15 Jul 2013

Bronte country

12th to 14th July 2013

Another new site for us, Upwood Holiday Park, Haworth.


We wanted to visit Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, and this looked like the best site around, so we took a chance on a non CC/C&CC site.  We’ve been lucky with new sites this year – Hendre Mynach, and Black Beck –  It’s a C&CC listed site so we had high hopes, but our luck was to run out!


We arrived around 1.30 after a not very nice drive through Halifax town centre and first impressions were not good.  The touring area is really just a big field, with pitches backing onto pitches, and the only good thing that can be said about this is that we could drive into the pitch, so no reversing.  We like to back onto something, a wall or a hedge or anything to provide a bit of privacy, but not this time.

No awning for two nights, so it didn’t take us long to set everything up. 


A very warm weekend, but we decided to walk about a mile into the nearby village of Oxenhope anyway.  We followed an easy footpath from the site only to find that there wasn’t much there.  Seems we arrived in the middle of a crime wave…


IMG_2500A blindfolded horse near the site…what don’t they want it to see…rampaging campers? 

Back at site after a quick drink in the only pub we could find, we got out the barbecue, as did almost everybody else.  We had a bit of a struggle lighting it in the wind, with only a few matches and a barely working firelighter, but we got it going in the end!

The open plan nature of the touring area, and the fact that we were right next to the camping area and children’s play area, and the hot weather, meant it was very noisy.  Much noisier than we are used to!

To escape the noise we walked up onto moorland near the site and watched the sunset (no pic because it wasn’t very good), but the noise continued when we got back…and on into the night!  Mainly from a big group of campers, but some caravans also.  A really annoying background din until around midnight!  The lady in the motorhome next to us had a good moan to D about it in the morning and said she was going to reception to complain, so it wasn’t just us being miserable!


Ok, a really noisy site, so we decided to spend as much time as possible away from it.  For some reason, all the campers kids stopped riding their scooters and bikes when they got to our caravan and started shouting instead.  We didn’t have a problem with them enjoying themselves, but their parents should have kept them nearer the play area.

We drove to Oxenhope, one end of the Keighley and Worth Valley railway line and bought day rover tickets for £15 each.  Travelled to Keighley first, but didn’t hang around long as there was nothing there but pound shops and the like, then got the train back to Haworth.  We could have got return tickets to Haworth for £5 each…doh!  A nice ride all the same, the seats were very springy!. One of the stops was Oakworth where The Railway Children was filmed, and they have kept the station as it was with the original metal advertising signs.




Haworth is a much nicer village, with plenty of interesting shops and several pubs.  One second hand book shop sold vintage beer mats and D was kicking himself later for not buying some to add to his growing collection! We had lunch before visiting the Bronte museum.  Who gets excited about salads?…D does…the best salad he has ever had in the UK apparently.

IMG_2525  Haworth Main Street

We got back to the site about 5pm had a quick shower (first coin operated ones we have seen in a long time) and went out again about 6pm, for a walk to Bronte Bridge and Top Withens, the location said to be the inspiration for the Earnshaw family home in Wuthering Heights.  A pleasant walk across moorland and we didn’t see any other walkers at all.  Must be popular with Japanese tourists…


IMG_2533 Bronte bridge



An easy walk of about 2.5 miles to the top, picking up a few geocaches on the way.

One of the rooms at Top Withens has a roof and door, and we toyed with the idea of spending the night there as there was a large wooden bench along one wall…how wild would that have been!  D really regrets it!  It would have been quieter than the site too.


IMG_2554 View from Top Withens

Popped into Haworth for a quick drink on the way back, and got back to the site around 11pm to find the party in full swing.  And so it went on…and on…and on…!


D almost got run over by someone taking a short cut between our caravan and the one next to us.  We didn’t hang around, we wont be going back to this site!


Coming soon…

The caravan is going in for repairs this week and we are cruising to Norway.  Might do a blog of the cruise, otherwise we will be back mid August…in Grassington.

3 Jul 2013

Our first visit to Loweswater

28th June to 1st July

Well, Ravenglass, really, but we decided to have a day trip to Loweswater because it is the only lake in Cumbria we have not visited before.  Well, not technically a lake as Bassenthwaite is the only true lake.  The rest are meres, waters or tarns.



Torrential rain made driving conditions less than ideal and it took a long time to get there.  We had requested a pitch overlooking neighbouring fields and got one, and the wardens manhandled the caravan into position for us, so no reversing for D this weekend.  An excellent idea, if only all sites would follow suit.

As the rain eased to drizzle, D donned waterproofs and set about setting everything up, including the awning.  J did all the usual indoor jobs, including the most important…putting the kettle on!

Quite often we spend Friday afternoons sitting in a pub, but we thought we’d have a change this weekend and went for a walk instead, the plan being to end up in a pub early evening for dinner and drinks.  We set off for the River Esk estuary but not on well trodden paths, and we ended up hacking our way through wet, waist high grass before emerging onto the “beach”. 


Far too wet and dishevelled to go into a pub, we went straight back to the caravan.  Nice to see Ravenglass from a different angle, and if you look closely you can just make out Sellafield in the distance.


It brightened up considerably, so much so we toyed with the idea of a barbecue but decided against it and had ravioli instead.  Then we popped into the village and had a couple of drinks at a couple of the pubs, and even managed to sit outside one for a while!


Up early today, for a drive of about an hour to Loweswater, and a walk including Low Fell (423 metres) and Fallbarrow (416 metres).  Mostly over grass, with some steep ascents, but nothing too strenuous.  Excellent views of Crummock Water and Buttermere.


IMG_2407Loweswater, Crummock Water and Buttermere 


IMG_2430 D at the summit of Fallbarrow

More pics in the gallery, although it wasn’t a great day (or weekend) for pics!

Afterwards, a quick drink in the Kirkstile Inn (a really nice nearby pub) They sold 8 pint kegs of Loweswater Gold but for some reason we didnt buy one.  Luckily the Cumbrian Legendary Ales website sells them.


We then popped into nearby Cockermouth, another place we have never been to.  It’s OK, but it’s not Ambleside or Grasmere!

The onset of light drizzle put paid to tonight’s barbecue, so instead we cooked some sausages inside the caravan and had a sort of barbecue in the awning, which was much better than it sounds.  Stayed in for the rest of the evening as the rain continued into the night.


A trip on the Ravenglass & Eskdale railway, to Boot, paid for with Tesco clubcard vouchers.


In Boot we went for a walk along the river Esk and did a bit of geocaching on the way.  Found four out of four, which is a bit of a record for us!



Then we had lunch (which turned out to be dinner) in the Brook House Inn, which is one of our favourite pubs and somewhere we might stay some time, when it’s too cold to get away in the caravan.  A Wensleydale and apple sandwich for D and ham and homemade chutney for J.

Freezing cold on the train on the way back…so much for summer 2013!  D kept dipping into a packet of pear drops we bought at the station, but later found his tongue had turned a funny colour, so we threw the rest away!

Had a rest in the caravan in the evening and then a stroll around the village and surrounding area as the weather improved…a bit.



When it got too cold (Could it get colder?!) we popped into the Ratty Arms but it was even more dead than usual…we were the only people in there…so we headed back to the caravan and had a bacon sandwich for supper and sat in the awning for a bit.


Awoke to the sound of light rain, but luckily it stopped in time for us to put the awning away relatively dry, and we left around 9.45 and were home by 1.

Coming soon…

Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters.