30 Jul 2014

The heatwave continues

25th to 27th July 2014

The (killer, according to the Daily Express) heatwave continues, as do our back to back trips.

No time to blog about last week’s trip to the Hawkshead Brewery beer festival, except to say D sampled lots of nice beers, probably one or two too many…

This weekend we were in Skelwith Fold, a site we have visited several times before.


Thinking the site would get pretty full, we arrived early and selected what looked like a good pitch.  It was only after we had unhitched the caravan that we noticed how sloping the pitch was, and the loud music coming from a nearby caravan.  There were other pitches and we could have moved…but we decided to put up with it.


Whenever we come here we usually head straight for the Drunken Duck Inn, but we thought we would be a bit different this time.  Instead we had a wander around the site and lounged around the caravan, before an early dinner.  Then it was off to the Drunken Duck, normally a great pub to sit outside and watch the world go by, but not so this evening.  It was packed!

We decided to cut or losses and walked back past the site to Skelwith Bridge.  The Talbot Bar, which is part of the Skelwith Bridge hotel, was much nicer.  Great beers and lots of space to sit outside, we have always neglected this pub in favour of the Drunken Duck, but next time…who knows?  It’s a bit like a football manager who has to choose between two star strikers, a difficult decision but a nice one to have to make.  It’s not really practical to pick both, they are in opposite directions as you come out of the site.  To continue the football analogy, the Drunken Duck has been relegated and the Talbot Bar has been promoted.


Too hot for any serious walking today, so we went for a stroll in the hills to the west of Ambleside.  About 5.5 miles in total.


We took our time and had plenty of stops to admire the view.  Sometimes these low level walks are better than slogging up a big hill, especially on a day like today.  Excellent views of Ambleside and Lake Windermere once we got to the top, but no pics.  It was a bit hazy, so the pics didn’t turn out as well as they might have, and we don’t post any pics that are less than perfect!



IMG_5380Lily tarn   IMG_5386Loughrigg tarn

A semi successful barbecue back at site, then we caught the last bus into Ambleside and headed to Zeffirellis.  The Hugo Corbin quartet were pretty good, but we only stayed for the first half of their set.  Walking in the heat of the day had taken it out of us and we were pretty tired.  It didn’t help that the heating was on!!

We managed to get a taxi back to the site, which was just as well because it had started to rain heavily!


Up very early because we forgot to put the bit of cardboard over the skylight (no sliding black out screen for us) and we were on our way by 9.30.

We have never visited Skelwith Fold in high season before and we found it to be too full.  There is nothing separating the pitches and it was a bit car park like and over crowded.  We will come here again because it is handy for Ambleside, but not in high season.

Coming soon…

Ludlow.  A new town and a new site.

14 Jul 2014


11th to 14th July 2014

The Caravan Club site at Coniston is one of our favourite sites.  A bit shady for some, maybe, but we like the fact that the pitches are set amongst trees and a bit more secluded than some other regimented sites.  It’s a massive site but it doesn’t feel like it.


Arrived to find the site very busy, so much so that we drove around a couple of times looking for a suitable pitch.  A lot of the pitches slope quite a bit, so we were trying to find a level one.  We finally found one that took a lot of getting into, luckily there was nobody around to watch!


Second outing this year for our bikes, so we cycled into Coniston.  It takes about 40 minutes on foot but we did it in around 10 on the bikes.  Cycled through Coniston Hall campsite, which was very busy.  A couple of drinks outside the impressive looking Sun Inn, then back to the site for a very successful barbecue.



Afterwards we got on the bikes again and cycled to Torver, the plan being to visit the Church House Inn, only to find it has closed down!  Only 6 pubs within walking (or cycling) distance of the site now.  We retraced our steps and ended up back in Coniston.  It’s great having the bikes, we wouldn’t have been able to do that on foot.


Up early to tackle Dow Crag (778 metres)…and Brown Pike and Buck Pike on the way.

Dow crag walk

A bit of unfinished business, we tried to do this a couple of years ago only to be driven back by wind and rain, but no such problems this time. Very hot and sunny, so we took our time.  We even considered continuing on to Coniston Old Man, but we’ve done it before and it was a really hot day!




On the way back we stopped off in Torver and tried the other pub in the village, the Wilson Arms, which we weren’t keen on when we tried it a few years ago but liked this time.  A really big beer garden, with pigs and goats in fields next to it.  

It rained quite a bit in the evening so we stayed in the caravan.


Headed into Ambleside after a leisurely breakfast, then stopped off in Elterwater on the way back, to try the village pub.  D has a map of lake district pubs and is ticking them off.  Like ticking off wainwrights but much easier!

Cycled into Coniston in the evening, taking a few pics on the way, and then had a really nice fish and chips by the lake.



Then we headed to the Sun Inn, which was almost empty.  The world cup final was on upstairs, and there were people up there.  We didn’t watch it, but could hear the commentary.  It didn’t sound great so we left at the end of normal time and all but missed the sunset…


Popped into the Black Bull, which was actually empty, and after another couple of drinks it seemed like a good idea to cycle back to the lake, which was also deserted.



Breakfast with a regular visitor to our pitch…


Every time we sat outside it appeared.  We think it was the same one but they all look the same, don’t they?  That’s probably what he was saying about us!

Coming soon…

A family trip to Windermere, primarily to visit the Hawkshead Brewery summer beer festival in Staveley.