In the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, by the banks of the Wharfe, down the road from two good pubs – Masons is so good that even the owners still camp here. When their favourite campsite in the Yorkshire Dales came up for sale, Georgie and Grant bought Masons and set about scrubbing up an already popular site. Today it’s about as good as they come.
You no longer have to walk a mile to the nearest shop, since their onsite 1968 Airstream office sells essential food and camping items and the Coffee & Bread Shed serves barista coffee, fresh croissants, baguettes and more. When it comes to the actual camping, there is heaps of space to pitch in the two main fields; plus they have a handful of yurts and safari tents you can rent and a couple of classic VW campervans to hire, with pre-pitched awnings outside.
The flat camping fields have plenty of space for kite-flying and ball games, and lots of families bring lilos and dinghies. Both fields are backed by the wide and mainly shallow River Wharfe that runs south-east out of the national park. Try your hand at fly-fishing from the large, flat stones while the kids happily pass the time paddling around and jumping in and out of the water. The onsite chickens and ducks are popular with younger children too, while the neighboring, hilly fields are all speckled with sheep.
Although the site has beautiful views of its own, Grant says that most campers make straight for the steep slope over the road for an even better vista. Footpaths lead directly out into the hills and, from the bottom of the site, along the river to Burnsall, which is a popular picnicking and swimming spot. Appletreewick and Barden Bridge, are just a short jaunt away too, both with excellent, family-friendly country pubs housed in typical, old, Yorkshire-stone buildings.
FacilitiesThe main camping field caters for tents, campervans and tourers, with 40 hook-ups. In the second field, which is open most summer weekends, tents pitch up along the river bank, leaving plenty of space for ball games in the rest of the field. The washing-up room has 8 sinks. There are 10 showers (including one family/disabled room) and the toilet blocks each have 10 toilets and 10 hand basins. The campsite’s well stocked onsite shop, housed in their vintage Airstream office, sells bacon, eggs, milk, sweets, toys, food and camping essentials. Their Coffee & Bread Shed sells top quality hot drinks and freshly-baked bread and pastries.
Tents, campervans, motorhomes, caravans, dogs – yes.
NearbyFootpaths lead directly from the bottom of the site along the river to Burnsall, which is a popular picnicking and swimming spot, as well as to Appletreewick and Barden Bridge. Bolton Abbey (01751 432758), with stepping stones over the river, walks, tea shops, cafés and the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam railway station (01756 710614) is just up the road.
Food & Drink
The 2 pubs in Appletreewick both serve food and are family-friendly. The New Inn (01751 720252) has a selection of quirky beers, while the 16th century Craven Arms (01756 720270) has log fires, gas lamps and stone-flagged floors. It is the shortest of strolls away. The Red Lion (01756 720204) at Burnsall is also a pleasant 1 mile walk along the river.
Opening TimesMid March – end of October.
What a treat! A campsite that's actually run by campers who know all about choosing a great site. The river provides plenty of opportunitiy for wading and fishing, and you can make a dramatic river-entry via a rope swing, handily located on the bank.
The Owner Says
Two grassy, pitch-where-you-like meadows with 40 spaces that have electrical hook-ups. 6 yurts, 2 safari tents and 2 VW campervans with awnings also available.
No availability showing at Masons Campsite.
Dales buses run between Skipton/ Ilkley (both of which have train stations) and Grassington and between Grassington and Appletreewick. There is also a local taxi driver in the village.
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