Camping and Caravan Park [Spelsbury Road]

Philip Ambrose
👍 6

Wed 29 Jul, 11:12

Thanks to the Council for eventually getting the verges cut between Charlbury and the campsite. Now the pedestrians walking between the two don't have to step into nettles to avoid the traffic. 

Philip Ambrose
👍 1

Wed 22 Jul, 17:28 (last edited on Wed 22 Jul, 17:41)

Out dog walking this morning I met a Cotswold AONB volunteer warden, Charlbury resident, (apologies for not remembering his name!) who was trimming back the foliage to reveal the bridleway sign at the sharp corner just beyond the campsite towards  Spelsbury. Looks like action is being taken in a timely manner to encourage use of mainly off-road routes between the campsite and Charlbury.

Didn't stop one youngster from walking out of the back of the campsite, straight through the crops though!

Angus B
👍 2

Mon 20 Jul, 22:34

I'm pleased to read about the possible better signage for footpaths in the vicinity. When I walked up the path from the bottom of Pound Hill to the cemetery on Saturday morning there was a group of young people, who, I assume, were from the campsite as they had walked from the Spelsbury direction, and they wandered up the road to Thames Street - about ten of them, not socially distanced! - and it would have been much safer for both motorists and them had they known about the footpath.

Liz Leffman
👍 3

Mon 20 Jul, 14:38 (last edited on Mon 20 Jul, 14:45)

To be allowed to put static caravans on the site they would have to have planning permission. Given the restrictions on development in the AONB, it is very unlikely that this would be granted. If there are buildings on the site which have not been given planning permission, officers can take steps to deal with that if a complaint is made.

Philip Ambrose
👍 3

Mon 20 Jul, 14:28

Liz, Thank you for visiting. I wish that I could share your optimism. 

That 3m minimum distance between units within a group, rising to 6m between groups is not optional, it is a site licence requirement for fire safety among other things.

When I visited I noticed a number of structures that have been erected since the Camping Shelter was granted planning consent in 2014 and probably within the last 12 months. Some of these might be classed as temporary and be exempt, but others not.

I am not against peoples' QUIET enjoyment of the countryside, but I would hate to see the site developed with static caravans etc which are an eyesore. They attract a very different clientele to the Caravan Club members who used to frequent the site. 

People of Charlbury be careful what you wish for. Bigger isn't always better.

One thing is for sure, with the vastly increased number of pedestrians using the B4026, which has NO footpath, there is a strong case for the speed limit to be dropped to 30 mph.

Liz Leffman
👍 4

Mon 20 Jul, 11:54

Apparently a lot of the people coming to the campsite have never been camping before and I think the unusually large numbers are due to people enjoying their freedom after having been cooped up for several months.  They can't easily go on holiday abroad so they are finding places to visit in this country, and who can blame them for wanting some fresh air? I expect things will quieten down again when this is all over.

Clare Carswell
👍 1

Mon 20 Jul, 11:17 (last edited on Wed 22 Jul, 13:06)

It is good to know that Liz has assessed the situation and feels that all is being done that can be. That is reassuring. Things change and businesses need to grow, we all understand that, and those of us who have our own small businesses up there will simply have to adjust to having such large numbers of people with their vehicles on what was previously a quiet and peaceful campsite, it is simply the shock of the new ! 

Jackie Hague

Mon 20 Jul, 10:44

Thank you for your post, Liz, it provides a good explanation regarding the congestion. It is good to know too that the measures being taken are to help keep the campsite free of Covid-19.  

Liz Leffman
👍 4

Mon 20 Jul, 09:51 (last edited on Mon 20 Jul, 09:52)

I have alerted WODC officers to the concerns that have been expressed about the campsite, and they will be making sure that things are operating as they should be, but I also decided to go and have a look for myself yesterday.  I met the new owner and had a good look around.  The campsite has been absolutely inundated with campers, many of whom have arrived in large family groups which want to stay together and do not want to be close to other groups. So they have had to allow several tents onto one pitch, which gives the impression of overcrowding but in fact is a way to ensure that family groups are distanced from each other. I am satisfied that this is true and that they are not exceeding the licensed number of pitches as has been suggested.  They are temperature checking every person that arrives using a static but very effective piece of equipment, which means each person has to leave their car to be tested before they are allowed into the campsite, and this has caused a tailback of traffic which again looks like overcrowding. They have also had to turn a lot of people away because they did not have bookings. All this has caused annoyance to some people arriving at the campsite hence the bad reviews.  

When I went to look on Sunday morning it was very quiet with families sitting around and causing no problems. Mr Dighton who owns the campsite was there and was very concerned that there had been so many complaints. My impression is that this is someone who is doing his best in extremely taxing circumstances.

I am very pleased that they are turning away anyone who has a temperature or who refuses to be checked.  As the people on the campsite will be coming into Charlbury that is very reassuring and I am impressed that they are taking a lot of care to protect everyone.

Also, in answer to Jackie's concern about the number of people walking on the road Mr Dighton asked me if we could get better signposting for the footpaths into Charlbury so I will see if that can be done.

Philip Ambrose
👍 3

Sun 19 Jul, 21:48 (last edited on Sun 19 Jul, 21:56)

Please do not confuse Cotswold Camping, OX7 3LL on the B4026 Spelsbury Road, with Cotswold View, OX7 3JH on the B4022 Enstone Road at Banbury Hill.

Here are some recent reviews of Cotswold Camping which changed hands last year.



Here is some information about the company and associated businesses




I am left with a considerable degree of unease about Cotswold Camping, its operation and development. Don Carvell started it as a Caravan Club Certificated Location for up to FIVE touring caravans. 

I share Tim’s concern about the introduction of ANY immobile home / static caravan to the site. He is also correct in saying that some apple trees that were to the left of the entrance have been felled. To make way for the imminent arrival of a mobile home?

Felicity clearly made an interesting contribution but I missed it as the post was withdrawn after half an hour. Very mysterious.

Jackie Hague

Sun 19 Jul, 19:11

If the number of pitches has increased so greatly causing issues for campers and businesses alike, it is very poor.  

Jean Adams
👍 2

Sun 19 Jul, 18:55

You are able still to comment on the Planning Application.

Helen Wilkinson
👍 3

Sun 19 Jul, 18:30

Felicity, I am in total agreement with you and feel for you in the current situation. I have had cause to drive to Chipping Norton several times this weekend and have encountered large groups walking from the site to Charlbury and back. It was clear that they were large groups of young people, in no way socially distanced, and the site was absolutely packed, all the way back to the road along the driveway. I cannot believe that what is happening there complies with any current Covid  guidelines - let alone its current permission for camping limits. It is a matter of real concern. The road is not a good walking route to Charlbury and I fear it is an accident in waiting. I will be raising my concerns with WODC/OCC.

Charlie M
👍 2

Sun 19 Jul, 18:24

As you say, Felicity, very distressing to read.

It sounds as if the site is being run by a bunch of cowboys. I was under the impression that this is the kind of thing that Planning Committees are suppose to legislate upon. 

Time to contact WODC, methinks??

Felicity Brooks
👍 3

Sun 19 Jul, 17:59 (last edited on Sun 19 Jul, 18:28)


Philip Ambrose
👍 2

Sun 19 Jul, 17:24 (last edited on Sun 19 Jul, 22:01)

I had cause to visit the Spelsbury Road site on July 11th as someone at the site was illegally flying a drone over my property. The site was absolutely rammed. Some guests left early and have commented unfavourably on Trip Advisor. The situation was very similar this weekend. Our District Councillor is aware. 

Here is the link to the planning application 20/01184/FUL for the mobile home.


Tim at Cotswold Frames
👍 3

Sun 19 Jul, 16:35 (last edited on Sun 19 Jul, 17:36)

Phil Morgan think you will find that this was not Cotswold view touring park on the Enstone rd but in fact the Spelsbury road cotswold camping from having talked to campers yesterday in my shop who were camping at the Spelsbury rd campsite they said how crowded and cramped and noisy the park was and queuing down and out onto the road compared to the last time they said when they  were there a couple of years ago, they  said they wouldn't be returning in the future due to the way tents have been packed in, and also said it looks like they are even missing some apple trees at the main entrance cut down to allow more tents to be allowed in ( not socially distanced apart from the sounds of things) something that needs to be addressed especially in the times we find ourselves in at present, it was also said some campers  were asking for refunds and finding alternative places to stay, which is a shame was a nice little site before let's hope this static caravan application they are going for is not a foot in the door for a load of static Van's in the future as that would be a eyesore.

Gareth Epps

Sun 19 Jul, 14:35

A lot of people seem to be using the Banbury Hill/Hundley Way walking route.

Harriet Baldwin
👍 2

Sun 19 Jul, 14:23

I asked about this (and the people walking past my mother's house from Banbury Hill, where you can hear them shouting about cars, which hasn't changed despite the speed limit change) when I was on the council 5 years ago. I suggested maybe signs to actually let drivers know there will be people in the road, especially on the bends, but it wasn't a priority. I've always found it strange that a town that supposedly welcomes people walking in actually cares so little about how they get there.

Jackie Hague

Sun 19 Jul, 14:03

I understand the number of pitches has increased at Cotswolds Camping on the B4026 near Spelsbury.  If so, it is good news for the stores and eateries in Charlbury, however, a safe walking route needs to be established.  Driving back from Spelsbury last week, we passed a fair number of people walking along the road up to the campsite from the Charlbury direction.  

Phil Morgan
👍 1

Sun 19 Jul, 13:27 (last edited on Sun 19 Jul, 21:30)

I have heard recently that there has been a lot of congestion in and around the Camping and Caravan Park on the Spelsbury Road. I haven't been up there yet but, has anyone got any direct experience of this?

[post edited to avoid confusion between campsites --Richard]

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