Hidden away to say the least, Northmoor Lock Paddocks is not a manicured site, but more reminiscent of the old days when your mum and dad used to take you camping back in the 1970s. Tussocky meadows shaded by mature willows are fringed by the soporific tumble of water from the nearby weir, while over the hedge there’s nothing but cornfields and ploughed earth as far as the eye can see.
David Walliams crawled shivering from Northmoor Lock after the first leg of his epic 2011 Thames swim, but you can be much more snug in one of their two timber log pods – simple affairs stocked with chopped wood outside to burn in the firepit and little else.
The two camping fields offer either plenty of sunlight, or – among the willows – mottled shade. Both blaze in a riot of wildflowers come spring, the grass thick and bouncy and providing a naturally comfortable underlay.
Bring a fishing rod and plant yourself by the river in the dappled sunlight, a blade of grass in your mouth like Huck Finn, and gaze out across the weir and lock as a crayon-coloured barge rolls by. Welcome back to your childhood!
Appleton, Oxfordshire, OX13 5JN
07961 514 047