Barford Top Campsite9.2
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A site where you can stable your own horse? And where your other best friend (the dog) is welcome too? And which is small, peaceful and for grown-ups only? We think you’ll be trotting along to Leicestershire’s Barford Top Campsite for a tip-top time before you can say ‘Send the kids to Grandma’.
Run by the friendly and helpful Maurice and Wendy, Barford Top has its own working livery and stabling/paddocks for horses, along with parking for horse boxes, a grazing area, and hay and straw if needed. There are bridleways (and paths for walkies) yards from the site. The area is top stargazing land too due to the low light pollution, and has local inhabitants ahoy to see including sparrowhawks, buzzards and rabbits.
The campsite is right in the Leicestershire countryside with views from all its pitches over the surrounding valley and hills, and has a large entrance gate and spacious drive with plenty of room to turn). Facilities include free hot water for showers, free use of a computer with internet to look up local attractions, and free use of The Barn for all guests, an indoor facility with seating, a microwave, kettle, cooker and phone charging point.
Barford Top is a Caravan Club Certified Location, but membership of the Club isn’t necessary to use the site. (Membership packs are available to guests if wanted.)
No need for a long face if you don’t (yet) have your own trusty steed to bring to Barford: the campsite is half a mile from the village of Mowsley with horse-riding available, and a riding school is at Market Harborough seven miles away (stick around Market Harborough afterwards for antique and boutique shopping, or go on to Lutterworth for seventeenth century Stanford Hall).
The bridleway from Mowsley leads to the village of Laughton a mile and a half away, and from here it’s another mile down the road to the very old village of Gumley and Bell pub. Coming back, keep an eye out for wildlife of the Saddington Reservoir including kingfishers, little egrets and damselflies.
From Mowsley and on foot, have a scenic wander towards Laughton Hills and then down to the Grand Union Canal towpath; follow this for another couple of miles to reach the Grade II-listed Foxton Locks, the famous landmark of ten ascending locks and part of Leicestershire’s boating heritage for over two hundred years.
The Foxton Locks Inn on Gumley Road is a good spot for a virtuous post-walk pint and a bite to eat; if you’re sticking around the locks and canal after this, there’s a country park at the top of the locks, the award-winning Foxton Canal Museum museum halfway down them, and passenger trips or boat hire along the canal.
The historic village of Kibworth is four miles in the other direction from Barford Top and was featured in Michael Wood’s BBC series on the story of England from Roman times until the end of World War II. Residents have developed heritage trails around Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp and Smeeton Westerby, and the village also has a golf club, cricket club and bowling.
Within easy driving distance of Barford Top there are plenty of other city and country attractions and activities: including boating, fishing and climbing on and around Europe’s biggest artificial lake Rutland Water, and exploring Leicester with its huge covered market, cathedral and buildings from Roman times. The National Forest, on the outskirts of Leicester towards Burton upon Trent, has forest and discovery parks, historic halls and houses, and animal attractions including Twycross Zoo World Primate Centre and Tropical Birdland.
|High-gabled little village pub, well run and spotlessly kept, with roomy fairly traditional bar, high-backed settles on flagstones, wicker chairs on shiny wood floor and stools lined up along unusual circular counter, woodburner, Banks's Bitter and guests such as Langton, up to 20 wines by the glass including champagne, well liked imaginative food (not Sun or Mon evenings), good service; background music; children welcome (no under 12s Fri and Sat evenings), seats out in front and on nice leaf-shaded deck, open all day Sun, closed Mon and Tues lunchtimes||Staff of Life
|Neatly kept beamed village pub with wide choice of popular good value food (not Sun or Mon evenings) including bargain OAP lunches (Tues-Sat), well kept Batemans, Greene King, Timothy Taylors and a guest, traditional country décor, lots of hunting prints, small fire, darts, cribbage and dominoes, separate dining room, border collie called Bailey; no mobile phones, muddy boots or children under 10; pond in pretty terrace garden (not for children or dogs), open all day, closed Sun evening||Bell
|Comfortable old creeper-clad village pub, four well kept ales (July beer festival), good choice of food (not Sun evening) including some lunchtime bargains, wall seats and wheelback chairs; background music, pool, Weds quiz night; tables in secluded raised garden, nice hanging baskets, attractive village||Chandlers Arms
|Nice setting at foot of long flight of canal locks, large comfortably reworked L-shaped bar, popular well priced food including winter fixed-price menu, converted boathouse does snacks, friendly service (can slow at busy times), half a dozen well kept ales such as Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Fullers London Pride and Theakstons; children welcome, large raised terrace and covered decking, steps down to fenced waterside lawn, good walks||Foxton Locks
|Friendly and snug 16th-c beamed local, carpeted bar area and refurbished candlelit restaurant, wide choice of home-made food including popular all-day Sun roasts, well kept Bass, Fullers London Pride, Greene King IPA and Wadworths 6X, regular events; background music, TV; children welcome, dogs in bar, disabled access, some outside seating at front and on side terrace, open all day weekends, closed Mon lunchtime||Coach & Horses
- Foxton Locks (2.2 miles)
- National Space Centre (11.0 miles)
- Rockingham Castle (13.2 miles)
- Lyveden New Bield (20.5 miles)
- Staunton Harold Church (24.9 miles)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.
Saddington - Gumley - Mowsley - Saddington
- Gumley - Laughton - Mowsley - Foxton - Gumley (1.6 miles)
- Foxton - Marston Trussell - Lubenham - Foxton (2.2 miles)
- Gumley - Laughton - Mowsley - Foxton - Gumley (1.6 miles)
Show me reviews by:
Overall rating based on 17 reviews
88% would recommend this site to a friend.
100% would stay here again.
|Sorted by stay date (latest first).|
A good experience 21 Jan 2014
phillip-_w (Mature couple, 1 review) Confirmed
One of the nicest places we've stayed 29 Oct 2013
lorraine_m1 (Mature couple, 1 review, 1 photo) Confirmed
Second time on this site this year , 20 Oct 2013
psb11 (Mature couple, 1 review)
Very warm welcome and friendly and clean site. Will be going again 9 Sep 2013
ronita_b (Mature couple, 2 reviews) Confirmed
Excellent 1 Sep 2013
Vanette (Mature couple, 1 review)
spot on , warm welcome 17 Aug 2013
the1nonlymozza (Solo traveller-male, 1 review)
10/10 for everything ! 15 Aug 2013
timhaines984 (Family with young children, 1 review)
Great views ,Quiet site, Very friendly and helpful owners. 13 Aug 2013
mictric7077 (Mature couple, 1 review)
Very friendly and picturesque site. 12 Aug 2013
mike_k0 (Mature couple, 1 review) Confirmed
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Leisure on site
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on site
Car parking by pitch
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Gas cylinders available
Touring and motorhomes
Electrical hook-up points for tourers
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Horse riding nearby
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Small (11-25 pitches)
Ordnance Survey maps (GB and Northern Ireland only) are available at lower levels via the drop-down menu.
- Coach stations
Great Glen: Main Street Coach Stop — 4.6mi
4.6mi Market Harborough: Market Hall Coach Stop — 5.3mi
5.3mi Great Oxendon: Harborough Road Coach Stop — 6.5mi
- Train stations
Market Harborough Rail Station — 5.6mi
5.6mi South Wigston Rail Station — 6.7mi
6.7mi Narborough Rail Station — 8.4mi
- Ferry ports
West Lynn Ferry Landing — 62.3mi
Coventry Airport — 20.9mi
20.9mi East Midlands Airport — 25.4mi
25.4mi Birmingham International Airport Terminal 1 — 29.6mi
From the M1
Leave at Junction 20 and take the A4304 signposted Market Harborough. In Husbands Bosworth turn left onto the A51099. After approximately five miles turn right signposted Mowsley. On entering the village take the first left for Saddington. The site is located on the left after about 3/4 of a mile.
From Market Harborough
Take the A4304 towards Lutterworth. In Husbands Bosworth turn right onto the A5199. After approximately five miles turn right signposted Mowsley. On entering the village take the first left for Saddington. The site is located on the left after about 3/4 of a mile.
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