Bridge House Marina & Caravan Park
Nateby Crossing Lane
Open - March 1st to January 4th
Current fees per unit per night (2014)
March to November - Caravans, motorhomes & trailer tents + 2 persons - £21.75 (includes electric hook-up) Awnings - Free Dogs - Free Extra adult - £3.00
November to January 4th 2013 - Caravans, motorhomes & trailer tents + 2 persons - £17.50 (includes ehu) Awnings, dogs and extra adults as above
Bank holiday tariff - £23.50 all units
Storage per night (unit left on pitch) - £4.00
Seasonal pitch - £1725.14 Subject to availability and excluding ehu
This peaceful well-kept site lies adjacent to the Lancaster Canal in a countryside setting just off the A6 on the outskirts of the small market town of Garstang. It's divided into three sections; touring, static and seasonal, and access to the main part of the site is through a fob-operated barrier - fobs are obtained from reception for a £10 refundable deposit. The touring area is very well laid out and has 50 good-sized hard standing pitches - the ones round the edge of the site are backed by trees and all the pitches have hook-up points. The toilet and shower block is heated and spotlessly clean, with shaving points in the men's side - there's also a pot washing room with two sinks and very hot water, and a laundry room with a sink, iron and ironing board, and a large washing machine and tumble dryer. At the bottom end of the site there's a grassy play area with plenty of space for kids to run around and kick a ball about. For anyone who likes wildlife there are dozens of rabbits which roam around the site day and night - you'll sometimes find them sitting under your caravan - and several families of ducks which also wander about. Although not tame they'll often come to your pitch looking for food and will take bread from your fingers.
The very pleasant static area is accessed through the touring area, though all the holiday homes are privately owned and they aren't hired out. There are several different styles there, most with surrounding decking, and if you're lucky enough to have a substantial lottery win and want to buy your own the site staff can arrange it all, from finance to delivery and siting on an available pitch. The seasonal area is just a short walk from the main site across the far side of the marina, has its own toilet block and backs onto the canal. Caravans are accepted subject to age and condition, but as it's a very popular site there's a long waiting list for pitches.
Site reception is housed within the shop which mainly sells boating equipment and accessories, though it does also stock basic provisions. The site has been owned and run by the same family for many years and they are all very friendly and helpful. Day boats can be hired for a leisurely cruise along the canal and you'll be given advice and instruction before being let loose on the water. For anyone who likes fishing it isn't allowed in the marina itself but it's fine along the canal towpath, though you have to go a hundred yards down the lane and over the bridge to get to it as it's on the far side. If you like leisurely cycling then a ride along the towpath in either direction takes you through some lovely countryside.
Just along the lane from the site entrance there's a small baker's shop which sells very nice home made pies, sandwiches and cakes (no good for the waistline!) and on the corner by the main road is the Bellflower pub/restaurant, so you can go for a meal and a drink without using your car. Garstang itself is less than 5 minutes away by car or a very pleasant 15 minute walk along the canal. There's a variety of shops, take-aways, pubs and restaurants, a public swimming pool and leisure centre and a regular weekly market held on Thursdays, also for anyone with a pet in need of treatment there are two vets, one in the town centre and the other just off the main road near the fire station. There are some good vintage shows and country fairs in the town and surrounding areas during the summer, and Blackpool, Lancaster, Morecambe, the Lake District and the lovely countryside of the Trough of Bowland are all within easy reach.
It's very hard to find anything negative to say about this lovely site but there's just a couple of minor points. It's only one field away from the busy main road so you can hear some traffic noise, though you don't notice it after a while and it certainly doesn't spoil the tranquility of the site. Also there's no dog walk or exercise area, though dogs can run free along the towpath on the far side of the canal.
Whether you want a base for exploring or somewhere just to relax and unwind after a busy week then this site is perfect - well I think so anyway, it's certainly one of my favourites. With the rural setting and laid-back atmosphere you could be miles from anywhere, and to sit in the sunshine at the side of the canal and watch the world go by at a very slow place is absolute bliss!