20 May 2012

Almost Geo-caching in North Yorkshire

18th to 20th May 2012

What has happened to summer 2012?  Or even spring 2012?  No sign of it yet apart from a week or so ages ago.

We are not ones to be put off by bad weather, so it’s off to North Yorkshire for a two night stay at the CC site near Hawes.


We came here last year, so we knew it was a good site – as is usually the case with the Caravan Club.

It’s only a short stroll into Hawes, which has a few reasonable pubs, and a slightly longer stroll the other way to Hardraw, which has the Green Dragon Inn.


The journey took quite a long time because a lot of it is on A roads, but was very picturesque with Ingleborough one one side and Whernside on the other.  We really must climb one of the big three in Yorkshire soon.  Stopped about 30 minutes before the site at a popular viaduct and had a cup of tea and some home made cakes from a refreshment van

We drove around the site a bit before settling for a pitch at the top of the site.  By the time we realised how bad the left to right slope was, we had unhitched and it was too late to move.  We got used to it after a while – one trip early in our caravanning days took us to a site that was so sloping the fridge wouldn’t work!

When we came here last year we couldn’t get any DAB stations on the radio but this time, armed with a new DAB dipole aerial, we got quite a few, including Absolute 80s and 6 Music…D likes one and J the other…guess which!

Had a go at fixing the broken awning pole and it probably would have been okay, but we couldn’t be bothered putting it up for two nights.

Instead, we headed into Hawes to visit the Wensleydale Cheese Creamery and bought some cheese and bottles of beer.  Then we had a couple of drinks in The Fountain, and ended up eating there. Very cheap burger meal for under a fiver.  Found a great pub joke book.  Here’s an example…

  • Q. What do you call a woman with one leg longer than the other?
  • A. Eileen.
  • Q. What do you call a Chinese woman with one leg longer than the other?
  • A. Irene.

Spent the rest of the evening in the caravan listening to the radio, the wind and the rain!

Saturday 19th

Weather a bit better, so we set off for Muker and walked from there to Keld and back by a different route.  About 6.5 miles, no real summits.


We had noted down co-ordinates for a geo-cache, but forgot them.  From memory, D got them from the OS map but then one of us (!) entered them incorrectly into the GPS, so we missed it.  No problem, we were coming back this way so would get it on the way back.

Grey skies = rubbish pics = no gallery this week.  Here are a couple of pics that give you an idea of the scenery.





How long has this been here?

A pleasant walk, despite the grey skies.

Had another look for the cache on the way back, and although we narrowed it down to a clump of holly bushes we just couldn’t find it. The fact it was inside said prickly bush, put us off looking too hard!

Stopped off in Hawes on the way back and had a look in a second hand book shop.  A great find for D…“Narrowboat Dreams” by Steve Haywood, which would be the subject of another blog if D has his way…and wins the lottery!

Off to the Green Dragon, Hardraw, after dinner in the caravan.  Just over a mile away, this is one of our favourite pubs from last year.

It was acoustic night, but we couldn’t squeeze into the room where that was happening.  Instead we settled for a quiet corner at the back of the pub where we could still hear the music.  It was very folksy.

We really like this pub, it has loads of character, log fires, a good selection of local beers.  And a huge, fluffy cat curled up on the bar.  No TV, no music apart from the live stuff…perfect.


Weather much better today…it always is when we are leaving!  Left early so that J could listen to all of the Archers on the way home. Very uneventful journey, and just over 2 hours back to the storage facility.

Coming soon…

Nothing booked until a three night stay at the C&CC site in Ravenglass in the middle of June.  We might try somewhere close to home before then if we can find anywhere that isn’t fully booked.  Even the sites that never get full are fully booked around the jubilee bank holidays!

14 May 2012


11th to 14th May 2012


Three days instead of the usual two, Park Coppice one of our favourite sites, the area around Coniston one of our preferred locations in Cumbria…we were looking forward to a great weekend…until we checked the weather forecast!

Friday 11th

Arrived around 2pm only to be informed that our favourite part of the site was closed because the site wasn’t very full.  No problem we thought, it’s a massive site and there are loads of pitches to choose from.  Too much choice, in fact, as we drove around aimlessly, looking for the perfect pitch.  After much arguing we settled for one just about as far away from the facilities as it is possible to get!  Of course, being in a forest, the pitches tend to slope a bit.  Our first choice was so bad that we moved to the neighbouring one, but still had to have the front of the van as low down as it would possibly go.

We were intending to put up the awning this weekend, but discovered that a clamp on one of the poles was broken, so much for that idea!


After setting everything up we strolled into Coniston.  There are four pubs in the centre and all are really nice.  Our favourite from our last visit was The Sun Hotel, so we started there.  TC, the pub cat, put in an appearance but wasn’t very friendly!

Then we decamped to The Black Bull Inn and had a very nice meal, then on to The Crown Inn.

Saturday 12th

According to the weather forecast, the best day of the weekend, so we headed into the hills to the west of Coniston, the main objective being Caw, 500 metres.


Our route


Caw in the distance…a long way still to go!

Regular readers will know that we are borderline sheep fetishists and often include pictures of cute sheep and lambs that we encounter on our travels.  But we wouldn’t like to meet these two without a fence between us…



There aren’t any footpaths to the summit of Caw on our (probably out of date) OS map, so we had to find our own way up it.  We decided to follow Broadslack Beck and even traced it to it’s source…


The source of Broadslack Beck

…and then scrambled up to the summit.  It was a bit of a slog walking up wet grass but we made it



There are more pics in the gallery, but here is D’s favourite pic of the day…


D slipped on wet grass on the way down and landed on his shoulder, but thankfully nothing broken, just a slight sprain and a very wet behind! 

Stopped off at Coniston on the way back for supplies as the weather was keeping dry, and we decided to chance having a barbecue.

We do seem to be having trouble lighting these lately, and this weekend was no exception, even with 4 lighting cubes and a generous squirt of  bbq fluid.  D gave up and retreated inside the caravan, but J didn’t, and lovingly coaxed it back to life. We managed to produce some burgers and sausages so didn't go hungry after all.

Stayed in the caravan in the evening, praying we wouldn't end up with food poisoning!

Park Coppice is a great site but radio reception is very poor and we couldn’t get any DAB or FM stations.  Luckily we had some cd’s in the car.

Sunday 13th

Awoke to reasonable weather and after a leisurely breakfast we drove to Ambleside and had a wander around.  We stumbled upon Sheila's Cottage – a tearoom tucked away down a quiet lane.  Enjoyed cake, scones and some really nice large leaf Ceylon tea.   This is supplied by John Farrer's of Kendal,  and J now wants to buy some, and also a nice teapot!

On the way back we decided to call into one of D’s favourite pubs, The Drunken Duck Inn.  We sat inside as the weather was pretty cold, but it wasn’t the same - one of his highlights of last year was sitting outside under the canopy,  looking at the view as it poured down with rain!

Then we stopped at Coniston on the way back.  D thought he might watch the football but we ended up in the (empty) Yewdale Hotel instead.  Probably empty due to the lack of a TV.  Very exciting it would have been, had they had one.

The plan for the evening was to walk to The Church House Inn, Torver, for dinner and stay for their Sunday night pub quiz.  The walking bit didn’t happen because it started to rain quite heavily, so we drove instead.  This meant that we couldn’t drink much, which was probably a good thing!

Only four teams and we came third, so could have been worse!

A really nice pub with friendly locals, especially Millie the dog…


Struggled to get to sleep later, as the rain continued throughout the night and the wind howled.  And D’s shoulder was still aching.

Monday 14th

Up early (due in part to D’s painful shoulder!), and away by 9.30. 

Here are some more pics…

 Coming soon…

A return to Hawes, Yorkshire.

3 May 2012


27th to 29th April 2012


The CC site at Castleton is one of our favourite sites but it’s usually fully booked, so we were pleased to find a vacancy when looking at the last minute for somewhere to go this weekend.


Undeterred by the weather forecast, we set off and arrived early afternoon.  The best pitches here, we think, are in a small cul-de-sac off the main site and we managed to get one.  Not too far from the facilities and no passing traffic.

No awning…again!

Every time we come here we end up drinking too much, so we spent a bit of time lounging around the caravan and doing a few odd jobs before heading to the pubs.

We ended up in the Cheshire Cheese Inn and couldn’t resist the wild boar casserole on their early bird menu.  Two meals for £10. No contest when all you’ve got is sausages in the fridge!

Then we popped back to the caravan for a bit, the plan being to return to Ye Olde Nags Head for their Friday night pub quiz.  But, “plans can fall through, as so often they do” and we couldn’t get in…it was packed.  A bit disappointing, but we probably wouldn’t have done very well anyway, so we headed back to the caravan with our tails between our legs.  After a quick drink in another pub by way of consolation.


The original plan for today was an exploration of Kinder Low and Kinder Downfall, but the Kinder plateau is probably not a good place to be in bad weather and the forecast was not good.  Oh, and D had a bit of a cold!

So we opted for something more gentle, a stroll around the Derwent and Howden reservoirs.  Too far to walk all the way around, so we parked at the Fairholme visitor centre and got a bus to the top of Howden reservoir.

The weather was nowhere near as bad as expected, so we decided to take a detour up into the hills, to Margery Hill (546 metres) and Howden Edge.  A bit breezy at the top, but the reward was excellent views of the surrounding moors.  We somehow managed to miss the summit trig point of Margery Hill (didn’t even know there was one), but we were winging it and hadn’t prepared for this walk at all.


Howden Edge

Like many places around here, some interesting rock formations.




J sheltering from the wind…it may not look it but it was actually quite cosy here!

A bit of excitement too, as we watched a yellow helicopter hover lower and lower before disappearing out of view.  By the time we got to where it was, the rescue (if it was that) was over and the helicopter was gone.  It’s nice to know they are there if we ever need them. 


About 7 miles in total and a lot more strenuous than intended.  Kinder Downfall would have probably been easier!


Looking up at the Derwent reservoir dam.

Dinner in the caravan, with chips from the visiting fish and chip van and home cooked sausages.

Not much to listen to on the radio, we couldn’t get any stations at all on DAB and only one on FM…High Peak radio!  Instead we returned to Ye Olde Nags Head, which was much quieter tonight.


At last, the bad weather that had been threatening all weekend.  Rainy, windy, cold…hardly ideal conditions for putting everything away.  D donned waterproofs and did the outside bits while J took care of the inside.  Oops, D forgot to put the jockey wheel up but luckily a eagle-eyed fellow caravanner stopped us before we got off the site!

Not a very pleasant journey home, and it was still raining when we got to the caravan storage place so another soaking for D!  J stayed in the car, no point in us both getting wet!

The first trip for ages where we (well, D) couldn’t sit outside the caravan, even for a few minutes.  Not so long ago we were barbecuing!

Not a great weekend for pics…

 Coming soon…

A bit of time at home, then a three (or maybe four if the weather is okay) night stay at Park Coppice, Coniston.