On the site of the former railway spur line from Catton to Hexham, which once hauled lead out of the Allen Smelt Mill nearby, and latterly milk from the valleys’ dairy herds to Tyneside, stands Allendale Caravan Park, a static caravan premises which has won the David Bellamy Gold Environmental Award for the past fifteen years. But as the image from the Allen Valleys Local History Group shows, the long narrow plot has been a caravan park virtually since the railway line closed.
It’s really tucked away, this caravan park, as the trees and shrubs have grown extensively around, so the temporary residents there have a great deal of privacy. But the place is well clued-in to contemporary social media, with a lively facebook presence as well. Mike and Verona Woodhouse, owners since 2003, live on-site so are well able to deal with any matters arising throughout the park. Additionally they offer a holiday cottage letting as part of the main house, in what used to be the train station.
There are a couple caravans for sale, on the 41 pitch site, but others in the £40k range have been sold recently. Additionally, of course, there are annual pitch fees. The park is a popular, but quiet, enterprise on the outskirts of Allendale, just up from Allen Mill beyond the Sports Club.
One of the nicest things about the park is the extensive range of public footpaths radiating out and around the village, connecting close by the site. Of these, possibly the River Path is the most beloved of the caravan owners when in residence.
It’s no wonder, with caravan residents enjoying the ambience of the Allen Valleys in Allendale Caravan Park’s season (March 18 through January 6), together with the other holiday cottages and B&Bs on offer, that the village feels comfortably busy as holiday-makers swell numbers and keep the shops, pubs, tea rooms and cafés going.