If you follow James or myself on any of our social media platforms, you’ll have noticed that we have recently had a short break at La Rosa Campsite.
The site is run by the fabulous Amanda Boorman and her amazing team (it was a total joy to also meet James, Claudia and Jay during our stay). Have a browse of their website here for more details and glorious technicolour images.
We were spoilt for choice when it came to trying to pick our highlights! And it honestly doesn’t feel like we were only there for an evening, a full day and a morning.
But here they are!
Our five favourite things about La Rosa:
1. It’s wild and natural.
It’s an incredible, beautiful, wild campsite in the middle of the North Yorkshire Moors. The fields housing the caravans are mowed gently, creating footpaths amongst the grasses, nettles and wildflowers. The buildings are sensitively and minimally restored. The scenery is stunning and unspoilt.
2. It’s family friendly.
The family friendly atmosphere is perfect for families such as ours, whose children love to play, explore and run barefoot. The play barn to the side of Swallow Barn was a little slice of heaven for our girls. Dressing up galore, table football, Harry Potter Lego, hobby horses, a piano, board games, and we didn’t even get on to the huge pile of DVDs to choose from.
You can relax and make the most of the site. We ate in the kitchen barn. We ate at the picnic table with the stunning valley views. The kids wandered around eating and playing in the yard. We sat in front of our log burner on our chilly first night, drinking tea and eating snacks before bed.
The outdoor bath in the orchard was amazing! Hot running water, a bucket seat swing, flower garlands hanging from the trees. Our smaller two had a ball playing in the bath, whilst the older two loved having showers by candlelight in the old cow byre.
The sweet shop caravan was another hit with our girls! Along with the staging in the top field, where they danced, did gymnastics and performed for us in the sunshine.
3. It’s secluded.
The location means that there are no neighbours. We didn’t have to worry about our girls making too much noise. Or wandering into someone else’s space. Or picking up someone else’s toy or dressing up outfit.
We didn’t need to put on shoes to explore. We didn’t have to worry about getting out of our pyjamas and into proper clothes. Amanda popped in to see us the morning after our first night and I was merrily wandering around in my pyjamas at 10am!
We didn’t have to make sure we were inside our accommodation and quiet by 9pm, at risk of upsetting anyone else!
4. It’s simple.
The site is a fabulous example of how to do things simply. Much of the site is lit by torches and lanterns after dark and there is no electricity to the caravans. I fully admit that we enjoyed having power sockets in Swallow Barn, which meant we could charge our phones and the girls’ devices for use in the car.
The composting toilet was brilliant, if strange at first as it’s not something we’re used to at all. The girls were fascinated by how it works and the thought that we had a toilet with no flush or sewage system attached. The view from the toilet by Swallow Barn takes some beating as well – it was funny listening to our littlest chatting away to the sheep while she was having a wee!
The barn had two log burners, one of which we put to good use on our first damp, chilly evening. It was another of the simple joys, of being able to use fire as the main means of gaining heat in the barn (we don’t have a log burner at home) and the girls really enjoyed watching the fire. As well as sitting in front of it getting toastie!
There are firepits around the site for guests to use, though we didn’t take advantage of that this time.
The main bed in Swallow Barn is downstairs in the main room of the barn. It’s completely surrounded by full height, thick, heavy, deep red velvet curtains. This afforded James and I some privacy from the girls, but also worked a treat at keeping the heat in. There were ample blankets, duvets and throws for all of the beds, along with extra for the settee in front of the fire.
5. It’s surrounded by amazing places to visit.
We didn’t go far during our stay, although to be honest you don’t really need to. Not long after we arrived, we heard the unmistakable sound of the North York Moors Steam train, winding it’s way across the opposite side of the valley. We waited for it to come into view, smoke puffing away.
That evening Amanda popped up to say hi and filled us in on the details about the train. So the following morning we toddled off to Goathland Station (which performed as Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone).
The girls were beside themselves with excitement (huuuuuge Harry Potter fans here!), so we took a short, beautiful return trip from Goathland to Grosmont station, even bagging an enclosed carriage to squeals of delight and the joy-filled reenactment of various scenes from the movies’ Hogwarts Express journeys!
The rest of the day was spent in the nearby seaside town of Whitby. A beautiful gem, full of coastal views. There is much to see in Whitby itself: the ruined Abbey atop the 199 steps; Castle Street with its old fashioned cobbles; the varied places paying homage to Captain James Cook, the great naval explorer, the harbour and its little beach.
We barely scratched the surface, settling on getting ourselves some fab fish and chips, walking the cobbles, mounting all 199 steps and taking in the views and the sea air (and an ice cream) from the ruins of the Abbey.
Although it looks like we had a crazy busy few days there, we came home feeling relaxed and refreshed. We could have spent the whole three days just onsite at La Rosa! And no doubt we would all have enjoyed that just as much.
I asked the girls what they would like to say about our stay at La Rosa, so here we go:
Joyful – there was loads of space and it was really peaceful.
Happy Dreamer – it was very very very very very very fun!
Little Bud – it was funny that the sheep could come and say hi while you were on the toilet!
Rainbow Girl – the bedroom was really pretty!
La Rosa campsite is part of The Open Nest charity, a charity that works with care experienced children and adults. La Rosa offers space for individuals, families, and groups of any age to visit or stay.
The campsite environment is designed to be natural, low stress and therapeutic, and the charity works with other professionals who seek to promote the ongoing sustenance and support of relationships.
The campsite profits are all ploughed back into the charity, creating opportunities for families and individuals who might never had had them otherwise.
Please do check out their website to see the brilliant work they are doing. And to see how you can support them through fundraising.