29 Mar 2011

Highs and Lows at Castlerigg Hall

We’ve been wanting to go to Castlerigg Hall, Keswick, for a long time, but it seems to be permanently full.  Expectations were very high!

site sign

We booked this a couple of months ago, before we got the new caravan.  New van, new site…what could possibly go wrong?

A real rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, hardly know where to start.

Was a bit apprehensive about towing the new caravan because it is bigger and heavier than the old one, but no problems at all.

Day 1

Arrived about 2pm on the Friday.  First impression…what a great view (all too soon hidden by other caravans!).


A quick wander around the site revealed excellent toilets and showers, a shop, a restaurant  and a small pub just outside the entrance.

Walked down the hill to Keswick for  the customary post setup drink and a look around the shops, then staggered back up the hill.  Site reviews on ukcampsite  weren’t exaggerating about how steep it was.

Popped into the site shop, to find it sold bottles of Loweswater Gold, D’s favourite tipple, and Haystacks which comes very close. Today seems too good to be true!

Back in the caravan we found the shower tray full of water,  and traced it to the shower attachment tap.  Managed to wrestle a bit of the sink unit off to reveal a split pipe just where it enters the tap.  No water tonight!  Luckily we have just got wireless broadband so a quick Google found a caravan spares shop….over 30 miles away in Kendal!

After dinner (but can’t wash up, shame) we headed for the Crag Bar, which is part of the Heights Hotel.  Spirits lifted somewhat on discovering it also stocks Loweswater Gold, and after a couple of pints D finally cheered up (and pinched a beer mat for his growing collection)

Day 2

To start the day, a two hour round trip to Kendal to get something to stop the leak.  Managed to get some stoppers and capped off the pipes that feed the shower.

Too late to go for a proper walk, which had been the plan, so we walked to the Castlerigg stone circle instead.  Not exactly Stonehenge, but much better than expected!


A night in, with dinner in the caravan again.  We are getting used to not having a microwave and cooking ‘real’ food.  Tonight was chicken stir fry whipped up in 10 mins

Then the discovery of a second leak, this time from the pressure switch under one of the seats.  We only discovered it when we noticed the wet carpet.  Morale low! A tip for anybody reading this…if the water pump operates for no reason, check it out it could be a leak.

D adjusted the switch and the water stopped squirting out…and it hasn’t leaked since.  We can’t understand why, leaks don’t normally fix themselves!  Will replace the pressure switch just in case.

Day 3

Today’s walk, postponed from yesterday is Walla Crag – Ashness Bridge – High Seat – Bleaberry Fell.  About 7.5 miles, high point 608 metres.  A three pin walk!  What’s a three pin walk?


Well, there are 214 “Wainwrights” on the map, the red pins at the bottom get moved up when we have done them.  We’ve only done about forty in  two years,  so a long way to go yet.  Three in one day is very good for us!


IMG_1616 IMG_1620

Lovely weather, we even caught the sun a bit!  A bit boggy in places, which is when D discovered that one of his boots had a split in it.  Then J slipped over and soaked her trousers!


Back at the site, D started on the bottles of Loweswater Gold and we enjoyed the silence of an almost empty site.  There was only one other caravan in the bit we were in, with six empty pitches.  We must do more Sundays.

Great sunset!


We had intended to eat in the on site restaurant but of course it isn’t open on Sundays, just our luck.  Went to the site shop again and bought all the Loweswater Gold they had, 12 bottles in all!

Ravenous after all that walking, we drove into Keswick to find some food(didn’t fancy the walk back up the hill).  The trio of game in one of the pubs caught D’s eye, and J went for the trio of pork.  Ordered, tucked into the complimentary roll, but 45 minutes later…no food.

The waiter was very apologetic and offered us the meal and another drink for free.  Don’t know about you, but we don’t mind waiting 45 minutes for a free dinner!  And very nice it was, too (and a saving of £40!)

Back on site, a quick drink in the Crag Bar.  As a memento, the barman allowed D to keep the Loweswater Gold pint glass.  He’d had 5 pints by that point (2 of them free with dinner)  so felt quite bold asking!.

Spirits well and truly lifted by the time we collapsed into bed!


Day 4

Uneventful journey home.  Drained all the water out of the caravan and opened the taps, just in case!

Final low of the trip…discovering that the camera settings had somehow been changed to low quality, so lots of pics but not very good quality.

All in all, a great trip in spite of the lows.  Will definitely go back there if we can ever get a free pitch!

Castlerigg Hall


  • Great location
  • Excellent facilities
  • Superb views (if you get a pitch with a view)
  • Short(ish) walk into Keswick (although quite steep coming back)


  • Always seems to be fully booked and minimum three night bookings

Coming soon

A weekend of repairs for D, followed by a trip somewhere near a caravan spares shop!

No comments: