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!

12 Sept 2021


10th to 12th September

Another week, another caravan trip...it's almost like things are back to normal.  The plan for the rest of the year is to cram in as many trips as possible before bad weather and/or another lockdown arrives.  It's not like we can go overseas, is it!

The weekend sees us at the Coniston CAMC site.


A bit of a mix up on arrival.  At CAMC sites we always check to see if our favourite pitches are available by looking at the keys hanging on the wall in reception.  This time we were looking for pitch no. 74 and the key was missing so we knew it wouldn't be available and we would have to look elsewhere.   The mix up being that we got the pitch number wrong - we should have been looking for pitch no. 64!  After setting up elsewhere we discovered that it was available and we could have had it.  Doh!

Oh well, pitch 180 is pretty good too, just a bit of a hike to the toilets and showers!

On arrival we noticed that there was a pizza van setting up near reception.  We booked a couple of pizzas for 7.30 and then headed into Coniston.

Coniston Hall campsite, which you have to go through to get to the village, was very busy, as were the other fields on the way.

We headed straight to the Black Bull Inn, which is probably our favourite pub in the village.  Oliver's light ale for D and Oliver's lager for J.  Who is Oliver, we wondered?

Then we moved across the road to the Yewdale hotel but things weren't quite as back to normal there.  No ordering at the bar, table service only.  Luckily we got served pretty much straight away but other couples came and had to wait ages.  The first ones gave up and decided to leave when a waitress finally appeared, but not before having a dig about the poor service.  Another couple were still waiting when we left!

The pizzas were waiting to be collected when we got back to the site and they were pretty good.  Neptune (tuna, red onion and sweetcorn) for D and a chicken one for J.

It was quite a warm night and we were able to sit outside until quite late.  Despite being full the site was nice and quiet.


The weather was supposed to be better today but it turned out to be the other way around, with lots of cloud and light showers today.

We went for a walk anyway, to Blawith Knott and Beacon tarn.

Six and a bit miles and more strenuous than it looked because there was a lot of up and down.  We probably did the equivalent of a medium sized mountain like Coniston Old Man.  It rained off and on but our waterproof coats did their job and we didn't get soaked.  Not a good day for pics.  We even saw a couple swimming about in the tarn, more hardy than us!

Beacon tarn

In the afternoon we lounged around the caravan and then had a barbecue.

The plan was to head back into Coniston in the evening, but it is about 1.7 miles each way and we were a bit worn out from our walk so decided to have a bottle of wine sitting outside the caravan instead.  Another quiet, peaceful night.


We are getting quite good at getting away early, we left before 9.30 and were home before midday.

Coming soon...

Nothing booked, but it would be good to get another couple of trips in this month if the weather is okay...

2 Sept 2021


 31st August to 2nd September

Our 6th trip of the year, to Castlerigg Hall, Keswick, booked a long time ago and much postponed due to lockdown restrictions.


A week off work, so a Tuesday start after the bank holiday.  The journey took about two and a half hours, so a bit longer that we have been used to recently, but no problems with the caravan or traffic.

And no nasty surprises on arrival, our pitch was pre allocated and was one we have been on before.  A great pitch with an excellent view of Keswick and the surrounding area.

Our bird feeder was a great success for a change...it hasn't been on recent trips!

The robin was very friendly and stuck around for most of our stay.  We didn't see the helicoptor again!

We walked into Keswick in the afternoon.  It was a drizzly, grey afternoon but we didn't get soaked and went via Castlehead Wood which is a good viewpoint for Derwent Water.

The town centre was packed but we managed to get a seat sitting outside the Dog and Gun pub under an umbrella.  We didn't need the umrella, the rain eased off and we had their speciality, Hungarian ghoulash, for dinner.  Then a couple more drinks in the Wainwright pub. We have struggled to get in there in the past, but, because their kitchen was closed it wasn't very busy.  An excellent range of beers in both pubs and a selection of gins for J in the Wainwright.  We overdid it a bit!  D particularly liked Fell brewery's  Tinderbox IPA but it is a bit strong at 6.3%!

A taxi back to the site?  No chance.  No buses either, so we had to walk uphill in the dark.  We chose a longer route along the road instead of going through the trees.  Torch app to the rescue again.


At last, back in the high mountains again.  Well, the medium sized hills!

Today's objective was Ard Crags via Knott Rigg.  Two more Wainwrights ticked off taking our total to 132 out of 214.  It would be good to do them all but we are not getting any younger and time is against us now, especially as the remaining ones are in harder to get to places or involve really long walks.

Today was a not very long, out and back walk with excellent views throughout for not too much effort, and the weather got better as the day wore on.

Looking back to the car park

The path leading to Ard Crags

A couple of pics of the local wildlife...

We lazed around the caravan in the afternoon and then had a barbecue when we found out the visiting pizza van was fully booked!  We didn't even know you had to book!

A great sunset tonight without having to leave our pitch..

A trip to Castlerigg Hall wouldn't be the same without a visit to the nearby Crag Bar, which is part of the vegetarian Heights Hotel.  Like stepping back in time...in a good way.  The host is very friendly and it looks like he has weathered the pandemic okay.  The bar was busier than usual tonight.  We have been the only ones there on previous occasions, listening to his playlist of Neil Sedaka, Lindisfarne, Wings etc.  No Loweswater Gold this time but Keswick Gold was an okay substitute...in disposable plastic pint glasses - the pandemic isn't quite over yet!  We even had a bowl of chips, mainly because everyone else was ordering them and we felt left out!


Up and away early and we we got home just before midday.

Coming soon...

Coniston, in a couple of weeks.  We will try to cram in as many trips as possible in September and October.