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Shallow Grange Farm, Old Coalpit Lane, Chelmorton, nr Buxton, Derbyshire
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Shallow Grange Farm, Old Coalpit Lane, Chelmorton, nr Buxton, DerbyshireIt can be a nightmare finding a decent working sheep farm to camp on in the middle of the Peak District National Park. Luckily Shallow Grange, just south of Buxton, manages to combine both sheep (around 200 ewes, to be precise) and tents amid 110 acres of grassy farmland and rolling hills.

To stay here is to be in noble company, historically speaking - we're not still baahing on about sheep - since the Sherwood Foresters used the land as their summer camp back at the beginning of the last century. But, with those days long gone, it has been functioning as a campsite in its modern form for a couple of decades, run by Ed and Marilyn, who've worked hard to make the site a pleasant and highly eco-friendly experience.You'll find a comprehensive recycling system; renovated shower block with an underfloor heating system (and Dyson hand-dryers, no less); toilets with low-volume flushes; and solar panels to supplement the hot water temperatures. Their latest project is a 100,000-litre rainwater capture tank.The Merry Men would be jealous indeed.

Shallow Grange Farm, Old Coalpit Lane, Chelmorton, nr Buxton, Derbyshire


The site's large camping meadow is flat, well drained, and bordered by ancient, low stone walls. It has space for 30 tents (with generously sized pitches), and there's a separate touring field for caravans, which has electric hook-ups.

It's a simple sort of site, despite the jazzy eco-ficilities. There's a pond, where you can fish for perch, carp, and bream (all season; £5 per day). And, of course, the Peak District - a pretty good playground for all ages - is right on your doorstep.

Shallow Grange Farm, Old Coalpit Lane, Chelmorton, nr Buxton, Derbyshire


COOL FACTOR An eco-friendly getaway among the Peaks.

WHO'S IN? Tents, dogs - yes. Campervans, caravans, groups - by arrangement.

ON SITE Campfires are allowed if raised off the grass. There are 30 pitches plus more (with hook-ups) in the caravan field. Showers and toilet facilities are modern, well equipped, and eco-friendly (though no baby-changing or disabled access). A freezer is available for ice packs. Pond to fish.

OFF SITE Chatsworth House (01246 565300) and Haddon Hall (01629 812855) are nearby, with Jane Austen-style interiors and gardens. Arbor Low Stone Circle - the 'Stonehenge of the Peak District' - is a Neolithic henge ringed by unspoilt countryside, with fantastic views over Derbyshire (about 5 miles south-west of Bakewell). For a proper chill-out, try the holistic Brackendale Spa (01629 540727).

Shallow Grange Farm, Old Coalpit Lane, Chelmorton, nr Buxton, Derbyshire


FOOD AND DRINK The Church Inn (01298 85319) at Chelmorton serves quality traditional British pub lunches and home-cooked meals, while the Bulls Head (01629 812372) in Monyash offers good food in a refurbished dining room. It's a scenic drive to Longnor Fish & Chip Shop (01298 83317), or the Red Chilli (01335 343232) in Ashbourne does refined Indian and Bangladeshi food (takeaways available).

GETTING THERE The site is located off the A5270 (Old Coalpit Lane), a road accessed from the A6 and A515.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Trains run hourly to Buxton, with connections to mainline services at Stockport and Manchester. Taxis are available outside the station. Buses will drop you off outside the farm gates on Old Coalpit Lane. Services include the TP (running between Manchester and Derby), and no. 193 (between Buxton and Tideswell).

OPEN All year.

THE DAMAGE Tent plus 2 people from £12 per night.



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