As the sun was descending at the end of our day, we weaved our way up to the edge of the Northumberland National Park from our visit to National Trust’s Wallingford. Campy was going to Bellingham (pronounced bellin-d-jam) for the following two nights.
We were greeted by David and Joanna, the owners, on our arrival. Their little store in reception had local produce- bread from local baker and from Rothbury, farm fresh eggs and Northumberland sausages and burgers. Our dinner was sorted with a pack of sausages we bought.
The site is an open site, with trees and bushes running along the boundaries.
We picked a spot for Campy close to the small playground and relatively close to the toilet blocks.
As soon as we were parked up the kids flew out of the car to explore the site on their bikes. We had a good view on them most of the time as they circled the site on the road, perfecting their cycling skills.
The small playground is a place the kids naturally congregate; there is witches’ hat climbing frame and there are some swings. This is the place friendships are made.
The enthusiasm and love for the site is obvious with David and Joanna, the owners. Despite only taking over the site last year, they have got off the ground with great pizazz. They great plans for developments: a common room, log burner. I can hardly wait to see how they get on. They have already made some improvements:
The site has camping pods for those who don’t want to bring their own tent or caravan and want something that is more resistant to the elements, maybe even dare to camp in the winter. These are quite cool and feel really cosy.
For our dog there was a dedicated dog walking area beside the camp ground.
The facilities- showers and toilets- at the Bellingham campsite are really spacious and clean.
My only gripe was that the water was too hot for children (though this is signposted throughout.)
Things to do based at Bellingham Camping and Caravan Club site
Don’t forget to look up! Northumberland National Park is one of the best places for stargazing in the country. Even at the campsite, which has quite a few lights we saw more stars than we can see anywhere around Oxford.
One evening we bundled Angelina and Hugo up extra warm and they sat outside with Dadonthebrink and his star gazer app identifying stars, planets, constellations. They sipped hot chocolate and chatted away enthusiastically till the spring chill got to them and they dove into their beds to join their little brother, who was deep asleep dreaming of those distant stars.
The Bellingham Camping and Caravan club site is a great base for exploring Northumberland National Park, Kielder water, Hexham and parts of Hadrian’s Wall. If you are staying here don’t miss out Wallington or Belsay Hall, gardens and castle. We had so much fun at these places!
Hareshaw Linn is a gorgeous walk! Ask at reception for a laminated map.
Go back into Belingham, turn into the street opposite the police station in, near the end is a carpark. From here a gentle walk of romantic Victorian times interwoven with industrial history on a stunning natural backdrop begins.
Six bridges criss-cross the river. The reward at the end of the slight accent along the 1.5 miles is a beautiful waterfall.
We did the walk to the waterfall and back in 2.5 hours, with Max, 22 months old at the time, toddling the first and last half mile.