Crowden (The Camping and Caravanning Club) – Review

We’ve just spent two nights at Camping and Caravanning Club site, Crowden with the Butlers. We chose the site mainly based on it’s proximity to home – we were travelling after work and didn’t want to be going too far. Crowden campsite is just off the Woodhead Pass between Manchester and Sheffield and, without traffic, is about half an hour away for us.

The Camping and Caravanning Club - Crowden

Pitching a tent in the rain isn’t my favourite

The weather was pretty horrendous on Friday night & I won’t deny the fair weather camper in me seriously considered waiting till Saturday morning to head off (seriously enough that I put it to the group who soon talked me round!)

When we arrived on site it was absolutely chucking it down so we left the kids in the car and put the tent up as quickly as possible – we ended up with some right puddles in the tent which I managed to mop up with the spare towels we’d taken with us and thankfully we managed to keep the bedrooms and assorted kit dry!

If you’re looking for dinner out …

Luckily we had decided that we should go out for tea on Friday night – Mich and Neil found us a table at local pub The New Lamp in Hadfield – the food was really lovely and cracking value with main meals being about £10 per head with kids eating free! The New Lamp is about ten minutes away from Crowden and we definitely recommend a visit.

Crowden is a really quiet campsite, the farm next door not so much!

The following morning we were all rather rudely awakened by the farm behind us springing into action with a noisy truck clattering past and barking dogs pre 6am . . . luckily the campsite itself remained quiet and we were able to go back to sleep! The farm didn’t disturb us at all during the day – literally just in the early hours of the morning.

Whilst we’re on the subject of noise, it’s also worth mentioning that there was a surprising amount of road noise at night, but not enough to stop us going to sleep.

Campfires aren’t allowed – but BBQs are

The weather wasn’t amazing first thing and we all said we’d have benefited from a campfire – unfortunately they’re not allowed on any Camping and Caravanning Club site. BBQs are allowed but of course these must be raised – we did notice a purpose built stone BBQ area which would be great for popping disposable BBQs on.

campfire shmores from the BBQ

No ball games! (but plenty of trees to climb!)

When had we first arrived on site we weren’t convinced there was much to do for the kids – with no play area, and no ball games or frisbees allowed (the kids actually thought we were joking when we told them) we thought they’d soon get fed up but they quickly found trees to climb and dens to make and thoroughly entertained themselves. This is one of the things I love most about camping – I’m not saying there weren’t films watched and Minecraft played, but the majority of the time the kids were out in the fresh air, exploring and using their imagination!

The local area is stunning

We took a walk up behind the campsite on Saturday afternoon – it’s fairly hilly and the paths are uneven – but with good strong shoes, you’ll find yourself a lovely mile long walk down to the main road. You can turn right before this for a longer walk or cross the road to carry on but we decided we didn’t really want to cross such a busy road with the kids and that they’d probably walked far enough – this was proven right when the littlest girls started complaining up the hill on the way back! We rewarded them with an ice cream from the campsite show when we got home.

The campsite felt a little cramped

In all honesty, the site didn’t feel particularly spacious – the tent pitches felt a bit on top of each other. Admittedly we do have a really large tent, but it wasn’t just about the space between pitches but also how close the tents were opposite us. We managed to put our gazebo up behind our pitches which meant we created ourselves a little privacy and it was actually a really nice place to sit – but had we been outside the front of our tent as we usually would I think we’d have been able to hear the conversation of the group of lads camping opposite. I think we have been lucky on previous campsites that the space has felt more open – Crowden is a circular site with a run of trees through the middle, which, whilst beautiful, is probably what causes it to feel more cramped than other sites we’ve stayed at.

As well as hard standings for caravan and motor homes and grass pitches for tents, Crowden is also home to two lodges and a number of pods (which Chloe was desperate to stay in and I must admit I did think they looked very cosy!)

Camping pods at Crowden campsite

The facilities at Crowden are clean and well maintained.

The facilities at Crowden are really clean and well maintained – the toilet & shower block have code on the door to prevent them from being used by passers by (of which there are quite a few as the campsite is on a popular walking route, in fact this morning it was also the starting point of a Fell Run!). The showers are lovely and warm and the hair dryer free to use. We didn’t need to use the laundry room but did notice a washing machine, tumble drier, iron and ironing board available for use at a small fee. The campsite shop is well stocked with essentials (and a good choice of ice creams) and really fairly priced.

On site shop at Crowden campsite
Toilet block at Crowden campsite

Would we come back to Crowden?

Having arrived at Crowden in the rain and feeling a little negative, we left with the kids asking when we could come back – which just proves that all they need is the fresh air and freedom and they’re happy! (Which of course in turn means, as parents, we are free to relax and are happy too!) With Crowden being so close to home, it’s definitely an easy site to visit again for a night or two.

Camping besties

Where next?

We’re going camping again in two weeks but haven’t picked a site yet so if you’ve got any recommendations (probably over Yorkshire way this time) we’d love to hear them.


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