Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Dales an' Lakes, Sept/Oct 2016 pt1

Time for the first proper trip with our new van. Load up and it's the usual bash across the Pennines and up the motorway system to Wetherby. Since Mum passed away we've tried to call in at Dad's when possible on our way out and back. We spend the night on Dad's drive, then it's away to Altberg in Richmond to drop a pair of Chrissie's boots for resoling. Soon after, we're settled at the Caravan Club site in Hawes; a favourite with us. We're joined for dinner and beer by our friends Chris and Cate who live in the next village to us. Happenstance puts 'em in Hawes. They're starting a backpacking trip the following day.

The next day Jenny, a Twitter friend, arrives to join us for a walk and dinner. Meeting friends from Twitter and elsewhere on social media has become a feature of our trips this year and it was great fun hooking up with Jenny for the day.

Leaving the site we find a space to wild camp and take a walk before dinner and a quiet night.

We park up in Keld and enjoy a circuit across the moors to Muker and back before another wild camp on the way north.

Still northwards we go, enjoying a break at the Camping & Caravanning Club's Barnard Castle site. In the afternoon we each take a bike ride (we can't yet let leave the pups alone in the van). Islay learns how to get comfy on a front seat and we all begin to get familiar with life in our new travelling home.

Parking at Bowlees we "enjoy" a moorland walk, doing battle along the way with some excessively curious cattle. Rewarded with delicious cakes at the visitor centre cafe we leave for a fave wild camp, and a VERY windy night.

Crossing, reputedly, the highest tarmac road in England, we traverse the moors into the eastern fringes of Cumbria and another wild camp, taking a walk from Nenthead along the way.

Next stop's a Camping & Caravanning Club certificated site (five units only) close to Dufton. We enjoy another short cycle ride into Appleby in Westmoreland. And from here we venture on our first backpack and wild camp with both dogs. Both have backpacked before but never the four of us together. We're joined on this momentous adventure by DawnMike (alias the Pieman) and Lucky The Dog. We set off for High Cup Nick...but it's nowhere to be seen, thanks to heavy mizzle of the wettest kind. It's fun nonetheless and the pups are pretty good in the tent. It's Islay's first time carrying panniers and, despite her smallness in labrador terms, she proves a tough little powerhouse, seeming to ignore the modest weight of the bedding in her bags.

On the way back next morning we treat ourselves to excellent breakfast butties from the Post Office tearoom in Dufton before entertaining Dawn and Mike with tea and stickies back at the van.

Life's good. Next stop, the Lakes.


  1. Lovely photos; lovely post; lovely trip. And I really like the way you are meeting up with Twitter friends. Whenever I try to do this people think I must be a bit of a weirdo 😉

  2. Fantastic meeting up with you all. Weirdo? Nah, more radical wrinkly!! Superb photos too.

    1. "Radical wrinkly". I quite like that. Cheers Dawn. Great to meet up.

  3. This retirement business looks very good. I hope it's still around when it's my turn!

    1. Yeah, it is Mark. Highly recommended. I wish you good luck with it.


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