Oh British Summertime where are you? Oh wait, this is British Summer Time!! We have just returned from a camping weekend with friends ,in the Yorkshire Dales. We donned our wellies and waterproofs and didn’t let the continuous downpours spoil our fun. 🙂 Happily we found a really good campsite just outside of Ingleton village, which definitely catered to all our needs.
Meadow Falls is a proper family friendly campsite. Along with the usual campsite facilities, Meadow Falls has the additional benefits of a small shop selling essentials, a children’s play area, fire pit hire, a games room converted from an old barn (great for rainy days ~ there is also a fridge freezer and microwave in there) and a fairy trail , which proved popular with the youngsters in our group. 🙂
The site also welcomes dogs and has an enclosed dog exercise area ,plus there is even a warm water dog shower! A recently refurbished family and dog-friendly pub, The Marton Arms, is only a 5 minute walk away. And Ingleton with it’s host of shops, cafes and pubs is about 15 minutes walk. Pretty much the perfect campsite then for our band of five adults, two kids and two dogs.
Ingeborough is one of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks.
The girls wanting to test out the ‘dog shower’.
The weather did not play ball on this trip, for a splash around in Ingleton’s Open-air swimming pool , so we decided to have a splash around the Waterfall Trail instead! The Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is a four and a half mile waterfall wonderland and is well signposted in the village. There is a charge for the upkeep of the trail. Adults £6, Children £3 and a family ticket costs £15.
The trail winds its way through woodland , following the River Twiss and the River Doe. It also covers rugged moorland and as a geological site, much of the trail has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Here are a few pictures from our walk.
Our walk was interlaced with sunshine and showers, but we all agreed it was great fun. It almost looked like the sun was here to stay…….then a sudden downpour sent us scurrying to a pub in Ingleton, for refreshments and card games. 🙂
Luckily later on it stayed dry enough for a barbecue and the kids showed us how to make marshmallow toasting sticks, with the aid of potato peelers and gardening gloves!
Have you ever done the Ingleton Waterfall Trail? I thoroughly recommend it, even in the rain. 🙂
No need to dust down the old leaky tent for the first camping trip of the year ! Happily WeWil had bought a nice new one a few weeks previously . This tent was meant to be the same model as our original. But it seems a whole lot bigger. Erm it’s practically a marquee !
Anyway we didn’t venture to far from home. We chose Fell View Park near the pretty village of Scorton. Perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland AONB , Fell View is adjacent to the owners farm and is surrounded by meadows full of bleating lambs and nesting lapwings.
The campsite has plenty of EHU points, good hot showers, an undercover washing up area and a small fishing lake , which is home to lots of ducks and geese. We stayed in the non electric tent field and had it all to ourselves for the first night. The hedges were heavy with the scent of hawthorn blossom and the resident Greylag Geese were happily honking away.
There’s a little Local Information Room on site with maps of nearby walks , so we took a leaflet for a Circular Route taking in ‘Nicky Nook’. The fell top is a relatively easy walk ~ about 215m to the top.
As you can see ‘ The Forest Of Bowland’ is not actually a forest in the traditional sense. The name Forest was given to Royal Hunting grounds in ancient times. Bowland is made up of ruggedly beautiful moorland and gentle lowlands. The AONB actually covers 312 square miles of rural Lancashire and neighboring Yorkshire.
After descending ‘Nicky Nook’ we found ourselves on a country lane and followed the signs to the Apple Store Cafe in Wyresdale Park. The cafe set in a sheltered walled garden in the grounds of Wyresdale Hall, is the perfect place to drop by for a brew and a cake. 🙂 We sat outside , though it did look lovely inside, the glass house interior felt a little stuffy even on quite a drizzley day. The lovely waitress served our refreshments on mismatched vintage crockery, and even brought out a sausage for Hugo!
After tea and cake we explored the grounds a bit ( I never saw the estate peacocks 😦 ) and then decided to deviate from our route and headed into Scorton itself for a wander. On the way we spied this cute cottage with it’s quirky garden signage.
To get to Scorton we had to cross the M6. Who knew that such a tranquil place is so close to the motorway. The pretty village has a Bar Restaurant, spa shop and a cafe/gift shop. We had a couple of drinks in the lovely and dog friendly Priory Stout Bar.
After a drink or two we continued on our way. We headed back through Wyresdale Park, across the fields and onwards to the campsite. It was a beautiful walk. 🙂
Fell View is definitely a campsite we will return to I think ,as there is so much nearby countryside to explore and the area is indeed one of Outstanding natural beauty. 🙂
When planning a break with your four-legged friend , it is always handy to know that one particular Lake District resort has been voted ‘Uk’s Most Dog Friendly Town’ by the Kennel Club for four years on the trot. Lovely Keswick has it all. Stunning countryside with miles and miles of walks, a beautiful lake ( Derwentwater), cosy pubs and cafes, eclectic shops , several dog-friendly parks and a variety of accommodation and visitor attractions that welcome waggy tails. It seemed the ‘Pawfect’ place for a January Break with our labrador Hugo. 🙂 Here’s what we got up to….
Where we stopped. We booked Butterfly Cottage through Sally’s Cottages who are based in Keswick. They have over 230 pet friendly holiday cottages in The Lake District and Cumbria. Our bijou retreat was so cosy with its Wood Burning Stove ( a must for a Winter Break), open plan downstairs space, fully equipped kitchen and beautiful bedroom with comfy King Size Bed. The location was really handy for everything in town and it was super useful to have an enclosed back yard with a muddy boots and paws wash.
Where we walked. Every morning before breakfast we headed to Crow Park on the banks of Derwent Water. This is one of three Dog Friendly Parks in Keswick that we noticed. The others are Hope park and Fitz Park. Each morning depending on the weather, the scenery changed. Sometimes the mountains were bathed in gold, sometimes they were an angry slate blue. It was peaceful there and Hugo had a great run around.
There is a ten mile circular walk around Derwent Water itself which we hope to try on our next visit. We did however revisit a Railway walk which we enjoyed whilst camping in Keswick a couple of years ago. The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now partially destroyed due to last Winter’s storms but what remains, still makes for a pleasant stroll or bike ride. The walk starts from the Swimming Baths near Fitz Park.
We also walked up to Castlerigg Stone Circle situated just outside of Keswick off Castle lane. With the mountains of Helvellyn and High Street as a backdrop, the stone circle is among the earliest in Britain, dating back to 3000 BC. On a clearer day the views are stunning.
Places to Eat & Drink. Keswick is great for dog friendly pubs and cafes. In fact all the pubs in Keswick welcome dogs except for the Wetherspoons. Of course we made it our mission to try out as many as we could ! My favourites were The George Hotel with it’s cosy seating area by the fire, The Wainwright Pub, The Packhorse Inn, and of course The Dog and Gun famed for it’s ‘Homemade Goulash’ and doggy treat menu. 🙂
I don’t know about you but for breakfast on holidays I love pancakes. 🙂 Keswick has that sorted . We loved Merienda on the main street. It’s a fab Cafe Restaurant open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. With an 8am opening time Mon-Sats and 9am on Sunday it is the perfect place to refuel before yomping up those hills. Another great venue for early starters is CafeBar 26 on Lake Road which does amazing Full Spanish Breakfasts. And both do make delicious pancakes. 🙂
Many of the pubs serve great food ( try the Royal Oak for their amazing Cheese Boards & Platters) and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Keswick that welcome dogs. As well as Bar 26 and Merienda look out for The Square Orange Bar/Cafe, Java Chocolate & Coffee Shop, Lakes Bistro & Bar, The Filling Station, Little Chamonix, Laura in The lakes, Kat’s Kitchen ( Veggie ) and Mrs F’s Fine Food emporium, to name but a few.
Shopping. Plenty of shops in the town don’t mind you being accompanied by your four legged friend. I find the best thing to do is always ask first. Lots of the Outdoorsy shops are dog friendly and so are many others. Hugo visited lovely gift emporiums Cherrydidi and Love The lakes on St John’s Street,for holiday souvenirs. He also bobbed into Keswick’s well loved Pet Store Podgy Paws which is a great place to visit for advice on local walks and dog friendly places, activities and attractions.
Visitor Attractions. Here is a quick list of pet friendly things to do and places to visit in Keswick and the surrounding area. 🙂
Cumberland Pencil Museum. Carding Mill Lane. Journey through the history of pencils and pencil making. Home to the biggest colouring pencil in the world! pencilmuseum.co.uk
Keswick Launch Company. Derwentwater. See the gorgeous scenery of Derwentwater on a lake cruise. keswicklaunch.co.uk
A Puzzling Place. 9 Museum Square. An exhibition of optical illusions and trickery. puzzlingplace.co.uk
Whinlatter Forest Park. England’s only true Mountain Forest with walks, trails and adventure play. forestry.gov.uk
Mirehouse & Gardens. Stately Home and gardens on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Dogs welcome in the gardens and grounds. mirehouse.co.uk
The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden. Portinscale. Beatrix Potter often holidayed here and the garden was the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. Reachable via a lake jetty or car. thelingholmestate.co.uk
I shall certainly take a look at the list on our next visit to Keswick. Hugo cannot wait to go again…and nor can we. 🙂
At the Weekend I got to tick something off my Bucket List and raise a bit of money for charity. Can’t be bad! For a while now I have wanted to do ‘The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk’ which is a guided walk across the shifting sands between Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands in Cumbria. The walks are led by Cedric Robinson MBE ( the Queen’s Official Guide), who has been escorting thousands of charity fundraisers safely over the bay since 1963. That makes him pretty darn experienced , wouldn’t you agree !
The walk starts on the front at pretty Arnside. No Hugo is not seeing us off. He will be joining us for this 8 mile trek over the bay. 🙂
There are about 200 people joining us too, dressed mostly in shorts and trainers or walking sandals. Some brought the kids and others bring four legged friends. We were soon met by Cedric in his trusty tractor.
Cedric is a bit of a celebrity so he poses for a few photos with fans before we set off.
The sands are so beautiful and stretch out for miles in front of us. They are also very dangerous so it’s important never to cross without a respected guide.
Even in such an impressive turnout, it is possible to enjoy the serenity of the seascape.
Eventually we cross our first channel ! The River Kent creates the channels and we are soon paddling…….
Even these little fellas are doing the doggy paddle. 🙂 One Jack Russell Terrier called Cato still kept paddling with his front paws in mid air,even after his owner picked him up. Aww!
The water comes up to my mid thigh. Yep I’m a short arse! Hugo does swimmingly well. 🙂
I resigned myself to the fact that I would get pretty wet. So did Hugo ! Luckily the weather is kind to us and amazingly we don’t feel cold at all.
We cross several channels in this way. The route is marked by Laurel Branches, chosen because their leaves do not drop.
Cedric keeps an eye out for us all. I ask him if , as the Queen’s Official Guide, he has ever taken Her Majesty across Morecambe Bay. He hasn’t ( yet! ) but he has had the pleasure of accompanying Prince Phillip in the 1980s. He had to tell The Duke off for driving his horse and carriage to fast over the sands!
Our walk takes a little over four hours and ends at Kent Bank station ,just outside Grange-Over-Sands. We amble back to our little B&B muddy, with aching legs and a great sense of achievement. 🙂
If you would like to donate to my Just Giving page please do. We are raising money for ‘East Lancs Hospice’.
Yesterday I took my camera down the fields in the hope of capturing one of the Barn Owls I frequently see when I’m walking the hound. Yes I know, I am one lucky girl! But the enchanting creatures, who I often see hunting in daylight ( I didn’t know they did that!) proved elusive this time. Just knowing they are around ( possibly due to ground being disturbed because of new housing estates being built in the area ) gives me hope that I will get my shot one day. 🙂
The birds I can depend on not to be too camera shy are the various garden types that feed in a gateway to the campsite near the river. Some kind soul puts food out for them every day. These birdies know how to Brunch. 🙂
I hung around for a while, until my feet started getting a wee bit cold. If I tell you I also saw two Jays but couldn’t get a picture, you will know how disappointed I was. 😦 But the fact that wildlife is thriving down by the river does make me happy. I frequently see Kingfishers, Herons, Dippers and Goosander. Two walkers told me recently that they have spied Otters! And of course the camera shy Barn Owl(s) are possibly the most beautiful and graceful birds I have ever seen in the wild. 🙂
And despite the cold weather it does appear that Spring is just round the corner. 🙂
I’ve currently been tucked up in bed at nights with the wind howling outside ( Storm Imogen I believe 😉 ) and a good book , one that I have become thoroughly engrossed in. The Book Of The Bothy by Phoebe Smith is a celebration of these humble ‘stone tents’ that offer a basic shelter and roof over the head of weary walkers in the remotest parts of the UK. Phoebe , a renowned travel journalist and serial ‘Bothy bagger’, has chosen 26 of her favourite MBA ( Mountain Bothies Association) bothies to hike to,spend the night in and write about. On the back of the book Phoebe explains ‘ I believe, if you wanted to, you could spend a whole summer staying in bothies, travelling from place to place,taking in one spectacular landscape after another with nothing but your rucksack, map and thirst for adventure. And the best thing? It wouldn’t cost you a penny….‘
It’s true, bothies are Free! Free places to stay for anyone and everyone. They are often abandoned farmsteads or cottages, sometimes with only one room and sometimes larger. They are incredibly basic inside with no running water, electricity or bathroom facilities. They are always a good hike away from civilisation of any kind and are left unlocked so wandering walkers can bed down in them for the night. The MBA looks after 100 bothies around Britain. Most of them are found in the wilds of Scotland but there are a few in Northern England and rural Wales which are mentioned in the book.
The Book of the Bothy is set out for an easy and informative read. There’s a map in the front with the locations of the bothies dotted in red. Phoebe’s introduction covers the history of bothies, their pro’s ( space to sleep, escape from midges etc) and cons ( Mice, spider’s, loud snorers! ) ,what to take, bothy etiquette ( leaving it tidy etc) and safety.
She also mentions Bothy traditions such as walker’s sharing a sip of whisky or two from a sigg bottle and of course filling in the Bothy Book. Every bothy has a kind of visitor’s book in which walkers can record their stays adventures and experiences. Seems like a useful tradition. 🙂
The rest of this handy guide concentrates on each individual bothy and Phoebe tells the reader the routes she followed ( there’s always a handy map reference), what to look out for ( wildlife,landmarks etc), essential information ( water sources, facilities etc) and she also writes her own Bothy Book entry for each property. 🙂
I’m really enjoying reading about Phoebe’s Bothy bagging and even though I usually hyperventilate at the thought of hiking anywhere…….this book is almost inspiring me to seek out a bothy. I think I would have to persuade Wil too, mind. What about you? Would you stay in a bothy??
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