Barefoot Campsites (Northmoor Lock Paddocks)

  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Short walk to pub
  • Good walks nearby
Back-to-basics camping, 1970s style
Hidden away to say the least, Northmoor Lock Paddocks is not a manicured site, but more reminiscent of the old days when your mum and dad used to take you camping back in the 1970s. Tussocky meadows shaded by mature willows are fringed by the soporific tumble of water from the nearby weir, while over the hedge there’s nothing but cornfields and ploughed earth as far as the eye can see.

David Walliams crawled shivering from Northmoor Lock after the first leg of his epic 2011 Thames swim, but you can be much more snug in one of their two timber log pods – simple affairs stocked with chopped wood to burn in the firepit and little else.

The two camping fields offer either plenty of sunlight, or – among the willows – mottled shade. Both blaze in a riot of wildflowers come spring, the grass thick and bouncy and providing a naturally comfortable underlay.

Then there are the bell tents, again nestled in their own separate field so that every camper has their own share of the space on offer. Inside, the tents feature a Windy Smith wood burner, a double bed with memory foam mattress and all the furnishings, kitchenwares and crockery you could need. It would be a proud parent that could fit all of this in their car on the old-fashioned camping trip!

Bring a fishing rod and plant yourself by the river in the dappled sunlight, a blade of grass in your mouth like Huck Finn, and gaze out across the weir as a crayon-coloured barge rolls by. Welcome back to your childhood!

Details

Facilities

No electrical hook-up. Composting toilets and camping shower hut. Fires are allowed (logs £10), so too is fishing in the River Thames (no fishing during closed season 15th March–15th June; permits from £5). Bell Tent features include a wood burner and double bed with memory foam mattress. Outside there's a picnic table, and a camp kitchen with brazier, tripod and grill, camp kettle and stew pot. Bedding available to hire (see website for further details).

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, dogs on leads, families and small groups – yes. Caravans, large groups – no.

Nearby

Blenheim Palace (01993 810530) is 30 minutes away. Alternatively there’s the excellent Cotswold Wildlife Park (01993 823006). Millets Farm Centre (01865 392200), 10 minutes away, is a great place to shop for food when the village shop is closed and their Farm Zoo is always a big hit with the kids.

Food & Drink

There's no shortage of watering holes in which to enjoy a leisurely pint of local brew in. The Plough in Appleton village is a local favourite, The Rose Revived (01865 300221) is a pleasant half-hour walk along the Thames Path and The Eight Bells in nearby Eaton also serves up hearty pub fare and decent real ales.

Opening Times

May–August (weather and ground conditions permitting). Weekends only. Please see website for details

The Owner Says

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Accommodation

30–40 mainly camping pitches (limited number of campervan pitches) spread over 2 fields plus 2 log pods. Lovely furnished bell tents in adjacent meadow.

No availability showing at Barefoot Campsites (Northmoor Lock Paddocks).

Location

Contact Barefoot Campsites (Northmoor Lock Paddocks), Barefoot Campsites, Badswell Lane, Appleton, Oxfordshire, OX13 5JN

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Getting There

Confirmed bookings only. Limited bus connection from Oxford. Closest railway stations Oxford and Didcot (see website for details). Access from river for those arriving by canoe or skiff.

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