22 Mar 2015

Kirkby Lonsdale

20th to 22nd March 2015

Third trip of the year and our second new site, Woodclose Park, just outside Kirkby Lonsdale.

Before setting off there was just enough time to catch the solar eclipse...

IMG_0013 Quite pleased with this pic


Not a very long journey, so we arrived just after 1pm, the earliest arrival time at this site.  Our hearts always sink when we are allocated pitch no.1.  On this site pitch no.1 is right next to the bins which were right next to the facilities block.  We asked if we could change to a different pitch but the receptionist politely said no!  Not a good start.


Second gripe of the day was the toilets.  Shower, sink and toilet all in one room is ok, but the frosted glass panel in the door isn’t ok in our opinion.  You can’t see anything through it, but…!  Not as bad as a hotel we stayed at in Amsterdam, but that’s another story.

It’s only a short walk into Kirkby Lonsdale and that’s what we did.  The pic of Devil’s Bridge, which we had to cross to get to the town, didn’t make it into the blog, but we like the story, so here it is.

The bridge was probably built by the monks of St Mary's Abbey, York. In common with many bridges of the same na,me, legend holds that the Devil appeared to an old woman, promising to build a bridge in exchange for the first soul to cross over it. When the bridge was finished, the woman threw bread over the bridge and her dog chased after it, thereby outwitting the Devil. Several large stones in the surrounding area, including the Great Stone of Fourstones, are ascribed to the Devil's purse-strings bursting open as he ferried masonry to build it.

IMG_0018 Ruskin’s view

Lot’s of pubs to choose from.  Our favourite was the Orange Tree and we couldn’t resist their wide selection of burgers.  Kiwi burger for D, chicken, brie and cranberry for J.


A favourable weather forecast, so we thought we would do something a bit more strenuous than we have been used to of late.  Ingleborough, 723 metres, second highest peak in Yorkshire.  We parked in Ingleton and got a bus to nearby Clapham, then walked back to the car via the summit, a walk of about 9 miles.  Car parking and bus fare very reasonable, unlike Cumbria.

Ingleborough route 


IMG_0030First glimpse of Ingleborough, still a long way away!

IMG_0042Gaping Gill

IMG_0049Winter not quite over yet at the top!     

The summit of Ingleborough is a flat open space, a bit like Helvellyn, but it was bitterly cold today so we didn’t hang around for long.



IMG_0073Looking back at Ingleborough

We had a quick look around Ingleton, including a few minutes watching a non league football match.  Didn’t see any goals.


We had dinner in the caravan whilst the occupants of four caravans at the other end of the site had a group barbecue.  It must have been freezing!



The we went back into Kirkby Lonsdale and had a couple of drinks in the Orange Tree before retiring to bed.  It was a very cold night!


We were awake very early, so we got up and popped into Kirkby Lonsdale for breakfast before heading for home.  A good trip, but I don’t think we will be coming back to this site.

Coming soon…

Nothing booked, but we might try and squeeze another trip in before Easter.     

12 Mar 2015

Not a typical trip

6th to 9th March 2015

Our second trip of the year, primarily to attend the Hawkshead Brewery spring beer festival.  We think they made a bit of a mistake this year in holding it before the nearby C&CC site opens (it opens next week), and the nearest site we could get to Staveley was the C&CC site in Bowness, Braithwaite Fold.


We’ve been here once before.  Not one of our favourite sites…small pitches close together and cramped facilities, but we managed to get one of the bigger pitches this time and didn’t have to queue for showers etc.  It’s very handy for Bowness-on-Windermere.



After setting up, we noticed yet again that the water heater wasn’t working.  After a while the penny dropped and we realised it hadn’t been switched off after we left last week.  We have been draining the water down in case of frost, and when we plugged in the hook up before filling it back up it overheated and cut out.  All sorted now and we’ll be more careful with our checks in future! 

We were joined for the beer festival by J’s cousin, GW, who stayed at a nearby B&B.  After rendezvousing at the site, there followed a lengthy discussion about how best to get to Staveley…bus, train, taxi, a combination of all three.  We decided to take the bus, This turned out to be the most expensive option as the cheapest ticket to get there and back was a dayrider at £10 each for a 5 mile trip!  Pretty much door to door both ways, though, and after a few drinks we managed to forget about the cost.

Lots of beers sampled and a great atmosphere.  D’s favourite beer, Epic Pale Ale from NZ.  Not really available in the UK, so he will probably never get to drink it again!


Joined today by J’s other cousin IW and his partner LK, for a walk in the area around Gummers How.


Not a great day weather-wise and we managed to get lost a couple of times, but an ok walk nonetheless.  Very boggy in places, especially when we were lost.  We made it to the tope of Gummers How, 312 metres.  Well, four of us did, one took the easy route along the road back to the car!!


IMG_0030  Summit of Gummers How

Afterwards we had dinner in The Elleray Hotel, Windermere, another pin in the “Pub stops of the Lake District” map.  Omelettes all round, excellent. They even had Loweswater Gold - D’s favourite, although they've messed around with the recipe and its not quite the same!

After saying farewell to GW, IW and LK, we stayed in the caravan all night.  A very windy night, perhaps the windiest night we have ever spent in the caravan!  We felt sorry for the people in a nearby tent!


Improving weather today.  In the morning we popped into Ambleside and then went for a short walk to Orrest Head, with views over Windermere village and the lake.




After lunch in the caravan, we strolled into Bowness and had a look around the shops.  It was blue skies by now, leading to a not bad sunset.




Dinner in the caravan, then back to Bowness to sample the nightlife.  Had a great time in the Hole in t’Wall pub, with D and another man with surprisingly similar musical taste taking it in turns to select songs on the jukebox and probably upsetting the locals who wanted a nice quiet drink.  Plenty of obscure 80’s indie songs to choose from.  Stayed until closing time.

A cold night, so much so that D brought the water pump in.


Up early and thanks to our much nearer storage site we were home before midday.

Coming soon…

Nothing booked but we will go away again in a couple of weeks, possibly to the Ravenglass C&CC site.

2 Mar 2015

We’re back!

27th Feb to 1st Mar 2015

We’re back after almost a three month break.  We would have been back earlier had it not been for D’s laser eye surgery, which put him out of action for a while.  Only one eye treated, so he now has monovision, which takes up to six months to fully get used to, but means he shouldn’t need glasses for anything…for a while, at least.  Distance vision is great, it’s close up vision that is taking longer to get used to.

New year, new site…


Chatsworth Park Caravan Club site.  A site we have wanted to visit for a while but haven’t been able to because it seems to be permanently fully booked.  A solitary pitch on CC late availability…booked it instantly, not realising Chatsworth House is closed for the winter!


No arrivals before 1pm due to a narrow approach road, so we didn’t leave our house until around noon.  We have a new storage site which is less than five minutes away, so we were on the road at 12.10.

Positioning the caravan is no problem these days thanks to the motor mover.  Lots of hungry ducks and other birds on site, and a bird feeder right outside our window.  We liked it so much we bought the same one from Amazon for just £9.99…our cat might like it more!

IMG_0023 IMG_0018

IMG_0020 IMG_0019

A bit of a panic when we thought the hot water heater wasn’t working, but it turned out we hadn’t switched it on!  There are two switches.  The only thing that didn’t make it through the winter is a catch on one of the rooflight blackout blinds, easily fixed with a dab of superglue.

Chatsworth House was shut but the grounds were open, so we strolled up to the very impressive looking house, before heading to the nearby village of Baslow.

IMG_0033  Chatsworth House

IMG_0027Herd of deer in the park

Three pubs in Baslow, we thought the Devonshire Arms was the best of them and stayed for dinner.


Pretty good weather, so we went for a walk in the park and beyond – which turned into a 10 mile hike!


Yesterday we saw a herd of female deer and wondered where all the males were.  Today we found out…


We also saw some cute donkeys…


Found a few geocaches on the way and got back to the caravan just as the weather started to change.  Quite a windy night, but the heavy rain that had been forecast didn’t materialise.  Had dinner in the caravan, listened to the radio and played scrabble (D won for a change).


J looking for a geocache


Pool that feeds an aqueduct in the hills above Chatsworth House


It’s great having a storage site so close to home.  After dropping the caravan off we were home in minutes, although D had to go back when he realised he had forgotten to disengage the motor mover.

All in all, a very good first trip of the year.

Coming soon…

Braithwaite Fold C&CC site, Bowness-on-Windermere.  The nearest (open) site we could find to the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, which is having it’s spring beer festival!