About Us

Usha Gap SignpostThe campsite is situated near the beautiful village of Muker, set in one of the most beautiful areas in Yorkshire, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Parks. the views that will take your breath away there are plenty of walks to enjoy, short or long, easy or hard, The Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast walk pass nearby, and there are plenty more walks for you to enjoy you will be spoilt for choice.

The wildlife and wild flowers are in abundance, the stone walls and barns set into the landscape is what Swaledale is renowned for. Our spectacular location makes our campsite an ideal location for families, walkers or just wanting to get away from it all.

Usha Gap campsite is within half a mile and in walking distance of Muker and Thwaite, there are footpaths to the villages that are mainly off road so are safe for children to venture through.

In Muker there are plenty of amenities, The Farmers Arms pub which provided local beers, wine and lovely homemade food, the Village shop and Tea room, they sell all your needs as well as providing a nice cup go tea. Also in Muker there is the Swaledale Woollens shop, renowned for the hand knitted items and the Old School Gallery. On Friday evenings Ramsey's Mobile Fish and Chip Van arrives in Muker about 7.30pm serving fantastic fish and chips.

In Thwaite you can also enjoy homemade cooked food and drink at Kearton Country Hotel.

Hawes is our nearest Market Town, 6 miles over the Butter Tub pass, where you can get any provisions that you require.

We do not have phone signals in the area, the nearest signal is about 1 mile away, we are hoping to get Wi-Fi very soon.

The campsite is run by Philip and Louise Metcalfe and their two sons Ben and James. They took over the campsite and farm from Philip's parents Tom and Annas Metcalfe who still live on the farm next door to Philip , Louise and the boys.

Swaledale Sheep

The spacious campsite is situated close to all the facilities.

Children can play and run around in a safe environment.

Our facilities are basic at the moment but we have plans to provide new facilities by July 2014.

The campsite is set on Usha Gap Farm, which is a working farm, specialising in Sheep and Beef.

The campsite is divided into two, our small field is next to a running beck, and the larger field is situated next to the farm with a view of Kisdon hill.

About Usha Gap Farm

Metcalfe FarmersThe Metcalfe family having been farming Usha Gap farm for over 70 years, but have farmed in the dales for centuries. Mainly farming Swaledale sheep and beef cows, and gave up milking cows 15 years ago.

Here is an article that was published in The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Dales Paper, Spring 2013.

Hill farmers Tom Metcalfe and his son Philip have worked hard to conserve the countryside around their Swaledale home.

The 260 hectares they farm at Usha Gap, near Muker, covers some of the most stunning landscape in the Dales. They also have grazing rights for the sheep on the moor tops at Muker and Ivelet, both of which are in Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The family has been farming in Swaledale for generations, raising flocks of pure Swaledale sheep. Philip’s grandfather moved to Usha Gap in the 1930s and the family now also has a herd of Limousin Cross sucklers for beef, along with a campsite and a holiday home.

Thanks to the father-and-son team, miles of drystone walls have been repaired, a good cluster of barns are still standing that would otherwise be roofless shells, and some vital meadows are in tip top condition.

The incentive to do that little bit more came in the form of the Government’s Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) Scheme – a package of agri-environment projects now celebrating its 25th birthday.

The Pennine Dales ESA was one of the first to be introduced in 1987 and Tom signed up as soon as he could.

The aim of the scheme was to offer incentives to farmers to adopt agricultural practices that would safeguard and enhance parts of the country of particularly high landscape, wildlife or historic value.

View Over The FarmPhilip, 40, said the decision to join was easy. Hill farms are the worst pieces of land in terms of quality he said.

We were farming traditionally and it was a case of either going into the ESA or intensive farming to compete with other people.

We didn’t want to intensify because it would have meant spraying the fields and using lots of nitrogen, which would have wiped out the hay meadows almost overnight. And once the land has been fertilised heavily and re-seeded you can’t go back.

Most people keep their boundary walls up and the internal ones fall into disrepair because it’s uneconomic to look after them. And it’s the same with the little barns – we have about 30 but we only use six or seven of them.

The ESA grants have paid for the walls and the barns to be repaired so they are in good condition and remain part of the landscape. That in turn encourages tourists to come in –the top end of Swaledale is unique and it has been preserved like this.

He and Tom, who is 70, are now going into the Higher Level Stewardship of the new Environmental Stewardship scheme and will be starting work fencing off some gills to allow plant life to regenerate.

The knock-on effect of having the ESA money is that it helps the local economy – farmers are big spenders if they have the money and they buy locally and employ local people to do the work Philip said.

He is hoping his sons Ben, 12, and 10-year-old James will follow in the family’s footsteps.

The young one’s keen enough although the older boy isn’t yet but you never know – times can change.