24 Jul 2016


21st to 24th July 2016

Our second visit of the year to the Windermere C&CC site, primarily for the Hawkshead Brewery summer beer festival.


A Thursday start for the beer festival, so a Thursday start for us, which meant very little in the way of traffic.  When we arrived we asked for a pitch on a part of the quiet part of the site known as "the mound" and we were delighted when we were shown to a pitch overlooking fields.  One of the best pitches on the site.  We very rarely get a pitch with a view.  An excellent start.

The view from our pitch

After sitting outside the caravan for a while, taking in the view and enjoying the mid week peace and quiet, the lure of the beer festival became to great and we set off across the fields to Staveley.

So many beers!  And a couple of lagers for J, who isn't really a real ale fan.

D sampled about a dozen, half's not pints, but paced himself well and was ok when we decided we had had enough at about 9.30pm.  It was the first day and mid week, so quite quiet, and we had no trouble finding somewhere to sit.  We think there were a lot of locals today and we even recognised a few people from last time.  Size and features do make some people more memorable than others!


A very warm day today, although lots of grey cloud around.

Ok, the thermometer was in direct sunlight, so it probably wasn't 34 degrees, but we thought it was too hot for serious walking, and we wanted to go back to the beer festival later, so we decided to head for a nearby hill we could see from our pitch.  Just a slight detour on the way into Staveley.

Kerris hill from our pitch 

Our pitch from Kerris hill

We made it to the beer festival and had a few drinks and lunch.  Dressed crab for D, which was excellent.

How beer is made

In the evening we decided to chance a barbecue despite ominous looking clouds.  It did rain for a bit, but we just about made it.  The fishy theme continued, with haddock skewers.

The site was pretty much full today, so not as peaceful as yesterday, but it didn't really bother us and it all quietened down at 11pm.


Some serious walking today to burn off the calories caused by excessive drinking!  Seat Sandal, 736 metres, from just north of Grasmere.

A long trudge uphill to start with, on a hot and humid day, followed by a steep climb to the summit.  We made it, just about!  Excellent views of pretty much all of the big hills in Cumbria.

A dragonfly we came across on the way 

Grizedale tarn, with Ullswater just about visible in the distance 

It doesn't look it in the pic, but this was a really steep path to the summit!

In the afternoon we had a stroll around Grasmere and got back to the site around 6pm.  All "beered out", we decided to give the last night of the beer festival a miss.  Instead we had pizza and tea sitting outside the caravan.

We did go for a short walk to check on our geo-cache...


A slight negative this weekend was a complete lack of interest in our bird feeder.  Except this morning, when we had about half a dozen at a time.  It must have taken them a few days to find it.

Despite checking everything twice D forgot to raise the jockey wheel, but a horrible noise soon alerted us to this fact even before we had left the pitch.  A bit embarrassing, but could have been worse!

All in all, a great trip, maybe the best so far this year.  Who needs a static caravan.....

Coming up...

Nothing booked.  It's high season now so it depends where there are vacancies in a couple of weeks.

11 Jul 2016

Skelwith Fold

7th to 10th June 2016

It's getting busy, all of the places we wanted to go to this weekend were full so we had to settle for Skelwith Fold.  It's an ok site, handy for Ambleside, but not one of our favourites.


A Thursday start, so not much traffic, but we'd been travelling for about an hour when we realised we'd left all of our bedding and towels at home!  Not a good start.

We managed to get a really good pitch.  One of the things that we don't like about Skelwith Fold is that it is a bit car parky, with caravans lined up next to each other, but not our pitch.  A caravan on one side and a tree on the other, so not at all cramped.

Then it was off to Kendal for a bit of shopping.  We got everything we needed, designer towels from TK Max and bedding from Argos.

Got back to the site around 5pm and just sat around enjoying the peace and quiet, followed by a BBQ and a stroll around and just outside the site.


Not very nice weather when we woke up, so we waited for it to brighten up a bit before tackling Cold Pike from the not too far away Wrynose pass (701 metres).  Our 100th of 214 Wainwrights.  Our goal this year is to get to 107, halfway.

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell looked very tempting in the distance, but we stuck to our original plan.

Not much in the way of blue sky.

The site was much fuller when we got back mid afternoon, and the Crazie Caravan Krew had arrived, complete with 6 metre flashing LED flagpoles and flags.  So much for peace and quiet.  Two caravans - I bet they were really annoyed when they couldn't get a pitch next to each other, as, probably, was the unfortunate caravan stuck between them.  The occupants of the 'vans were pretty much what you would expect from the flags - noisy, hysterical laughter and loud voices late into the night.  No children, just childlike adults.  They did shut up at 11pm, though.

We went for a stroll to the Drunken Duck pub, just over a mile away.  It's a really nice pub to sit outside, with a canopy to shelter you from the elements, although not at first today...

Luckily it moved after about 15 minutes.

Had a drink or three, beer for D, gin and tonic for J...

The site was full to bursting when we got back!


Heavy rain all day.  We went for a walk in it to nearby Wray Castle but didn't go in, having read reviews saying that it was more suited to children.

The look on the cows face just about sums up the day...

In the evening we drove into Ambleside and had dinner in Zeffirelli's.  We got a good table at the back, but after dinner as we waited for a jazz band to start playing a party of four adults and four children turned up and sat next to us.  On went the gameboys and phones, unmuted, so we couldn't really enjoy the live music.  It didn't help that some of the set was pretty quiet.  We only stayed for the first half.


Not a great journey home, there is a nasty hill start at a junction near the site which D made a mess of, but we made it in one piece.  The search is on for a better, more powerful towcar.

Coming soon...

The Hawkshead Brewery summer beer festival.

3 Jul 2016


1st to 3rd July 2016

We've just bought new bikes.

So we were looking for somewhere near off road cycle trails.  First choice, Rivendale Caravan Park, half way between Ashbourne and Buxton, was full, so we settled instead for Woodlands Caravan Park, which is just south of Ashbourne.  A new site for us.


How to transport bikes whilst towing a caravan?  We have a towbar mounted cycle carrier, but a quick read through UK Campsite or Caravan Club forums suggests this is a no no, due to noseweight limits.  On the roof?  No roof rack.  Inside the caravan?

We decided to compromise, one bike on the cycle carrier and the other inside the caravan, over the axle.  We used the box the bike came in to prevent damage to the caravan, removing the pedals and front wheel to fit it in.

No problems at all, the caravan felt exactly the same...and it was quite a windy day.

We arrived around 1pm.  The site is in a woodland setting, hence the name, just off the A515.  It's a bit shady and you can hear the road a bit, but it is a very peaceful site.  Pitches are separated by trees or shrubs and well spaced.  Facilities are ok, but not as good as we are used to at CC or C&CC sites.

Lots of birds singing in the trees, but not a single visitor to our bird feeder this weekend.  Even the squirrels ignored it!

Quite a few seasonal caravans, all with the front blinds closed, even if the occupants were inside.  A bit strange, we thought.

After setting everything up we drove to the nearby Manifold trail, which is about 8 miles from Waterhouses to Holme End.

Thor's cave, from the Manifold trail

It's been a while since we last rode a bike, especially J, and we were a bit sore at the end of the day!

Back at site it was just about warm enough for a barbecue.  A downside to this site is that there are no pubs within walking distance, so we stayed inside the caravan when it got too cold to sit outside.  Couldn't get any internet, so the plan of watching Wales v Belgium on a tablet was scrapped and we had to make do with 5 Live.  Radio commentators are much more excitable the TV ones!


More cycling today.  This time the Tissington trail, which runs from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay, about 16 miles.

We didn't make it all the way.  We got as far as Rivendale (our first choice site for this weekend) before it started to rain.  We just about made it into their cafe without getting too soaked.  Had tea and a danish pastry each.  We haven't been to this site for several years, but it's definitely worth a return visit soon.

The Tissington trail is slightly uphill as you head north from Ashbourne, but that means it is downhill all the way back...hurrah.  We got very muddy after the downpour, might have to invest in some mud guards.

No pics from the Tissington trail, they didn't turn out too well.

We sat around the caravan for a while in the afternoon listening to the birds, it really is a very peaceful site.

Then we drove into Ashbourne and had a look around the shops and a couple of half pints in a couple of pubs.  Seems a nice enough town.

We got back to the caravan around 7pm and stayed in for the rest of the night.  It rained quite a bit!  Didn't sleep too well.


This site is quite unusual.  Arrival time is from 10am and you can stay until 6pm on your day of departure.  We like to listed to the Archers, though, so we left at our usual time.  Got home around midday.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, we might try to find another cycle friendly site.