Nothing encapsulates the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire better than the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, held in the Lancs town of Ramsbottom at the end of every summer. Throwing their black puddings, contestants in the street try to knock Yorkshire puddings from their pride of place on a 20ft perch. Legend has it that the tradition stems from a day during the War of the Roses, when the armies of Lancaster and York ran out of ammunition and threw food at each other instead. Today it’s just one of a number of vibrant festivals that bring this quirky yet understated town to life.
A 15-minute walk from the centre of town – with Ramsbottom’s church spires and old mill chimneys visible amid the green hills of the horizon – The Paddock is an aptly named campsite just outside of town. Accessible (it’s only a mile to the start of the M66) yet simple, this is a classic campsite of old; a flat, grassy meadow set just beyond a series of farm buildings with acres of space, old dry stone walls and a cluster of mature ash and oak trees just beyond the far fence. At night, jam jars with tea lights inside magically illuminate pathways between the ten tent pitches, while bunting adds a colourful splash to the field entrance.
It’s not just tent camping here, though. A trio of bell tents (two small, one slightly larger) host yet more bunting, and are furnished with inflatable beds, while there are also two glamorous yurts (think proper beds, a wood-burner and a private kitchen) and a special glamping pod with roll-up sides so you can enjoy the stars on a clear night. The farm also runs a B&B in their ancient cottage (it dates back beyond the doomsday book) and, of course, remains a working rural enterprise with sheep, cattle and a handful of nosey free-range chicken that will come clucking to your tent door if you leave crumbs around.
During spring the farm is perhaps at its busiest. On a notice board by the shower block you’ll sometimes find a timetable displaying feeding times for any lambs that need bottled help. Along with watching the chickens and petting Ruby, the farm’s friendly donkey, bottle-feeding the lambs provides the perfect way to cap off the farm holiday experience for your kids. Other than that, there are endless walks to be had, traditional markets to visit and cafés to dive into. And that’s just in Ramsbottom alone. Hop on the famous East Lancashire Railway or get back into your car and you’ll find the world is your oyster. Or Lancashire is at least. Don’t cross the border into Yorkshire. It’s nowhere near as good there... Apparently.
The campsite owner says
Here at The Paddock, we have some of the nicest and quirkiest places to eat and drink, The famous East Lancs Railways, festivals, farmers markets, World Black Pudding championships, Cricket, Football, Crazy traditions and a community made up of some of the nicest people you will ever meet. We have lived on the farm for 20 years and have often had little camping weekends when friends came to visit as its always much more fun than staying in the house and The Paddock is flat, which is somewhat unheard of around here, so perfect for tent camping. We were approached in 2015 by Ramsbottom Festival to host the camping for their weekend event so of course we jumped at the chance, "Eye just up our street" (the words of Grandad Rothwell). We purchased a small toilet and shower block, and well, the rest is history! We opened officially in April 2017 and started with 2 yurts and a bell tent. We had an amazing first year and so much positive feedback form campers and Glampers its been amazing!, we are constantly looking for ways to improve your camping holiday with us and our toilets and showers had a full overhaul in 2017 and we have added 3 more bell tents, a quirky family / group Glamping unit and a hot tub to our collection for the 2018 season. We remind you that this is a working farm: we have sheep, cows, horses, cats, dogs and the odd hen or two so we can't promise a completely quiet stay but we hope that all the animals will be on their best behaviour when you're here! So what are you waiting for? Pack a bag, gather your friends (or come alone) and make some memories.
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