19 Nov 2017


17th to 19th November 2017

The Windermere C&CC site was our destination this weekend.  Our third trip in as many weeks, which is quite unusual for this time of year.  We have been lucky with the weather recently, and while this weekend was no exception, it wasn't quite as good as recent weeks.


A traditional Friday start for a change, on arrival there were plenty of pitches to choose from and we got one on a part of the site we like.

Nowadays we only seem to come to this site for Hawkshead brewery beer festivals, and so it was this weekend.

We saw it advertised when we were in Hawkshead last weekend.

After setting everything up we headed across the fields to Staveley just as it was starting to get dark. Nice views on the way, and we checked our geocache was ok.

Not quite as many beers as usual, or so it seemed, but a great atmosphere as usual. We spent most of the night sitting with another couple from the site and even walked back with them around 10pm.  A really good night.


D has been wanting to go to Kentmere for a long time but there are only a few parking spaces by the village church, so we know an early start was required.  We managed to leave the site around 8.30 but that was far too late, so we had to abandon the planned walk.

On the way back we thought it might be nice to have a walk along a beach, so we headed to Arnside.  Pretty cold and windy to start, but it improved as the day progressed.  Nice views of the estuary and Grange-over-Sands.

In the afternoon we popped back to the beer festival but it was much busier than the previous day, so we didn't stay long.  We were back in the caravan by 7pm and had a quiet night in listening to the radio.

Next beer festival 23-24 March 2018...we'll be back.


A very frosty morning, we had to scrape the car, and then a warning light about low tyre pressures made the journey home more stressful than usual!

Coming soon...

A fourth trip in November?  D has some holiday to use up so maybe a mid week trip, it depends on the weather.

13 Nov 2017


11th to 13th November 2017

Hot on the heels of our trip to Coniston comes a trip to Hawkshead, just the other side of Coniston water.  A tale of two villages.

The Croft, Hawkshead.  It's getting to be a bit of a tradition to come here at this time of year.


Another Saturday start, but we needn't have worried about finding a good pitch, there were lots to choose from when we arrived.  We didn't choose a particularly good one, but for us this site isn't about sitting outside the caravan, it's about how close to the village it is on a cold autumn night.

After setting everything up we popped into the village and had a look around the shops and one drink.  Just one drink, because the plan was to drive to picturesque Tarn Hows before it got dark, which is exactly what we did.

Later we had dinner in the Kings Arms, having booked a table earlier.  Afterwards we had a drink in the Red Lion, which we have liked on previous visits, but this time it was spoiled by some regulars and the barman watching boxing (we thing, from the sound of it) on a mobile phone. We finished our drinks as quickly as we could and boycotted the pub for the rest of this trip.  The Kings Arms is much nicer, anyway.


A lovely sunny day, but cold, and it seemed more so because it was quite windy too.  We drove to nearby Grizedale forest for a walk, mostly on easy forest paths, to Carron Crag.

Good views from the top, but the walk was mostly amongst trees.

There are lots of sculptures in the forest, here are a couple...

In the afternoon we had a stroll around the village and a couple of drinks in the Kings Arms, which has a really nice table in the corner of the room.  We could have stayed all night, but didn't.

Instead we retreated to the caravan when it got dark, for dinner and a rest, then back to the Kings Arms for more drinks.  We had to make do with a different, not so good, table.  The couple who had "our" table wouldn't budge, despite us willing them to.  The man had four pints while we were there!  D only had two.


D got up early, just in time to catch a great sunrise.

Then it was homeward bound,delayed a bit by an accident on the M6.

Coniston v Hawkshead

The C&MC site near Coniston is much nicer than the Croft, but it is a long walk into the village.  Coniston has better pubs, overall, although the Kings Arms was great on this occasion.  Hawkshead is a picture postcard village that you can stroll around, whereas Coniston is really just a road, and quite a busy one during the day.  So many things to consider, we can't decide!

Coming soon...

As we drove past Staveley we noticed signs for the Hawkshead Brewery 15th Birthday Beer Fest, which is next week, so plans of going to Castleton or York were quickly shelved.  Both sites are permanently full anyway!

6 Nov 2017


4th to 6th November 2017

Our third visit of the year to the Coniston Caravan and Motorhome Club site.  We went off this site for a bit a year or so ago (not sure why), but it is definitely one of our favorites again.


A Saturday start.  With over 100 pitches free according to late availability we thought we would have no trouble finding a decent pitch.  On arrival, though, we discovered that most of the site was closed for the winter and only the top bit was open.  Uh oh!

Luckily one of our favorite pitches was free.

Pitch no. 64.  In a clearing, on its own, not too far from the toilets...perfect.

The usual plan would be to head into Coniston, but not today.  First we drove to Hawkshead for a very enjoyable bonfire and firework display, despite the showery weather.  No pics, we left the camera in the car.

Then we drove into Ambleside, for dinner and Zefirellis, where a really good jazz quartet were playing.  Just one drink all night...it is possible to have a good time without drinking!


Fabulous weather for November, blue skies all day.  We went for a walk from the site to Torver Back Common.

About 6 miles and not too strenuous, perfect for a gentle autumn stroll.  Great views of Coniston water and the surrounding hills, and a couple of tarns.

Sheep being herded near Kelly Hall tarn...we had to wait for them to pass

In the afternoon we walked into Coniston just as it was getting dark, and witnessed another display of shepherding on the way.

We had dinner in the Yewdale Inn, which is our favorite pub in the village at the moment.  The Black Bull was good, too, but we weren't so keen on the Sun hotel this time.  It was full of locals...how dare they!


It's nice to leave just as the weather is on the turn, isn't it!  A very uneventful journey home.

Coming soon...

We are hoping to go to Hawkshead soon, so we will find out who wins...Coniston v Hawkshead?

24 Oct 2017


22nd to 24th October 2017

Undeterred by storm Brian, it's off to Oxon Hall touring park, just outside Shrewsbury.  We've been here before, but not for a couple of years, so we thought it was about time for a return visit...and it makes a change from Cumbria!


The Mersey Gateway bridge has just opened and journey time from our house to the M56 is much reduced.  It's just a pity it is a toll bridge...£2 a go.  The old bridge is closed for a year now and when it re-opens it will be tolled too.

We arrived just before 1pm and settled into a pretty good pitch in the adults only section.

Shrewsbury is too far to walk from the site and there aren't many buses on a Sunday!  We managed to find one, at 3.15, which turned out to be a mini-bus from Manchester airport!

In town we had a nice walk along the river, then tried a couple of pubs.  In the second one, which was more of a wine bar, the barman recommended the Coach and Horses for real ales and a traditional pub atmosphere and it turned out to be great.  Nice beers and a two course dinner for £10.  Not just ordinary pub grub, but fine food from a Masterchef runner up.  Excellent value.  Our pub of choice for this trip.


It was a drizzly sort of day, but at least the wind had died down.  We drove to Church Stretton for a walk up Caer Caradoc.

We had to shelter from the rain for a bit in Church Stretton, which has a really good antiques shop.  We were going to go in again after the walk but we were too muddy and tired!  J wouldn't let D buy a gruesome mounted wild boars head!  It was a drizzly day and visibility was mostly not good.

In the evening we got a taxi into Shrewsbury, which was only a little bit more that the bus fare would have been...had there been any buses!  We had dinner in the Coach and Horses again, and  few drinks in a couple of other pubs.  Part of the dining area in the Coach and Horses was being used for an Open Britain meeting, but it didn't put us off our food as much as a closed Britain one probably would have!  They were very considerate and spoke very quietly...we could hardly eavesdrop at times!


We weren't in a hurry to get home so we had breakfast in a nearby Toby carvery before setting off.  Got home around 1pm.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, it depends on the weather.  We would really like to go to the recently re-furbished  Caravan Club site at Castleton but it seems to be fully booked forever!

10 Oct 2017


7th to 10th October 2017

Second visit of the year to Castlerigg Hall, our favorite site in the Keswick area.


A good thing about this site is that you can book a specific pitch online, so no nasty surprises on arrival.  We've been on pitch 20 before, and like it.  Nice view and lots of rabbits.

What's missing from this pic?

In the afternoon we drove into Keswick and had a look around the outdoor shops and the market and Booths (bought cheese and biscuits as usual).  Then back to the site for dinner in the caravan, followed by a couple of drinks in the bar of nearby Heights hotel. Got talking to some people who were on a rally at Castlerigg Farm, which is another site just up the road.

We were the only ones there when they left, so we headed back to the caravan for the cheese and biscuits we'd bought earlier.


D up early, for a short but steep walk up Raven Crag (461 metres).  J stayed in bed.  It nearly didn't happen because a road was closed, then the parking area was closed, but he made it. 

Viewing platform at the top of Raven Crag


In the afternoon we walked into Keswick and spent a few hours in The Wainwright, our favorite pub in the town.  Roast beef for D, roast pork for J.  We tried to get into the Dog and Gun after dinner, but it was full to bursting so we went back to The Wainwright instead.  Got a taxi back to the site about 9pm.


We drove to Grange, then got a bus to the Honister slate mine and walked back to the car via Dale Head (753 metres) and High Spy (653 metres).

The weather was ok in the morning, but drizzly in the afternoon.  Oh well, it is autumn.  Starting half way up was good, but there was lots of hard descent on this walk, plus a route finding problem towards the end when the path didn't match what was on the OS app.  It was good to get up in the clouds, we haven't been there for a while.

Dale Head 

High Spy 

A dead sheep we saw on the way down.

A happy rock!

In the evening we drove into Keswick, the plan being to have Hungarian goulash in the Dog and Gun, but once again it was full to bursting.  We had a quick drink in The Wainwright, then took fish and chips back to the caravan and had a night in.


It was wet and windy in the night, but ok in the morning and we made it back to the storage site around 1pm.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked.  The caravan is being serviced next weekend, so we are going to wait and see how that goes!