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Common Barn Farm, Smith Lane, Rainow, Macclesfield, Cheshire
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Common Barn Farm, Smith Lane, Rainow, Macclesfield, CheshireIf you like your skies big, your views panoramic, and think those who seek the shelter of walls and hedges should just bring longer tent pegs, then Common Barn Farm is going to be right up your street. Actually, it's up a humungous hill on the edge of the Peak District.The five-acre camping field -which starts off flat before dropping spectacularly away - commands the heights above Macclesfield and all points north-west. The facilities are basic in the extreme: a water tap and a simple aged portaloo, giving it the feel of a wild camp. Indeed, if you fancy pitching anywhere else on this 250-acre farm plunging downhill almost to Lamaload Reservoir, just ask Rona the owner, and she'll let you know which fields the sheep aren't using.

It's a strictly adults-only site, too, making it a haven for any after a child-free break. Novice climbers, meanwhile, can spend all day honing their skills at the nearby craggy heights ofWindgather Rocks.There's a B&B at the farmhouse and a couple of self-catering cottages, making it ideal for getting away with non-camping friends or family. Rona also runs a tea room here, so you can all meet up for a civilised cuppa and a bun.

COOL FACTOR It's as if you're camping on top of K2.

WHO'S IN? Tents, campervans, caravans - yes. Children, dogs - no. Croups - by negotiation.

Common Barn Farm, Smith Lane, Rainow, Macclesfield, Cheshire


ON SITE There's a fire basket available for campfires (bring your own firewood). Indeterminate number of pitches and 3 hook-ups for campervans/caravans.The facilities are as basic as they come: a tap and 1 portaloo. Ice packs can be refrozen. There's a tea shop (also sells eggs and sweets).

OFF SITE The 4V*-mile circular Coyt Valley Walk around the Fernilee Reservoir makes for an untaxing leg-stretcher. Nearby attractions include Lyme Park (think Colin Firth/white shirt/lake; 01663 762023); Shining Tor - the highest point in Cheshire; and Buxton - with its pleasure gardens, cavern, and opera house it's a place that's, quite literally,'lah-di-dah'.

FOOD AND DRINK There are 3 pubs in Rainow (accessible via the footpath from the site): the Robin Hood (01625 574060), the pricey gastro Highwayman (01625 573245), and the Rising Sun (01625 424235) - perhaps the best.

CETTINC THERE From Macclesfield take the B4570 north for about 3 miles. Turn right up the steep Smith Lane, and the entrance to Common Barn Farm is on your right after ½ mile.

OPEN April-October.

THE DAMAGE £5 per person, per night.



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