27 Mar 2017


24th to 26th March 2017

Our first visit of the year to the much visited Windermere C&CC.  It's actually about half way between Kendal and Windermere, very handy for the village of Staveley, which is home to the Hawkshead brewery beer hall. Yes, it's spring beer festival time again!


This is another site that has changed its arrival time...to 1pm.  We arrived just after 1 after an uneventful journey (and passing another Lunar Venus which we have never seen before!) and joined a queue of about half a dozen caravans and motorhomes!  I guess that is the downside to what we think is a good rule, to stop people who think they can do what they want turning up mid morning. Some had been there since 12 after being refused on the site.

We panicked ourselves into picking the shadiest pitch on the site, but it is a good pitch that we have been on before...just a bit shady.  The site was pretty full and some of the pitches are a bit close together, but not this one.

After a bit of lunch and a look around the site we headed across the fields to Staveley, stopping on the way to check on our geocache. It was filled with water, due to a cracked lid.  We salvaged the log book.  Replacing it, a job for tomorrow.

The beer festival was busy, but we managed to find seats when we needed them. 10 beers sampled today, including one in the Eagle and Child on the way.

Got back to the site just after 9, desperate for a cup of tea...only to find no electricity!  Oh no!  The person next to us had already alerted the wardens and they were soon on the scene.  After a bit of head scratching they managed to sort it out.


The plan today was to drive over the Kirkstone pass and walk up Hartsop Dodd, but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster.  First, a crash was being cleared from the Kirkstone pass, which held us up for about half an hour, then there was nowhere to park in the car park at Brothers water!

We turned around and headed back to Staveley for a much gentler walk to Ullgreaves and Gurnal Dubs.  A fairly low level walk, so we didn't get to walk in the snow, although we could see it on much higher hills in the distance.  We haven't walked in snow at all this winter.

Gurnal Dubs

A muck spreader at work.

After a quick shower we headed back to the beer festival, but didn't stay long.  It was much busier than the previous day.  Four more beers sampled, making a total of 14.  Favourite beer...I'm Spartacus, from Torrside brewery.

We replaced our geocache container on the way, having dried out the log book, so it's ready to be found again.


We put our watches and phones forward an hour, but then D's phone put itself forward another hour, so when he got up at 8 it was actually 7!  Two hours sleep lost!

It was actually a good thing because it meant we could get away early. J had to get back for mothers day treats!

Coming soon...

We are going to keep an eye on the weather, but maybe a three nighter at the Coniston CC site.

14 Mar 2017


11th to 14th March 2017

Two new sites so early in the year is enough, so this time it was off to an old favorite - Castlerigg Hall, Keswick.

We've never been here so early in the year, and this threw up two problems.  First, the seasonal bus to Honister slate mine hasn't started yet, so a planned walk had to be shelved.  Second, the Crag bar, part of the neighbouring Heights hotel, doesn't open until the 18th, so nowhere nearby to go to for a pint.  Should have done a bit more research before booking.


A Saturday start, the journey flew by listening to an audiobook of Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

It's good to know what pitch we will be on in advance, no worrying about finding a good one, especially on a Saturday when all of the weekenders have arrived.  We like the Castlerigg Hall booking system, and settled easily into pitch 22.

The plan today was to stay local to the site and maybe go to the Crag bar later.  We did stay local, walking from the site to nearby Walla crag in light rain.  Nice views, even in the rain.

Extreme tea drinking!

This was followed by a quiet night in.


The weather was ok in the morning, so we went for a stroll to Castlerigg stone circle, a place we have been to a few times.

In the afternoon we braved light rain and walked down the hill into Keswick.  Had a look around the shops, then a few drinks in various pubs.  Our favorite pub in Keswick is the Wainwright.  Picked up a jigsaw from a charity shop.


Excellent weather after a murky start.  The plan had been to drive to Grange, then get a bus to the Honister slate mine and walk back.  Oh well, next time.

Instead we tackled Grange fell, taking in the Bowder Stone, Watlendath tarn and Jopplety How on the way.  Another Wainwright ticked off.

First the Bowder Stone.

The Bowder Stone is a large andesite lava boulder, that fell 200 metres from the Bowder Crag on Kings How between 13,500 and 10,000 years ago.  The stone is situated in BorrowdaleCumbria, England, at grid reference NY25401639. It is estimated to weigh around 2000 tons and is about 30' (9m) high, 50' (15m) across and 90' (27m) in circumference. There is a staircase allowing visitors to climb to the top, and has been since at least 1890.

Then Watlendath tarn.

Then Jopplety How and Grange fell.

Lots of ups and downs, so this turned out to be quite a strenuous walk.  Or maybe we are just a bit out of shape!  A bit of a hazy day but nice views of Derwentwater from the top.  Managed to find 3 out of 4 geocaches along the way.  There were too many muggles (people) at Watlendath tarn to get the 4th.

No Crag bar to go to, so we ordered a takeaway pizza from the onsite restaurant and had another night in, with a bottle of wine and the jigsaw we bought the previous day. It doesn't get much better than this!


Awoke to strong winds, but luckily they died down a bit before we left. Even so, D didn't fancy the M6 over Shap, so instead we went cross country on the A591 to avoid the worst of the wind and the journey took longer than it should have.

Coming soon...

The Hawkshead Brewery Spring beer festival.

5 Mar 2017


3rd to 5th March 2017

Back after a 2 month break.  Why?  The weather has been ok from time to time but we have struggled to find sites that are open and have availability when we want it.  Quite a few of our favourite CC sites are shut or only partially open because they are being refurbished...Hawes, Castleton, Coniston, Grassington...  Can't wait to see the improvements later in the year.

1st March is opening time for quite a few sites, including Langcliffe Park, Settle, our second new site in 2017.


A traditional Friday start, we set off around 11.30 and the journey took a couple of hours.

The site is okay.  Not the best toilets and showers, but fine for a few nights.  There were quite a few unoccupied caravans on seasonal pitches and it's probably not for us in high season...crowded, too family friendly, tents mixed in with caravans, but okay at this time of year.  Not cheap, but we booked a super pitch anyway so that we could try out our long waste pipe.  No more emptying of waste water containers...hurrah.

The weather on Friday afternoon was horrible!  We drove into Settle and got some supplies from Booths, then had a quick walk around the town in the wind and the rain before heading back to the site.

The wind and rain stopped late afternoon, so we walked back into the town and tried a couple of the pubs, which were nice but pretty empty for a Friday evening.  We had dinner in the Lion.

The rain was forecast to return after 9, so we made sure we were back in the caravan by then.


The weather forecast for today was white cloud, but it turned out to be much better than that.  The main reason for coming to Settle was its proximity to Pen-y-Ghent, and that is where we headed in the morning.

It turned out to be a glorious day, just about perfect walking conditions. Very crowded at the top, so no summit pic, but we made it and have now done the three peaks challenge (Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent)...in two and a half years!

On our way down we took a slight detour to spectacular Hull Pot, apparently the result of a collapsed cave roof.

Not sure what this was all about...

To deter other rodents?  Maybe they could do something similar with people who ride scrambler bikes around residential estates, or don't return supermarket trolleys, or...the list is endless!

Update: turns out they are moles, hung by the mole catcher so that the farmer can see how many have been killed, and how much he needs to pay.

We got back to the site mid afternoon and after an early dinner we braved the light rain and walked into Settle.  No drinking tonight, instead we went to the Settle Victoria Hall for What the Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute band, having spotted posters the previous day.

They were pretty good.  The first half of the show was mostly songs from the Division Bell album, not their best, but the second half was all well known songs from their early/mid 70's heyday. Highlight for D was Echoes, at the end of the first half of the show.  J not really a Pink Floyd fan, but she didn't fall asleep!


Got caught up in a cycle race on the way home, but apart from that an uneventful journey.

Coming soon...

Three nights at Castlerigg Hall, Keswick.