12 Sept 2021

Coniston

10th to 12th September

Another week, another caravan trip...it's almost like things are back to normal.  The plan for the rest of the year is to cram in as many trips as possible before bad weather and/or another lockdown arrives.  It's not like we can go overseas, is it!

The weekend sees us at the Coniston CAMC site.


Friday

A bit of a mix up on arrival.  At CAMC sites we always check to see if our favourite pitches are available by looking at the keys hanging on the wall in reception.  This time we were looking for pitch no. 74 and the key was missing so we knew it wouldn't be available and we would have to look elsewhere.   The mix up being that we got the pitch number wrong - we should have been looking for pitch no. 64!  After setting up elsewhere we discovered that it was available and we could have had it.  Doh!

Oh well, pitch 180 is pretty good too, just a bit of a hike to the toilets and showers!


On arrival we noticed that there was a pizza van setting up near reception.  We booked a couple of pizzas for 7.30 and then headed into Coniston.

Coniston Hall campsite, which you have to go through to get to the village, was very busy, as were the other fields on the way.



We headed straight to the Black Bull Inn, which is probably our favourite pub in the village.  Oliver's light ale for D and Oliver's lager for J.  Who is Oliver, we wondered?

Then we moved across the road to the Yewdale hotel but things weren't quite as back to normal there.  No ordering at the bar, table service only.  Luckily we got served pretty much straight away but other couples came and had to wait ages.  The first ones gave up and decided to leave when a waitress finally appeared, but not before having a dig about the poor service.  Another couple were still waiting when we left!

The pizzas were waiting to be collected when we got back to the site and they were pretty good.  Neptune (tuna, red onion and sweetcorn) for D and a chicken one for J.

It was quite a warm night and we were able to sit outside until quite late.  Despite being full the site was nice and quiet.

Saturday

The weather was supposed to be better today but it turned out to be the other way around, with lots of cloud and light showers today.

We went for a walk anyway, to Blawith Knott and Beacon tarn.


Six and a bit miles and more strenuous than it looked because there was a lot of up and down.  We probably did the equivalent of a medium sized mountain like Coniston Old Man.  It rained off and on but our waterproof coats did their job and we didn't get soaked.  Not a good day for pics.  We even saw a couple swimming about in the tarn, more hardy than us!





Beacon tarn


In the afternoon we lounged around the caravan and then had a barbecue.

The plan was to head back into Coniston in the evening, but it is about 1.7 miles each way and we were a bit worn out from our walk so decided to have a bottle of wine sitting outside the caravan instead.  Another quiet, peaceful night.

Sunday

We are getting quite good at getting away early, we left before 9.30 and were home before midday.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, but it would be good to get another couple of trips in this month if the weather is okay...



2 Sept 2021

Keswick

 31st August to 2nd September

Our 6th trip of the year, to Castlerigg Hall, Keswick, booked a long time ago and much postponed due to lockdown restrictions.

Tuesday

A week off work, so a Tuesday start after the bank holiday.  The journey took about two and a half hours, so a bit longer that we have been used to recently, but no problems with the caravan or traffic.

And no nasty surprises on arrival, our pitch was pre allocated and was one we have been on before.  A great pitch with an excellent view of Keswick and the surrounding area.



Our bird feeder was a great success for a change...it hasn't been on recent trips!





The robin was very friendly and stuck around for most of our stay.  We didn't see the helicoptor again!

We walked into Keswick in the afternoon.  It was a drizzly, grey afternoon but we didn't get soaked and went via Castlehead Wood which is a good viewpoint for Derwent Water.



The town centre was packed but we managed to get a seat sitting outside the Dog and Gun pub under an umbrella.  We didn't need the umrella, the rain eased off and we had their speciality, Hungarian ghoulash, for dinner.  Then a couple more drinks in the Wainwright pub. We have struggled to get in there in the past, but, because their kitchen was closed it wasn't very busy.  An excellent range of beers in both pubs and a selection of gins for J in the Wainwright.  We overdid it a bit!  D particularly liked Fell brewery's  Tinderbox IPA but it is a bit strong at 6.3%!

A taxi back to the site?  No chance.  No buses either, so we had to walk uphill in the dark.  We chose a longer route along the road instead of going through the trees.  Torch app to the rescue again.

Wednesday

At last, back in the high mountains again.  Well, the medium sized hills!

Today's objective was Ard Crags via Knott Rigg.  Two more Wainwrights ticked off taking our total to 132 out of 214.  It would be good to do them all but we are not getting any younger and time is against us now, especially as the remaining ones are in harder to get to places or involve really long walks.


Today was a not very long, out and back walk with excellent views throughout for not too much effort, and the weather got better as the day wore on.


Looking back to the car park



The path leading to Ard Crags



A couple of pics of the local wildlife...



We lazed around the caravan in the afternoon and then had a barbecue when we found out the visiting pizza van was fully booked!  We didn't even know you had to book!

A great sunset tonight without having to leave our pitch..






A trip to Castlerigg Hall wouldn't be the same without a visit to the nearby Crag Bar, which is part of the vegetarian Heights Hotel.  Like stepping back in time...in a good way.  The host is very friendly and it looks like he has weathered the pandemic okay.  The bar was busier than usual tonight.  We have been the only ones there on previous occasions, listening to his playlist of Neil Sedaka, Lindisfarne, Wings etc.  No Loweswater Gold this time but Keswick Gold was an okay substitute...in disposable plastic pint glasses - the pandemic isn't quite over yet!  We even had a bowl of chips, mainly because everyone else was ordering them and we felt left out!





Thursday

Up and away early and we we got home just before midday.

Coming soon...

Coniston, in a couple of weeks.  We will try to cram in as many trips as possible in September and October.




17 Aug 2021

Kendal...again

15th to 17th August

A quick return to the Kendal CAMC site, mainly due to the fact that everywhere else was full.  We wouldn't usually go away to a full site during the school holidays but this is not a typical year and we are trying to make up for a lack of trips earlier in the year.  Hopefully availability will be better in September and October.

Sunday

We arrived shortly after the earliest arrival time of 1pm hoping to get a good pitch like last time, but a quick look at the range of keys hanging on the wall in reception quickly dashed those hopes.  We did manage to get a pitch on its own, but it was probably the shadiest pitch on the site so not much sun this trip, we even had to keep the lights on in the caravan during the day!





Not many pics this week, we forgot to take the camera!  Just phone pics.

It was only after unhitching the caravan that we noticed a path at the back of the pitch and a den.  It was ok, though, the path led onto another path that goes around the site and is not for general use.  We were a bit worried about the den for a while, half expecting gangs of children to descend on us but we needn't have worried.  They probably couldn't see it from outside due to the shadiness of the pitch!

We went for a walk along the path after setting everything up and it turned out to be a great shortcut to the nearby farm shop, about half the distance.

We finally got to see the cows being milked but it was a bit if an anti climax, just a row of bored looking cows. We didn't buy the raw milk this time around as J was quite ill after the last time we came here and it was probably too rich for her! Stocked up on their game crisps and a few local beers.

From there we walked to the Strickland Arms and had a couple of drinks and then retreated to the caravan for a barbecue and a bottle of wine.  The site was very quiet and peaceful despite being completely full and it was warm enough to sit outside until quite late.


Monday

We set off for a walk in the hills around Newby Bridge, but it wasn't to be.  The A590 was closed most of the day due to an accident involving a cement mixer! We drove around aimlessly for ages trying to find an alternative route, but our parking place was completely inaccessible.

We ended up near Cartmel, so went for a short walk to the hospice at the top of Hampsfell instead.


We've been here before but it's a nice enough walk and there are usually excellent views of Morecambe bay from the top.  There is a wheel at the top, and you move the needle to whatever number landmark you want to see.  Not much to see today as it was a bit misty and murky, which made forgetting the camera easier to bear. 






The road was still closed as we tried to get back to the site, so we had to do another massive detour! Called into Grange Over Sands for supplies, but didn't hang around as a lot of the shops were shut.

The plan had been to get a bus into Kendal in the afternoon, but as we hadn't walked far in the morning  we decided to walk instead.  It's quite a long walk, and took us about 90 minutes to get into the centre of town.  We even managed to pick up a geocache hidden in one of the old canal bridges



We made it...just, and really enjoyed a drink in a pub we haven't been to before - the New Union.  It's nice enough, with a good range of beers, but the food was quite basic so we decided to go somewhere else to eat.  The Fell Bar is an old favourite and didn't disappoint, but they don't do food, so we got a bus back to the Strickland Arms, a mile from the bus stop, lots of walking today!

We thought it would be quiet on a Monday night but it wasn't, and we couldn't get a table inside!  They said we could eat outside and it was just about warm enough for al fresco dining and we were running out of options...

Luckily someone left as we were waiting for our food and the bar staff took pity on us and let us move inside. Good job as there were dark clouds looming! 2 x small fish and chips but very substantial - I'd hate to see a large one! Another mile walk back to the site - we clocked up a total 24,000 steps so we were ready for a shower and bed!

Monday

It rained a bit in the morning and on the way home but we were lucky and managed to dodge the showers.  It's been a while since we have had to pack up in the rain! Listened to a few omnibuses of The Archers, almost up to date now.

Got home early, before 11am,  One of the reasons we like this site is that it is so easy to get to.

Coming soon...

Castlerigg Hall, Keswick, after the bank holiday, booked and paid for ages ago, the weather had better be good!