This campsite is better for some kinds of campers than for others. We came away rather disappointed, but we can see it was suiting others.
Good points: it’s in a quiet location, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It’s got several marked level pitches, with electric if you want it. It has modern facilities, including a laundry room with washing machine, dryer, and open drying space. It has a café, open 8am – 10pm every day (6pm Sundays), serving drinks (including alcohol), snacks and meals, and with free wifi. It has a bunkhouse for those without tents. It has space for several motorhomes. Easy drive back into Bellingham which is a nice little place with good facilities, and easy drive up to Kielder Water etc. There is a play area for children.
Downsides: The modern washrooms are a bit meagre for the women, with only three loos and two showers; so at peak times it is rather crowded. The showers are on a 5 minute timer, with 5 minutes between showers, so a family of three may take over a shower for half an hour. The dish washing facilities are very meagre; two outside sinks with only cold water (which almost no-one uses) and one sink in the laundry room (which everyone has to queue up for), causing major irritation. The only place to freeze your iceblocks is the bottom of the icecream cabinet in the café, and this does not freeze them solid at all even after 24 hours. The wifi is so heavily used it can be hard to log on. The rubbish bins are right on the edge of the site, so rather inconvenient and no encouragement to separate rubbish and recycle – strange for such a new site. Not on a walking trail or very close to MTB trail, so pretty much everyone ends up taking the car out every day to start their activities.
Good for bunkhouse travellers and one/two people on their own with a small tent, especially if the weather is bad. You can eat all your meals in the café, so no need for cooking outside etc. This could be a nice experience as you would meet lots of other young people doing the same. In fact, the whole place feels like it is set up essentially for the bunkhouse folks, with camping a kind of add-on. Not so good for conventional campers who are really looking for background support facilities like good showers, good washing up, freezing of iceblocks etc. , so they can camp fairly independently on their pitch.
Have just returned from two week tour of Scotland and used Boe Rigg as my start/finish base because I know I can rely on the cleanliness and quality of the facilities.
Having read through some of the recent reviews I do have to wonder what people expect from camping? as this site, for me, is the best by far up and down the country.
They are small but on a wide open scale, the pitches are huge, they could easily fit more but greed is not an option here, guest comfort and enjoyment seems to be the priority.
They are constantly improving and seemingly reacting to feedback. A small site map is now given to guests on arrival now showing where bins are etc. (the bins can easily be seen from the main site but are kept a distance from the tent pitches so as to avoid unpleasant smells and to minimise disturbance when the bin lorry comes to empty - there are also butter churns around the bunk house for small item rubbish disposal)
Third visit here now. The only thing I would suggest is maybe a price increase to encourage a more camping aware visitor, perhaps keeping the wild camping at the same low rate as people going for this option tend to be more 'camp site etiquette aware'. (I'm not one of these, I like my EHU, this is just an observation)
Great site, friendly and helpful staff, amazing restaurant quality food very well presented. This place just gets better and better. Keep up the great work :)
Overall we enjoyed our visit but had a few issues with the site. I will list them so everyone reading can be better prepared than we were. 1) the grass on the site was very long and the old clippings were not cleared away, the result was soaking wet feet and soggy hay everywhere! Still picking it off our kit. I would say wellies were essential. 2) the toilet block is quite a distance from the tent pitches, also the tent pitches are half way up a hill. I was worried our car wouldn't make it off-road. It did, but it wouldn't have in the wet. Be prepared to carry your kit to the tent. 3) couldn't find the bins, ended up taking our rubbish home. I think they were behind the motorhomes but I was too lazy to check 4) the play park was close to the road leading to tent pitches, people were driving fast up to get up the hill so it is best closely supervised. Also if site managers are reading; it would be nice if sewerage smells are dealt with in that area. Though it was just a smell at the far edge of the play park, it wasn't pleasant. 5) only 5 mins per shower not ideal for those who have to wash kids too. Ours stopped while soap still on hair, had to rinse out with a dribble. Can't suggest anything for this other than wash quickly. I would also shower at night too as there are only 2 showers in the ladies. There was a wait time in the morning 6) midgies are a pain at night, we had a firepit (£5 hire £20 deposit, about £7 for a bag of kindling, softwood logs, 2 fire lighters and matches) and DEET and still got bites. Recommend to cover up and use some kind of repellent as well as use the fire pit.
We ate at the coffee shed quite a lot and though it was expensive the food was really nice and the facilities were really nice too. It was also really good that we had tap water and electric hookup right next to each tent too. Our daughter really enjoyed the huge play park at Kielder Water so it is well worth the trip if you have kids. It was near the bird of prey centre.
The site is not what we expected from looking on the website and at the map. The site is quite hilly with rough ground to cross/pitch on. We were advised not to drive onto the grass (shrub) in case we got stuck. This was a bit of a pain because it meant carrying all of our equipment quite far over uneven ground. We managed to find a relatively flat spot and had great views. The following day we drove up to the tent to reload our vehicle with no problems (we have a 4x4). Each pitch has its own water tap which was a life saver as the walk to the facilities was a decent distance. The reception for the site is in the café which threw us initially. This was a nice site and the facilities were lovely, although we couldn’t find any bins (seriously neither of us could find any outdoor bins). We didn’t use the café, but it looked really nice with some interesting gifts. Sounds on the site travel quite far, including the traffic passing on the road. Though there wasn’t much, it still sounded very loud in our tent overnight. Our tent was ‘inspected’ by the two large site dogs (who were being walked off lead). One of them jumped up the back of our tent, luckily causing no damage. Thankfully our own two dogs were inside with us at the time. The man walking the dogs did not approach us or apologise which seemed a bit off putting. Overall we liked this site, but it was a little too far from our expectations. We would recommend it, however I don’t think we’d be quick to return as it was only a stop off for us on our way up to Scotland.
Arrived at 5pm on the Friday night. Booked in and girl told us where our pitch was on the top of the banking. We didn't see it so ended up in wild camping area. WOW so much better. Very cosy, had bbq n campfire, made the weekend so so much better. Slight downside was quite a walk over the water bogged banking ( where our proper pitch should been) down to the amenities. Very clean and tidy. Didn't use showers but looked nice. Owners took regular walks round to see if we were ok. Which is good.
Bellingham village is 10 min walk away very handy and good stock of shops. Lovely walking area close by and very pretty area
Will recommend this site to others if you like peaceful basic site.
Just returned from Boe Rigg after a 5 night stay with my girlfriend and I have to say we could not fault it at all, from the moment we arrived till we left all of the staff were friendly and helpful! we couldn't of asked for a better pitch and the facilities were modern, spotless and had constant hot water. We hired a fire pit for the length of our stay for £5 and a large bag of good quality dry wood was £3. 75!
A 5 minute drive away there is a beautiful small town (Bellingham) with some nice pubs/shops to visit. We will definitely be staying at Boe Rigg again and taking friends with us.
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