19 Sep 2011

Rainy Ravenglass

16th to 19th September 2011

Three nights in the sleepy village of Ravenglass, especially sleepy this time!

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Friday

Arrived early afternoon and allocated pitch no. 19.  A good pitch, which we’ve been on before, but we’ve been spoiled recently with huge Caravan Club pitches.  C&CC pitches are a lot smaller.  Took a while to reverse in, and a fellow caravanner even came out, to ask if we would like him to move his car – the shame!

Spent a lot of time putting the awning up in preparation for the heavy showers forecast;  correct tensioning, positioning of poles and storm straps paid off, with no water pooling problem this weekend.  And it did rain quite a bit!  There was a bit of panic when the electric wouldn’t work, but it turned out to be a tripped switch on the hook-up.

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Afterwards we headed into the village, to the Holly House Hotel, for a quick drink.  Full of very noisy locals so we didn’t hang around.  Saw a really big cat, so big we thought it was a dog at first!

Got back to the caravan to discover a leaking water pipe.  Not sure how, but a jubilee clip had come loose, perhaps from travelling over bumpy roads.  Anyway, it was easy to fix, just a bit annoying.

Stayed in the caravan in the evening listening to Absolute 80’s radio over the heavy rain and drinking red wine.

Saturday

Rain, rain, rain…!

A bit of a lie in today. We had originally planned to go walking  but after seeing the weather forecast we changed it to Sunday. 

D has cut a piece of card to go under the skylight mesh as we were waking up too early.  It certainly did the trick as we didn't  get up till 9.30.  Had a cooked breakfast instead of the usual rushed piece of toast, as we usually have to leave early to get a car parking space at wherever we are starting our walk from.

Caught the steam (actually diesel) train to Boot and had a wander around between showers.  The journey was courtesy of Tesco as the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway has been added to the clubcard deals.  Good job too as they wanted £24!

Boot is a nice little village with two pubs and not much else.  We did discover the Eskdale Watermill, though, a working mill open to the public and only £1.50 admission.  Managed to get past the guard cat!

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Stanley the cat!

Lots of old stuff inside, including a mangle which D gamely had a go of

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The watermill in action, note the torrential rain!

Had lunch and a couple of drinks in the Brook House Inn, one of our favourite pubs anywhere, then back to the site.

Found a battered Scrabble board in the information room and had a game as the rain hammered down.  J won by a mile!  Lots of tiles missing was D’s excuse.

Lost track of time a bit, so we didn’t go out until about 9.30.  Went to the Ratty Arms, which was very quiet.

Sunday

Up early(ish) for a long walk.  8.5 miles, including the summits of Haycock (797m), Scoat Fell (841m) and Red Pike (826m).  Lost our way a bit as the clouds descended,  but once they passed we managed to get back on track.  Might look into getting a GPS.  Very wet underfoot after Saturday’s downpours, so we spent a lot of time avoiding deep puddles which added to the time.   7.5 hours in total with just a few breaks for something to eat.   3 pins for the Wainwright map! A very welcome drink in the Wasdale Head Inn (another of our favourite pubs), then back to the Ratty Arms for dinner.

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More pics in the gallery.

Tried to cut down on the drinking a bit this weekend, so we left about 9.30.  As did everybody else!  The barman said he was expecting some locals later on, so a quiet night’s work for him!

Monday

Up early again, so enough time for a couple of award winning local sausages before packing everything up.  Uneventful journey took about 2.5 hrs.

We have done pros and cons for this site many times and it always scores well.  However, after being spoilt by the Caravan Club facilities they could do with a bit of cheering up.

4 Sep 2011

Castleton

2nd to 4th September 2011

Out first trip to Derbyshire this year.

The reason we go to Cumbria so much (apart from the scenery) is because all of our favourite sites are there and we haven’t found any we really like in Derbyshire, Wales, Shropshire etc.

But the Losehill Caravan Club site just outside Castleton gets a big thumbs up from us.

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Like all CC sites, the facilities are excellent, and there are plenty of them.  But the best thing about it, is that it is less than half a mile from Castleton, along a road which has pavement and street lights, which is handy after a few drinks!  The village is at the western end of Hope Valley and is popular with tourists with four show caves as well as Peveril Castle.

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Friday

After a two hour journey due to roadworks in Stockport, we arrived early afternoon and chose a quiet pitch (no. 89) just off the main site.  Plenty of empty spaces when we got there but it soon filled up.

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Got the awning up, complete with extra roof pole to prevent water pooling…not entirely successful but more about this later! After a quick sandwich and a piece of locally made bakewell tart, we strolled into Castleton to have a look around the castle.  It’s on a steep hill and it was a bit of a trek up the winding path

IMG_2262 The only part left was the keep built by Henry II in 1176

Halfway up was a welcoming bench, with a ginger cat that D took an instant shine to

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J not too keen though, as it wasn’t particularly cute!

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Swotting up on the history of the castle

Couldn’t find a bank anywhere.  It seems D got the village mixed up with one that did have one.  Just one free cash machine in the post office, but D’s bank was one of the few not accepted, so he had to get a loan off J.

So many pubs to choose from, it was difficult to know where to start.  But we had to start somewhere, so we popped into Ye Olde Nags Head, tempted by a sign saying that there was a pub quiz later.

Then into the Cheshire Cheese Inn.  Another nice pub, the early bird special (2 meals for £10) caught our eye and we stayed for pie and chips x 2.

After retreating to the caravan for a rest, we headed back to Ye Olde Nags Head for the pub quiz.  Didn’t do very well (31/50), but spirits lifted considerably when the barmaid came round with a large tray of complimentary sandwiches, followed by a bowls of chips for each team.  We were hoping for dessert too, but it never came!

Saturday

Up early (7am!) and off for a walk up Mam Tor (517 metres).  Back Tor, on the way, was actually more impressive (below).

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Horses for hobbits?

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Made it to the top!

Returned via Cavedale, with excellent views of the castle and the ridge we walked along earlier in the distance.  The castle is virtually unreachable from this side back in the olden days, so it was almost certainly never attacked

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Lots more pics in the gallery.

After a drink in the Castle Inn, another nice pub, we popped into a small cafe.  A cherry scone cream tea made J’s day, then back to the caravan for the rest of the afternoon.

In the evening we returned to the Cheshire Cheese Inn.  A lot busier than yesterday, but we still managed to get a table and noticed some games dotted around the place, so we played a couple of games of backgammon.  A couple a few tables away were playing scrabble.  How good is that?  No TV, no games machines, no loud music, no pool table, just people sitting around playing traditional games and chatting.  All of the pubs we tried in Castleton were excellent and thoroughly recommended, and the other three looked okay too.  All served nice beer, with Goldblade (O’Hanlons brewery) being D’s pick of the weekend.

Perhaps the pubs were a bit too nice, we worked out afterwards that we spent about £50 over two nights on drinks alone, does that make us binge drinkers?!

Sunday

Awoke to the sound of light rain.  Great, thought D, an opportunity to see if the extra roof pole had made a difference.  But it hadn’t, and there was a massive pool of water in the roof.  All it needed was a duck swimming in it!  Not sure what else to try.

Popped into Castleton for a sausage and bacon barm, then packed everything away (in the rain) and headed for home.

All in all, a very good trip with this site added to our list of favourites.  We will definitely be back, although we had to book this trip several months in advance so availability might be a problem.

Losehill Caravan Club site, Castleton

Pros

  • Excellent toilets and showers and plenty of them
  • Pitches well laid out and spacious
  • Only a short stroll to Castleton
  • Lots of good pubs
  • Lots of walks from the site, so no need to use the car

Cons

  • Struggling to think of any, maybe road noise a bit intrusive (why do middle aged men feel the need to buy motorbikes and race up and down country roads on them?) Moving to a different part of the site would sort that out.

Coming soon…

Three nights at Ravenglass C&CC site, still our (well, D’s) favourite site.