22 Jul 2017

Hawes and Windermere

18th to 22nd July 2017

Two trips in one.  First the newly refurbished Caravan Club site at Hawes, then the Windermere Camping and Caravan Club site.

Hawes



Tuesday

A week off work for D so a Tuesday start.  We got there early, but the site was surprisingly full, so not many pitches to choose from.  We managed to pick the shadiest one on the site, as usual!  We haven't been here for a few years, but we don't think it has changed much except for the refurbished facilities block, which is excellent.


Our bird feeder was a great success here...not just with the birds!





Hawes is only a five minute walk from the site and that is where we headed, in glorious sunshine.  It was market day, so we had a look around that and, as is customary when we come here, bought lots of cheese from the Wensleydale Creamery.  They have stopped making sticky toffeee pudding cheese, much to J's displeasure.

In the evening we had a barbecue, then headed to the Green Dragon, Hardraw.


A really nice olde worlde pub with its own waterfall, apparently the longest unbroken one in England.



Wednesday


It was raining when we woke up.  It did stop, but it remained murky and misty for most of the day.  Undaunted, we went for an out and back walk up nearby Great Shunner fell.




In the afternoon we drove to nearby Leyburn.  There is a CC site there that we have thought about visiting, but we didn't like Leyburn as much as Hawes, so probably won't now.

In the evening we drove into Hawes, braving torrential rain, thunder and lightning, for fish and chips in the village chippie.  No drinking today...D saving himself for the Hawkshead brewery summer beer festival which was to be part two of the trip.

Thursday

Transfer day.  We had time to kill in the morning, so after packing everything away we walked into Hawes and had a late breakfast.

Windermere

The journey from Hawes to the Windermere C&CC site took less time than we thought it would, so we had to park up for about 10 minutes to avoid getting there before the earliest arrival time of 1pm.


We got a pretty good pitch, then walked across the fields to the beer festival in Staveley.


Thursday...day one...so not too busy and no shortage of beers.  The weather was ok, too, so we were able to sit outside for a while.  Ten half pints for D today!  Lakeland lager, which has been renamed Hawkshead lager, for J.  She did try a cider, but didn't like it, and £5 for a small glass of proseco was just a bit too much.




Friday

It was raining heavily when we woke up and didn't stop all morning.  We had planned to drive to the top of the Kirkstone pass, then walk down it via Soney Cove Pike and Hartsopp Dodd and get a bus back up to the top.  Instead we had a look around Ambleside, then sat in the caravan waiting for it to stop raining before heading back to the beer festival mid afternoon.

It was much busier today, but we managed to find seats when we wanted to sit down, and we even got chatting to a few people!  Eight more half pints for D, he will have to stop drinking for a while to detox. 

Beer festival essentials

Saturday

It was raining again when we got up and we got soaked putting everything away!

Coming soon...

It's school holiday time and sites are packed, and we are going on a cruise in August, so we will probably have a break from the caravan until September.

3 Jul 2017

Grassington

1st to 3rd July 2017

Our third weekend in a row away, which we think is something we have never done before.  Our aim is to be away every other weekend.


Wharfedale CC site has been closed for refurbishment, and has just re-opened a week earlier than planned (which probably explains why it wasn't full).  The layout is unchanged, we think, but the facilities have been upgraded and they are now very good indeed.  The CC sites at Hawes and Castleton are being refurbished, too, and we can't wait to see what they look like later in the year.

Saturday

Back to a Saturday start, but we had no trouble finding a reasonable pitch when we got there at 12.30.


Not a good start when D reversed the caravan into the pitch marker, but no harm done (to the caravan).

Last week we had a friendly robin, this week a friendly blackbird.


After setting things up we walked into Grassington, which is just under two miles away and a bit hilly!  Grassington festival was on from 16th June to 1st July.  We got there at 3pm on 1st July!  Oh well, maybe next year.  All we got to see was Back Chat Brass, who we thought were pretty entertaining.



We had a couple of drinks in a couple of pubs, the went back to the site for a barbecue.  However, wind and rain made us give up on the barbecue, so instead we had a quiet night in the caravan listening to music and reading.

Sunday

No early start today as the walk we had planned relied on buses, and there aren't many on a Sunday in this area!

We drove to Buckden, got a bus back to Kettlewell and then walked back to Buckden via Buckden Pike (702 metres).  The bus journey was an experience in itself, with tractors and motorhomes squeezing past the bus with inches to spare.


It was a good day for walking...not too hot, plenty of cloud around to provide shade.  Navigation was easy too, following a wall for most of the way.






We stopped off in Kettlewell on the way back and had a drink in one of the pubs.  Lots of Timothy Taylor beers around here, which isn't a bad thing!  We really like the look of Kettlewell and there is a small caravan site just outside the village...if only the roads weren't so narrow and twisty.

It was after 6 when we got back to the site and we were barbecuing by 7.  We thought about walking into Grassington, especially because there was loud music coming from a nearby motorhome, but time was against us and the music stopped and we were pretty tired after the day's walk...  We had another quiet night in.

Monday

It rained a bit as we were packing up, but apart from that it was an uneventful journey home.

Coming soon...

A break of a couple of weeks, then two nights in newly refurbished Hawes and two nights in Windermere, for the Hawkshead Brewery summer beer festival.




25 Jun 2017

Ambleside

23rd to 25th June 2017

At last, a traditional Friday start, two night trip!  Not a lot of choice due to our favorite sites being full, so it was off to a packed Skelwith Fold.

Friday


We've been to this site a few times, but this time we couldn't remember what the earliest arrival time was!  Erring on the side of caution we set off quite late and got there around 1.30.  Our first choice pitches were taken, so we had to settle for a not so good one.


It made us think about all of the pitches we have ever had, and we realised that the pitch we had last week in Nantwich was the best we have ever had, anywhere.

Like last week, there wasn't much interest in our bird feeder, except for a very friendly robin.


As is customary when we come to this site, we headed straight for the Drunken Duck pub, which is a great place to sit outside.  No room inside, though, they were turning people away who hadn't booked for dinner.


We saw a deer on the way back, and a horse.  The horse was much friendlier.



Saturday

When we got up the people next to us were packing up, leaving a day early because of noise from a couple of motorhomes.  We heard a bit of noise in the night, but we've heard worse.  We must have slept through the worst of it!

A walk from the site today, to nearby Loughrigg fell.





We carried on to Grasmere, where we had a quick drink in Tweedies bar, before getting two buses back to the site.



In the evening we got another bus into Ambleside for dinner and jazz in Zeffirellis.  Artichoke ravioli for D, pesto Stefano for J.  The band were called Quay Change.


Then a pre booked taxi back to the site and a bit of a shock when we found out the fare for the three mile journey was £22.  We won't use Lakeside taxis again!  Quite an expensive day of travel, this coming on top of our £11 bus tickets!

There was loud music coming from the motorhomes when we got back, but it did stop at 11. Not sure how long it had been going on, we would have been fuming if we had had to put up with it all night.

Sunday

The Kia Sportage has hill start assist, which made light work of the nasty hill start at Clappersgate which has caused D so much trouble in the past.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, but we might continue the theme of back to back trips and go away next weekend if the weather is ok.