Ok so … a Private Camping weekend for your friends and family! … maybe a birthday celebration or just old friends getting together again.

Organising these things and getting decisions from your group can be a nightmare … so here are some tips on how to get started and hopefully some answers to questions you might already have.

 

Using the Planning Guide:

The Planning Guide is there to help you select the basic equipment and luxury extras you think you will need for your weekend. Click on each item to find out more information and pictures.

Add and remove things and see how the Per head price changes – when you are happy with the per head price guide you can find out the total amount for the weekend by reducing the “Total Sharing The Cost” figure to “1” and click the “Recalculate” button.

Save your selections using a valid e-mail address as your username and you will automatically be sent a copy of your Planning Guide

If you think a Private Camping Weekend is for you then contact me (info@privatecamping.co.uk) and let me know your plans and what dates / weekend you would prefer and I will check availability.

The Planning Guide … provides you with a guide price for your Private Camping weekend – prices may change slightly and some equipment may not be available. If you decide to go ahead I will advise you about your selections, confirm what equipment is available and if there are any price changes. (Back)


Booking & the deposit:

If your dates/weekend is available then a deposit of 150 will secure the booking. If you let me know that you are ready to book I will send you a link so you can pay the deposit online via Paypal or Credit Card.

The deposit is not a part payment – it will be returned to you at the end of your stay provided the rules and restrictions have not been broken and there has been no damage to the property or equipment provided.

Small breakages do happen to even the most conscientious groups and a few pounds retained from the deposit are usually enough to replace or repair things.

A major infringement of the rules & restrictions of the site e.g. climbing over walls or wandering into neighbouring fields … or lasting damage to the field & grass such as excessive burn marks or driving on the field – may result in retaining the full deposit amount as compensation for the farmer.

The deposit is usually returned by bank transfer after I have had time to fully inspect the site and equipment. Sometimes, if appropriate, I can return the deposit in cash before you leave. (Back)

Payment – When and how?:

Once your weekend is booked you can continue to make changes to your equipment list using the Planning Guide – each time you save or update your list I will get a copy automatically. Please keep me updated with your plans and let me know if numbers increase or decrease dramatically.

When you are happy with your plans, the guide prices and you are reasonably confident you know how many people will be coming. Let me know and we can confirm a final total price for the weekend.

I know it can be difficult to collect money from everybody coming so I’m happy to accept the full payment in cash once you have arrived.

If you could organise a collection from your group I will collect the total from you once you have all arrived and settled in.

Or if you prefer I can set up another payment link so you can pay online. This will need to be completed at least a day before your arrival.

I would strongly recommend that you get at least some money (non refundable!) from everyone upfront as confirmation that they are coming. This way if people drop out at the last minute you won’t be left out of pocket.

Note about people only staying for one night: It is totally up to you how you split the total cost of the weekend between your friends and family - I just need to collect a total amount from you either when you arrive or online a few days before. However the issue of what to charge people that are only staying for one night has been a problem for organisers in the past - the maths can get complicated!. I have created a simple calculation to help solve the problem - you can find the page here -(Back)

Numbers – How many can come?:

Ideally numbers should be between 10 and 30 people, our equipment is designed to cater for up to 30 people for two nights.

Strictly speaking this can be defined as the total number of people that will be using the camping facilities at any one time during your stay.

Some people in your group may be arriving - or leaving - at different times over the weekend. This is fine ... but we need to know the totals so that we can plan to provide enough facilities for everyone. (How much to charge for just one night - more info here)

Groups over 30 people are still possible but will be have a higher total cost as they require more facilities and will cause more (unavoidable!) damage to the land.

We have organised Private Camps for up to 50 people in the past but this does seriously narrow our choice of locations and contingency plans for wet weather.

One of the main issues with larger groups is the number of vehicles that will need parking. In wet weather we often cannot allow vehicles on the camping field and so need to find parking elsewhere.

If you are planning to have a large group camp - please encourage as much car sharing as possible. Also consider travelling by train (I can usually pick people up from the station) or maybe think about hiring a minibus – it will make travelling around (or just to the pub!) as a group much easier once you get here. Taxis are expensive!

Note about bringing Dogs: Farmers are understandably nervous about allowing dogs on their land and there will be lots of livestock in fields nearby.

I can sometimes get permission to allow campers to bring dogs but usually with the stipulation that they are on a lead or caged at all times ... personally I don't feel this is much fun for the dogs!

So if it is possible to leave the dogs at home - please do ... if you have a "we can't come without the dogs" situation then let me know and I will make some initial enquiries to try and find a field plus dog friendly farmer. But again ... this narrows our choice of fields!-(Back)

Locations and Travel arrangements:

It is important to understand that The Private Camping Company does not own any land or campsites. We build good working relationships with local farmers and make arrangements with them on your behalf to use land that they have available at the time of your stay.

The key part of what we provide is an exclusive, private field just for you and your party - we operate in the Lake District and I negotiate new fields whenever I can. Most of our locations this summer are in the South Lakes area (The Crake Valley) around the south end of Coniston Water. We only use fields that farmers have available at the time so it is very difficult to give you an exact location as it depends on how the farmers plan to use their fields and of course ... the Lake District weather!

Because we try to find you the best available location according to the weather for your weekend - in some circumstances we won't know exactly which field will be available for you until a week or two before you arrive! To some people this can be an issue ... to others it is all part of the adventure!

However if you decide to go ahead with a Private Camping weekend I can give you the location of the general area and will commit to finding you a suitable field as close as possible to your requirements.

If you need a specific location in order to plan travel arrangements or activities etc ... then I can give you the postcode for the nearest local pub - your final location is likely to be only a few miles from here - at the most.

Note: The Banana Field: We currently have access to a field on the shores of Coniston Water (Pics on the website & facebook page)

Obviously this is an extremely popular location and often requested by Private Camping groups. Although not suited to all groups … it is a prime lakeside location and if requested we will try to put as many camps as possible in the Banana Field.

However, we have to constantly monitor number of camps over the year and the damage to the field. If we feel it is getting too much then we will need to leave the field for a couple of weeks for the grass to grow back. It is simply impossible to predict in advance whether this might be the case for your particular weekend.

Just as we do … our fields need to recover after a weekend of camping!!(Back)

Vehicles and transport:

Please bear in mind that vehicles are not always allowed onto the camping field. Driving on the camping field quickly causes significant damage to the land and can easily kill the grass. If the weather is too wet … or the farmer simply doesn’t want the grass damaged by vehicles we will need to park vehicles outside the field.

Essentially we organise camping with “Tented Accommodation” - We cannot accept Caravans for various reasons … but can sometimes get permission to allow Campervans on to the fields (subject to weather conditions).

If vehicles are permitted on the land then driving in the camping field must be kept to an absolute minimum. Our “Once on – Once off” policy means that you may drive onto the field once – park and camp next to your vehicle – leave the vehicle there for the weekend and drive off the field at the end of your stay.

If you are planning to regularly use your vehicles during the weekend then you must park outside the field or just inside the field gateway as directed.

Anything you can do to reduce the number of vehicles in your group would be very much appreciated … encourage car sharing, travel by train (We can pick you up from Ulverston station)… or even hiring a minibus would all help with the issue of vehicle parking. (Back)

Cancellations … what if people drop out?:

A cancellation due to weather conditions is extremely rare – we provide a very sturdy windproof / weatherproof ex-military Marquee so that your group will have somewhere to shelter and enjoy the weekend – whatever the weather!

Cancellations occasionally happen if the group numbers drop dramatically – with fewer people sharing the cost you may decide it’s too expensive or you’d rather postpone the trip until everyone can make it.

To postpone your weekend please let me know as soon as possible and at least 2 weeks before your arrival date - so we can quickly arrange another date for you.

Because the total price for the weekend is based on the equipment you require – not the number of people! – when people drop out the cost per head for the rest of your group has to increase to cover the total price.

This is why it is sensible to ask everyone for some money (10?) upfront to confirm that they will be coming. If they change their mind then the 10 can help to cover some of the extra cost for the rest of the group.

If you do have to actually cancel your weekend, or postpone at the last minute for whatever reason, in most cases I will keep the 150 deposit to cover my time spent on organising your weekend & searching for locations. But more importantly to compensate for the business I may have lost while keeping the dates free for you.

If you cancel with plenty of notice … at least 1 month … then I will do my best to resell the weekend and return your deposit – however this is not guaranteed. (Back)

Arrival day and departure times:

Arrival days (usually Fridays) are very hectic! I will often have 2 or 3 other groups arriving at different times and going to different fields. So please be patient, we have a well proven method of arrival day organisation and I will get you settled into your field as soon as possible.

I always meet groups in the nearest local pub at about 3 – 4pm on your arrival day – often this is the Red Lion at Lowick but could be different depending on your location.

Ideally you should try and gather as many of your group at the pub as possible – I will come and meet you – then show you to your Camping Field. This is by far the best way ... nobody gets lost! ... and it gives me a chance to explain to everyone things like parking and the various rules and restrictions associated with the field.

Anyone in your group arriving later should stop at the Red Lion (or whatever pub we decide on) and ask for directions ... the Landlords / staff and locals are all very friendly and very used to giving directions to our Private Campers.

Once the majority of your group know the location of the camping field it should be relatively easy to direct the late arrivals by phone, go back to the pub to pick them up, or simply let them get directions from the staff at the pub.

I will be bringing equipment to your field, setting things up and generally checking everything is ok for you … until well into the evening on your arrival day. So there will be plenty of time / opportunities to chat about anything you are not sure about and make sure you have everything you need.

If you want to arrive early … maybe to decorate the Marquee? … this is usually ok but please bear in mind that I will still be setting up equipment – the marquee, toilets etc etc. If you are happy to have me working around you then that’s fine – just let me know what your plans are and we can work out some earlier meeting times.

Departure times are very relaxed … I will usually start to take down equipment at around lunchtime. If you are still there in the afternoon I will try and get you to help with taking down the Marquee!! … after learning this - most people are gone before mid afternoon! (Back)

Noise levels & Music:

Most groups are very aware of the disturbance they might cause … which is often why they get in touch with Private Camping in the first place.

There will always be some form of noise restrictions – particularly late night / early hours. Although it will certainly be far more relaxed that any other campsite!

However if you think your group will be particularly loud please let me know and I will try and find a suitable remote location for you.

Even in a remote location sound can travel great distances and the amount of noise disturbance varies greatly in different weather conditions and wind directions ... sometimes we can allow very little restriction on noise level - and sometimes, particularly on very still nights we have to be careful that noise doesn't echo off the hill sides!!

I will work with you to manage noise and to establish reasonable levels that will not disturb nearby residents.

During your stay I will do regular checks for noise levels at the nearest local residents ... if I feel it is too much I will come and let you know.

It is extremely important that we do not disturb any nearby residents … the business relies completely on the continuing support of the local community. Please remember this is a camping trip in a beautiful unspoilt location – not a mini festival

If you could try to describe what sort of noise level you think your group will be making, it would be a great help for me (... and the local residents!) to find a suitable location for you. 

(Back)

What you need to bring with you:

Basically you should bring everything that you would normally take for a weekend of camping - At the very least you will need:

Suitable tents,

Sleeping mats, Sleeping bags, Pillows,

Food & some Bottled drinking water.

Torches & Spare batteries

You may also need:

Gas cookers & spares (cooking on the fire is not always convenient)

Cooking equipment – Pans, Kettles, Frying pan etc

Utensils – Plates, Bowls, Cups, Glasses (plastic please!), Knives & Forks etc

Washing up equipment – Washing-up liquid, Large bowl, Cloth, Tea towel etc

Toilet Rolls / Wet Wipes / Antibacterial hand wash

BBQ’s / Disposable BBQ trays (Must be kept of the grass!!)

Matches / Fire lighters / Charcoal for a BBQ

Wellies / Waterproofs / Umbrellas for wet weather

Candles / Tea lights / Lanterns

Camping Chairs

Blankets / rugs for cold nights

Bin Bags for a final clear up & litter pickup before you go

(Back)

Health and Safety Notes:

Please remember you will be staying in a remote location and a long way from help should you need it and sometimes without any mobile phone signal.

Ultimately you must be responsible for your own safety ... and the safety of any children in your group. There are inherent risks involved with camping - please be aware of risks and take particular care when using the Fire Pit and the Wood Burning stove.

It is extremely important that you do not stray outside the boundaries of your camping field. There are many potential hazards and risks on a working farm – particularly around the farm buildings and also potentially from livestock in neighbouring fields.

Avoid all contact with farm livestock there is a small chance that harmful diseases could be transmitted.

Wash your hands regularly, particularly when handling and preparing food, the field and any animal droppings may contain harmful bacteria. Antibacterial wipes or hand sanitiser would be a useful addition to your camping equipment.

If you want to put together a First Aid kit the most common injuries and ailments tend to be burns, insect bites (Mainly midges!), hayfever / allergies, minor cuts & bruises.(Back)

General Rules and Restrictions:

A PDF file of our general rules and restrictions is available here

A GIF file of our general rules and restrictions is available here

Please send a copy to every member of your group. - (Back)


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