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