The story of Coast and Camplight doesn’t begin with us, it begins more than 50 years ago with Ed’s Mum and Dad John and Kathryn, a teacher and a dog groomer from Middlesbrough, who decided to risk it all to try and live ‘the good life’. In 1970 they gave up their lovely flat and sensible jobs and bought Low Rigg Farm, a run down old farmhouse with sloping fields, a wood, a beck and a sensational view.
They aimed to be self-sufficient, growing their own vegetables, raising cows, pigs, chickens, geese as well as two children Jo and Ed. The farm was an adventure playground for Jo and Ed as children, and they tell tales of growing up building dens in the woods, dams in the beck and sledging down the steepest field. As well as helping their Mum and Dad with the farm.
Ed left home at 18 determined to find some adventures, and over the next two decades did everything from help renovate a stately home, to running paintball sites and bars, via tree surgery and bee keeping (my sister still maintains he’s making some of this up!).
We met in 2010 when Ed was living on his boat Joker on the Leeds Liverpool canal with his lovely Labrador Lewis. We spent some very happy years mooching about on the canals and rivers of the UK, having some adventures and living a simple off-grid boat life. We spent summers camping and going to as many festivals as we could manage.
In 2015 we sailed Joker into the creative capital of the North that is Hebden Bridge, and she’s never left. We took a mooring for the first time since we’d had the boat, and made it our home as well as making lots of friends along the way.
We always had it in our minds though that one day we’d start our own business, something outdoors and creative. Incorporating lots of the things we’d learnt along the way – the self-sufficiency of boat life, the sparkle, fun and creativity of festivals and Hebden Bridge, and the love of the outdoors.
One sunny summer, when visiting Ed’s Mum and Dad on the now unused farm, we camped out in the fields at the farm with friends and realised there really could only be one place for us to build our business. Out here in the fields where it all began.
We came back to the farm in 2018 to start our own grand adventure of building Coast and Camplight. John and Kathryn are still here, keeping an eye on us, and the farm with its beautiful view, sloping fields and hidden valleys is taking on a whole new lease of life as a glamping site.