Keswick park best in North West says AA
A picture-postcard holiday park in Cumbria – Castlerigg Hall in Keswick – has been named by the AA as the top spot in the North West to pitch a tent.
The family-run business beat hundreds of other eligible parks to take the title of the Campsite of the Year for the North West in the AA Caravan and Camping Awards 2017.
Multi-award winning Castlerigg Hall – which last year was the winner of the Cumbria Tourism Park of the Year accolade – has been owned by the Jackson family since 1938.
A former farm which began by welcoming campers, it is today one of the Lake District’s most highly regarded parks attracting visitors from across the UK and overseas.
As well as camping facilities, Castlerigg Hall provides luxury caravan holiday homes for hire, plus eco-friendly camping pods and pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes.
Guests enjoy spectacular Lakeland views over Derwentwater and the surrounding fells, and the picturesque surroundings on the park itself which the AA describes as “idyllic”.
Judges praised too the park’s raft of facilities including “top-notch amenity buildings, fully equipped campers’ kitchen, large shop with local specialities, and stylish Jiggers Bistro”.
In order to qualify for the AA award, Castlerigg Hall had to undergo a rigorous inspection process which examined closely at all aspects of the business and what it offered.
Park owner David Jackson said that as well as looking for high standards, inspectors were especially keen to find evidence of the quality of hospitality on offer:
“Providing a warm welcome to guests, and a friendly and relaxing atmosphere in which they can enjoy their stays, has always been high on our list of priorities,” said David.
“A lot of the credit for providing this must go to our park team members who are often mentioned in guests’ reviews for their helpful and caring attitude.
“We have been extremely pleased this year with the popularity of our franchised restaurant, both with local people and visitors, where the emphasis is on locally sourced food.
“Our park shop too focuses on items produced in Cumbria, including framed landscape photos of the surrounding area which are especially popular as Christmas gifts.
“We have also introduced a pet animals viewing area which is proving a big hit with children and grown-ups, and which includes Shetland ponies, pigmy goats, donkeys and ducks.
“In addition, we’ve seen demand grow for our eco-friendly cycling holidays based in glamping pods which are run in conjunction with two other award-winning Lakeland parks.
“It’s been an amazingly busy year for us at Castlerigg Hall, and it’s fantastic to see it topped off with this prestigious AA award,” added David.
This year the park was also praised by botanist David Bellamy when he announced that Castlerigg Hall had once again gained his prestigious conservation award at its top gold level.
Professor Bellamy highlighted the many initiatives taken by the Jackson family to safeguard its flora and fauna, and the part it plays in supporting local good causes.
With the help of visitor donations, it has facilitated footpath repair work with Nurture Lakeland, the Calvert Trust Public Art “Go Herdwick” Trail, and Keswick’s Fitz Park Trust.
David Bellamy also designated Castlerigg Hall as an official “Honey Bee Friendly” park as part of his new initiative to help protect the threatened insects.
More about Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park can be found at www.castlerigg.co.uk