22 Jun 2021

Bolton by Bowland

20-22 June 2021

Another Sunday/Monday trip due to lack of weekend availabilty and another non club site because they all seem to be fully booked at all times.  A new site, in fact, much smaller than we are used to.  A journey into the unknown!

Calder Farm  is in the village of Bolton by Bowland in Lancashire.

Just 12 or so hardstanding pitches, a couple of pods and a camping field which was empty while we were there.  We thought it would be nice and quiet and so it was, on the first night at least!


A downside of storing the caravan in Lancaster is that we have to go out of our way to pick it up if we want to go anywhere south of Lancaster.  We travelled from Southport to Lancaster then all the way back down to Preston, then back up the A59 to Clitheroe.  20 miles longer than going across country, but faster and no narrow roads.  It turned a journey time of about an hour into nearly two hours!  We are looking for a new storage site somewhere around Preston or Leyland but no joy yet.  

We still managed to get there quite early and with no reception we picked a pitch that looked like it would be easy to get in to.  We forgot to get a new battery so the motor mover is still out of action.  Thankfully, the pitch was very level and D's reversing skills are forever improving, so he got it in quite easily.  The man on the next pitch with his ringside seat was quietly impressed.

The owners dropped by to welcome us as we were setting up, after checking on their horses in the adjacent field.  Nice and relaxed.

The village of Bolton by Bowland is just a short walk away across a couple of fields and that is where we headed for a pint in the Coach and Horses.  We'd booked a table for dinner a few days previously, thinking it would be busy on Fathers day, so wanted to check it out.

It was quite busy but we only wanted a drink and we were allowed to order at the bar for the first time in ages.  No waiting to catch someones attention...just like old times.

We popped back to the site for a rest and to get changed and then returned for dinner at 6.30.  An excellent meal and a nice bottle of wine. No photo of the pigeon starter as no one else was taking pictures of their dinners - a nicer pub than we're used to on our trips, we even changed out of our trainers!

Afterwards we sat outside the caravan and it was nice and peaceful, much better than our last trip.


The first cloudy day for a while!

We drove to nearby Gisburn forest and walked around Stocks reservoir, about 7 miles.  Just as well it wasn't sunny, no chance of sunburn, but not a good day for pics.

We popped into the heritage centre on the way back hoping to get a cup of tea and some cake, but the cafe was closed. We had to pay for parking even though we left almost immediately thanks to ANPR, but the machine in the other car park wasn't working so we didn't have to pay when we went for our walk.  Funny how these things even themselves out.  A quick trip to the loo too, so spending a penny cost £2!

In the afternoon we drove to Sawley Abbey, which is just ruins but free to visit. A nice pub there but closed Mondays.

Sawley Abbey

Clitheroe was just a few miles down the road, so we carried on there.  It wasn't even 4pm yet a lot of the shops were shut, and a beer tap place looked promising but wasn't open Mondays.

Back at site it wasn't particularly warm and looked like it might rain so we were debating whether or not to have a barbecue.  What swayed it was just about everyone else having one.  We didn't want to be left out!  It didn't rain and was pretty successful in the end. 

What to do afterwards?  Both local pubs were, yes you've guessed it, closed on a Monday, so we couldn't go to either of them.  In the end we walked into the village anyway, as the clouds gradually disappeared.

The village church

We sat outside the caravan until it eventually got dark.  It wasn't so peaceful tonight thanks to a wedding reception at a nearby farm which went on until about 1am.  A bit annoying but at least it wasn't inconsiderate caravanners or motorhomers like last time.


We got away quite early and tried not to think about the detour too much as we headed north on the M6 to drop the caravan off. We downloaded some episodes of Cabin Pressure, a very funny Radio 4 series and highly recommended, which passed the time

We still managed to get home before midday.  A quick rest then out for J's covid jab.

All in all, a very good site.  A new facilities block with two toilets and showers in each.  Less than we usually see but more than adequate for the size of the site.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked until the end of August but live in hope we will be able to get away somewhere in the next few weeks.

8 Jun 2021

Pooley Bridge

6th to 8th June 2021

With everyone staycationing this year and tents and camping equipment sold out it is proving impossible to arrange a Friday/Saturday trip without booking months in advance.  So instead it is another  Sunday/Monday trip, to a non club site.

We discovered Hillcroft Park a couple of years ago and this was to be our third visit.  We really liked it on previous occasions and the facilities are second to none.  We also like the online booking system which allows you to book a specific pitch so no nasty surprises on arrival.


No nasty surprises on arrival except the motor move not working...again!  We had to hitch the caravan up again to position it, luckily there weren't many people around to watch in disbelief.  We think a new battery might be the answer...

We got there in the end...

All caravan pitches here are nice and spacious and the establisehed ones have mature hedges separating them.

It is only a short walk into Pooley Bridge and that is where we headed after setting everything up and a bite to eat.  It was incredibly busy, with people queuing to get into the pubs when we got there.  It did quieten down a bit and we managed to get into the Secret Garden, which is behind the shop/post office.

We just had ond drink and then went back to the site for a barbecue.

The plan was to sit outside the caravan afterwards, but the motorhomers next to us were  competing with the ones next to them to see who could be most annoying by playing easy listening music loudly.  There is a time and a place for Elvis!

For a bit of peace and quiet we headed back into the village and went for a walk along the river and to the Ullswater Steamers pier.

Back at the site the music continued until 10pm and the sound of screaming kids carried on until about 11pm.  Not a quiet site on this occasion!


We got the Ullswater Steamer to Howtown and walked back to the site from there.

Pre booked tickets only, reduced capacity, no walking around on the boat and face masks...a sign of the times.  It was a bit of a cloudy day, not very good for pics.

We got back to the site just after midday and after a rest we wandered down into the village for a late lunch in the Secret Garden.  It wasn't to be, they weren't serving food until 4pm.  The food looked really good so we decided to have a drink in the Crown and then go back.  We had to queue to get in to the Crown because we had to use the NHS track and trace app (which didn't work for J) and then download an app in order to be able to order drinks (which didn't work for D)!  No wonder there was a queue.

We went back to the Secret Garden just after 4pm only to be told they wouldn't be serving food for another couple of hours and were fully booked anyway!  We got some sandwiches and snacks and retreated to the caravan.

The motorhomers gone, music tonight was courtesy of a group of people in nearby glamping pods, accompanied by the sound of screaming children and shouting adults until 11pm.  It's not our idea of glamping and we felt sorry for the people in the other pods who were not part of the group.  There were some couples who  might have been looking forward to  nice quiet break.

To get away from it we walked into the village.  The view from the Ullswater Steamers pier is pretty dramatic in the evening.

It was a bit chillier than the previous night, so we were inside the caravan by about 9.30 and drowned the noise out with 6 Music.


We got away early and were home before midday.

Not one of our best trips, we definitley won't come back to this site except very early or late in the year when it should be much quieter.  The online booking system is good because it tells you how many pitches are available and you can gauge how busy the site might be.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, we will check availability in a couple of weeks.