29 Feb 2016


26th to 29th February 2016

There still aren't many sites open at this time of year.  We wanted somewhere easy to get to, not far from civilization, so we opted for Braithwaite Fold C&CC site.

It's quite central, easy to get to and only a short walk into Bowness...but the pitches are quite small, the facilities are not the best and Bowness isn't our favourite destination in the lakes. It's a B list site.

Friday 26th

We arrived early and there were plenty of pitches to choose from, and we got one of the larger ones.

Then a bit of a disaster when we noticed that one of the tyres on our car was a bit flat.  It was okay when we set off and we didn't notice anything amiss while we were driving, but taking no chances we limped into Kendal and had it replaced.

On the way back we stopped off at Booths for supplies.

Couldn't decide which beers to get...so we got them all!

Then we walked into Bowness, had a look around the shops and tried a couple of pubs.  We just missed an accident, emerging from a shop to find a man wandering around moaning "he's drunk!" to anybody who would listen, apparently referring to the other driver who was just sitting in his car. He did look a bit out of it.  A couple of police cars turned up after a while.

There aren't any really great pubs in Bowness so we didn't stay out late, instead retreating to the warmth of the caravan to listen to the radio and play scrabble.  A victory for D tonight.

Saturday 27th

A long day today, thanks to our North West explorer bus tickets.  £10.80 each, so we were determined to get our money's worth.

To start with we got the 9.15 599 to Windermere station, then the 555 to Rydal, after tea and toast in Booths' cafe.  From Rydal we walked to Grasmere via Nab Scar, Heron Pike (612 metres) and Alcock tarn.

Two more Wainwrights ticked off, but when we got home and counted we found out we are still less than half way through them!  If only we had more time.

The weather was great for walking, but not great for pics, which is why there aren't many here.

Grasmere seems to be okay again after the floods.  We had a look around the shops and then a couple of drinks in Tweedies Bar, before getting the 555 to Staveley.  We fancied some beer tapas from the Hawkshead Brewery beer hall.  We will be back in a few weeks for their spring beer festival.

We got back to the site about 9pm.  Four bus journeys in all.

Sunday 28th

Blue skies and lots of winter sunshine today.

We got the ferry to the other side of lake Windermere (excellent value at 50p each) and strolled along the shoreline before heading up into the hills.  It turned out to be a much longer walk than planned, we kept extending it because the weather was so nice and we didn't want to stop.  Lots of fallen trees to climb over, thanks to recent storms?

We ended up at the Cuckoo Brow Inn in Far Sawrey, and stayed for an excellent Sunday roast.

In the evening we thought about walking into Bowness, but we had wine, beer, cheese and crisps in the caravan and it was a very cold night!

Monday 29th

A frosty start to the day, we emptied the ice out of the water container, packed everything away, scraped the car and headed for home.  We were home before midday. A really good trip, we'll probably return to Braithwaite Fold around the same time next year.

Coming soon...

A break of a couple of weeks, then the Hawkshead Brewery beer festival.

7 Feb 2016

York in the rain

5th to 7th February 2016

A city break this time, to York, staying at the Rowntree Park Caravan Club site.  We went to Chester recently, staying in a hotel, so we thought we would give York a go by way of comparison.

A new site for us, and we were lucky to get in.  It's fully booked at the weekend for the rest of the year.


The site was closed due to flooding recently, but there were no signs of it when we arrived.  We didn't have to get out of the car, instead a warden took our name and told us to come back and pay when we had found a pitch.

We usually go for awning pitches, even thought we haven't got one, but this time we had to settle for a non awning pitch.  Luckily there were lots to choose from.  Nowhere to put the bird feeder though, which was a bit disappointing.

The main attraction of this site is that it is almost in York city centre, which is where we headed after setting everything up.  We had a look around the shops and ended up having dinner in one of the city centre pubs.

Then something a bit different, a ghost tour http://www.ghosthunt.co.uk/  Not at all scary, but quite entertaining, and luckily the rain held off.


A horrible day, weather-wise.  It was raining heavily when we woke up and we couldn't venture outside the caravan until midday.

When the rain eased a bit we headed for the city wall and walked along it to York minster.  The wall is only open during the day and it is easy to see why.  Large parts of it have no railings on one side and there is a bit of a drop!

A building on the city wall

York minster from the city wall

As the rain started to come down again we went inside, first climbing to the top of the tower - 275 steps! A bit tiring going up, easier going down but walking fast down a spiral staircase makes you dizzy, we had sit down for a bit before we joined a tour!  The lady who showed us round was a volunteer and certainly knew her stained glass.  There is lots to see inside, and the ticket is valid for a year so we can re-use it if we re-visit York later in the year...if we don't lose it!

View from the tower 

Got soaked walking back to the caravan, then got soaked again when we walked to Pizza Express, then got soaked again walking back to the caravan.

York is a nice place during the day, but I'm not sure it is for us on a Saturday night.  Gangs of cavemen chasing gangs of scantily clad women around the streets, shouting and screaming and generally making a nuisance of themselves.  All of the pubs we had liked yesterday were not so nice tonight, so we picked up some bottles of beer from a craft beer shop and headed back to the safety of the caravan.  If we come to York again we will stay in on the Saturday!


Blue skies, birds singing...must be time to go home.  I know it is still winter, but two trips out of two marred by the weather this year!

York vs Chester?  We think Chester is much nicer, but we didn't see York at its best.  The weather was much better when we went to Chester. Considering York is known as the chocolate city we didn't buy any chocolate or go on the famous chocolate trail, so a good enough reason to go back!

Coming soon...

Next trip booked is not until mid March, but we will try to get away before then if we get a bit of decent weekend weather.