24 Nov 2015


20th to 23rd November 2015

The Croft, Hawkshead.  Our fourth visit to this site, once in a tent and twice previously in a caravan.  We didn’t really like it on our first two visits, we found it too noisy, but it’s had a makeover and gone upmarket a bit and we really enjoyed our last visit around the same time last year.

The journey from Ambleside is a bit hairy, along narrow twisting roads, but luckily we didn’t encounter a bus or lorry coming the other way.

Arrived early and found the site almost empty, so we had no trouble finding a decent pitch.  It did fill up a bit, but there were plenty of empty pitches all weekend.  Surprising, given it’s location.

No campers at this time of year, just as well because the ground was very wet after lots of heavy rain.  Great facilities, with a couple of unisex bathrooms as well as the usual ladies and gents block.  One even has a bath, which J took advantage of!  There is even a TV room, but we didn’t use it.

As well as the usual suspects, a goldfinch visited our bird feeder this weekend.  We get very excited when we spot a new bird now!  It didn’t stay long and there was no time to get the camera out, so here is a pic of the usual suspects instead.

After setting everything up we walked across the road to the village of Hawkshead.  It is literally across the road!

First pub of the afternoon/evening was the Black Horse, then the Red Lion, then dinner in the Sun Inn.  All excellent pubs.  At one point we were the only ones in the Red Lion without a dog, and it was quite busy!

Woke up around 3am because the caravan was being buffetted by wind.  By far the windiest night we have ever spent in a caravan!  How windy does it have to be for a caravan to get blown over?  We nearly found out, or so it seemed.  It lasted a couple of hours, so we didn’t get much sleep!


Something a bit different today…the annual Grizedale stages rally in nearby Grizedale forest.  We didn’t know it was on when we booked and probably wouldn’t have come had we known, but as all the footpaths in the forest were closed and we couldn’t go walking there, we thought we would go along and have a look.

Lots of standing around in the freezing cold, waiting for it to start, but it was quite good once it started.

Some of the cars were quite old, including a few mk2 Escorts, and a “real” Mini got the biggest cheer of the day.  No crashes, although a couple of cars came close to going in the ditch you can see in the pics.  We watched all 75 cars, but left before they came back for round 2 in the afternoon…too cold!
Something different in the evening, too.
We drove to Ambleside for the annual parade of lanterns, along with all the departing rally contestants and spectators.  Gridlock at Clappersgate!
It took so long to get there and find somewhere to park we missed the parade, but we did get to see some fireworks.


Had an early night, to catch up on lost sleep from the night before!


Another nice day, excellent conditions for walking. We walked from the site to the top of Latterbarrow, then on to Wray Castle and along the western shore of lake Windermere.  It ended up quite a long walk at close to 10 miles.
The summit of Latterbarrow
Wray castle…we were too muddy to go inside and will visit another day

When we got back to the site there was only one other caravan left, and lots of blackbirds flocking around our bird feeder!  We chased them.  The blackbirds, not the other caravanners!  We only like pretty birds.


A small motorhome arrived later, but we still had a bathroom each!

The pubs in Hawkshead were much the same…almost empty, which is how we like them.  We had a couple of drinks in the Red Lion and then switched to the Black Horse.

A very cold night.


A misty start to the day, but it soon cleared and we were on our way by 10am.  When we left there was only one caravan left.

An excellent trip, Hawkshead is a lovely village and the site is right on top of it.  This is exactly why we decided against getting a static caravan.  We will return, probably around the same time next year, for a bit longer maybe.

Coming soon…

A two night trip to Southport, which will almost certainly be our last trip of the year.

12 Nov 2015

Wet weekend in Windermere

6th to 8th November

Not a good weather forecast this weekend, and it lived down to expectations!  Undaunted, we headed to one of our most visited sites – the Windermere C&CC site.


Arrived early, just before the first wave of rain!  Plenty of pitches to choose from, and we got a good one.


Lots of interest in our bird feeder this weekend, including blue tits, great tits, coal tits, a chaffinch, a nuthatch, male and female blackbirds, all identified from the RSPB book of birds which is proving invaluable.




It started to rain soon after we arrived, so we had to wait for it to ease off before heading to nearby Staveley for drinks and dinner in the Hawkshead brewery beer hall.  Stayed out until about 9.


Awoke to the sound of heavy rain, and it continued all morning.  Just for something to do, we drove to Hawkshead and had a look around the shops, until it brightened up.  We might go back to Hawkshead in a couple of weeks if the weather is ok.

The weather seemed to be improving so we headed back to the site and then went for a walk to Cunswick Scar, a small hill not far from the site.


Of course, it started to rain again and we got soaked.  Thank goodness for our waterproof coats.  It was quite slippery in places…


In the evening we stayed in the caravan.


Just about managed to pack everything away before it started to rain again.

Coming soon…

Nothing booked, but we might have a weekend in Hawkshead in a couple of weeks.

2 Nov 2015

Halloween in Buxton

30th October to 1st November 2015

Second trip of the year to the Buxton CC site.  We’ve only been to two sites twice this year, so far, this one and the C&CC site at Ravenglass.  We’ve been trying new sites this year with mixed success, so next year we might just visit our favourite sites more often, and this might be one of them.



We’ve never been away for Halloween before, so weren’t sure what to expect.  What we got was children everywhere!

No problems finding a pitch, and pretty soon we were all set up and enjoying a cup of tea outside, watching children on scooters in front of our caravan and others playing hide and seek behind it.


We quickly decided to walk into Buxton.

Had a quick look around the shops, then set up camp in the Buxton Brewery Tap.  We managed to secure a really comfy settee, and stayed for a couple of drinks and dinner.

Afterwards we popped into another pub, but it wasn’t anywhere near as nice so we headed for home.  Got back to the caravan just too late for the “trick or treat tractor”!


A murky, misty day.  We went for a walk around Lathkill and Bradford dales.  Not the most picturesque of dales, the rivers are little more than trickles in places.  Lots of nice autumnal colours though, and lots of leaves to be kicked.


A rare expanse of open water on the river Lathkill


An enormous cat we saw on the way


In the evening we walked up to Solomon’s Temple to enjoy the sunset.


Then we drove into Buxton for a quick drink in the Buxton Brewery Tap, partly to avoid trick or treaters…aren’t we miserable!  Managed to get the settee again, but only stayed for one drink.


Blue skies today…just our luck!

A disastrous trip home!  First, the cap that covers the towbar electrics socked snapped off, but worse was to come.  When we got back to the storage site we couldn’t find the motor mover remote control.  We must have left it on the A frame when we set off, and it must have fallen off somewhere on the journey.  We phoned the site, but nobody has handed it in, so we will have to fork out another £80 for a replacement.  Regular readers of this blog will know we lost the original a few trips ago!  We really are getting careless…might need a checklist.

Coming soon…

Second trip of the year to Windermere C&CC site.  No beer festival this time, but, if it’s not already sold out, the Houghton Weavers in Staveley village hall.