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Campfires and Quality Life - Building the Campsite dream

Updated: Jul 2

Chapter 1: It started with a campfire question and turned into complete campsite life.

After spending as many weekends as possible away in our touring caravan, exploring new areas, discovering different styles of campsites and reconnecting with the family.  Nights around the campfire became time to reflect on life and where we wanted to be.  Was our work and home life a good balance? Were we truly happy with the jobs we were currently in?

Caravan, awning and car all set up for a family holiday
All set up for a family holiday

It seemed we were both thinking the same, our career paths had run their course, and we needed a change, as they say “A change is as good as a rest”.  Our children were still in primary school, and it seemed like the time was right.  Now or Never!

The answer was staring us right in the face, evaluating all the sites we had stayed at, we would forever be in search of the perfect site; Family friendly, dog friendly, no wild parties, no massive groups, campfires under the stars with local places to eat out and adventures to explore – Build the dream!

Sign with Welcome to Knutsford Historic market town over a planter of pretty pink white and yellow flowers.
Goodbye Knutsford

We put the house on the market and started looking at what was available for sale.  The options were wide but the choice was limited. 

Where would we be happy to move to? Where could we see the family growing up? What would make a good base for business? Buy an already established site or build from scratch?

Gathering a few options, the children were packed off to school and our investigations began. 

Green sign with Welcome to Ingleton Land of Caves and Waterfalls
Hello Ingleton
  • First stop; Heysham, by the coast, an already set up site with little room for expansion. (It didn’t thrill us)

  • Second stop; Kirkby Lonsdale, A field with planning permission, excellent scope to stamp our mark, a lovely view of the Dales and local places we could see being an attraction for visitors (This ticked all our boxes and we started making plans)

  • Then; there was Ingleton.  We’d looked over the papers and totally disregarded it. Definitely not for us! But we were in the area, so we drove past, for a quick look….

WOW! – We pulled up to the gate, all overgrown, grass 6 foot tall and a ram-shackled looking shed, covered in graffiti.  But beyond that… The view! Our breathe was taken away.  Hedges can be cut; grass can be mowed, and buildings can be renovated.  But that view, no one can spoil that view and we fell in love – WE HAD TO HAVE THIS PLACE!

A wooden built campsite shower block, looking very desevelled, boarded up windows, over grown grass and graffitii
First impressions

On June 13th 2015 – We hooked up the caravan and headed up the M6 to start our new life, "To building the dream campsite".

living in a touring caravan

The house sale was still processing but the school year was coming to an end and we decided the children should get settled before the summer holidays, so we found a base for our touring caravan in Bentham and began to acclimatise ourselves with the new community.

Then reality hit. The field purchase included planning permission...

or so we thought!

As the sale was going through it became apparent that it had been revoked due to the owner not complying with the rules. Should we pull out of the sale???

We had given up our jobs and after the sale of our family home, we had enough money to buy a field and live for a few months. No back up plan.

"Regret the things you've done, not the things you didn't try"

I pretty much live by this quote in everything I do, if we gave up at the first hurdle, we would never get anywhere. So onwards we went....

Man stood outside a touring caravan with all his belongings, plants, cooking equipment and childrens toys everywhere
Home from home

Our touring caravan became our new abode, we left our home town with all our friends and family, bought a stupidly expensive piece of wasteland and had no idea if we would ever be able to run a business.... Everyone thought we were insane!

That’s where it started and so much has happened over the years, 9 years.

Coming soon Year 1 – Building the dream – Blood sweat and a whole lot of tears.

Want to hear more about our previous lives?

Liz's blog is coming soon.


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