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Middle Beardshaw Head Farm, Burnley Road,Trawden, Colne, Lancashire
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Middle Beardshaw Head Farm, Burnley Road,Trawden, Colne, LancashireAs you wend your way through the towns of East Lancashire in search of this site, you can't help but notice all the old cotton mills and their chimneys piercing the leaden skies of Burnley and Colne. These grim relics, with their dark, gaunt-looking stone walls, resemble decaying temples from a forgotten age; left to haunt the present with their forbidding presence.

A right turn in Colne brings you into the sweet little village ofTrawden and, like a curtain being flung aside, the landscape is instantly changed: gone are the 'dark Satanic mills' to be replaced by 'England's mountains green', and 'pleasant pastures seen'...Just like that,Jen»«tow leaps to mind, and by the time Middle Beardshaw Head Farm heaves into view, a thousand voices (in your head, hopefully) are in full cry. It's as it William Blake took his final camping holiday here (in 1804) before he set about penning the iconic anthem.

This 'revelation' on the road to Burnley is a very small farm campsite, sufficient for five or six tents, and sheltered from the vastness of the windswept landscape by a screen of trees. The house would already have been old in Blake's time, and is now very ancient, with a huge view out over England's green and pleasant land.

Appropriately, the facilities here are a bit rustic, while the barn housing the modern bunkhouse is an ancient leviathan of a building. Should the architecture, the culture, or the whole atmosphere of these bygone places start to wear thin, then there's also Boundary Mill, a famous temple to the Cod of Retail, just down the road.

COOL FACTOR Small farm campsite set amid the contrasting scenery of East Lancashire.

WHO'S IN? Bunkhouse: individuals and groups. Campsite: tents, and campervans (by arrangement). Dogs are welcome.

ON SITE Campfires are permitted on the stone plinth at the top of the site, which is never more than a few steps away. There's room in the bunkhouse for up to 20 people, while the camping field has 10 pitches maximum; 2 electric hook-ups. The facilities are adequate, but a bit ramshackle and recycled, with toilets, 2 free showers, and a kitchen area with washing-up sink (which can be used by campers if the bunkhouse hasn't been exclusively booked).

OFF SITE The original Boundary Mill mega-shop (01282 856200) is about 4 miles away. All the attractions and literary connections of Bronte country and Hebden Bridge are just over the hill in West Yorkshire.

FOOD AND DRINK The Old Rock Cafe (www.oldrockcafe. co.uk) in Trawden is something of a modern legend for its 'taste of Lancashire' menu and backpacker's lunch. In Colne, and 3 miles from the campsite, are the Ivy Palace (01282 865585) - an excellent Chinese restaurant - and Carlo's Restaurant (01282 869682), lively with a real Italian feel.

GETTING THERE From the A6068, turn on to the B6250 towards Trawden. In Trawden turn right at the church, then immediately left into Burnley Road. The campsite is a mile up, on the right.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Take the train to Colne, then local bus no. 21 into Trawden. From there it's a mile's walk uphill.

OPEN All year.

THE DAMAGE Small tent plus 2 people £5 per night; campervan/large tent and occupants £7.50. Bunkhouse £7.50 per person - must book in advance.



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