24 Nov 2021


21st to 23rd November 2021

Pre covid-19 it was something of a tradition for us to go to the villiage of Hawkshead mid November, so with things starting to get back to normal we thought we'd give it a go.  We used to go to The Croft but they don't take tourers these days and the site is full of fabulous looking lodges which are way out of our price range.  Fortunately we discovered Hawkshead Hall almost three years ago to the day!

Just a short walk into the village, great facilities and pretty quiet at this time of year.


Even at this time of year a lot of sites are full at weekends, hence the Sunday start.  We're not keen on their earliest arrival time of 2pm but we stuck to it only to find most pitches occupied when we got there and people setting up!  The pitch we got wasn't one we would have chosen but there aren't really any bad pitches.

After setting everything up we managed to sit outside for a while, but with sunset around 4pm at the moment we thought we would head into the village before it got dark.

One of the pubs was closed for refurbishment and two of the others are not serving food at the moment  due to staff shortages, but the plan was to eat in the caravan anyway.  We bought loads of treats from a couple of the shops and then had a drink in the Kings Arms, which was our favourite pub on previous occasions.  Apparently it is between landlords, with a temporary manager keeping it ticking over.  No food and closed on Mondays!  A snip at £90,000!

Then we popped into the Red Lion, which has only recently re-opened with new owners.  Room and food reviews aren't great but it seemed ok to us and the barman was nice and friendly.

A 15th century window in the Red Lion, discovered during rennovation work.

A disappointing selection of beers in all of the pubs.  A couple of Cumbrian ones in the Kings Arms and one (that D didn't like) in the Red Lion.  Nothing anywhere else (apart from the Queens Head, which is a Robinsons pub, so doesn't count!).  We don't go to Cumbria to drink Hobgoblin!

After dinner we popped back into the village but it was a bit lacking in atmosphere!  A bit disappointing really.


Fabulous weather for this (or any) time of year!  We set off for a walk around Tarn Hows and up to Black Crag.  We've done this walk before but it's worth doing again.

Not many pics because we forgot the camera...not for the first time this year!  Just phone pics, so not very good quality, but a good reminder of conditions if we look back at this in the future (which is pretty much why we do this blog).

In the afternoon we popped back into the village but the Kings Arms was closed so we didn't hang around.  A pretty reasonable sunset from the church graveyard overlooking the village.

Then dinner in the caravan, a bottle of wine and a couple of themed spotify playlists (girl's names and flowers) Better than it sounds!


We got away early and were home well before midday.

Hawkshead has lost its appeal a bit after this trip but we might give it another go around the same time next year.

Coming soon...

That's probably it for this year.

The caravan is winterized with the water drained down and bowls of salt strategically placed, but who knows...we might squeeze another trip in if the weather is ok in December.

17 Oct 2021


15th to 17th October 2021

Third visting of the year to the Kendal CAMC site.


A traditional Friday start, last day of a week's holiday for D.  Our main holiday this year...almost back to back caravan trips!

A good start when we found that one of our favourite pitches was available, and a not so good start when we found out the showers in the nearest facilities block were not working.

We had lunch sitting outside the caravan enjoying the autumn sushine and thought about having a barbecue later, but the temperature tends to plummet at this time of year and we decided against it.  Instead we walked a mile to the nearest bus stop and got a bus into Kendal, which is just a bit too far to walk comfortably.

We headed straight for the Barrel House which is the tap room of Bowness Bay brewery.  We spent far too long there and ended up ordering a pizza from a nearby cafe.  The Barrel House doesn't do food but they let you eat things bought from the cafe. 

Next stop was the Handsome brewery, which was new to us, then the Fell bar.  There are plenty of choices in Kendal at the moment!

We got a taxi back to the site around 8.30 and spent the rest of the night in the caravan.


Yesterday's glorious weather was replaced by dark clouds and drizzly rain but we set out for a walk near Newby Bridge, to Simpson Ground reservoir and White Stone.

Waterproof coats all the way but we didn't get really soaked until we climbed to the summit of White Stone.  Bog End Moss should have been a clue!  Waist high grass and bracken soaked our trousers and D's boots filled up with water!  New boot shopping to look forward to soon!

It's good to go walking in adverse conditions sometimes!

In the afternoon we walked to the nearby farm shop to get some supplies and then spent the night inside the caravan with wine, cheese and crisps!


We awoke to the sound of rain on the caravan roof and had to pack everything away in the rain.  Water drained, containers of salt in the sink, the caravan is ready for winter just in case, but we are hoping to get away again this year.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, but if the weather is ok we hope to get another couple of trips in this year.

13 Oct 2021

Pooley Bridge

11th to 13th October 2021

Our second visit of the year to Pooley Bridge and to Hillcroft Park.

What a difference a few month's makes.  Last time we came the site was packed and very noisy, but not this time.  Hardly anybody in the glamping pods, one tent and not many caravans in the non serviced section, which is where we where.


A Monday start, thanks to a week off work for D.

We like this site because there are mature hedges between each pitch, so we don't have to see anyone!  We didn't have any neighbours anyway.

After the over the top covid-19 restrictions of our last trip it was a welcome relief to find that almost all restrictions have been lifted here.  Just a polite reminder that you might like to wear a mask in reception and the facilities.  Hardly anyone did!

Pooley Bridge is just a short walk from the site and that is where we headed after setting everything up.  

First tea and cake in Granny Dowbekins Cafe

Then a drink in the Crown Inn.  No freehouses here...just Thwaites, Jennings or Robinsons.  The Crown is a Thwaites pub.  We liked their ordering app once we got the hang of it!

A view of the new Pooley Bridge bridge from the cafe...not a patch on the old one!

We walked back down in the evening for dinner in the Crown Inn, stopping on the way to get a few pics of Ullswater.

Mediterranean fish stew for D, Indian spiced chicken for J...and a bottle of wine!

We were back in the caravan before 9pm and spent the rest of the night listening to the radio.


The first walk we ever did in Cumbria was along the shores of Haweswater reservoir, and that is where we drove to after a not very early start.  According to a waitress in the cafe yesterday, earlier in the year the water level was the lowest it has been since 1995, but apparently it has bounced back a bit now.  Still, traces of the deliberately flooded village of Mardale were clearly visible. 

Two Wainwrights today...Selside and Branstree.  On paper, the most strenuous walk we have done for quite a while. 134 done, 80 to go!

We set off up the Old Corpse road, so called because it was the route taken by Mardale residents to bury their dead.  Quite steep to start with, we were glad to get to the "resting place" which is just a couple of derelict buildings. Not sure we could have carried a coffin!

Nice views of the reservoir but it was a grey day and not very good for pics.

The summit shelter on Selside...we couldn't get in, it was occupied!

Only one geocache today, but it had a cute trackable in so will be moving that along next time

The summit of Branstree

It did rain a bit!

In the evening we wandered down into the village to get supplies and had a quick drink in the Crown Inn, then spent the rest of the night in the caravan, retiring to bed by 10pm exhausted!


We left early and were home before midday, with a very warm welcome from our cat!

Coming soon...

A day at home, then we are away again at the weekend.  Not sure where yet.

26 Sept 2021

Ingleton - Carry On At Your Convenience

24th to 25th September 2021

Thornbrook Barn in Ingleton has the potential to become one of our favourite sites.  It's very easy to get to, the facilities are great (in non Covid times...but more about that later) and there is plenty to do in the surrounding area.


Only a thirty minute drive from our storage site, we arrived pretty much dead on the earliest arrival time of 1pm.  Our pitch was pre allocated, so no nasty surprise on arrival or arguing trying to choose one ourselves.  There aren't really any bad pitches here, apart from a couple right next to the facilities block.  No embarrassing display of reversing from D today... we didn't even attempt what would have been quite a tricky manouvre and just motor moved the caravan in instead!

And so to the negatives about the site!  Well...negative.  Their ridiculously over the top Covid-19 restrictions!  Half of the toilets and showers closed and only two people allowed in the building at any one time! If two people are taking a shower you're doomed! There was a notice to say the usage will be monitored. We were picturing the owners up a tree with binoculars! 

We were starting to think the pandemic was over, but it's not over at Thornbrook Barn.

It was a pretty grey day, but we went for a stroll to a nearby farm shop anyway and then to the nearest pub, which was the Marton Arms.  A really olde worlde pub on the outside, it's been there since 1679.  The church opposite the pub is where Arthur Conan Doyle got married.  Had a couple of drinks sitting outside on slightly damp benches.  Great selection of beers.

We went back to the pub later having booked a table online only to find we had booked a table right next to the bar, which turned out to be not much better than the bar itself.  The staff found us a much better table in what was a packed restaurant when we said we might leave it and try somewhere else.  Just as well...because there really wasn't anywhere else and we would have gone hungry! We were quite excited by the photos of the food on their website.  However, we had a choice of pie and chips, fish and chips, steak and chips, a pasta dish and a few salads. The special was chicken curry and chips.  Presumably, the chef was self isolating! An expensive meal for what we got but never mind, better than something out of a tin back at the caravan


After entirely predictable toilet block chaos in the morning we set out for a walk in nearby Kingsdale.

A walk with three highlights - Tow Scar, the Cheese Press Stone and Yorda's Cave.  The weather improved after a murky, drizzly start.

Tow Scar first...

Then the Cheese Press Stone...we don't know anything about this.  Tried to find a geocache near it, but we soon gave up!

Then some sheep...

Then Yorda's Cave...definitely the highlight of the walk.  A massive cave which we had all to ourselves.  It was a bit disconcerting to start with until our eyes adjusted to the darkness, pitch black, with the sound of rushing water in the background.  The pics really don't do it justice.  We kept expecting someone to jump out from the shadows and one of the pics looks a bit like someone disappearing into a crevice.  Just as well nobody jumped out, we probably would have had a heart attack!  We walked to it but you can drive and park right outside.  Highly recommended.

J using torch app...we only had one torch!

A spooky halloween pic.

In the afternoon we headed back to the Marton Arms and then had what will probably be our final barbecue of the year.  Quite a warm night, we sat outside the caravan until quite late wishing we had more wine!


More toilet block chaos in the morning, but we managed to get away early only to get held up in traffic on the M6 after dropping the caravan off.

Coming soon...

A week off work for D in October so at least a couple of trips that month.  We can only do two night trips at the moment due to an elderly cat and a 2 day feeder!