Date of Visit: July/August 2021
Topley Head Farm CL is located just off the A6 between Bakewell and Buxton, it is well-signposted and easy access to the farm itself, please see Site Arrival video. From the farm entrance to the site entrance is a short, single tracked farm road with no passing places so I made sure to arrive after midday.
As a CL, it comprises of 5 pitches and you need to be a member of the Caravan and Motorhome Club to stay there. The site backs onto the farm and is surrounded on three sides by low, dry-stone walls with fantastic views across the Peak District A line of mature trees provide a natural barrier between the CL and the farm itself.
There is a 16amp EHU available for each of the pitches with the freshwater point at the far end. Waste water, Elsan point and rubbish collection were accessible through a gate at the back of the site into the farmyard. It should be noted that the waster water disposal point had a raised edge to it and required you to manouver the wastemaster onto to it. In addition, it appeared that the rubbish and recycling had not been emptied for some time, with some of the bins close to overflowing. There was no information room and the only time I saw the owners was when I went to pay for the pitch.
TV signal was fine using the onboard directional caravan aerial. Mobile signal for 3 and Vodafone were good. The coverage checker website for both 02 and EE suggested similar performance. There is no WiFi available at the site.
The site is on a bus route but this requires a 20 minute walk along the road without pavements to walk on.
Review of Site Pitch
All pitches were hard standing and I found that no ramp was required to level. The pitch size could accommodate a caravan and car side by side. However, if you wish to use an awning, it would be necessary to park your car in front of the van and awning. The pitches were somewhat overgrown and in general the CL field was in need of mowing more regularly than appeared, as the grass was quite long. This was, however, well compensated for by the stunning views.
As it is a working farm, some noise is to be expected, however I found it not intrusive. There were lambs in the field in front of the site and cows to one side. Again, I did not find the noise excessive. Occasional aircraft noise was heard as well.
Around and about
First, the basics, the nearest supermarket is Morrisons on the outskirts of Buxton which also has fuel. There is also an Aldi and Waitrose in Buxton itself and an another Aldi on the outskirts of Bakewell.
Topley Head Farm CL is located a short drive from the market town of Bakewell, famous for its Bakewell Tart/Pudding. Bakewell is in the middle of the Peak District National Park. For the wider area, this is a useful starting point. The area offers a vast range of activities from easy going to the very strenuous including rock climbing.
Nearby towns include Buxton and Matlock and the famous Matlock Bath and Blue John’s Caverns. Buxton is, of course, famous for its spa and the Buxton Opera House. It also rivals Bath with its own Georgian crescent. Buxton also has some beautiful gardens, Pavilion Gardens,
There is a Victorian “Tram” which operates a tour of the highlights of Buxton from the Opera House, at the entrance to the gardens. www.discoverbuxton.co.uk I completed this on a previous visit and I found it very informative and entertaining.
Finally, there is a Treasure Trail for Buxton, a 2.5 hour walking tour which both upper and lower Buxton. It is not recommended for less able bodied people due to parts of the trail being quite steep.
There are no close by national rail stations, the nearest being Buxton to the West and Matlock to the East. There is also a heritage railway which is spreading steadily west following the old route from Manchester Central to St Pancras. www.peakrail.co.uk The nearest station on the heritage railway to the site is Rowsley South, a 25 minute drive from the site through Bakewell. Large parts of this route are also a cycle/hiking trail, Monsal Trail. Bikes can be hired at Parsley Hay to the west and Middleton Top to the East.
There are a vast range of villages, many with pubs, ponds, and cafes in abundance. If you are looking to purchase outdoor clothing, equipment, and footwear, then you will find a plethora of shops to cater to your requirements. A village well worth a visit is Hartington and there are pubs which cater for walkers/hikers and dogs, despite the mud you may have on your boots!
One pub, which I highly recommend is the Anglers Rest in Millers Dale – less than a 10 minute drive from the site. The pub is close to a river and it is possible to eat outside overlooking this.
A day trip, irrespective of the weather has to be to Crich Tramway Village – its attractions cater from the very young to all ages.
There is also a well-known bookshop/café High Peak Book Store and Café. If you are a book lover/reader then it is well worth a visit and the coffee and cake are good too, they cater for young children.
Dogs tend to be welcome in most areas, but this is not comprehensive, so a check beforehand is advisable.
No review of around and about would be complete without the mention of the historic halls and houses which are spread around the area. Chatsworth House is one of the most famous – home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The house is open to the public and there are cafes, restaurants, and shops in the old stable block area. Regular events are held throughout the year including traditional styles of markets etc. It can get incredibly busy so booking ahead is advisable. There is also a nearby Chatsworth Farm Shop and café with amazing views. Produce is mostly produced on the estate or local producers.
I stayed for a week in late July/early August 2021 and paid £15 per night including EHU. The site did have an air of neglect about it and in need of some tlc. However, this was more than offset by the location and the views. That combined with the vast range of activities, irrespective of weather, makes it a worthwhile site to pay a visit.