Camping Barns and Bothies : Independent Hostels network

Self catering bunkhouses & hostels
Camping Barns and bothys

Camping barns and bothies offer simple accommodation in stunning rural locations. There is a platform to lay your sleeping roll, a table and benches and a safe area for you to use your camping stove. Some barns and bothies also have a wood burning stove to gather around. Created to provided shelter for walkers but also ideal for family escapes, camping barns were started by the Youth Hostel Association. They have always been owned and run by local farmers and after 2017, when the YHA stopped their support, these camping barns continued to provide simple accommodation as part of the Independent Hostels network. Internal photo is of Taddington Camping Barn, one of the few camping barns to close on removal of support from the Youth Hostel association.

Camping Barns and Bothies
Click markers to view hostels and bunkhouses

  • Profile picture of Mullacott Farm Camping Barn

    Mullacott Farm Camping Barn

    Set in 30 acres on the North Devon coast, the farm boasts sea views overlooking Woolacombe, Lundy Island, Lee Bay, Ilfracombe, and the Welsh coast. A former stable block with all accommodation on ground level with raised sleeping areas with mattresses BYO sleeping bag/bedding and warm clothing. There is a dining area and well-equipped kitchen. Toilets/coin operated showers are in a nearby block. No stag/hen parties. Dogs welcome with sole use bookings. B&B, camping and static caravan also on site..

    More details
  • Profile picture of Blakebeck Farm Camping Barn

    Blakebeck Farm Camping Barn

    At the foot of Souther Fell, within easy reach of Blencathra, Blakebeck Farm is set amidst the wildflower meadows of Mungrisdale. On the C2C cycle route and the Cumbrian Way. Perfect as an overnight stop for cyclists or weekend break for walkers and families. The large upstairs room has mattresses provided (BYO sleeping bags) The kitchen has basic equipment and utensils. Towels, bedding, DIY breakfast & pack lunches can be pre-booked. One dog welcome with sole use. Not suitable for parties.

    More details
  • Profile picture of The Reckoning House

    The Reckoning House

    Renovated to a high standard including double glazing and insulation. The Reckoning House is situated 3 miles from Bakewell. It is on the edge of the Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve, full of interesting flora and fauna as well as outstanding geological features. Horse riding, fishing, golf and cycle hire are available locally. Local walks include the Limestone Way. Facilities include: cooking area, 4 calor gas rings (gas supplied), hot water for washing up & showers, storage heaters in all rooms.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Taddington Camping Barn

    Taddington Camping Barn

    Taddington Camping Barn is in the village of Taddington, between the market towns of Buxton and Bakewell. Surrounded by limestone hills and dales, there are excellent walks and fine views in all directions. You will have easy access to the High Peak, Tissington Train and the Monsal cycle/walking trails. Chatsworth and Haddon Hall are a short distance away and the Queens Arms, for pub food, is 50m away! The Barn has simple facilities, BYO your own stove, utensils, mat & sleeping bag. The shower, heaters, fridge and an electric socket are metered, so bring £1 coins.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Underbank Camping Barn

    Underbank Camping Barn

    Blaze Farm dairy and sheep farm is in Wildbourclough valley on the Western edge of the Peak District National Park with stunning views of Shuttlingsloe. A “stone tent” the barn provides a simple base for family escapes and for walking, climbing, fell-running and mountain biking. Bring equipment as if camping. There is a fridge, and a fire pit in the enclosed patio. Blaze Farm ice-cream parlour and café serves snacks and light meals, there are good pubs nearby.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Shetland Camping BÖd Network

    Shetland Camping BÖd Network

    A network of low cost accommodation in various historic buildings across Shetland, each one set in fantastic scenery. The smallest böd sleeps four and the largest sixteen. Electricity, hot water and showers are available in some böds, with solid fuel stoves in all. Each böd has a story to tell. One even produced the jumpers used in Hillarys expedition to Everest. Tour the beautiful Shetland isles staying in böds n route.

    More details
  • Profile picture of St Johns in the Vale Camping Barn

    St Johns in the Vale Camping Barn

    St John’s-in-the-Vale Camping Barn, a renovated 18th century stable on a peaceful hill farm, has stunning views to Blencathra, Helvellyn and Castle Rock. The Barn has a sleeping area upstairs (mattress provided) and a sitting/dining area below. A separate toilet, shower and cooking area (BYO equipment) are within the building. A wood-burning stove makes it nice and cosy. Outside there is a BBQ area. As there is no light pollution, the star-filled night skies are magical. Northern Lights have been seen too!

    More details
  • Profile picture of Foreland Bothy

    Foreland Bothy

    Foreland Bothy on the Exmoor coast National Trust Foreland Point estate offers very basic accommodation, but rewards you with a fantastic location right on the South West Coast path, treat it like camping but without the tent so you need to bring camping mats, sleeping bags and cooking equipment. There is a composting loo but no hot water. The perfect location for a night or two for those who want to explore the area on foot or want to escape technology in this wilderness under some stunning dark skies.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Puttenham Eco Camping Barn

    Puttenham Eco Camping Barn

    Eco project on North Downs Way offers simple overnight accommodation in a beautifully converted historic barn. Self-catering (or local pubs for food within walking distance); three shared sleeping areas; garden with picnic bench and cycle shed. NO CARS ON SITE, even for off-loading. Nearest railway stations: Wanborough 3.5 km; Guildford 7 km

    More details
  • Profile picture of Gumber Camping Barn (formerly Gumber Bothy)

    Gumber Camping Barn (formerly Gumber Bothy)

    A converted Sussex flint barn on a working sheep farm within the National Trust’s Slindon Estate. It provides simple overnight accommodation or camping for walkers, horse riders and cyclists, just off the South Downs Way, or a tranquil and remote location for you to get away from it all. Just five minutes’ walk from Stane Street, the Roman Road that crosses the South Downs Way at Bignor Hill. Sorry but NO CARS. Not suitable for under fives.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Maggs Howe Camping Barn

    Maggs Howe Camping Barn

    In the quiet, unspoilt valley of Kentmere, a ramblers’ paradise of woods, fields, lanes, a scattering of traditional farms & the fells covered with Wainwright walks. There is plenty to do including biking, riding & fishing, as well as quiet enjoyment. Maggs Howe provides B&B in 3 farmhouse rooms and a camping barn (BYO sleeping bag). Breakfast (£8) and suppers (from £14) are available with notice. Dogs need prior permission.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Edale Camping Barn Cotefield Farm

    Edale Camping Barn Cotefield Farm

    Overlooking Mam Tor and at the start of the Pennine Way - great for walking holidays, Edale Barn is a traditional camping barn or “stone tent” with a basic sleeping platform and a small communal living area. Within easy reach of the high moorland of Kinder and the wooded Derwent Valley. Adjoining the barn, but with external access, is a cooking area and separate toilet. There is no hot water or electricity. BYO sleeping &cooking equipment and torches. The Old Nags Head pub at Edale serves hot food within walking distance. 4 self-catering holiday cottages also available.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Dinah Hoggus Camping Barn

    Dinah Hoggus Camping Barn

    Dinah Hoggus Camping Barn lies on the old Packhorse route to Watendlath on the edge of the village of Rosthwaite in the Borrowdale valley. For walkers it is perfectly located right on the Cumbria Way and the Coast to Coast walk. It sleeps 12 on mattresses (BYO sleeping bag) & has a cooking/dining area. Basic cooking equipment is provided and there’s an electric shower. The pub and village shop are just 300m away.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Upper Booth Camping Barn

    Upper Booth Camping Barn

    Next to a small campsite alongside Crowden Clough. Hire the barn and additional pitches on the campsite if required. There is space for cooking (BYO equipment) and tables for eating. Toilets, sinks & showers are shared with the campsite. On a working hill-farm, the Pennine Way passes through the farmyard and there is great mountain biking locally.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Catbells Camping Barn

    Catbells Camping Barn

    Catbells Camping Barns sits on the slopes of Catbells in the tranquil Newlands Valley, with magnificent views over the Lake District. The Cumberland Way passes through the farmyard. Keswick is only 4 miles away and both Borrowdale and Buttermere are within walking distance. The camping barn has mattresses, bring your own sleeping bag, and is heated with a multi-fuel stove (not suitable for cooking). In the adjacent building is a toilet and a cooking area BYO stove and equipment). It is possible to walk to a pub which serves food.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Barn Farm Barns and Campsite

    Barn Farm Barns and Campsite

    Situated in the village of Birchover with great views. Barn Farm has four 5* camping barns - Sabine Hay sleeps 15 in triple bunk beds, Hill Carr and Warren Carr sleep 12 in single beds, Stables sleeps 6 in bunk beds. Each barn has fully fitted kitchens, TV, heating and some have private bathrooms and showers. Plus the Gatehouse is a self contained double bed unit.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Watendlath Bothy

    Watendlath Bothy

    Watendlath Bothy sits next to the tarn in the quiet, picturesque hamlet that shares its name. High in a beautiful valley, it offers superb access to the surrounding fells. Visitors should treat the Bothy as a ‘stone tent’ bring their own equipment as for camping such as cutlery, plates, sleeping bags & mats, matches, etc. The perfect choice for people looking to escape to one of the most remote-feeling places in the Lake District.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Alstonefield Camping Barn

    Alstonefield Camping Barn

    Close to Dovedale, the Manifold Valley Cycle Trail, Carsington Water, AltonTowers and the Roaches Rocks (great for climbers). Ideal for quiet group get togethers, families, cyclists, walkers, D of E, Scouts, school groups and team building. This is camping in the comfort of a remote cosy barn, with log burning stove. Having no electric and no distractions it is the perfect place to switch off from the hassles of a hectic life. BYO all camping equipment.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Butterton Camping Barns Waterslacks and Wills Barns

    Butterton Camping Barns Waterslacks and Wills Barns

    Waterslacks Camping Barn is perched on the edge of the Manifold Valley with breath-taking views of the surrounding hills. BYO all camping gear including stove and sleep mats. Wills Barn is a fully equipped bunkhouse with stunning views of this unspoiled and quiet area of the Peak District National Park. A rustic log-burning stove provides heating and cooking facilities. Fenns Barn 4* self-catering holiday let and camping are also available

    More details
  • Profile picture of Northcombe Camping Barns

    Northcombe Camping Barns

    Located a mile outside the town of Dulverton on Exmoor, Northcombe Camping Barns nestle in the Barle river valley with good canoeing, walking and bridle-ways. The perfect base for groups wanting to explore Exmoor. The barns sleep 16 and 28 in partitioned dormitories. Smaller groups can be catered for. Heated by woodburning stoves with a well equipped kitchen you just need to bring your own pillows, sleeping bags or quilts.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Murt Barn Camping Barn

    Murt Barn Camping Barn

    Nestling in the wild and remote Wasdale valley, Murt Camping Barn is ideally situated for high fell walks including Scafell Pike, Mosedale Horseshoe, Great Gable and Screes Tops. Converted from a hay loft and byre, it sleeps 8, with WC, shower & hot water in the same building. Pubs in the village of Nether Wasdale are just a 10 minute walk away and nearest shops are within 5 miles. Waswater & its YHA are half mile down road, towards the Scafell range of mountains.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Badrallach Bothy and Campsite

    Badrallach Bothy and Campsite

    On the tranquil shores of Little Loch Broom overlooking one of Scotland’s finest mountain ranges, Badrallach Bothy and Campsite offer a fine base for walking and climbing. Fish in the rivers, hill lochs and sea or simply enjoy the flora and fauna. Hot showers, spotless accommodation, an unbelievable price, and total peace makes the Bothy and Campsite a firm favourite. There is also a holiday cottage for hire.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Hudscales Camping Barn

    Hudscales Camping Barn

    Hudscales Camping Barn perches at 1000ft on the northern-most flank of the Lakeland Fells. It overlooks the villages of Caldbeck and Hesket Newmarket and is on the Cumbria Way. BYO sleeping bags, mats, stove & utensils. There is a separate toilet and wash basin and a metered shower. A wood-burning stove provides added comfort (logs extra), there is electric lighting plus metered power points, (electric heaters are provided if required). There’s also a games room with pool table/dart board.

    More details
  • Profile picture of High Wallabarrow Camping Barn

    High Wallabarrow Camping Barn

    High Wallabarrow is a traditional hill farm in the Duddon Valley; the Lake District’s quiet corner. The well equipped camping barn, an old farmhouse, sleeps 10 upstairs; with a large living area downstairs. Woodburning stove and fully equipped kitchen. Mattresses provided BYO sleeping bags/pillows. Toilet just outside and shower nearby. 15 mins walk to pub, 10 mins to climbing cragg. Not suitable for rowdy groups.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Peppercombe Bothy

    Peppercombe Bothy

    Located in a quiet tranquil wooded valley with views across Bideford Bay towards Lundy, Peppercombe Bothy is effectively a “stone tent”. A perfect stopover on the South West Coast Path which passes through the valley close by or for those who really do want to get away from it all. With access to it’s own secluded beach you will not be disappointed. There is no light or heating so bring your own sleeping, cooking and eating equipment.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Bents Camping Barn

    Bents Camping Barn

    Bents Camping Barn, formerly a 17 century shepherd’s cottage, is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are 2 bunkrooms sleeping 14 in total (BYO sleeping bags), a well equipped kitchen and a dining area. Please bring £1 coins for the electric metre. The Coast to Coast path is nearby and the Howgill Fells, Wild Boar Fell and Crosby Garrett Common offer great fell walking. Smardale Gill Nature Reserve and Sunbiggin Tarn are also easily accessible.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Fell End Camping Barn

    Fell End Camping Barn

    Fell End is a traditional 18th Century Lakeland stone barn, located within its own grass courtyard approximately ½ mile from the farm. It is within easy distance of Coniston (6 miles) and the Duddon Valley (5 miles). Come and stay and witness the Star-Filled Skies, a truly breathtaking sight. Experience the ‘Sound of Silence’ in the tranquil and calming Fell End Barn. BYO your own cooking equipment, torches, bedding and mat.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Fisher-gill Camping Barn

    Fisher-gill Camping Barn

    Situated in Thirlmere at the foot of the Helvellyn mountains, close to Sticks Pass and the spectacular Fisher-Gill waterfall, the camping barn offers you direct access to numerous walks, hill and rock climbing. It is just off the A591 road, with local and national bus stops at the end of the lane. Accommodation consists of two rooms: a kitchen/diner with all the basic equipment and 10 bed bunk (sleeping bags/liners are required). A pub serving meals is within walking distance. Perfect for quite country retreats, it is not suitable for late night drinking parties

    More details
  • Profile picture of The Old Smithy Camping Barn

    The Old Smithy Camping Barn

    The Old Smithy camping barn is in the village of Burwardsley, Cheshire, mid-way along the Sandstone Trail and also on NCN route 45, Mercian Way. The Old Smithy offers affordable rustic accommodation for up to 8 people. There is a cooking/washing-up area, a toilet and an insulated sleeping platform. There is no electricity or hot water, nor beds, lighting is via lanterns (candles and matches provided). Simple meals & provisions can be pre-booked or the shop & pub are a short walk away.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Brompton on Swale Bunkbarn

    Brompton on Swale Bunkbarn

    Located on a small working farm, just 3 miles east of Richmond, Yorkshire. Brompton on Swale bunk barn offers a welcome break from walking or cycling the coast to coast. A pot of tea for weary walkers upon arrival and safe storage for bikes makes this bunkhouse especially welcoming. Close to the Yorkshire Dales, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Easby Abbey, Richmond Castle & Ellerton Lakes. Dogs are welcome to stay but must be kept on a lead around the yard as there are ducks, hens and geese.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Swallow Barn Camping Barn

    Swallow Barn Camping Barn

    In the picturesque Loweswater Valley, Swallow Barn is part of a set of buildings dating back to 1670 on a working beef and sheep farm. Sleeping 18 on mattresses (BYO sleeping bags), there is a cooking and eating area, metered showers & plug socket + 2 toilets. Perfect for exploring the western fells on both high and low level walks with spectacular views, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the valley. On the Sea2sea cycle route. The Kirkstyle pub (1 mi) serves food, Cockermouth (8 mi).

    More details
  • Profile picture of Holme Wood Bothy

    Holme Wood Bothy

    Holme Wood Bothy offers basic accommodation in a spectacular secluded location, right on the shore of Loweswater. This “stone tent” provides a roof, kitchen area and sleeping platform. Visitors must bring camping equipment including plates, matches, sleeping mats and sleeping bags and water. If you are looking for a remote and basic getaway with easy access to the lake this bothy is the perfect choice. Great for accessing the lakes and canoeing on Loweswater.

    More details
  • Profile picture of Cragg Camping Barn

    Cragg Camping Barn

    Cragg Camping Barn, with its stunning views of Buttermere fell is a great base for all outdoor enthusiasts, with great walking, climbing and mountain biking close by. The simple accommodation has mattresses for 8, a kitchen and seating area a hot shower on a meter, and a toilet/ washbasin with hot and cold water. BYO sleeping bag and stove/eating utensils if you wish to self-cater. Sole occupancy only. Cragg House Farm also has a holiday cottage sleeping two, enquire for details (017687 70204).

    More details
  • Profile picture of Trawden Camping Barn

    Trawden Camping Barn

    Trawden Camping Barn is a listed stone barn on Middle Beardshaw Farm. Surrounded by stunning landscape the nearby village of Wycoller has been much used by film crews. The barn is large and open with an ancient timbered roof. There is accommodation for 15; 7 beds/bunks and 8 mattresses (BYO sleeping bags) with plenty of communal space, a table tennis and pool table and a well equipped kitchen (in a separate building just 15m away). Pub & cafe just a short walk away.

    More details

What is a camping barn ?  What is a bothy ? What is a Stone Tent ?

Camping barns provides basic rural accommodation, converted from traditional stone barns once used to store hay and house livestock.  They  are sometimes called a stone tent.  There is no bedding and sometimes only a hard sleeping shelf.  There usually water and a toilet,  a table and benches, and a safe area for you to use your camping stove.  Some barns have mattresses to sleep on,  others just a sleeping shelf for you to lay your own camping mat on.  Some have  a wood burning stove to gather around in the evening.  

Typical camping barn or bothy cooking area
Typical camping barn or bothy cooking area

A bothy is a Scottish camping barn or Stone Tent and the term Bothy has been taken up by the National Trust in England to describe their camping barn style accommodation. Traditionally bothies are rural accommodation in Scotland originally used to shelter shepherds or fishermen and adopted by mountaineers in more recent years.

Most camping barns are priced at around £10 a per person per night.  They offer a memorable way of staying within some stunning scenery and are  a great alternative to camping with a roof over your head if it rains.  The most developed bothies and camping barns have mattresses or bunks, showers and cooking facilities, but many do not. Camping barns and bothies are very rural and sometime so remote they have no electricity. Aimed at the walker who might walk from barn to barn, these stone tents are often used by an outdoor groups and because they are small (from 4 beds) and away from traffic they can be fun for families.  

Alstonefield Camping Barn
Alstonefield Camping Barn

Don’t forget if you plan to stay in a camping barn or bothy that you will definitely need to bring your own sleeping bag (sometimes sleeping mat) and usually your own cooking equipment including a camp stove, cutlery and plates.  Some camping barns and bothies don’t have running water so you may need a water container too.  You will always need  warm clothes, walking boots and a torch. 

Our camping barns and bothies are in the most amazing, remote spots. They are a fantastic opportunity to stay in some of the UK’s most beautiful areas often under dark skies and far from the hustle and bustle of modern life!

YHA Camping Barns in England & Wales

Camping Barns  were originally the idea of the Youth Hostel Association, although they have always been owned and run independently.  They were created to provided shelter for walkers and cyclists and often filled the gaps left by the selling of rural  YHA  hostels.   The YHA has been shedding their supported camping barns for over ten years and in 2017 they stopped supporting all the camping barns, expect for the two properties they owned themselves.  This was part of a wider closure of rural accommodation which has been taking place over a number of years including  YHA  hostels and bunkhouses .   It is great to know that for most camping barns this is not the end of the story and they are continuing  to provide simple accommodation as part of the Independent Hostels network to enable everyone to enjoy the countryside.  

Lakeland Camping Barns

Around 10 years ago a group of YHA camping barns in the Lake District joined together to form a local marketing group, Lakeland Camping Barns. Moving away from the services provided by the YHA, Lakeland Barns produced their own marketing and online booking system.  It has been a story of great success. Lakeland Barns have worked with the Independent Hostels network for many years, sometimes sharing stands at shows and festivals.  Their member  barns are all shown on the map above.

YHA Camping Barns open and welcoming guests

You may have heard that the YHA closed all their camping barns and some simple hostels in spring  2017. However the good news is that many of these privately owned camping barns and hostels remain open and welcoming guests as independent establishments.

In recent years the Youth Hostel Association have changed their century old charitable aim “To help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside”  by adding the amendment “and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities”.   This is reflected by the sale of many of the Youth Hostel Associations small rural hostels and their investment in large hostels in the cities.

YHA Simple Hostel Dolgoch Hostel
YHA Simple Hostel Dolgoch Hostel

Not to be deterred by the YHA’s latest shedding of their smallest and most rural accommodation, the farmers and charities  who own these basic hostels and camping barns have made the decision to continue welcoming guests under the umbrella of the Independent Hostels network.   The Independent Hostels network is now more extensive than the YHA, with 360 hostels and bunkhouses in England, Wales and Scotland.  We will be working hard to let the public know that these camping barns and simple hostels are still open and will be welcoming guests far into the future.  A full list of the camping barns open and in the Independent Hostels network can be seen above.

YHA Camping Barn at Taddington
YHA Camping Barn at Taddington (closed in 2017 after removal of support from the YHA)

Included in the list of simple accommodation let-go by the YHA in 2017 is the Elenydd Hostels, Tyn Cornel and Dolgoch, both of which are remaining open. These were originally owned by the YHA and rescued form closure by a Trust set up to preserve these much loved simple hostels.   Puttenham Camping Barn is a also remaining open.  It was similarly set up by a local Trust wishing to provide economical access to the glorious Surrey countryside.   The farm barns: Northcombe Camping Barns, Edale Camping Barn, Alstonefield Camping Barn all continuing to remain open and welcoming guests.  Only Taddingon Camping Barn is considering its future, beyond 2017, in the light of their abandonment by the YHA . 

YHA Camping Barn at Brompton
YHA Camping Barn at Brompton

If you enjoy using simple rural accommodation and would like to see these camping barns flourish outside of the YHA, please spread the news that they remain open.  Look out for our posts on social media and share them with your friends.  If you post on outdoor sites or have a website of your own, please add the a link to this page to help others find these camping barns. 

YHA Camping Barn at Puttenham
YHA Camping Barn at Puttenham