18 Sep 2017

Coniston

16th to 18th September 2017

Another weekend, another trip to Cumbria.  This time a two night trip to the Caravan & Motorhome Club site just outside Coniston.

Saturday

A Saturday start, partly due to work commitments but more to take advantage of a better weather forecast for the second part of the weekend.

Earliest arrival time at this site is 10am.  We couldn't get there that early, but we arrived around midday to find the site quite full.  This is a big site and we always end up driving around for a bit, then panicking and settling for a really shady pitch as far away from the toilets and showers as possible!  This was no exception.



Actually the pitch was ok, nice and quiet with no immediate neighbours.

We sat around the caravan for a bit, then walked into Coniston, which is about a 2 mile walk going the scenic way.

There are four pubs in Coniston, the Sun Inn, the Black Bull and the Yewdale Inn.  The Yewdale Inn was probably our favourite this weekend.

We didn't stay out late, returning to the caravan for dinner.

Later we came to the aid of a damsel in distress.  The site is very dark at night and on our way to get showers we found a lady wandering around, hopelessly lost.  D walked back to the caravan to get the site map and we were able to return her to her pitch. Our good deed for the day.  J took a wrong turn on the way back, but managed to retrace her steps!

Sunday

Last week it was Blea tarn, Eskdale. This week we headed for Blea tarn above Langdale.  Gridlock on the way, with about a dozen cars trying to squeeze past each on the approach to the Wrynose pass.  At one point our tyre touched the tyre of the car trying to pass us.  It took ages to get past, with cars going backwards and forwards to free up space, and more cars arriving from each direction.  Pretty nerve wracking!

We made it to the car park near Blea tarn, and set off on a walk up Side pike and Lingmoor fell.


We've done this walk before, but it is a nice walk and would be high in our top ten...if we had a top ten.  Yewbarrow, Helvellyn, and the fells around Haweswater spring to mind.

A feature of the walk is a narrow gap that you have to go through, a crack in the rock.


Made it! 

Too many pies!

We made it...just! Excellent views of the Langdale pikes, Crinkle crag and Bowfell, especially from Side pike.

 Blea tarn







We toyed with the idea of a barbecue, but decided against it and instead had dinner in the Yewdale Inn.  A pork chop for J and a superb duck leg for D.  J's pork chop was served on a wooden board, which must have had a crack in it because the table was a bit slimy when they took it away!

Then a quick drink in the Sun Inn and the Black Bull.  The Sun Inn was very quiet tonight, at one point we were the only ones in there.  Still, there are very few villages that can boast three excellent pubs.

Monday

Very light rain when we woke up, but it soon turned into white cloud.  We didn't leave until 11am, which is very late for us.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked until early October, but we might squeeze another trip in before then if the weather is nice.


11 Sep 2017

Ravenglass

8th to 11th September 2017

Second visit of the year to one of our favorite sites - the C&CC site at Ravenglass.


Friday


What difference does a pitch make?  Usually when we come here we ask if we can have one of several pitches when we book, but this time we didn't (not sure why). Our worst fears were realised when we arrived and were allocated pitch no. 51, which is right in the middle of the site.  We weren't happy, but went along with it as far as leveling the caravan and putting down the corner steadies, before asking if we could move to another pitch which was empty.

The very helpful warden tried to discourage us, saying it would be hard to get onto the pitch...and he wasn't wrong!  We made it, though, after thoroughly testing the car's clutch.


A much better pitch.

As a result of all this messing around it took best part of a couple of hours to get set up.

Drained, we headed straight for the Inn at Ravenglass and had a few drinks, first sitting outside and then inside when it started raining.  We thought about eating there, but a large group of people turned up and we retreated to the caravan instead.

Saturday

It rained a lot in the night, but the weather on Saturday was ok.  Tesco Clubcard vouchers paid for a trip on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.





Then a circular walk in the hills above Boot, taking in Siney and Blea tarns.  Quite boggy in places, and more strenuous than we thought it would be! Especially when we went off path, a shortcut that turned out to be a steep uphill walk through waist high bracken!







Afterwards we had a late lunch in the Brook House Inn (the poached pear and pecan salad was delicious), before heading back to the site for a barbecue and a pretty decent sunset.




We popped into the Inn at Ravenglass but only stayed for one drink because it was full of loud, obnoxious people.  Locals or (more likely) from the nearby static caravan site.  Urgh!  A place to be avoided on a Saturday night.

Sunday

Not a good day weather-wise.  D managed a quick walk on the beach first thing, before the rain came.



We drove to Whitehaven, but it was pretty much closed, so instead changed our plans and headed for the Ennerdale Brewery taproom in Rowrah instead.  A bit of an odd place, set out like an olde worlde cafe or tea room but with the Ennerdale range of beers on tap.  Nice Sunday roasts, though.

We stopped off at Egremont on the way back, for a quick look at the castle.


The weather cheered up in the evening, but the sunset wasn't as good as the night before.




After the sunset we had a couple of drinks in the Ratty Arms, which was surprisingly busy for a Sunday.

Monday

Lots of showers in the morning, but we managed to dodge them as we packed everything away.  The drive home wasn't very pleasant, though, with more showers and persistent rain on the M6.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, we will see what the weather does... 

3 Sep 2017

Kendal

1st to 3rd September 2017

School holidays almost over and the August bank holiday behind us, we're back on the road after a break of about a month and a half, during which time we squeezed in a cruise to Norway and not much else.

Friday

We chose the Kendal Caravan & Motorhome Club site because it had plenty of available pitches on late availability and is easy to get to.

We like this site because a lot of the pitches are separated by trees and bushes, so it seems quite quiet even if it isn't.  Dream pitch no. 21 was taken, so we settled for one near it.



In the afternoon we walked to the nearby Strickland Arms and had a couple of drinks in its beer garden, which was nice and sunny.

Then a barbecue back at site, which we just about finished before the temperature plummeted!


The wine helped, but it wasn't long before we had to retreat inside.  Autumn is here.

Saturday

Another trip, another beer festival, this time the Grasmere Guzzler beer and music festival.


We thought we'd get a bit of exercise first, so we got a bus to Rydal and walked the rest of the way, taking in Rydal cave on the way.




A very friendly shrew we met on the way

The beer festival was good, with lots of beers and entertainment, and an appearance by Tim Farron who is the local MP.  We might try and come again next year.


It got busier as the day progressed, and we left at 5.30, stopping off at Staveley on the way back for beer tapas in the Hawkshead Brewery beer hall.  We think the Hawkshead Brewery beer festivals are better...bigger building, more seating and better (and more) toilets (quite important for a beer festival, D thinks)!

Then we realised there were no buses beyond Kendal after about 7pm, so we had to get a taxi back to the site.  Public transport in Cumbria is rubbish!  £22 for the bus tickets and about £15 for the taxi.

We eventually got back to the caravan about 8.30.

Sunday

An uneventful journey home listening to the Archers.

Coming soon...

A three night trip to one of our favorite sites...Ravenglass C&CC site.