02/01/2013
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Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park Campsite Review

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A former limestone quarry may sound like an unusual place to turn into a campsite, but that was previously the starting point for Rivendale, which you’ll find directly off the A515 just a few miles north of Ashbourne.

When you actually get there the location makes a lot of sense. Firstly, it’s very firm everywhere with the majority of pitches being on hardstandings. You won’t get stuck here, no matter what time of year it is. As the quarry has been carved into the hillside, there’s rock at one end and open views over the other end. This makes it very quiet and sheltered. There’s a nearby A-road, but you’d never know it.

On a sunny day the views over the rolling Derbyshire countryside are pretty epic and the proximity of the Tissington Trail (it’s 100 yards from the campsite entrance) make this a perfect base for those who like walking or cycling. The Trail runs directly into the nearby market town of Ashbourne and, as it was originally a railway line, is flat and easy to ride and there’s a tunnel taking you directly into the heart of the town (side-stepping the steep hill that cars have to go up). It is quite exposed in places though, so make sure you pack something warm in the colder months.

The campsite itself is easy to access with wide entrance roads and offers spacious pitches centred around a heated toilet and shower block that is set adjacent to a children’s play area. For motorhomers there’s also the convenience of a motorhome waste dump point (which can handle vehicles up to 44ft long!), handily located on the road that leads
Rivendale's camping pods overlook
the site's duck pond
to the touring area. At the entrance to the campsite is a large stone-built building that is home to the reception and shop area, which proved useful for a forgetful motorhomer like myself…

Above the shop is the Prancing Pony bar and restaurant, which is open Fridays and Saturdays in low season and every night in peak season. My son, Sam, and I attempted to pot balls on the pool table while we waited for our tea. My steak and ale pie used locally-sourced meat with veg and potatoes, and went down perfectly with the real ale on tap. An excellent end to the day.

It’s also worth pointing out that the ground floor to the building is home to a café that serves breakfast and lunch, as well as decent coffee (a vital point to make if you’re a fellow caffeine addict). The campsite also offers additional bed and breakfast
Most pitches are hardstanding
accommodation to the rear of the café area in a characterful converted barn. The rooms in the barn are really well appointed with first rate marble-style bathrooms and exposed wooden beams. Prices start from £54, so they’re ideal if you have family or friends visiting you on site.

There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area with beautiful Dovedale being within walking distance and plenty of great cycle routes. If that all sounds too much like hard work, then catch a bus from the site entrance to Ashbourne where you’ll find teashops and pubs galore, as well as book and antique shops. Buxton and Matlock are also close
by and well worth visiting.

SITE INFORMATION:

There are many great walks
in nearby Milldale
Address:
Buxton Road, Alsop-en-le-Dale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1QU
Tel: 01335-310311 / 310441
Web: www.rivendalecaravanpark.co.uk
Open: 27 January – 6 January   

Charges (2012): From £17.50 (2 adults, motorhome, electric).
Nearest public transport: The Bowers bus service numbers 442 and 42 both travel past Rivendale Caravan Park and run from Ashbourne to Buxton.
Nearest pub/restaurant: On-site is the Prancing Pony pub and the Stables restaurant, which is open most evenings in peak season and offers excellent home-made food. The Stables café is also open daily for breakfast (9am - 10am) and lunch (10am - 5pm).
Directions: Head north of Ashbourne town centre on the A515. Do not take the Alsop-en-le-Dale turn, but stay on the road for another half mile. Rivendale is signed off to on the right.

To view this campsite's full listing in Campsite Finder, please click here.

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