“ Address: Bank Top / Winster DE4 2DR / Derbyshire „
The Miners Standard, Matlock, Derbyshire.
In the late summer of 2010 my friend (also called Lou) and I decided that we were long overdue a camping trip, however being on a tight budget at the time we couldn't really venture too far from home and wanted a reasonably cheap campsite that also allowed dogs so that Izzie (my cavalier king charles) could have a holiday as well. Searching the internet I found many sites but found that the decent ones were either too expensive, too far away or charged a fortune for dogs regardless of how long your stay is, so I did a last resort Facebook status of "Lou is looking for a cheap campsite, not too far away with dogs allowed, any ideas?" almost immediately I got a response off my friends brother telling me he had just arrived home from The Miners Standard campsite near Matlock, Derbyshire and he had taken his dog too. I googled the site, found their website and decided that this was the place for us. The website told us that booking wasn't usually necessary and that well behaved dogs are welcome. I made a note of the postcode and prepared my camping things ready for the weekend.
It took us approximately an hour and a half to drive from Birmingham to the campsite and we found it with the use of Sat Nav. I did notice along the way that the site is not at all signposted and when we arrived we actually drove past at first and had to turn around. The campsite itself is located behind The Miners Standard pub and bed and breakfast so cannot be seen too well from the road, especially as it is on an almost single lane country road so more attention was being paid to the road than the scenery.
The campsite is located in the small village of Winster, near Matlock and about a 15 - 20 minute drive from Bakewell. As I said previously the site would have been hard to find without sat nav but not impossible and directions are available on their website too.
We pulled onto the car park and found a space with ease. I left my friend and Izzie in the car while I went into the pub to book us onto the campsite. As I walked through the door of the pub it felt warm and welcoming, the decor wasn't amazing but this added to the character of the pub. I noticed features in the pub to do with mining and the history of mining in the local area. I went to the bar and was welcomed by a young woman who when I asked about camping pulled out a book and asked what name it was booked under. I explained that I had read on the website that it said booking wasn't necessary and she quickly pulled out another book and asked me how many people there were, I told her we were two adults and a small dog. She told me the charge was £2.50 per person per night and that Izzie could stay for free, just be sure to clean up after her. Being a responsible dog owner who even finds poo bags in her pockets at work this was not an issue. I paid the lady and headed back to the car.
The campsite is located in a very large field behind the pub and is on a bit of a hill. We decided to camp at the top of the hill as it might have better views of the beautiful countryside we had come to visit.
After setting up camp we decided to take Izzie for a little walk around the site to find the toilets and showers and then down to the onsite pub and have some dinner.
As we walked into the pub we had a friendly greeting off the bar man who spotted Izzie and pulled out a tub of dog treats. He checked with me first if she was allowed to have one, I said yes and to her delight he handed her a little rawhide chew stick. We ordered a drink and found a table to eat at. When we had chosen from the rather large choice on the menu we placed our order at the bar and waited around 20 minutes for our food. Izzie soon settled under the table and munched her way through her chew while we enjoyed steak and chips. The meal was cooked perfectly and tasted delicious. The menu prices were pretty good. I think our food came to around £18 for both of us and drinks in the bar we're also reasonably priced at around £1.20 for half a Carlsberg.
After our meal we stayed for a couple more drinks with Izzie enjoying all the attention she was receiving from both children and adults alike. I think it was probably around 11pm we left and walked back up the hill to our tent. The site was very peaceful during the night, however in the early hours Izzie was woken up by a dog barking further down the site and this was the end of our sleep as once Izzie is awake she wants to go out and play, looking at my phone I wasn't too impressed to discover it was only half past 6 on a Saturday morning! Attaching Izzie to her camping tie out gadget and leaving Lou in charge of her I decided to head down to the toilets and showers before everyone else on the site was up.
The showers and toilets are located at the bottom of the field right behind the pub. The I went into the toile first and found it to be rather clean considering campsite toilets I have experienced in the past. There were a few muddy footprints on the floor which is to be expected really. The toilet itself was clean. Moving to the shower I discovered it cost 20p for 2 minutes of water. It is amazing how fast I can shower when I only have a little bit of change on me! The shower room has a door with a lock so plenty of privacy. The shower was easy to use and the water was nice and warm. In the morning the shower area was clean, although I still avoided contact with the shower curtain as I have a bit of an issue with them. On the Sunday morning we managed to have a bit of a lie in but found that the showers weren't quite as clean but it was clear that people did make an effort to keep to the high standards.
We stayed on the site for two nights, Friday and Saturday. Even though we spent a lot of time on the site we took the time to have a little explore around the local area. Bakewell is around 15 - 20 minutes drive away if you fancy an original Bakewell Pudding from the famous Pudding Shop. There is a nice selection of shops in Bakewell both convenience and gift shops as well as a fish and chip shop and pizza place among other food places. If Bakewell isn't your thing then around 20 minutes in the other direction is Matlock Bath where you will find The Heights of Abraham attraction, some gift shops and places to eat. Personally I enjoy both of these places and have visited both many times.
There are also signs for public footpaths all over the area if you fancy going for a nice country walk. Usually I would have done this however Lou was more enthusiastic about the car than using her legs and as I didn't want to listen to moaning I went along with it. The fields next to the site are home to cows which was nice to see Izzie fascinated by a cow looking over the wall at us. The views from the site are lovely especially during the early evening.
During our stay at The Miners Standard we used the camping field, the showers and toilets and the pub. It also may be useful to know that they also offer a bed and breakfast facility if camping isn't your thing, touring caravans are also welcome on the site, electrical hook ups are available at an extra charge and the pub has a function room attached to it which was in full use by a biker group while we were there.
Our experience at The Miners Standard was nothing but great. The prices are exceptionally reasonable. Everywhere was kept clean and tidy and hygiene standards were especially high. The food that we ate was lovely and all of the service we received was excellent.
I would definitely recommend a stay on this site, however before you get excited at £2.50 per person per night, I have recently noticed on the website that they have literally doubled their prices to £5 per person per night which puts them back at an average campsite price compared to campsites I have stayed on.
Thanks for reading :)