23 May 2011

In the forest


No chance of D getting Friday off work, so for this weekend we chose somewhere easy to get to and close to home.  The C&CC site at Delamere Forest in Cheshire.


We came here when we first started caravanning, not long after the site opened, when everything was new and the bushes were just twigs sticking out of the ground.

Friday 20th May

After quickly replacing the leaky skylight before setting off, we arrived late afternoon and asked for a quiet pitch not too near the toilets.  Of course, we ended up in the furthest corner of the site, as far away from the toilets as it’s possible to get without leaving the site.  We don’t like being too close to the facilities but as the weekend wore on we started to have a rethink.

A nice man led us to our pitch and expertly directed D onto it.  So clear and precise were the instructions that D didn’t even have to look behind as the caravan eased it’s way effortlessly onto the pitch.  Now, if only J could do the same at other sites!  She normally just stands around looking bored, usually out of sight!


After the water pooling problems of last weekend we spent a long time putting the awning up this time!

No post set-up trip to a pub this weekend, instead a quick drive into Frodsham to get some cash, then back to the site in time to catch the mobile fish and chip van.

The site is right next to Delamere forest, so after dinner we walked through the trees to the nearest pub, just under a mile away, The Carriers Inn.  More of a restaurant than a pub, so we felt a bit out of place in jeans and trainers!  Not very nice beer, either!  Nice place for a meal, though.

Walked back through the forest in the dark, our way illuminated by our trusty three led windup torch.  A bit spooky for J (worried about badgers and goodness knows what else), but to D it felt safer than walking back from a pub on the estate where we live!


Visitors today.  Being close to home, J’s mother and her partner (let’s call them LR and DC) popped in to see us in the afternoon.  DC very keen on caravan life but not so keen on towing!  Lots of talk of hiring a motorhome later in the year, prompted by a visit to the nearby Discover caravan shop to look at very expensive motorhomes.

Then a short drive to The Shady Oak pub in Tiverton.  A really nice pub alongside a canal.  Too cold to sit outside, obviously, but a very nice lunch.

After saying farewell to our guests, we walked through the forest to a different pub, The Goshawk.  It took a bit longer than we thought, over an hour away.  Again, more of a restaurant than a pub but much better beer.

*** Best beer of the weekend – Piffle – only available at Woodward and Falconer pubs unfortunately ***


Homeward bound, listening to Debbie Harry’s choice of desert island discs.  Not at all what you would expect.

Hardly any pics this time, probably because it was too close to home and everything so familiar.

Delamere C&CC site


  • Right next to the forest, so excellent cycling and “Go Ape” for the kids
  • Good facilities
  • Good sized pitches
  • Mobile fish and chip van on Friday and mobile pizza van on Saturday
  • A few pubs within walking distance, and a Chinese restaurant


  • For us, too close to  home to feel like a real break

Coming soon…a weekend off, then three nights in Ravenglass (still D’s favourite site, although Park Coppice is not far behind).

PS…if you want to appear on TV with Paul Merton check out the comment on our Bala post.  We are far too timid, of course!

16 May 2011

Welcome to the caravan club

We forgot to take a picture of the site entrance sign!

When we started caravanning we joined the Camping and Caravanning Club instead of the Caravan Club…can’t really remember why.  Well, now we’ve joined the CC as well.  We like their online booking system, especially the late availability bit, and they don’t insist on a deposit when booking.  Good news if we have to cancel, but probably explains why a lot of their sites are permanently fully booked!

Our first trip out after getting the caravan serviced.  This caravan is turning into a bit of a money pit!

Also, first trip with our new towcar, a Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi.  The much maligned (by motoring experts) Fiat Stilo 1.9JTD was a good, inexpensive towcar for a small caravan, but just a bit lightweight for this caravan.  Getting on for 60,000 miles, lots of squeaks and rattles, time to go.

The Mondeo looks better, is nicer to drive, more powerful, heavier and generally feels better put together.  Let’s hope it will be as reliable as the Stilo!

Looking forward to a year of trouble free motoring and caravanning, cos there’s no more money left!!

Friday 13th May

We arrived early afternoon and were told to choose our own pitch.  This is usually an invitation for a bit of an argument and this was no exception!  Luckily there were plenty of pitches available.

Pitches are mostly arranged in circular clusters, which doesn’t make for easy manoeuvring!

This site has recently reopened after refurbishment and it shows in the facilities blocks – there are 3 of them and its the first time we have encountered a site with more showers than toilets!  There was a block opposite us and we had it to ourselves for the whole weekend.

After saying in previous posts how easy the awning is to put up, we had a bit of a struggle this time but got there in the end.


No problem with overcrowding here!

Coniston is about a mile away from the site as the crow flies, but we are not crows!  The route we chose to walk was about 2.25 miles, through another campsite and sailing club.  There is a quicker route, about 1.25 miles, but not as nice.

Four pubs in Coniston and we tried three of them, with the Sun Inn becoming our pub of choice for the weekend.  Well, with 8 real ales on tap and comfy leather chairs, why go anywhere else. The only downside was no decent beermats to pinch to add to the collection!

*** Best beer of the weekend – Langdale (Cumbrian Legendary Ales) – even nicer than Loweswater Gold! ***

Rushed back to the site to catch the visiting fish and chip van and dined in the awning.


Afterwards we walked to the nearest pub to the site, the Ship Inn, but it was packed so we didn’t stay long and went back to the caravan instead.


It rained quite a bit overnight and we awoke to find that the skylight was leaking a bit and water was pooling on the awning roof.  Leaving the skylight open and tilted fixed the leak problem, but we will have to replace the cover soon!  More expense!  We adjusted the awning a bit.

We left the site around 11am, our objective Dow Crag (778 metres), it’s summit slightly obscured by clouds.


Passed through a disused quarry with a spectacular waterfall.  How refreshing to stand underneath it on a hot summers day, but this is basically a hole in the ground with very steep sides, so pretty inaccessible.


The forecast was for heavy showers and it was spot on!

IMG_1771  IMG_1770

The joys of walking!

There was no mention of high winds, but getting near the top it was a struggle just to stay upright.  So much so that we turned back before reaching the summit, leaving this walk unfinished.  A bit wimpish you might think, but you really had to be there!  Felt like we had been sandblasted.


Back at base we cleared the pool of water on the awning roof again and adjusted it a bit more!

After dinner in the caravan we headed for Coniston and had a few drinks in the Sun Inn.


Woke up to the sound of rain, and not a shower this time.  Had to pack everything away in the rain, including the awning, which wasn’t very pleasant and reminded us of our camping days.  We discovered that we had the corner bits of the awning frame on the wrong way around, which is probably what caused the water pooling problem…duh!!

Park Coppice


  • Near to Coniston
  • No less that 7 pubs within walking distance
  • Unregimented pitches, set amongst trees
  • Quiet areas for couples
  • Not so quiet areas for families, near to play areas
  • Excellent facilities, recently refurbished, no push buttons on showers and adjustable temperature
  • Visiting fish and chip van


  • Could do with a bigger shop on site

Very highly recommended, we will definitely be back soon and this has joined our list of favourite sites.  The Caravan Club gets a big thumbs up from us. 

Coming soon…

Delamere C&CC site in Cheshire, a bit nearer to home.