24 May 2010

The Not So Quiet Site!

About Us

We have been meaning to go to the Quiet Site, Ullswater, for a long time.  Good reviews and a quaint looking bar.  Being called The Quiet Site - expectations were high.

Day 1

After a very uneventful drive, we arrived and were greeted by a cute cat outside reception…usually a good sign.

First disappointment was the pitch.  A bit of grass this time, but surrounded by statics (which seemed to be looking down on us).  Not very level either, so back to reception to borrow some wooden blocks!

On the way back we noticed a second pitching area further up the hill.  Nice pitches, no statics and views of the surrounding countryside.  Uncharacteristically brave, D headed back to reception to ask if we could change pitches, but the answer was a firm  no…all booked.  D checked later and they were still empty…hmmm!  Back to the worst pitch on the site – on a corner right  next to the facilities, so everyone tramped across our bit of grass.  Kept hoping someone would trip over the hook up lead but alas..!!

Next disappointment for D was the toilet block.  Recently refurbished but oh so cramped.  For J it was the bathroom…full of spiders and not very clean.

Yet again the water pump played up, but after taking it apart and looking like he knew what he was doing, D got it working again for the rest of the weekend.

Not a good start, so we decided to walk down the hill about a mile and a half to the Brackenrigg Inn for a pint or three.  D very impressed with the view and the Loweswater Gold, so spirits lifted!



The walk down the hill was very pleasant, but what goes down must go up so it was a bit of a slog getting back!

After a BBQ we decided to try the onsite bar, only to be greeted by…a roaring log fire…on the hottest day of the year so far!  Oh dear.  That, and the sound of screaming kids in a soft play area upstairs sent us back to the van with our tails between our legs. 

We chose this site as the website promised it would live up to it’s name, but it’s completely geared towards young  families.  The pub is more of an entertainment complex - if we wanted a Haven holiday we would have gone on one!  I don’t think we have ever been more disappointed with a site (except for one on a working farm in Wales which we had to leave after one miserable night!)

Day 2

Woke early to the sounds of the family next door playing guitar – very badly!

No major expedition planned this time, just a stroll around Haweswater reservoir in the afternoon.

But first a trip to Penrith to get hats…sunstroke a very real possibility today!  J got a nice brown one.  Factor 50 suntan lotion ensured that no exposed bits got burnt!


We have been to Haweswater many times, but this time we decided to start at the other end – Burnbanks.  A collection of cottages built to house the workers who built the reservoir, and a very nice place to live we think.

A pleasant walk with lots of rests due to the heat, and as is becoming normal these days an encounter with the remains of a sheep!


Unimpressed with the onsite bar, it was back to the Brackenrigg Inn in the evening for more Loweswater Gold.  Weather still very mild so sat outside.

On the way back in semi darkness, we came across a stray cow in the road who seemed to be more drunk than us!  Forgot the torches but J found a credit card sized one that the RAC sent to try and get us to join – there was more light coming out of the cow’s eyes!


Day 3

An early start. No point hanging around!

A bit of a panic back at the caravan storage place because all the pitches had been rearranged!

The Quiet Site


  • Nice pitches if you get one on the upper field
  • Pleasant walk to decent pub


  • Toilets very cramped
  • Bar too quirky for us

As you can imagine, we probably wont return to this site! 

Coming soon…three nights in a massive, midge infested (according to reviews) forest site in Wales on the busiest bank holiday weekend of the year – must remember the insect repellent!!!

9 May 2010

Rivendale – Peak District


It’s been a few years since we visited the Peak District, so this trip was long overdue!

This time we took the bikes, as the Tissington Trail was just across the road.  A bit of a struggle getting them and the caravan attached, with much cursing from one of us, while the other just watched.  Guess who cursed and who watched!  Bit of a long journey due to the volume of traffic going through Stockport.

Rivendale lies within the Derbyshire Dales part of the Peak District known as The White Peak, due to the whiteness of the limestone rock which makes up the spectacular gorges, cliffs and caves for which the area is famous for.

DSCF1460 A bit of grass would have been nice!

We last stayed at this site four years ago when we had the tent, and we were put in the ‘wild camping’ field. It was indeed wild with only a portacabin for the facilities and just curtains for showers (no doors!) As you can imagine, we were quite excited at the prospect of being allowed into the posh ones!

We were put on a pitch near the toilets (a bonus for J who always gets lost coming back at night).  Again, no grass, just gravel even though there were much nicer pitches available.

Within an hour of setting up, we befriended a cute cat having a rest near our caravan. Within a few minutes, it had been enticed back and was around pretty much the whole weekend.


Before dinner we had a short cycle ride to Biggin, which was a few miles along the trail.  The Waterloo Inn and adjoining caravan site were at the bottom of a steep road.  Felt like two of the Famous Five freewheeling down it – not so much fun going back up! Had a quick drink then back to the site.

Didn’t go to the on site pub as we weren’t keen on it last time and thought it would probably be full anyway, due to it being the only pub for miles around.  Had a barbecue instead, but it was too cold to eat outside.

Day 2

Up late as weather not looking so good.  We had planned to cycle to Matlock, some 20 miles away, but instead drove to Thorpe for a short walk around Dovedale and up Thorpe Cloud.  A popular place for families and walking groups.  It’s a huge limestone hill dating back to 350 million years ago.



DSCF1468 Had to cross via stepping stones

As it was brightening up we decided to walk along the river for a bit, and ended up walking another four miles, so about six in total.  Came across some very friendly sheep, which were obviously used to people.


Soon came to Dove Holes, these caves were created by water wearing out the soft limestone cliffs.


D too scared to go across the stepping stones on the way back - even the sight of a small child skipping over them didn’t reassure him. Walked along the other side of the river, but backfired badly as we had to climb up a very steep, muddy hill to get back on the main path.  If we hadn’t had tree roots and boulders to grab hold of, we would have slid down into the river!

Back at base, D was determined to make bringing the bikes worthwhile and went for a ride on the Tissington trail.  J didn’t fancy the wintry conditions, so read her book instead.  Then dinner, some wine and bed.

Time to go home

Cat back again, but arrived too late for a bit of bacon.  Very tempted to smuggle it home!  Traffic much better coming back. No major mishaps this time, apart from D blocking a drain by emptying the waste water down the wrong hole!