selfish and inconsiderate they were. Of course I did none of the above and instead retreated to my tent, and cuddled Rooh.

Obviously I have to take this experience out of the equation for my review but i would urge this campsite owner to put up some clear rules (which most campsites expect anyway). Quiet after 10:30, no fires, keep dogs under control etc. Surely not too much to ask of a normal campsite goer?

So….

Location

Dentdale is sandwiched between The Lake District/Howgills and the Yorkshire Three Peaks. It is on the Settle to Carlisle railway line and has much to offer walkers and cyclists. It is situated on The Dales Way and the quiet flat lanes suit bikes and pedestrians! Although I’m not a huge fan of the walks in this area there are two I would recommend – one to Whernside, via ‘three tarns’ and one up Flintergill and Great Coum Fell. Flintergill is a pretty ghyll in a woodland and both Great Coum and Whernside (via this particular route) offer quite alternatives to the busier fell routes in the area. The village has a heritage museum, pretty church, two pubs, cafe, gift shop and a well stocked village store. Sedbergh is 4 miles away and has a more extensive selection of shops including a huge bookshop (it’s an official book town), petrol station and spar. You can also walk the Howgills from here, and Caultey Spout is certainly worth visiting – it’s the highest above ground waterfall in England. Kendal, and the Lakes are 30 minutes drive. Or catch the train from Dent Station (the highest station in England) to Settle or, in the other direction, Carlisle. Although be warned, Dent Station is 4 miles from the village.

Greeting

A man answered the door – friendly enough. Didn’t tell me about anything so I presumed the facilities would be some what basic!

Pitch

Much of the field is slopped so un useable but where you do pitch you’ll find pegs easily go into the ground and the grass is cut to the perfect length for comfort. The field is by the road but it’s very quiet and isn’t an issue.

Views

Towards Aye Gill Pike, although if you just venture down the adjacent field you come to the River Dee which is really attractive.

Noise

Apart from the odd car the only noises are the church bells, sheep and chickens.

Price

£5pppn. No charge for dogs, cars or showers. The cheapest I’ve had (bar one in Yorkshire which has no showers and just a toilet).

Facilities

The toilet is attached to the house so it’s not full of spiders! It’s ‘homely’ and in need of updating but the water was hot and the showers are free. I think for the price they are better than I expected!

Comments

Not my first choice for location (purely personal, I know other people love this area). But on a Bank Holiday (if you forget my bad chav experience) it is quiet. The owner needs to write up some rules and display them – the only one I could see was ‘No fires’, not that the chavs took any notice of that! There is a large campsite about 5 minutes away and I have stayed at it, and paid a lot more! I’d choose Conder Campsite over High Laning Campsite any day.

Photos below of the pitch and facilities.

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