Camping & Caravanning


East Midlands

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Other regions in Britain

The essentially rural East Midlands consists of the five shires of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton and Nottingham. Derbyshire is the most scenic of this group, containing as it does much of the Peak District, dramatic in the upper half, softer and more gentle in the lower, with its high fells and beautiful dales, homely villages, handsome spa towns and subterranean rivers and caves. The three main rivers – Dane, Dove and Manifold – rise at Axe Edge to flow through the well known valleys to which they give their names. Chapel en le Frith is a handy base for the northern half, and Buxton – where the Pennines roll down into the dales – for the southern. Some of the most impressive scenery can be reached only on foot, for example on the trail between Tissington and Buxton, or the ridge walk from Mam Tor near Castleton to Lose Hill. Peak Pathfinder bus services operate in season from Buxton and Ashbourne to Dovedale. Two historic Derbyshire buildings not to be missed are Peveril Castle near Castleton and, farther south, Chatsworth House.

Adjoining Derbyshire on the east is Nottinghamshire. Its distinctive and appealing scenery includes the central plateau cut by treelined valleys, the wolds in the southeast, the Trent Valley in the east, with steep buffs lining the river at Gunthorpe and Hazelford, and the glades and clearings of gently rolling Sherwood Forest around Edwinstowe. Routes for walkers include the Fosse Way, the Trent Ridgeway between Radcliffe and East Bridgeford and the Soar Ridgeway above Thrumpton. Important sights are the castles of Nottingham and Newark, the houses of Newstead Abbey and Wollaton Hall and the parks of Thoresby and Welbeck.

Nottinghamshire’s neighbour on the east is Lincolnshire, in which the landscape shifts from the Belvoir Hills, forming the western border, to the limestone ridge from Barrowby Hill to Lincoln and the low ground around the Wash, which is patterned with canals and flood banks and appropriately called Holland. In the south is flat and fertile farmland, some of it around Spalding dazzling with tulips in spring. Along the coast are firm sands sheltered by dunes; south of Skegness is an extensive nature reserve. The two most historic buildings in the county are probably the cathedral and Norman castle of Lincoln.

Leicestershire, a small county famed for its hunting, is most pastoral in the east and south, where the tow-paths of its canals provide excellent routes for walkers. Between Leicester, Ashby and Loughborough is Charnwood Forest, where crags and moorland alternate with woods. There are grand churches at Kelton, Empingham, Market Harborough and Staunton Harold.

Southernmost county in the region is Northamptonshire, green and peaceful away from the industrial towns of Kettering, Rothwell, Wellingborough and Corby. As well as Yardley Chase and the Forest of Rockingham round the Welland Valley there are numerous Saxon churches and country houses worth seeing.

Campsites are well distributed throughout the region in the Peak and dales, the Trent Valley and Sherwood Forest, on the Lincolnshire coast and the main transit routes.

For full details of all parks listed on our website, see the latest edition of Camping Caravanning Britain. Priced at £8.50, the book is available from WHSmith, Waterstone's, Blackwell's and other bookshops; alternatively, to order a copy directly click here.

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions. Always phone a park before visiting to check facilities and prices.