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Reviews of Ilam Park National Trust Caravan Site

Campsite Search > UK > Central England > Peak District & Derbyshire > Ashbourne > Ilam Park National Trust Caravan Site > Reviews

CLOSED: Ilam Park National Trust Caravan Site
Derbyshire   (Browse area)

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Rating: Average Review Score: 9/10 from 37 Reviews
                9/10 from 37 Reviews

 No Tents   No Caravans   No Motorhomes   No Campervans 
 No Glamping Units   No Statics for Hire   No Statics for Sale   No Seasonal Pitches 
 No Electric Hookups   No Hardstandings   No Fully Serviced Pitches   Show Full Facilities
Who's it for
 Families Welcome   Not Members Only   No Rallies   Not Naturist Site 
 Dogs Welcome   No Dogs Allowed   Groups Welcome 
 No Toilets   No Showers   No Washing Up Area   No Bathroom 
 No Baby Changing   No Laundry   No Drinking Water   Disabled Friendly 
 No Chemical Disposal   No Battery Charging   No Gas Exchange   No Recycling Facilities 
 No Kitchen Facilities   No Freezer / Fridge   No Motorhome Point   No Wifi Access 
 No Shop   No Bar   No Restaurant  
 No Playground   No TV Room   No Games Room   No Evening Ents 
 No Fishing   No Wild Swimming   No Indoor Pool   No Outdoor Pool 
 No Horse Riding   No Cycle Hire   No Golf   No Tennis 
 No Beach   No Watersports   No Boat Launch 
Other Features
 No Sea Views   Not Working Farm   No Campfires Allowed 
 No Waterside Pitches   Public Transport   No Dog Walk 

Reviews:  37 in total, now showing 1 to 10                 Previous 10          Next 10
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Date of Visit: October 2017 Unit:  Other
Reviewer: Webmaster

 Please note we have been advised that this site has closed permanently, and no longer offers camping, motorhome or caravanning pitches. If you know that this situation has changed in the future, please could you let us know. Many thanks 

Date of Visit: August 2017 Unit:  Motorhome
Reviewer: Essdeebee 2 reviews from this member

 In many ways, this site was delightful. Right in the middle of Ilam Park with direct access to the (National Trust) park and the whole of Dovedale. For a short walking holiday the location was ideal. It was a bit of a trek to the toilets and showers, which were in the main NT Park buildings, but that was not a problem.

What lets the site down, is the way the wardens allow some people to flout all the rules. It is a small site (just 17 pitches) but on some days there were as many as 5 children tearing around on their bicycles, not just on the gravel tracks, but across and between pitches.

Pitches are unmarked, so we were told to make sure we were at least 10ft from the nearest unit, but before we left, someone was allowed to park less than 2 metres from us.

Due to shortage of space, spare/additional cars are supposed to be left in the adjacent car-park, but while we were there, 2 of the units had a caravan with awning plus 2 cars. As pitches are unmarked and not delineated, this meant less space for everyone else.

There is a cafe and NT shop on site, but any groceries are a short drive away.

Would I go back - possibly, but definitely not in the school holidays. 

Date of Visit: July 2017 Unit:  Motorhome
Reviewer: Luckyskip 19 reviews from this member

 Just returned from this fab little site today, we have been away for the last 3 days & could not have enjoyed our break more. This small site (only 20 pitches) which are a mixture of grass & hardstanding is located right in the centre of Ilam park, the wardens are NT volunteers & are extremely helpful & friendly, always happy to chat with a smile. We have two little dogs & it's a brilliant place to walk them straight out of the gates into acres of fields & public footpaths. The walk into Dovedale is approx half hour away across the fields great for us & the dogs.

Yes, as others have said the toilets & showers are 'off site', however they are actually no further away than many toilet blocks on the larger caravan sites, at the prices charged per night this site is still excellent value for money.

We were told by the wardens that the NT intend to shut this site & make it into a car park!

Everyone on site were amazed at the shortsightedness of this, the site is clearly paying its way as it is very well used particularly at the weekend. It will be a massive blow if the NT do close this site, personally I think it should be left as it is or even invested in to improve it further. 

Date of Visit: October 2016 Unit:  Touring Caravan
Reviewer: Steveb67 3 reviews from this member

 Really pleased we went here, good value and great location. Only here 2 nights which wasn't enough as there are many things to do, assuming the weather is nice. We missed out on breakfast on site at either the Youth hostel (£5. 50 for adults, £3. 50? for kids, but you have to get there before 9am!) or the National trust cafe.

Colin and his wife and the other warden were very friendly and helpful.

Only got to look at the showers and didn't use them but as mentioned elsewhere, they are in the main building which is not directly within the caravan site. There were 2 and they looked ok, nothing special, although nice and warm. Site only cost £14 a night which is great value.

Bear in mind the reasonably steep roads into the valley, which I was aware of already but actually weren't as bad as I expected, and we do have a twin axle caravan. 

Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Touring Caravan
Reviewer: Sue6 38 reviews from this member

 A Lovely setting. Please be aware the showers and toilets are located a few minutes walk from the site, in the back courtyard of a building/café and shop. It is best to have your own facilities. The YMCA if asked may allow you to use there bar. Good Walking in the area. When leaving the campsite be carful of exiting from the minor road onto the A515. It is pity that Ashbourne does not have a by-pass the traffic can be busy at times. There are a good number of shops in Ashbourne. Dogs on Leads at ALL times, but there are plenty of areas to walk, with dogs ON leads. Unfortunately the wardens Len & Maria who were there on our arrival did little in way on cleaning the showers, dirty mops, the next wardens cleaned and replaced with a new mop. The toilets are shared with public visitors to the site. 


Date of Visit: August 2016 Unit:  Motorhome
Reviewer: Fradford 2 reviews from this member

 We visited August bank holiday weekend - myself, my husband, two children and father-in-law. We had previously visited in August 2015 and decided to come back to explore the area some more. It has to be the most beautiful site I've visited, surrounded by the stunning Peak District countryside. There are beautiful walks along the river Dove and the river Manifold. Last year (2015) we visited nearby Chatsworth House and this year we brought the bikes with us and took a bike ride along the Manifold valley taking in Thor's cave along the way. The site is very well kept by its National Trust volunteers who will happily take orders for any essentials (bread, milk, newspapers) to be delivered the next day from the local shop. As others have mentioned the toilet block and showers are a short walk away in part of Ilam Hall however we used our own facilities. The surrounding roads can be very narrow and steep in places so it's worthwhile putting a little research into any route you might take if you have a large unit. We are planning on visiting again this summer but this time with our new touring caravan so we'll see how we get on getting to the site. 

Date of Visit: March 2016 Unit:  Touring Caravan
Reviewer: Liz+ ant Slade 33 reviews from this member

 Gourgeous site set in National trusts Ilam Hall.

Staff really friendly and helpful.

Plenty of gorgeous walks around and well placed for peak district attractions.

You can even use the halls Youth hostel for drinks and games room and if not that busy even eat there.

Facilities a bit dated but that's the only negative thing I can mention.

Our dogs love it! 

Date of Visit: September 2015 Unit:  Touring Caravan
Reviewer: Purplechinny 6 reviews from this member

 This beautiful little site should be kept top secret, it is just so beautiful.

Set in the grounds of ILAM Hall, which is owned and run as a youth hostel by The National Trust, the caravan site is nestled in trees and is so secluded, we have been regular visitors to this area for several years and didn't even know the site existed until last year. Now we can't wait to go back again.

The thing that made the biggest impression for us, was the fact that the site is run by National Trust Volunteers, on a rota basis throughout the season. The couple that were resident wardens during our stay were an absolute credit to NT and could not have been more helpful, to the point that they regularly came out of the office to open and close the driveway gate as people were going in and out in their cars.

The site is gently sloping and kept beautifully tidy by the wardens. T. V reception was, in our experience, non existent, but we knew this before we visited and were more than happy to have a week without 'the box'

The toilet/shower facilities are located within ILAM Hall youth hostel, this does mean ŵalking off the caravan site a short distance, but this is no further than you would walk to the facilities on some of the larger caravan sites.

Basic provisions such as bread milk and papers can be ordered for next day delivery with the wardens.

Visitors are allowed to use the bar facilities with the youth hostel. There is also a tearoom and NT gift shop within ILAM Hall.

The woodland grounds of ILAM Hall are beautiful, with a river, grass areas, lots of pathways and walks in the trees to explore.

Dovedale is an easy walk away across the fields and their are many many more walks in the area.

I would rate this site 11+ out of 10 if it were possible 

Date of Visit: September 2015 Unit:  Campervan
Reviewer: Dave 418 38 reviews from this member

 From arrival to leaving this was a site we will not forget.

On arrival the wardens were very friendly and helpful with lots of information about the site and the area.

The site is within the lovely grounds of the old hall and the estate village.

We were pitched on a terrace at the top of the site. A bit tricky to get level but we managed. The motorhome service point was well thought out. No drive over drain but we managed to get near enough to the grid to be able to drain our grey water. The bins and chemical waste disposal were all in the same area.

The showers and toilets were in the courtyard of the old hall. We didn't use them but they looked clean and tidy.

The café, National Trust shop and information center are in the old stables.

The site is well located with some good walking routes from the site and visiting the rest of Derbyshire.

A minor point, there is no local shop or cash point. Shop before you arrive. 

Date of Visit: August 2015 Unit:  Touring Caravan
Reviewer: Propellerhed 18 reviews from this member

 We've been to the Ilam Hall National Trust park many times but have never stayed on the caravan site before, and what a brilliant location for a site it is. Beautiful views in all directions and very little light pollution for starry night skies.

There are plenty of interesting towns fairly nearby, such as Ashbourne and Buxton plus lots to see and of course masses of walks around the Manifold valley.

The site is fairly small and pitches vary massively in size (meaning you might feel smug or a bit miffed when you get allocated yours), when the site is full as it was when we stayed then it can feel a little crowded. Personally I would suggest that as the NT carpark is right next door, the site should operate a no-cars-on site policy as this would free up a lot of spare space.

As other reviewers have mentioned the toilets and showers are a short walk from the site and are located next to the NT shop. Which makes for a slightly odd experience if you go for a shower when it's open but also means you feel like you've got the whole place to yourself if you go at night (just don't forget your torch). The facilities were cleaned in the morning but by the evening the toilets were usually in a 'well used' condition due to being shared with the large numbers of NT visitors.

Make sure you use the warden's directions to and from the site as there are some narrow lanes, steep hills and tricky junctions to be negotiated. Perhaps not the best site for a first timer with a big caravan.

The site wardens were friendly and helpful however my wife was a little miffed that the male warden insisted on only talking to me about pitching up related matters. The pitches themselves were well maintained and mowed regularly however keep an eye out for some fairly deep holes which resulted in a twisted ankle.

Overall I would thoroughly recommend this site to anyone interested in the great outdoors as it is a fantastic location and very reasonably priced as well. 

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