Honeysuckle Cottage Caravan Park
Old Felton Lane
Open January to November
Current fees - Contact site for details
If you're looking for peace and quiet away from the rat race then this little site has it in bucketloads. Situated about a mile off the A1068 it's practically in the middle of nowhere - there's a couple of houses next door and that's it, nothing else except fields for quite a distance. There's no reception but the very friendly and helpful owners, Les and Susan, live in the adjacent bungalow so you just knock on the door - if there's no-one in when you arrive you'll find a note directing you to your pitch and Les or Susan will come across to see you later on. The main part of the site has ehu pitches for caravans and motorhomes round three sides, accessed by a gravel track, and a pleasant grassy area in the centre where you can pitch a tent if you want ehu and/or the site isn't too busy. The caravan pitches over the far side are sheltered by tall trees and beyond the trees is the main tent field - much of this is sloping but you can find some flat areas if you're not too fussy about which way your tent faces.
Just by the site entrance is a small play area with a timber climbing frame, slide and a couple of swings, which will keep younger kids happy for a while. At the top end of the site is a pleasant little enclave of a dozen static caravans and the toilet/shower block is situated in this area. There are currently three single occupancy toilet/shower units which, although fairly basic, are always spotlessly clean - there's always plenty of hand soap and loo roll provided, and the showers are roomy and free. Access is by Yale key - given out when you first book in - so to avoid the potentially embarrassing situation of another camper walking in on you don't forget to bolt the door while you're in there. Unfortunately there are no pot washing facilities so you will need to do any washing up in your own unit, but the owners have plans for some improvements to the site and this issue is one which will probably be sorted out.
There are a few hens, a cockerel and three turkeys which all roam freely round the site, and though they aren't exactly tame they will come close if you throw some bits of bread out for them. For anyone who likes star gazing this is an ideal place to do it as there is no light pollution at all; there are no lights on the lane and just one by the site entrance, other than that once it goes dark it's really dark. Just across the lane is a large pond which you can walk part way round and it makes a good dog walk, but it's unfenced and deep so any kids need to be supervised. Across the fields is a section of the East Coast main rail line so you do hear some train noise occasionally, but they go past in seconds so it's not enough to be disturbing.
Set back off the A1068 across the road from the lane leading to the site is the Widdrington Inn - it was recommended to me as a great place to eat but to be honest I found it dreadful. The meal I had there must have been the worst one I've ever had anywhere and the service was abysmal. About five miles south of the site is the town of Ashington, which has most of the usual shops and a large Asda for any food, fuel and provisions you might need. A couple of miles up the A1068 going north is Druridge Bay country park which leads onto the beach and is great for dog walking. The car park there is a pay-and-display, but if you go past the signposted lane and take the next lane on the right this leads down to two free parking areas right next to the beach. The little harbour town of Amble is about five miles north of the site and just beyond Amble is Warkworth Castle which is well worth a look round - it costs £3 to park and £4.95 to get in, but your parking fee is refunded when you buy a ticket for the castle. For eating out the Mason's Arms in Warkworth itself gives friendly service and provides very good meals, and if you fancy some city centre shopping then Newcastle is only a forty minute drive south.
l can only think of one minor downside to Honeysuckle Cottage and that's the current lack of dishwashing facilities, other than that it's a nice little site in a very quiet rural area, and it makes a great base for exploring the many towns and villages on or near the Northumberland coast. Would I return? - most definitely!