18 Nov 2023

Pooley Bridge

 15th to 18th November

A few days off work so a mid week trip for a change, Wednesday to Friday.  Hillcroft Park is a good pick at this time of year because it is only a short walk into the village of Pooley Bridge and doesn't get too full.


Thankfully overnight winds of 40+ mph had died down by the time we collected the caravan from our storage site, but it was still a not very pleasant journey on the M6.

On arrival the site was almost empty, just one other caravan setting up on the pitch next to ours and a few motorhomes.  What are the chances?  They probably thought the same!  Pitches are well separated by mature hedges so it didn't really matter anyway.

It rained quite a bit in the afternoon so we waited for it to ease before walking down into Pooley Bridge for dinner in the Pooley Bridge Inn followed by their pub quiz.  We didn't come last and got the same score as the team we marked, so no shame.  Quite an expensive night, due in no small part to the second bottle of NZ sauvignon!  Excellent food and wine.


No walking today because the weather forecast wasn't very good.  Instead we got a bus into Penrith and had a look around the castle and in the shops.

Penrith isn't really a toruist town and the only decent pub (in our opinion) didn't open until 4pm, so no drinking today.  Probably not a bad thing.  We had lunch in a cafe and got a bus back to the site before it got dark.

Entertainment on site courtesy of red squirrels.


We are loving the £2 bus fares and got the 508 to Patterdale for a walk up and down Arnison Crag, 433 metres.  Our 12th Wainwright of the year.

A mile there and a mile back.  We thought about carrying on to Birks and St Sunday Crag but decided against it as we were both recovering from colds.  We will tackle them another day.  Excellent weather for walking.

Lovely autumnal colours.

We also walked from Patterdale to Glenridding but neither village was particularly enchanting and we were glad to get the bus back to a much busier than yesterday Pooley Bridge.

In the evening we had dinner in the Crown Inn but didn't stay out late.


No problems getting home.

Coming soon...

That's probably it for 2023, unless we can manage a weekend somewhere not too far from the storage site.  The weather forecast will have to be very good...

29 Oct 2023


27th to 29th October 2023

Last weekends planned trip to Coniston didn't happen thanks to storm Babet.  As it turned out the north west wasn't all that badly affected but we didn't fancy towing the caravan in 40-50 mph winds on the Friday.  Instead, a two night trip to Thornbrook Barn, Ingleton. 


A very late start.  We had to wait...and wait...and wait for the car, which was having a fault code diagnosed and fixed.  We didn't set off until 2ish and arrived on site just before 4, so not a bad journey.  No nasty surprises on arrival, pitches are pre allocated and we knew we had a good one.

Pitches here are huge and not too close together, and we got one not too far from the facilities.

After a very quick set up we headed into Ingleton but couldn't get into our first choice pub - the Old Post Office.  It was packed.  Fortunately all of the other pubs were pretty empty, just not as good.  The Wheatsheaf was the best of the two we tried.

We'd booked dinner at a place next to the Old Post Office called Peaks and Troughs and it turned out to be really good.  A fishy "Buddha bowl" for D and a meaty one for J.  A Buddha bowl in basically just a big bowl.

After dinner we had another look in the Old Post Office but it was even busier, so we headed for home.


No summits today.  We walked into Ingleton and got a bus to Austwick, then walked to Settle.

Not the most picturesque of walks and not a good day for pics, so there aren't many, but it got us out in the fresh air.

In Settle we had a drink in the Talbot Arms and then Bar 13, both excellent.  The plan  was to get the 16.30 bus back to Ingleton but we only noticed the smallprint NS when we got to the bus stop.  Not on Saturdays.  The 15.30 would have been worse because it is NS and S - not on Saturdays and Saturday only!

No problem we thought, we'll get the 17.30, so we popped into the Royal Oak to wait.

At 17.30 a "not in service" bus appeared and the driver told us there would be no more buses that day!  Luckily the bus driver, a cheery scouser, was super helpful and organised a taxi for some people going the other way and took us back to Ingleton.  Plenty fo things for him and J to take about, one of his relatives went to school with her.  Next time around here we will stick with the car.

We had dinner in the Wheatsheaf and then tried to get in the Old Post Office one last time, but it was still packed.  A victim of its own success.  It was getting late anyway, so we went back to the caravan.


An extra hour in bed but were were still quite late leaving.  A few problems this trip but still a good one.

Coming soon...

We have drained the water out of the caravan, just in case, but we are hoping to go to Pooley Bridge some time in November...

9 Oct 2023


 6th to 9th October 2023

Our fourth visit of the year to Castlerigg Hall.  We can't get enough of this site or Keswick at the moment, it is rivalling Kendal CAMC as our most vistited site in recent times.  We have been concentrating on north lakes this year as we have done pretty much everything there is to do in the south.


A quirk in the online booking system which means we can book our favourite pitch no. 24 pretty much anytime so no nasty surprises on arrival, apart from the weather.  It's been a while since we have had to set up in the rain... we got soaked!

The weather was so bad we couldn't really do anything so we were confined to the caravan for the rest of the day.  The view from our pitch was pretty good, though.

Just phone pics this trip because we forgot to bring the camera.


Much better weather today.  In the morning we went for a stroll from the site to nearby Castlerigg stone circle, which dates back 4,500 years according to the notice boards.  Still lots of dark clouds but it didn't rain.

We passed an ederly lady on the way who urged us to turn back due to what she called an impassable quagmire ahead, but it wasn't as bad as she made out...

Maybe there was another one further on.

In the afternoon we walked down into Keswick for drinks in various pubs, then we got the last bus back to the site for dinner in the caravan.  It was just about warm enough to sit outside for a bit.  For D, at least.


Supposedly the best day weatherwise, so we drove to Watendlath to tackle High Tove and Armboth, two lesser Wainwrights we haven't done yet.

A VERY boggy walk!  Maybe the boggiest walk we have ever done.  A good test of our waterproof boots - D's passed but J might need a new pair soon.

High Tove


In the afternoon we toyed with the idea of a barbecue.  We'd bought everything we needed the day before from Booths but a bit of light rain ruined that plan.

Instead we got a bus down into Keswick and managed to get into the Dog and Gun for dinner.  Then a drink in the Wainwright inn, then a taxi back to the site.


A bit of a scare when D couldn't get the water pump to disconnect, which is quite a common problem it seems.  It came out after a bit of a struggle but it made us a bit late leaving.

Coming soon...

Possibly a return to Coniston, both of us this time.

24 Sept 2023


22nd to 24th September

For the first time ever, a solo trip for D.  J away with her mum so the perfect opportunity for D to try a solo trip, to the Coniston CAMC site.  This blog is pure D!


Earliest arrive time here is 10am, which is exactly when I dropped J off at Southport station. I still managed to get here quite early and got dream pitch no. 64.  Pitch selection has been a problem here in the past but not this time.  As they checked me in I kicked myself for not booking a pitch for one person but didn't say anything because I'd already paid in full.  It would have been half the price.

It rained a bit on arriveal so I waited for it to ease off before trekking into Coniston.  Had to walk through Coniston Hall campsite which was a bit like a festival with large groups and loud music.  Anything goes, I think.

In the village I had a drink in  the three best pubs - the Sun Hotel, the Yewdale Inn and the Black Bull - and a hotpot in the latter.  Then it was back to the caravan for a night in pining for J.


An early start and a longish drive to Thirlmere, to tackle Ullscarf (726 metres).  Another Wainwright ticked off.

The weather was excellent and I didn't see a soul until Harrop Tarn, a slightly more touristy bit near the end of the walk.

The early start meant an early finish so in the afternoon I walked to Torver and had a pint sitting outside the Wilson Arms.  Just me and the man cutting the grass on a sit on lawn mower.

Then a pre ordered "neptune" pizza from the on site van and another night in reading, listening to music and pining for J.


A more stressful journey home than usual when a warning light came on in the car.  Something to do with emission according to the book.  No loss of power or economy but I had visions of it going into "limp home" mode on motorway...!

All in all a pretty good trip.  Would it have been even better with J present?  Maybe we'll come here later in the year and find out.

Coming soon...

Three nights at Castlerigg Hall, Keswick early in October.