22 Sep 2020

Ullswater...again!

20th to 23rd September 2020

A quick return to Ullswater, but this time to a different site on the other side of the lake.  Hillcroft Park.

We came here for the first time last year and really liked it.  We can't think of anything bad to say about it.  It's a big site, so maybe a bit busy at peak times but perfect at this time of year and in these conditions.

Sunday

We like being able to book a specific pitch, so no nasty surprises on arrival.  No problems with the Covid19 arrangements for using facilities, you just have to remember to put a card in when you go in and removed it when you leave.  No more than ten people at any one time, but it never came close to that while we were there.  We love the piped birdsong and country noises, much better than music or absolute silence.



A bit of light reading for J.

Caravanning in Covid19 times!

We sat outside the caravan for a while enjoying the sunshine, then headed into Pooley Bridge.  The bridge is still closed to cars, but should be open when we visit next year.  The new bridge is nowhere near as nice as the old one that was swept away by storm Desmond a few years ago.  It's a lot more modern in appearance but probably much sturdier.



In keeping with the new bridge, Pooley Bridge is a very modern looking village these days, and very popular judging by the number of visitors on a Sunday afternoon.  We had tea and cakes and a quick drink sitting outside one of the pubs, then went back to the caravan for a hotdog and topped chips.  A favourite of ours after we had it in a pub in Southport, and easily re-created.

It turned pretty cold and windy in the evening, so we soon retreated inside the caravan for a night in.

Monday

We popped into Penrith in the morning and had breakfast in a cafe and a look around the shops, then sat outside the caravan until early afternoon.

Today's exercise, a walk around nearby Hallin Fell.


Excellent weather and great views of Ullswater.








In the evening we went for a walk across the bridge to the Ullswater Steamers pier and took a few pics of the sunset, then had dinner in the Sun Inn followed by a solitary drink in the Crown.  Not much drinking this trip!





Tuesday

Homeward bound, and the mystery of the creaky stabilizer solved...


Friction pads are not supposed to look like that!  Replaced them with new ones before we set off and not a sound on the way home.

Comin soon...

Castlerigg Hall, Keswick in a couple of weeks, virus permitting...





5 Sep 2020

Ullswater

2nd to 4th September 2020

Only our fourth trip of the year.  By this time last year we'd been away ten times and the year before even more, what a rubbish year 2020 has been.  Now that we are out of lockdown the problem is finding sites we like with availability.  C&MC sites are all full until October, as are C&CC sites with facilities open.

Forced to turn to privately run sites we chose the Ullswater holiday park.  We came here a few times in our camping days but have only been once before in a caravan.  Plenty of availability mid week, so a Wed/Thu trip for a change.

Wednesday

Not a great start, our recently serviced caravan was creaking like mad as we left the storage site.  So much so that we turned around and asked the man who runs the site and did the service if he'd done anything that might cause it.  He said no, and recommended a bit of WD40 on the towball!  Really!!  Don't think ALKO would agree with that, and nor did we.  Makes us wonder how rigorous the running gear service was.  In the end we took a chance and it was ok on open roads, just very creaky at low speed.  Will try new friction pads before our next trip and we might look for a new storage site before winter sets in.  We miss being able to pop in and check on the caravan anyway.  Lancaster is a long way from Southport.

More problems when we arrived and found the motor mover wouldn't work due to a flat battery.  We'd left the master switch on after out last trip and something must have drained it.  Our pitch was an awkward one to get in to, too, but we managed somehow.

Once in, it was a pretty good pitch to be in.

We found the site to be ok.  The nearest facilities block was rubbish but one a bit further away was better.  Clean, but a bit dated and just not very inviting.  We are used to C&MC luxury.

A reason for choosing this site was how close it is to Little and Great Mell fells, two Wainwrights we haven;t done yet.

In between showers we tackled Little Mell fell in the afternoon.  Nice and easy, we drove almost to the top and it took less than an hour to get up and down it.



In the evening we drove into Penrith for dinner at Dockray Hall, which we had enjoyed on a previous visit.  It's under new management now, but still ok.  Fortunately they still serve Loweswater Gold, which is one of D's favorite beers, and this was the first time he has had it this year.

Thursday

Great Mell fell today.  A bit longer and more strenuous that Little Mell fell but still easy compared with other walks we have done.  The weather was a bit better, too, albeit still grey and drizzly.




Sheltering from a shower

In the afternoon we drove back into Penrith and had a look around the town.  Looking in shops is no fun anymore, thanks to coronavirus, so we didn't stay long.  We had tea and a cake in a cafe in a new shopping arcade that is either new or somewhere we haven't noticed before, which was nice.

It brightened up considerably later in the afternoon, so we walked to the nearby Brackenrigg Inn and had a couple of drinks sitting outside.  Nice view of Ullswater.




It soon got too cold to sit outside so we headed back to the site and had dinner in the caravan.  Thought about going to the onsite bar but decided against it, although from memory it is better than most onsite bars.

Friday

The caravan creaked all the way back to the storage site, hope new friction pads will cure it.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked until October, but we would like to get away again in September if we can find anywhere to go!


20 Jul 2020

Windermere

17th to 19th July 2020

At last a chance to return to some sort of normality after three months of nothing is how we approached this trip.  We booked this two night trip to the Windermere C&CC a while ago, just as the lockdown started, hopeful that the Hawkshead brewery summer beer festival scheduled for this weekend would go ahead.  It was cancelled, of course, but we decided to go ahead with the trip anyway to check on the caravan and have a break,


Friday

Glorious weather throughout lockdown has given way to a normal English summer and we knew we would see some rain.  Luckily it was dry when we arrived and even more luckily we were able to select just about the best pitch on the site, overlooking fields with a patch of grass almost like a private garden.


We like the contactless check-in, with payment automatically collected on the morning of arrival.  Not so keen on a completely full site with every other toilet and shower closed to comply with Covid19 regulations.  We thought they might have reduced occupancy accordingly, but no.  To be fair, we only had to queue a couple of times.  Also, detailed instructions on how to wash hands in the sink cubicles but no soap dispenser!

We headed into Staveley in the afternoon, checking on our geocache for the first time in a year on they way.  It was fine.

The Eagle and Child was closed, so we went to the Hawkshead brewery beer hall instead.  It was open and well organized, but no food until the end of the month.  We stayed for a couple of drinks and then headed back to the site for dinner and a night in.  It started raining in the evening and didn't stop all night!

Saturday

It was still raining when we got up but it soon stopped.  We lounged around the caravan until early afternoon, then went for a walk from Ings into Kentmere.  One day we will drive to Kentmere and go for a walk from there, but parking is very limited and every time we have tried to do that in the past we have been unsuccessful.


About 8 miles but pretty flat.  The weather got better and better and there was a lot of blue sky around later in the afternoon.





We toyed with the idea of having a barbecue in the evening but decided to have an alfresco salad instead.  We sat outside the caravan all night.  It was relatively quiet, which was a bit surprising considering how full the site was.  Nice clouds!  Could have done without the group of motorhomers with an electric guitar and amplifier at 11pm, but luckily they were a long way away from us!

Godzilla v King Kong?  Maybe you had to be there!

Sunday

We got away early.  The owners of the storage site do servicing, so we have booked in for a service and a wash so the caravan will be in tip top shape when we venture out next.

Coming soon.....

Not sure.  Most of our favorite sites (if open) are fully booked until September/October time so we might not be able to get away until then.  We might try to find some smaller, quieter sites.

15 Mar 2020

Kendal

13th to 15th March 2020




Over two months since our last trip, well, the weather hasn't been great has it?  Our destination for this trip was the Kendal C&MC site, which has become one of our favourite sites.  We like the fact that it is in woodland and that the pitches are well spaced out - no long lines of caravans here.


Friday


Day one of the season for this site, so we dared to hope that we would get pitch no. 21, and we did.  A great pitch with no other caravans visible from it...perfect.  Best pitch anywhere, we think.


A bit of a scare when the motor mover wouldn't work and we had to hitch the caravan back up to the car to get it in, but it turned out to be because the battery was flat.  We'd left the fridge door open to air it, but the light must have been enough to drain the battery.

Also a bit of leak underneath the caravan, from the water heater drain pipe, but it stopped leaking after a while so we are going to assume we were worrying unnecessarily!

Apart from that the caravan seems to have survived the two and a bit month lay off.

We walked into Kendal along the river, a walk of about 3.5 miles, quite muddy in places.

In Kendal we had drinks in the Factory Tap, the Barrel House and the Fell bar, all excellent pubs.  The Barrel House is the home of Bowness Bay Brewing and one of their beers, Swan Blonde, is one of D's favourites.
Image result for swan blonde


We had dinner in another pub in the high street which wasn't as nice, but the food was okay.

Then a taxi back to the site after we missed the last bus!

Saturday

Not a great weather forecast today, but better than our last outing.  We drove to Elterwater and went for a short circular walk.


It rained a bit but not enough to soak us, so could have been a lot worse.

Feeding time. 




We stopped off in Ambleside on the way back and had a look around the shops.  Then another stop in Staveley, for tea and a cake in Wilf's Cafe and a pint in the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall.  We hope to return next weekend for their Spring beer festival, but it's looking less and less likely thanks to the corona virus!  They were installing handwashing stations as we left!

We had dinner in the caravan and thought about walking to the nearby Strickland Arms, but it was raining on and off so we decided to have a quiet night in.

Sunday


Not a happy bunny!

It was sitting by the car as we packed everything away.  We poked and prodded it but it wouldn't budge, and it wasn't a bit interested in the lump of cucumber we put in front of it.  Do rabbits even eat cucumber?  This one wouldn't.

In the end we drove around it.  Poor thing.  The motor mover was okay...phew.

The journey home was uneventful.

Coming soon...

Hopefully the Hawkshead Brewery beer festival, but it all depends on the virus...


6 Jan 2020

Hawes

2nd to 4th January 2020

Our first trip for a couple of months.  We've been too busy with the new house until now, but things are starting to settle down at last.

Not much choice at this time of year, a lot of sites are shut, but plenty of availability at the Hawes C&MC site.  We quite like this site and the village of Hawes is ok, so we booked a two night break after checking that the weather was going to be ok.  Big mistake...never trust the weatherman!


Friday

The journey from Southport to our storage site in Lancaster should have taken about the same amount of time as from our old house, but of course we got a bit lost and it took longer than it should have.  The caravan is ok and the onward journey to Hawes was uneventful.

Plenty of pitches to choose from on arrival, probably too much choice for us!


No leaks or burst pipes, so it didn't take long to set everything up.  Then we headed into the village, to the Wensleydale Creamery, to take advantage of the recently introduced 10% discount for C&MC members.  Bought some cheeses, then had a drink in three of the pubs and dinner in the last of them.

We peaked far too early and retreated to the caravan for the rest of the night in.  Too late to get any tasty treats, no shops open after 5.30pm in Hawes!

Saturday

The weather forecast for today was white cloud with a small percentage chance of rain.  As wrong as wrong could be!

We drove to Horton-in-Ribblesdale and went for what should have been a nice easy walk to Moughton scars, an area of limestone pavements near Ingleborough.  It was raining when we started walking and didn't stop pretty much all day.  We thought about turning back at the start but carried on, thinking it might brighten up!  It didn't and the walk turned into a wet and windy trudge along muddy paths.  It looks like a nice area, though, and we will return in better weather.


Horton-in-Ribblesdale railway station 



King of the coop!

Not a great day day for pics!

On the way back we picked up some provisions and had a other night in.

Sunday

The journey back to the storage site was ok, but then we got lost on the way back to Southport!  We'll have to find an easier route for next time.

Not a great trip, but we got to check on the caravan and try out the new journey, so not all bad.

Coming soon...

Probably nothing until mid February, and then only if the weather is ok.