Review: Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park

Review: Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park

As you have probably noticed, our taste in campsites tends to lean towards the smaller, more basic end of the spectrum. I’m not usually bothered if the site has a play area, as the kids usually make their own fun, and I can’t remember the last time we camped in a tent with electric hook up (EHU). As long as there are hot showers and toilets and running water, we’re generally happy.

For us camping is all about enjoying the simpler things

Having said that, the children are getting older and harder to impress, plus when camping outside of the summer, EHU makes life so much easier (and warmer!).

Whilst I don’t think we’re ever going to be fans of huge holiday parks, I’ve started to look at larger campsites that have more facilities, but are still small and friendly and not likely to get too rowdy.

Enjoying the camping life at Ashbourne Heights

This led me to Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park in the Peak District for our 4 night April getaway. I knew it could be cold right at the start of April, so EHU was a must, as was stuff to keep the kids happy, especially if it turned out to be wet and/or cold (which it did!). On our first night the temperature dropped to -3, so I was very grateful for our little heater that kept us snug!

First Impressions

I was impressed with Ashbourne Heights before we even got there. A very helpful member of staff rang me to make sure we were all set for our trip. He ran through all the arrival information, told me some details about the site and even let me know about some roadworks in Ashbourne that could cause delays. It was a nice touch to get a phonecall prior to departure, and instantly set a good impression.

The staff members we encountered on site were all just as helpful and friendly, which is great to see. It’s one reason we have always preferred smaller sites as the staff tend to be super friendly and hands on, just goes to show that even bigger places can get this right too.


Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park is a small holiday park just north of Ashbourne. It has tent and caravan pitches, as well as glamping pods, lodges and static caravans if you fancy a touch more luxury on holiday.

The site features a shop/reception, laundry facilities, toilet and shower block, play area and indoor pool.

Our tent was right next to the play area.

Our EHU pitch was right next to the play area, which was great as we could let the boys go and play and keep an eye on them from the tent. It did mean that we had a longer walk to the shower block, which is next to the main camping field, but the site was so quiet it wasn’t an issue.

The toilet and shower block was clean and warm, it was very quiet when we went, so queues were not a problem. The shower cubicles were clean and there was plenty of hot water. There is also a baby changing table, which is always handy for the younger campers. Having only one block may mean that in the summer things are a little busier.

There are two washing up stations, one next to the showers and one in the laundry room, plus a dog/bike washing area, which I thought was a good idea.

The main thing that drew me to Ashbourne Heights was the indoor swimming pool. The pool is free for guests, although you do need to book your sessions in advance. There are two small changing rooms, each with one toilet and shower, plus there was always a lifeguard on duty while we were there.

I didn’t get a photo of the pool, so here is one from the park’s website

We managed to fit in 2 sessions and all had a great time. It was good to have something to do when it was raining. Again, going out of season meant that the pool was fairly quiet, I imagine it can get a lot busier.

Local Area

Ashbourne Heights Holiday Park is perfectly situated for an outdoor family holiday, with access to some beautiful, but not too challenging, walks.

The park is right on the Tissington trail

The Tissington Trail runs right past the park, and is a great family friendly walking and cycling route as it is off road and easy to navigate. The 13 mile old railway line runs from Parsley Hay in the North, to Ashbourne in the South. We walked a small stretch from the campsite to Tissington, where there is a kiosk selling snacks and drinks, picnic benches and toilets.

The Tissington Trail is great for families as you don’t need to worry about traffic

There is also a footpath that runs from Ashbourne Heights to the ever popular Dovedale. It does get very busy, but it’s such a great spot for a family walk as it’s largely flat and there’s also the excitement of the stepping stones.

The river was quite high and fast flowing due to all the rain, so the stepping stones were extra exciting!

It’s a lovely walk along the river to Milldale, or you could explore the area around Ilam for something different.

There are so many options for family friendly walks around Dovedale

Ashbourne is the nearest large town, and is about a 10 minute drive away. It has a Sainsburys and Co-op for supplies., plus plenty of places to eat- we had a fab lunch at the The George and Dragon on the Market Square. It’s a lovely town with lots of shops to mooch round and a retail park on the outskirts with a Mountain Warehouse and Halfords (among others) that might be useful to a camper in need.


Despite the rain and the cold, we had a great stay at Ashbourne Heights. It was big enough to have lots to keep the boys occupied, but was still friendly and welcoming.

I can’t fault the site at all, but I am aware that we were visiting at a quieter time of year, so pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was a bit of a trek to the showers, but if we came at a busier time we would be in the field right next to it. I guess that’s the trade off with a bigger site-we’re used to being close by everything!

We would all happily return for another stay (and probably will as we love the area), in fact this has inspired me to look for more similar sized sites for future trips.

Do you prefer small, basic campsites? Or do you like to have lots of facilities on hand?

Looking for more Peak District content?


Easy Dovedale walk

Thor’s Cave and Wetton Walk

Easy Ilam Circular Walk


Upper Booth Campsite

Common End Farm Campsite

Rivendale Campsite



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