Catgill is a charming family-run campsite spread across several camping fields. Pitches are allocated on a “pick your own” basis, although the owners have marked out some specific routes for vehicles to load and unload from. You can drive your car to your pitch, but once unloaded you must park it in one of the two car parks.
Shower and toilet facilities are well maintained, clean and with plenty of showers and toilets to spare. Since COVID there has been an extra bank of portaloos available, presumably to reduce the traffic in and out of the shower blocks.
For those families who can’t make do without a freshly-brewed espresso drink in the morning there is a small coffee shop open each morning, serving fresh coffees and pastries. But be warned, it’s popular so expect to queue!
The site is walking distance from Bolton Abbey – about a mile through a relatively easy woodland path before you reach the entrance nearest the stepping stones. If you have smaller children or a boot full of kit, you might prefer to drive the 5 mins down the road – Bolton Abbey tickets include parking so there’s no extra cost.
There are a couple of tea rooms / pubs nearby if you’re looking for food and drink outside of the Abbey, and the obligatory ice cream vans inside. The Abbey is the main draw, so we can’t speak to attractions further afield. Bolton Abbey itself should keep the kids entertained on a dry day, whether it’s paddling near the stepping stones or the circular walk up to the Strid (c.9 miles, or a slightly shorter 7.5mi version if you take the recommended shortcut).
Catgill staff are friendly and visible, and on hand to help if you get stuck. Firepits are available to hire and they have a freezer available for recharging ice packs. It’s not a “bells and whistles” camping experience, but it ticks all the boxes for a fun, low-stress weekend under canvas. If you’re looking for something a bit more special, consider hiring one of the 4-person pods, which have wood-fired hot tubs attached.
The Tong Family