Cumbria Tourism's Park Of The Year Claim To Fame

This could be the site of the first permanent holiday park
This could be the site of the first permanent holiday park

Friday, 04, Oct 2019 03:51

By William Coleman

Lakeland's newly-crowned holiday park of the year in the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2019 can also claim a more historic title, according to recently discovered documents and publications.

They reveal that Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park in Keswick was possibly the location of Britain's first ever permanent holiday park.

Park owner David Jackson said he was amazed when he found that the site had been providing holidays to Lake District lovers for at least 110 years.

He already knew that an enterprise called Derwent Holiday Camp had previously existed on land now owned by his park, but only recently learned of its long history.

It came about after he was contacted by a relative of the camp's original owner, William Pattie, who was tracing his family tree and had unearthed a number of papers and photographs.

They showed that in 1909 the camp was offering stays in canvas bell tents, and provided toilets and a pavilion where guests could enjoy "recreation and dining with a liberal table".

"This was clearly a permanent site offering holidays with accommodation, amenities and meals, and I know of no evidence that anything similar around or before that time," said David.

"The camp was clearly very popular, but was forced by the government to close for one summer in 1917 for fear that German Zeppelin bombers would mistake it for an army camp.

"Sometime after its creation, the site went on to build small wooden dormitories in which guests could stay, and it's been suggested that these were most likely groups of children.

"There was also a railway carriage offered for holidays, so we might also have claim to being the first park in Britain with glamping accommodation!" added David.

The Jacksons originally moved to Castlerigg Hall farm in 1938 when David's grandfather, William, became its tenant, raising sheep and cattle.

He was succeeded by David's parents, John and Betty, who purchased the land and began moving away from agriculture in favour of tourism.

In the early 1950s, the couple started to welcome campers, and as the park grew and developed they acquired - at the start of the 1970s - the adjacent Derwent Holiday Camp.

The bells tents were still in operation, and David says he recalls playing among their wooden flooring bases while the tents were being erected for the coming season.

His father went on to build three large wooden dormitories in the mid-1970s which eventually replaced the previous long-serving bell tents.

Today, David and his wife Jill have helped to make Castlerigg Hall one of the Lake District's most highly regarded parks attracting visitors from across the UK and overseas.

Their achievements have been recognised by a raft of accolades, including the now prestigious 2019 park of the year award from Cumbria Tourism.

The park, with its spectacular Lakeland views, provides luxury holiday caravans for hire as well as pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes, plus a range of eco-friendly glamping pods.

Its facilities include a first-class amenity building, a large shop with local specialities, the popular Gallery cafe, and plenty for children to enjoy.

More about Castlerigg Hall Caravan and Camping Park can be found at

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

Will The Thomas Cook Downfall Impact The Caravan World?

The UK holiday demand has just gone up

Unless you have been off grid in your caravan with no access to current affairs I am sure you've heard the sad news that the former holiday giant Thomas Cook are no more. Will the world of caravans, motorhomes and staycations benefit now that the holiday titan is no more?

Dorset Park Star Studded Summer

Riding high: holiday guests at South Lytchett Manor found themselves in star-studded company summer

There was a triple taste of stardom this summer for a Poole holiday park which found itself to be glittering with its guests in three very different ways.

For Sale

Burstner Nexxo t720 - 2012 - £44995

Burnster Nexxo t720

Low Low profile chasis motorhome

Rapido A-Class 999M - 2009 - £54995

Rapido A class 999M

This flagship Rapido model is based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis (very rare) with the fantastic Mercedes 3.

Monaco Knight 38 PDQ - 2006 - £79995


THE most practical RV layout ever on the market with four slide out rooms, full cream leather interior and light oak cabinetry creates even greater feeling of space.

Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69 PL (auto) - 2011 - £61995

Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 69 PL

One of the best build qualities in the industry including aluminium sandwich construction, deep double floor and front electric thermo windscreen blind make this motorhome fully winterised.

Benimar Tessoro Part 1: The 483 Full Test

The Tessoro 483 is built on a 170BHP Ford

At CaravanTimes we recently had a Benimar Tessoro 483 on test for a couple of weeks. We have done just over 2000 miles in the Tessoro and tested in various ways - as you will find out in our inspiration features coming up. But before we give you some ideas of where and why you should use a motorhome like the Tessoro we wanted to bring some information on the Tessoro range and the very interesting 483.

Bristanbul Video Documentary Part 1

Part one of the documentary is here

So as most of our readers will know, the CaravanTimes team were lucky enough to be part of Bailey of Bristols, Bristol to the Bosphoros trip. Travelling 21 countries in 21 days the team did a fantastic job to take the 2 caravans and motorhome cross-continental.

In pictures: testing the new Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 to the extreme

Caravan Times' Favourite Adventure Couple, Simon & Faye, CHeck out the new Autotrail V-line

This weekend however, we decided to test out how sporty the Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 really is.

PLANS VETOED: Essex caravan park plans vetoed again

Possible site location at Port Flair

Plans for a 70 pitch caravan park in Essex have been rejected by the local council for a second time.