Riverside Caravan Site
Open all year
Current fees - Log pod £30 per night Caravans/motorhomes/tents - contact site for details
This Camping & Caravanning Club Certificated Site is situated on the outskirts of the quiet village of Cononley, just off the A629 three miles south of Skipton, and has gorgeous views over the surrounding countryside and hills. There are hard standing pitches for caravans and motorhomes and 30 tent pitches, many with ehu; some of the pitches are separated by low hedges which give the site quite an attractive look. The toilets, showers and washing up sinks are all in a large covered barn, and although basic are always very clean; there's also a freezer for ice blocks and plenty of information leaflets about places and attractions in the surrounding area. Near the main hard standing area is a play area with a sand surface and lots of small scooters and bikes, though it's more suited to the under-8s rather than older children.
There is no site reception but the owner lives nearby; there's a notice outside the barn which includes her phone number so to book in you ring her and she'll come across within a few minutes, or she'll tell you where to pitch then come round for payment later on. The log pod is situated in a quiet corner at the far side of the barn and there are several picnic tables dotted around the site. For those who like fishing there are footpaths from the far end of the site leading to the River Aire.
Cononley village itself is only a couple of minutes walk from the site and is a very pleasant little place with a stream which runs alongside the road. There's a couple of pubs - the Railway and the New Inn which does good meals - a shop-cum-post office and a Chinese takeaway, and for kids of all ages a great play park which includes a zip wire and skateboard ramps. There's also a station with trains into Skipton every fifteen minutes - the journey only takes five minutes and is less than £2 return so far cheaper and easier than driving there and paying to park. As well as the castle Skipton itself has a good outdoor market, plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants, and boat trips along the canal. Bolton Abbey is a 15 to 20 minute drive away from there along the A59 and is well worth a visit - £6 to park but that's for all day and you can use all three car parks, which are in different areas of the estate, as many times as you want.
Riverside is fast becoming one of my favourite sites but there are a few points to mention. Although most of the site is on level ground the large field where the non-ehu tent pitches are is slightly undulating, with ridges and dips along it's length which could make pitching a large tent a bit awkward, though the outer edges of the field are okay. Also the ground doesn't seem to drain easily and the ehu tent pitches, which are all level, get quite waterlogged and boggy in very wet weather; the owner does provide pallet-type boards to put down outside your tent if necessary, but be prepared to get a very wet groundsheet and also to wear wellies. The third point is the railway line - it runs right past the top end of the site and though the daytime passenger trains are fairly quiet the night time goods trains can be quite noisy so may disturb those who are light sleepers. There is also some road noise from the A629 but it's across the fields so is very much in the background so probably won't be noticed after a while.
Niggles aside, Riverside is a nice little site with great views in a lovely area, and as long as you don't expect five star facilities it makes a great place to use as a base for exploring further afield or just for a chill-out weekend.