23 Jul 2012

Here comes the summer!

20th to 23rd July 2012

At last, a decent weather forecast.  No extra fleeces and waterproof clothing needed this time, instead insect repellent and sun tan lotion.  Summer 2012 has arrived.

We visited Oxon Hall  just outside Shrewsbury earlier this year and liked it so much we thought another visit was in order.  Probably the only negative thing to say about this site is that they only give you one key to the facilities block.


On arrival we were allocated pitch no. 83.  Not the best pitch on the site but not the worst either.  It was the 3rd pitch from the entrance so we got a lot of cars going past, and also most of the other caravanners going to and from the toilet!


Time for a bit of reading and a glass of wine after setting everything up

We took a quick stroll to a nearby pub for a really cheap dinner and one drink!  Note, just one drink…probably would have been more but the range of real ales was non existent.  Luckily the local Co-op had an excellent selection of locally produced bottled beers, most of which D sampled.

Put up the awning and sat outside the caravan in the evening, which is something we haven’t really been able to do so far this year.  Ah, I remember, this is what caravanning is all about.


Awoke to sunshine, albeit a bit hazy with plenty of cloud cover.  The plan for today a trip to Church Stretton and a walk up onto the Long Mynd, which means long mountain.  High point Pole Bank at 516 metres, about 8 miles in total.  Here’s the route…




Pausing for refreshments


A monument with a dial at the top pointing out all of the mountains that can be seen, including Cadair Idris and Snowdon in the distance, so pretty good views.



Searched for a geocache at the end of the walk.  Took a while but soon found a large metal ammo case.  Very exciting, because there were lots of muggles around (Muggles are  non geocachers who may steal or  move the cache) We watched  a family searching around the bottom of a tree nearby, who looked like they could have been searching for the cache themselves.

Also came across a very good tyre swing, and D couldn’t resist having a go!

Sat around the caravan in the evening, after a very successful barbecue.


J listened to the Archers and then we decided to catch a bus into Shrewsbury…but there are no buses on a Sunday even in the town centre!  So instead we walked, partly alongside the river Severn, about three miles in blistering heat.  Finally staggered into town and enjoyed sandwiches in the park listening to a band playing big band music.  We got there too late and only heard a couple of songs. 

A taxi back to the site and then another (not quite as successful) barbecue and drinks around the caravan.  A very tiring day!

Not too much drinking this weekend!


Managed to put everything away, including the awning, by 9.30, so set off early.  Short journey of less than 90 mins back

Coming soon…

Three nights at Park Coppice, Coniston.

9 Jul 2012

Skelwith Fold

6th to 8th July 2012

We’ve been to Skelwith Fold a few times.  It has a couple of pubs within about a mile including the Drunken Duck, which is a great pub to sit outside on a nice summer’s evening.

As we left the number of flood warnings was rapidly approaching 100, with a month’s worth of rain in a day predicted for some areas.  Hey ho!


Arrived early and set everything up in record time.  No awning this time.


D needs a new pair of walking boots because his old ones are squeaking a lot, which is really annoying him!  So we drove into Ambleside and dashed in and out of all the outdoor shops to see what was available.  Didn’t buy anything, though, because they are bound to be cheaper online.  Can’t decide between different brands at the moment...Meindl or Lowa or Scarpa?

Afterwards we walked to the Drunken Duck and sat outside, but only for a few minutes.  It wasn’t raining but it was very windy and just a bit too chilly for J.  We retreated inside but this is only a okay pub inside, so we didn’t stay long.


A lovely day, plenty of blue sky, hardly any wind and no sign of the predicted rain.

Langdale is only  a short drive away, so we left early(ish) to tackle Loft Crag, Pike of Stickle, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.  High point Harrison Stickle, 736 mtrs.


This was only about five miles, but relentlessly steep going up and coming down, so lots of stopping to “admire the views”.  Excellent stepped paths throughout, and despite the steepness this has become one of D’s favourite lake district walks.



J on top of Harrison Stickle


I knew we should have brought another bottle of water!


Would have been funnier if she had fallen in!

Lots more pics in the gallery.

Had a drink in the Sticklebarn tavern before returning to the site.

We are full of admiration for the fellow caravanner who stood under an umbrella tending his barbecue as the rain hammered down.  We really should have captured it on film!  It was the only shower of the day, despite the dire warnings.

No barbecue for us, instead we booked a table at Zeffirellis, a vegetarian Italian restaurant in Ambleside.  At the last minute we decided to catch the bus rather than pay a fortune on  a taxi.  We brisk walked in our good clothes for 15 minutes and just caught the last one.  £6.60 for the two of us and only a ten minute journey, we should have called that cab!  Excellent food and nice surroundings…and lots of wine.  Upstairs is more of a wine bar with low lighting and table service for drinks. We got a bottle of the nice wine we had downstairs and settled down to watch the Joe Montague Quartet.  We could really get into jazz music, we think.  Thoroughly recommended if you are ever in Ambleside.



Homeward bound, listening to a surprisingly entertaining desert island discs featuring Martina Navratilova.

Coming soon…

Three nights in Shropshire.