Wednesday, April 29, 2015


April 2015

I pitched my Vango Astoria 800 in the garden to make sure it was OK for my son to take to Borrowdale. I had a bad experience in the tent in December 2013. With gale force winds blowing, I had to sleep in my car as the tent was flattened. I managed to repair the holes and got new poles from Vango.

Digby always camps in the garden with me. He loves the heater; a bargain from Go Outdoors at just under £30!

Barney and I went to the Camping and Caravanning Club site at Braithwaite Fold (Bowness on Windermere) for five days at the beginning of the month. We had 60 mile an hour winds but the Pennine folding camper and awning stood up to it beautifully. I had to visit Bardsea leisure near Ulverston to buy an awning tie down strap and it did the trick. 
This site was excellent for walking/strolling into Bowness for shopping or pub food, drink. There is also a cafe on the slip road into the site (didn't try it) and a road train to take you into Bowness but it's only a five minute walk anyway! The warden on this site went out of their way to help me set up my camper and awning; they could not have been more helpful. AS I was leaving the site manager came over and apologised for not having helped me put the camper away! Over and above the cause of duty!

I haven't used the Pennine awning since I bought an Outwell Country Road awning from Outdoor Action  in Blackburn in October 2013. I wanted to try it out again. The Outwell awning would have been better in the high winds but I was reminded again that the Pennine awning is such a superb quality! 

Essential camping equipment when on electric hook up is my TASSIMO... Quick coffee heaven...

Drove to Ambleside for a walk and to sample the grub at The Wateredge Inn Dog friendly with a roaring fire and eclectic menu. My kind of pub!

Inside the Pennine Fiesta... it's so cosy! I could live in it. I sometimes camp out on the drive.

Barney loves camping! I bought interlocking mats for my awning. They are really warm and better than walking across a hardstanding floor. They mean more comfort for Barney and me! These were Aldi specials!

My son was in Blighty for three weeks and spent his first weekend camping at Chapel House Farm, Rosthwaite, Borrowdale. I've never camped in this valley before but I will do again. It is a simple site. No hook up or fancy bits. Just a good old fashioned campsite with excellent views and a friendly pub within walking distance. The Langstrath Country Inn was superb! Food amazing and I saw a red squirrel cavorting around in the back field! In their own words (or somebody's) Traditional village inn with pub dining, cosy guest rooms and fell views. 

A view across the camping field at Chapel House Farm. Cars stay on the car park!

I had a big birthday this month (say no more) and was treated to a trip to Great Langdale Campsite for this. We went to Long Valley Yurts sited within the National Trust site. My children know me so well picking this as a treat. I must admit to being embarrassed to say that I bullied my son to tell me where we were going and felt ashamed afterwards. The yurts are amazing!

Long Valley Yurts, Great Langdale National Trust campsite

David, Matilda and Ben relaxing at Langdale.

Relaxing on comfortable futons in the yurts; a log burner made it very cosy!

Went to Outdoor Action in Blackburn and fell in love with the Outwell Alabama 7. What a tent... if only I needed a new tent...

Outwell Alabama 7

Rounded off the month with a weekend in Pooley Bridge on Ullswater. Returned to Hillcroft caravan park for a weekend and what a joy. Pooley Bridge is a relaxing laid-back village in the eastern Lake District, with three pubs (dog friendly) an excellent general store and camping shops... perfect.
We ate and drank in The Crown Inn and The Sun. Didn't try The Pooley Bridge Inn.

Sun Inn

We visited a stone circle at Little Salkeld near Penrith; Long Meg and her daughters

The camping field at Hillcroft Caravan Park

Came home and walked the dog on Lower Rivington Reservoir.

Also managed a garden camp in the Vango Velocity!

April has been a tremendous month for camping, glamping, family and fun. I hope it's a taster for the season to come!

I might try to fill in my camping escapades since my last blog entry in January 2013 to explain my semi-conversion to the dark side in my Pennine camper... who knows?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

November Camping

Trout Lake at York House, Hawsker,  Whitby

More to follow...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

October Glamping

    Another trip to take our grandson near Gatwick... This time we visited Stratford Upon Avon; to take Chris to Rugby. We didn't take a tent but stayed in a 'snug.' This was a kind of posh pod. It had a bed settee, fridge, heater, lights... Not really impressed! It was too hot and , of course, we are used to nice big tents with several rooms... the dog had to sleep in the car. When he stretched out to go to sleep there was no room for anyone else in the snug. 
   It was so hot in the night that the dog sounded like the Welsh Highland Railway steam engine coming into the station! Huff puff huff puff... poor Barney.

    We had to sleep with the window open. Still, I'm sure that the snugs are great in the summer with their deckings and the site's taxi boats into Stratford - it's a lovely neck of the woods. The site was Riverside Caravan Park, Tiddington Road. [Good pub in Tiddington] The site had a good cafe but seemed to have a lot of rules. We went for their excellent breakfast one morning to be told that our grandson should not be on the iPad as laptops were forbidden in the cafe. I pointed out that it wasn't a laptop, he wasn't on the internet and we had just ordered three full breakfasts with extras. Too many rules.

Shakespeares house, Stratford

Warwick Castle

My gorgeous Grandson, Chris at Warwick Castle

Archery Display

View from top of castle

View into Warwick

Became quite dizzy...

Warwick warrior...

Kenilworth Castle

Chris with his Grandad Cliff at Warwick castle (well nearly as many wives!)
October Camping

    Developed the itchiest toes in the history of itchy toes in the month of October and headed off to my favourite place that isn't Bolton. Whitby! To be honest, camped outside Whitby at Hawsker. York House Caravan Park at Hawsker is a superb jewel in the heaven that is camping! 
    Situated in between Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby it offers up the best of many worlds on a host of levels. 
    The Cinder Track... this is the trackbed of the dismantled Whitby to Scarborough Railway. It is possible to walk along the track in safety (let the dog off the lead, take y' bra off... did I just say that?) 
    Walk along the track towards Robin Hood's bay and you will be rewarded by magnificent views of the North Sea, fishing vessels and then 'THE BAY' itself - spectacular! But, possibly more important, certainly for me, is the complete peace and time to feel lost in this tranquil and simple landscape. I love thinking time. You get it here. 
    When you reach the bay; great pubs selling food, interesting and quirky shopping, a beach marked with the scars, views that defy any description and more walking along the cliff tops if you want it. 
    The track continues to Scarborough, and , on the way, passes through Ravenscar, well worth a visit when the cafe is open. Discover it's amazing history. What might have been if this place had become popular?
    In September 2011 we stayed in RHB ('The Bay' as they like to be called, no one quite knows where the Robin Hood bit comes in!) at Hooks House Farm campsite on the hill above the town. Fantastic views and a very welcoming site, close also to The Fylingdales Inn (great nosh!).

    A walk the other way from Hawsker takes you to the superb seaside town that is Whitby. I love the walk there along the road from Hawsker that ends next to the Abbey car park. You can see the ruined abbey all the way. I don't really like walking along the track into Whitby because it is boring. You end up in a cutting and can't see anything. It also emerges at an uninteresting part of the town. The only saving grace from walking along the track is that you can approach Whitby this way over the train viaduct and that is quite impressive!
Approaching Whitby.
    If you like Tapas, you will love The Black Horse Inn on Church Street. Dog friendly, they serve tapenade and cheese to rival anything that the best can offer. Real ales too! 
    Maybe the best bit of Whitby is the harbour, the two piers, one now cut off from the pathway and the beach that sees seals and tourists galore. 
    At the time of writing they have just witnessed a land slide on the east side of the harbour. I hope it is soon sorted out for the residents to enjoy this eclectic town. Mint.

The ruined abbey

View from The Cinder Track

View from the terrace of The Bay Hotel (good grub)

Walking towards Whitby from Hawsker

View from the beach - East and West piers

On the East Pier at Whitby

The Abbey from the car park path

Camping in the garden in the Trout Lake when I got home

The view from the top of Rivington Pike

View from Rivington Pike -  you can see Home Farm camping and caravanning site on the other side of the reservoir

 Robin Hood's Bay

The two piers