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Great Haywood Canalside Campsite

· Staffordshire, Staffordshire, England
4.9421 acres hosted by Patrick H.
8 tent pitches
Best in Central England: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Patrick is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Best all-round: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
The simplest of canalside campsites with narrowboats chugging past and an award-winning farm shop over the road

A canalside location, a farm shop over the road, and a pub within walking distance are some of the headline features of Great Haywood Canalside Campsite. It’s also on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and just 100 metres from a National Trust estate that’s reached via a walk over a historic bridge. But before you rush to book, take note of what it hasn’t got: frills. There are none. No showers, no electricity, and no flushing loos either.

This is the simplest of campsites with four chemical toilets and a drinking water tap to cater to your basic needs. You book online, let yourself in, and choose your own pitch in a flat four-acre field. Farmer Nick will be round to check on you later but it’s fair to say that confident, self-sufficient campers only need apply. What makes this place worthy of mention is its 100-metre frontage on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood Junction.

Pitch your tent facing the water (you’ll want to with the edge of the village behind) and you’ll have views of colourful narrowboats plying the waters. A marina sits on the other side of the canal and, if life on the water is calling you, there’s always the chance of day hire. Or, if you have a canoe, you can launch it just outside the site.

Back on dry land, the adventures are just as interesting, you only need to cross the bridge next to the site to get on the towpath and join the Staffordshire Way. In one direction this long-distance footpath will take you to the nearby village of Little Haywood, in the other and you’re soon crossing an ancient packhorse bridge into the National Trust’s Shugborough Estate. Pass through the parkland or pay up to explore the mansion house and gardens here. By now you’re in the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and for a proper hike the options are pretty much endless.

Great Haywood Campsite is not situated in an uncomplicated beauty spot. It’s on the edge of the village, and while it’s pretty, peaceful, and mostly green, there are buildings within sight of your pitch and a railway and a road within earshot (though the occasional whoosh of passing electric trains ceases at night). It also means there’s a pub and a farm shop with a cafe close by. For far-reaching views or camping with bells on look elsewhere, but for a simple weekend of canalside camping in the West Midlands with plenty of walks and farm-fresh produce in your picnic hamper, you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere better.

Grass field next to the canal junction next to the village of Great Haywood, picturesque views, cafes shops pubs within 10 min walk. Great location
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30 Ratings · 21 reviews
Denise W.recommends
July 8, 2024
Canalside Camping
It was a beautiful well maintained campsite. The campsite is also lovely and peaceful the only sound you hear is the odd canal boat.
Fiona K.recommends
June 30, 2024
Canalside Camping
Great little campsite
A great little campsite! Nice & secure and across the road from the fabulous canal side cafe. Reassuring to see the gate is locked and entry is monitored. We had a lovely time there.
Jackie T.recommends
June 7, 2024
Canalside Camping
Another good weekend, just a shame about the two young girls but they only stayed one night. Pete is a great host and keeps the toilets proper clean. It was lovely to see the swans and geese with their babies on the canal. This is a lovely little no frills campsite and it’s worth a stay
Heidi L.recommends
May 28, 2024
Canalside Camping
No frills fun camping!
Enjoyable time with no frills camping. Absolutely beautiful surroundings and the morning mist over the canal was worth an early wake up! Feel safe with a resident gate guard/check in person.
Jacqueline T.recommends
May 6, 2024
Canalside Camping
Canal side camping
Perfect no frills site. Clean toilets and fresh water. Right on the canal side. Sit and watch the narrow boats and wildlife go by. Beautiful. In walking distance of a cafe and farm shop and canal walks including shugbough hall near by. Would definitely return. Pete the host was lovely.
Richard S.recommends
April 21, 2024
Canalside Camping
Great place!
Great location, perfect view on the canal with the narrow boats. Great walk to the pub. Perfect price
Staffordshire, Staffordshire, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking

Hosted by Patrick H.

Joined in June 2021
From the host
A relaxed rural campsite on the edge of Cannock Chase overlooking canal junction and opposite a farm shop and cafe with Clifford Arms Public House 10-minute walk away.
Nearby attractions
The site is next to the Great Haywood Junction where the Trent and Mersey Canal meets the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Just over the waterway, there's a farm shop and cafe (see below) where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables, when in season. It's also the starting point for some great walks and cycle routes which are detailed on the cafe's website. The Staffordshire Millenium Way and the Two Priests Way, two long-distance footpaths, pass close by. About 100 metres away you reach the edge of the National Trust's Shugborough Estate (01889 880166) to explore the mansion house, gardens, and parkland there. The village sits on the edge of the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and just six miles east of Stafford. If you fancy taking to the water, you can launch canoes from just outside the site and follow a nine-mile circular route on the canal and river. If you fancy something more sturdy, how about hiring a narrowboat for the day (you'll want to book in advance) from Anglo-Welsh (01173 041122) at the marina opposite site?
Food and drink
Just over the road, there's an award-winning Canalside Farm Shop and cafe (01889 881747) with seasonal pick-you-own fruit and vegetables too and just down the road, there's a Spar general store and a pub, The Clifford Arms (01889 881321) which is dog friendly and serves pub grub. There are a further two pubs about a mile away in Little Haywood, The Red Lion (01889 881314) and The Lamb and Flag (01889 881501).
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