Canal-side camping with campfires, set in 30 acres of countryside and with an on-site tea rooms
Running from the edge of Derby to the River Mersey, the 93-mile Trent & Mersey Canal takes in the best of what the North Midlands has to offer, with stunning views over the Cheshire Plains. And though it’s those with narrow boaters that are best known for reaping the benefits, enjoying the tranquil waterway and wildlife, it’s a great place for cycling the towpath as well. Fortunately for landlubbers, the best-loved marina along the route has now set aside a space for camping too. And what a campsite it is.
Oakwood Marina boasts nearly a mile of canal frontage and space for up to 90 narrow boats, while the campsite, a vast green space with views of the marina, occupies nearly 30 acres of imperceptibly sloping land along the water's edge. The Wilder family, who own the place, have an attitude to the campsite that befits their surname. Grazed by cows in some parts and cut just once or twice a year for hay, the meadows are otherwise left long and wild in summer. A few footpaths have been conscientiously mown in between pitches to help guide you around the fields and over to another lake attached to the canal that’s a wildlife hotspot and a good place to watch for herons.
Toilet and shower facilities are available in the main marina building, where there’s also a small shop and a tearooms with picnic tables outside. But there are also additional toilets directly beside the camping area, along with washing up stations and additional drinking water taps. There are pre-pitched bell tents for glampers and campfires are very much allowed, with Dutch ovens available for hire and barbecue hampers you can purchase if you want to test your campfire cooking skills.
Walkers, cyclists and birders are perhaps most at home here. There are a couple of fantastic circular walks directly from the marina and a bike-friendly B road leads into Davenham and Northwich. It’s a 15-minute drive to the most famous landmark along the canal, an enormous boat lift known as ‘the Cathedral of the Canals’ that lifts narrow boats some 50-feet into the air. It’s 15 minutes, too, to the beautiful picnic spot at Pickmere, the woods of Delamere Forest and the stately grounds of Tatton Park.
Northwich, Cheshire, England, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Michael W.Joined in March 2021
72 Ratings · 34 reviews
August 16, 2022
Short stay with dog
Really friendly welcome!
Outdoor showers a nice gimmick, just a bit tricky to sort out temperature so ended up using main facilities a bit of a further walk away. Portaloos not too far from field however found some had soap/some without or some with water for handwashing/some without so had to switch between each one.
Aware of the ‘no car on site’ policy so the helpful quad assistance was great taking all our equipment to the pitch, although we did realise it is better and more helpful to have your car nearby for storage (especially with a dog who is into everything, we had to keep a close eye on food and drink which could’ve been kept out of the way in a car) and also more helpful having your car next to you when packing up at the end of the stay.
Lovely surroundings next to the marina including handy tea rooms (for a sneaky big breaky one morning!) also a cocktail cart! Also pizza cart on site but didn’t see this open when we were there.
Short 20 mins drive to lovely Delamere forest which is well worth a visit.
We were very lucky with dry/warm weather which always helps. Glad it was just before heatwave though otherwise it’d have been far too hot in a tent!
Would recommend and definitely stay again.
August 15, 2022
We love camping at oakwood marina. This was our 3rd visit. The staff are always helpful and pleasant. The amenities are always clean. There's a lovely tea room which has amazing food. and there is outside seating area too. After 4pm the pizza hut and bar open for a few cheeky drinks and amazing food
Anneesa N.doesn't recommend
August 8, 2022
Wouldn’t go if was free nothink to do no shop or fresh farm food lots dogs and dog mess around and ppl stealing on site
August 7, 2022
Great campsite with loads of space, beautiful views and friendly people. We loved the cafe, the pizza van and cocktail bar. Will definitely go again!
August 7, 2022
We had a fabulous weekend at Oakwood Marina. The staff were so friendly from arrival to check out. All of our gear was transported via quad bike and trailer as no cars are allowed on the site. The site itself is large and pitches have plenty of distance between them. The washing up facilities and showers were top notch, unfortunately the toilets on the site were not (the ones at the tearoom were great!) the site itself had 5 portaloos, they were very dirty and smelly and appeared to have not been cleaned the entire time we were there. This did let the site down for us, it was the only negative point we could all come up with, the rest was superb! We would definitely come again, but I would also bring cleaning supplies just in case next time. The weather was glorious, the sheep friendly and the geese entertaining, the kids had a fabulous time!
Anneesa N.doesn't recommend
August 5, 2022
Well wasn’t happy to be accused of stealing just because we come from Liverpool even though are family live in heartford thought would be nice but disappointed was really happy till leaving
Too many dogs swans attack there is rats also no activities no park no shop nothink also was told was on plot 25 and 26 then when got there told there wernt even plot 25/26 also said fresh eggs bacon sos on farm there is not farm to buy fresh anythink drive to a farm down road and all pack sos packed bacon no eggs or veg nothink never would I return worse place ever
From the host
Oakwood Marina is a family run business in the heart of Cheshire, The home of Oakwood Glamping & Camping. Our site, set in 30 acres of undulating open countryside, has a private 1km canal frontage & a host to a whole array of wildlife, our favourite being the resident Barn Owls. The 5 Luxury Bell tents are situated overlooking the tranquil marina, spaciously set out and furnished to create a homely feel. Site facilities include hot showers, toilet (incl disabled), Elson, coin operated laundry & a tearoom which is open 5 days a week.
New for this season for the site are 4 hand built wooden shower units and a new washing up station for the camping area with hot water.
Located right on the water’s edge the tearoom offers a perfect spot to enjoy one of our finest coffees while watching the boats go by! Dog’s are welcome but must be kept on a lead, wildlife has priority particularly when nesting and the owls are low flying for food.
A great way to see the local scenery is by foot – try the popular three-mile loop along the towpath towards Middlewich, bringing you out past the local Farm shop, then back to the marina. In the other direction you can head towards the village of Rudheath and part way to Northwich. If you’re planning on bringing your bikes, the road adjacent to the side of the site is a national cycle route and becomes very popular amongst cycle clubs in the summer months. Anderton Boat lift is an interesting piece of engineering that can be accessed via a long walk down the tow path but it’s probably better to take a short journey across town in the car (around 15 minutes or so). The Lion Salt Works Museum (01606 275066) is also just around the corner, less than 10 minutes' drive away, and is a great option for learning more about the history of the area. A number of country parks are in close proximity, Marbury Park (01606 77741) being the largest and around 15 minutes away. There are other National Trust spots nearby, including Tatton Park (01625 374400) in Knutsford or Dunham Massey near Altrincham, both around 15 minutes away by car. For bustle, shops and city life, Liverpool, Manchester and more diminutive but attractive and historic Chester are all around 45 minutes from the campsite.
Food and drink
Campsite owner Michael recommends the local Italian in Davenham, five minutes by the car. Between their cocktail menu and fresh traditional dishes, it’s obvious why Turturici (01606 331155) often pops up at the Restaurant of The Year awards. Cheshire Bar & Grill (01606 41100) is a good bet for meat eaters (a 25-minute drive), while the closest option is The Broken Cross pub (01606 333111) in Rudheath. To build up an appetite you can access the pub along the canal tow path (a 20-minute walk). There's a handful of takeaways in Davenham, while Northwich is the nearest spot for larger supermarkets.