Once upon a time, about 50 years ago, a young couple called John and Kathryn decided they wanted to give up their sensible, well paid jobs and comfortable life and take a gamble on ‘the good life’. They bought Low Rigg Farm, with its 25 acres of undulating land, the woods and the beck and a virtually derelict farmhouse that needed ‘mucking out’ before they could move in.
On this land they grew their own vegetables and raised cattle (all of which had names), pigs, chickens, geese as well as two children Jo and Ed. The farm was an adventure playground for them, and they grew up building dens in the woods, dams in the beck and sledging down the steep field. Jo was allowed a pony, and when tall enough to reach the pedals, Ed was allowed an old car to race around the farm.
At 18 Ed decided to spread his wings and leave the area, and over the next two decades worked as everything from a tree surgeon in the North of Scotland to a hotel maintenance manager on Brighton Seafront to a handyman at a Shropshire stately home, as well a whole host of hospitality jobs. Inadvertently gaining many of the skills needed to build a glamping site along the way.
In 2010 Verity found Ed floating around on the Leeds Liverpool canal with his labrador Lewis in a narrowboat called Joker. For a long time they messed about on the rivers and canals of Britain, investigating nice canalside pubs, enjoying the countryside, towns and cities along the way. Most summers were spent visiting as many festivals as possible, and you might detect shades of the Secret Garden Party, Shambala and Glastonbury around the site.
In 2015 fate played a hand and they sailed into the Calder Valley on the Rochdale Canal just as the devastating 2015 boxing day floods hit, and Joker was stranded in a mostly underwater Hebden Bridge. Forced to stay for 6 months until the flood waters receded and the canals were repaired, they soon realised that this was the place they were meant to be. With it’s inspirational creative people, fantastic pubs, amazing local breweries, live music at the legendary Trades Club and general eccentricities, Joker had finally found a canal bank to call home.
Gradually the creative forces of Hebden Bridge got to work on them and they started looking for a way to build something for themselves. After a couple of years not quite finding the right project in Hebden they were camping out with friends at the now unused farm in Whitby, admiring the big skies and the wilderness of the place, and realised that the thing that they’d been searching for had been right under their noses all along. The farm where it all began was where it all had to return to.
Using all the things they learned along the way; from Eds’ handyman skills, the boat’s off-grid self sufficiency, Hebden’s creativity and a bit of festival magic they have built Coast and Camplight. They now, with the addition of another dog, Vince, live between the farm in Whitby and Joker’s mooring in Hebden Bridge, and are ready to begin the next exciting chapter of their and the farms life with Coast and Camplight.