Camping at How Stean Gorge
Yorkshire Tots to Teens » Yorkshire Holidays & Accommodation » Camping » Camping at How Stean Gorge near Patley Bridge, North Yorkshire

Camping at How Stean Gorge near Patley Bridge, North Yorkshire

When looking for our first Yorkshire camping trip of the summer I knew I wanted to try somewhere very small. We like the feeling of slightly ‘wild’ camping anyway, and with social distancing measures this summer the last thing I wanted to do was head to a crowded campsite. So when someone recommend How Stean Gorge from the Yorkshire Tots to Teens Facebook Page, and I saw that they were only opening 10 pitches this summer, it sounded like a great fit for us. I also liked that the campsite is located right next to the gorge itself.

Camp site and pitches at How Stean Gorge

How Stean Gorge is a small site normally, but this year they are only allowing 10 pitches to be booked. Both nights we were at the camp all 10 spaces were filled, but it left us with loads of room. The pitches are set around the field and you can choose from the unoccupied pitches as you arrive.

Each pitch has it’s own built-in fire pit.

The wooded area to the right is the exit to the cave

One of the most interesting features (to me) was the fact that the exit for a cave is located at the back of the camping field. Tom Taylor’s cave was once the hideout of highyman Tom Taylor. The cave begins in the gorge and ends in the campsite.

Make sure you bring insect spray as the midges were really bad one morning!

Facilities at How Stean Gorge

How Stean Gorge is open to day visitors for the gorge walk and activity centre. Although the activity centre was busier during the day, it never felt full. The activities are being done in very small bubbles this summer so I imagine it’s normally a bit busier.

There is also a store/cafe and play area onsite. The play area look fairly new and is very well maintained.

As there are only 10 sites and not all of them with children, there were normally only a few children playing on the frame at once. You can’t see the play area from the campsite (it’s just around the corner) but there are outdoor chairs that parents can sit on while watching their little ones. It also happens to be the only place you can pick up Wi-Fi so I often had a little social media catch up while the kids played. (It’s so nice that they’re at that age now!)

The communal toilets were just on the other side of a small car park for both guests and day visitors. They were clean but a bit worn, think adventure camp rather than hotel. In the mornings and evenings we had our own assigned toilet and shower cubical, although during the day the toilets were open to the day visitors as well. I was never in the building with more than two other people at at time, as it was quite large and only a total of 5 camp spaces shared our toilet facilities. (Pitches 6-10 used toilets on the other side of the building).

The cafe/store served up hot meals, drinks and had a variety of gift store and camping essitals on offer. As you can see, the restaurant overlooks the ravine in parts and even has a partial glass floor! There is a one way system in place and we ordered take out pizza on our second night.

How Stean Gorge Activities

Although How Strean Gorge runs through camp, you can’t access the gorge or cave without paying an entrance fee. The current charge is £5.00 for a child and £7 for an adult. Campers get a 50% discount and the entry ticket is valid for a year.

How Stean Gorge is a limestone ravine and you can try a variety of guided adventures including gorge walking, caving, rock climbing, canyoning and abseiling. We left it too late to do any of the activities (they were all booked), but next year it might be a better fit for us anyway with Leo a year older. He’s dying to go back and try the caving experience. We also enjoyed watching people abseiling from the bridge.

We did enjoy our walk through How Stean Gorge.

Their are quite a few steep/slippery bits so I wouldn’t personally like to do the walk with a toddler, but my toddlers were runners and I am a little nervous about heights.

The highlight of How Stean Gorge for the kids was definitely Tom Taylor’s cave. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk though but they loved that it was just us and our torches.

There were also a few Narnia bit to look at including a statue of Aslan. In all we spent just over 40 minutes on the walk. We fully intended to return the next day but time just slipped away. I feel a bit bad as the kids really did want to go through the cave again. If you drove up for the day I think you would spend longer, we just assumed we would go back.

What to do NearbY

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks is a National Trust Property with stunning natural rock formations. It’s only twenty minutes from How Stean Gorge. We drove over mid-day Saturday but by the time we arrived the car park was full. If you do visit on a sunny weekend I would suggest going early!

How Stean Gorge is just a few minute drive away from Scar House Reservoir which is a nice, pram friendly walk.

You pass the Studfold Fairy Adventure trial and campground on your drive into How Stean Gorge. The kids and I walked there from the campsite to try the fairy trail. They were both skeptical (too old for faeries they told me) but the both really, really loved it! (Sometimes mum does know best!)

Have you been camping this summer? Let us know where in the comments!


  • I'm an American mum of two Yorkshire tots who love adventures! I run, a website for events, news & fun for families in West Yorkshire.

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