Overwater Marina, Audlem, Cheshire

We booked this two-nighter last year as we thought it looked a pretty one.  Our destination was the village of Audlem on the South Cheshire border with Shropshire.  The village is situated alongside the Shropshire Union Canal which starts in Wolverhampton in The Midlands, running northwards towards Cheshire, the River Mersey and Ellesmere Port.

The Audlem stretch of the canal is famous for its 15 locks, designed by Thomas Telford to raise the canal up to the Shropshire Plain from the lower Cheshire Plain.  These locks cover a distance of approx. a mile and a half.

We stayed at Overwater Marina just outside Audlem.


We had booked a pitch in the Caravan & Motorhome Club 5-pitch CL area (£15 per night with EHU).  They are attractively laid out, spacious, hard-standing pitches with a separate grassed area and picnic table.

On arrival we were informed that we had been allocated pitch number 3 but it was immediately clear that somebody else was already pitched there.   Staff expressed surprise that it was already occupied and then told us that somebody must have either overstayed their occupancy or pitched in the wrong place.  They didn’t really know and to be honest didn’t seem that bothered.  In fact, even when the pitch later became available nobody bothered to tell us.  So, a shambles is the best way to describe check-in to be honest!

Oh well, we found ourselves a pitch on the new section of 10 hard-standings.   Not as pretty but functional and serviced which was a positive.  Facilities were good.

We spent the first afternoon and evening around Jolly just having an end of week wind-down and chill out before an early night in preparation for the next day exploring the area.  We woke to blazing sunshine and had again struck lucky with the weather.  That’s 3 breaks in a row of sunshine.  Hope this run of luck lasts 🙏😎

We began the day with a breakfast at the on site ‘Cafe at Bridge 80’.  The food was good and set us up for the day.  We then rode our bikes along the canal towpath into Audlem.  It would be about a 20-25 minute walk or there’s the option of taking the ‘Audlem Lass’, a canal boat taxi, which runs between the marina and the village.


It’s a really beautiful walk/cycle/boat ride, whichever you choose.  Very scenic and part of what is considered to be one of the prettiest walks in lowland England.

On arrival in Audlem, we stopped for a swiftie 🍻 at the Shroppie Fly pub, situated by a lock on the canal.


While sitting in the sunshine we decided to change our original plan which had been to visit Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker (not so secret, there are signs everywhere!) in Nantwich, a further 3 miles down the towpath.  It was just too nice a day to be spent in an underground bunker.  We got chatting to a local who said the bunker is definitely worth a visit at some point though and is quite an eerie experience.  It gives us a good reason to re-visit this beautiful area another time.

Hack Green (not so) Secret Nuclear Bunker


Audlem has an interesting history and a lot to offer for a village.


There is also a busy calendar of events happening in and around the area throughout the year worth bearing in mind if planning a visit.  A local particularly recommended the Music & Arts Festival and Beer Festival for a great atmosphere.  There’s a list of events here:-


Free parking in the village and some lovely shops including the ‘Lllovely Chocolate Shop’.  No shortage of good eating and drinking establishments including three pubs – The Shroppie Fly, Bridge Inn just around the corner from the Shroppie, and further along the main road from there is the Lord Combermere at the centre of the village.

At the end of our day’s wanderings we ate back at the Shroppie Fly where we got talking to a lovely & interesting coupe who owned a narrow boat ‘Layla’ and loved to travel –

Hello, if you’re reading this Ann & ? sorry we didn’t manage to call in for a nightcap but we had probably had enough by then and at least we didn’t interrupt your football match viewing! 😉   

The food at the Shroppie was great and so was the atmosphere.

With full bellies we cycled the towpath back to camp at the end of a thoroughly enjoyable day.  Definitely a visit we’d recommend and repeat.  A big thumbs up!

This year has been a great one so far both weather-wise and destination-wise, and we’re still only in Spring.  Loving it!  Bring on the next adventure.

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri

Crowden, Glossop, High Peak, Derbyshire

Back from another cheeky Jolly jaunt!  This time we fancied another peek at the Peak District.

Crowden, a village lying in the Longdendale Valley of the High Peak area of Derbyshire, north-east of Glossop, was our destination.  It’s Derbyshire’s most northerly village and a popular first stop for those walking the 267-mile Pennine Way which begins approx. 16 miles away in Edale and stretches allllllll the way up to Kirk Yetholm, just over the Scottish Border.  Anyway, enough about that, I’ve sprung a blister just thinking about it.

There are 6 reservoirs within the Longdendale Valley (Woodhead, Torside, Rhodeswood, Valehouse, Bottoms and Arnfield) known collectively as the ‘Longdendale Chain’ on the River Etherow.  There was apparently once a seventh reservoir at nearby Hollingworth but that one was abandoned and became what is today Swallows Wood Nature Reserve.

We stayed for the first time at Crowden Camping and Caravanning Club Site.  A site mostly for walkers/cyclists or anyone wanting to get away from it all as it is in quite a remote location compared to many other sites.  There are plenty of places to visit that are a drive away, fine if you have transport but we didn’t see anything in the way of public transport in the immediate area.

It’s a lovely little site though, with a recently refurbished toilet block and the staff provide a great food service for weary walkers, etc. in the form of pizzas/burgers in the evening, and breakfasts.  We didn’t use this service as we had brought our own food for the first evening and ate while out and about the following day, but it appeared to be very popular with many campers.  There was even delivery to your pitch – nice touch!


Crowden is situated on high moorland and was originally created to re-locate people displaced by the necessity to dam and flood the lower part of the valley when the reservoirs were created between 1848-1884.  It was once served by a railway station on the Woodhead Line which linked the cities of Manchester and Sheffield and ran through the valley via the Woodhead Tunnel.  The station was closed in 1957 and the line used for the last time in 1981.

Part of the old railway line has since been transformed into the 7-mile ‘Longdendale Trail’ (part of NCN62) running from nearby Hadfield to the Woodhead Tunnel.  You can walk, cycle or ride ya horse along it.

We joined the trail at Crowden, rode the section to Woodhead tunnel and back before then following the rest of the trail into Hadfield, where we had a wander around the town and a bite to eat, before heading back home along the trail.

Woodhead Reservoir

The trail is relatively flat, just a gradual incline heading Woodhead way from Hadfield but this isn’t particularly noticeable.  It’s a hard gravel surface so is easy to ride but apparently it can be difficult if very wet.  Because the trail is exposed, it provides wonderfully uninterrupted scenic views of the surrounding landscape and reservoirs, with plenty of viewing places to sit awhile and just take it all in.   We definitely saw this place at it’s best as the weather couldn’t have been better – cloudless skies and not so much as a breeze.

On arrival at Hadfield we just had a mooch around.  The town, particularly the main street, was used as the filming location for ‘The League of Gentlemen’.   We just happened upon the Pauline’s Job Centre.

After an afternoon of cycling and walking we stopped to enjoy a couple of real ales and a meal in the beer garden at The Peels Arms Hotel, before heading back along the trail to site.


Another great weekend has flown by.  Fab weather, hope it continues!


Suzie & Bri

Leyburn, Richmondshire, North Yorkshire

Wall to wall Spring sunshine, peace & tranquility, wildlife galore, pretty villages, stunning scenery and one of the best Caravan & Motorhome Club sites we have visited so far.  All in all we’ve just spent a pretty perfect weekend in the lower Wensleydale area of North Yorkshire.

Our approx. 2 hour journey took us up the M6 to Junc 34 then across to Ingleton, up through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, past the White Scar Caves (visited previously – see our ‘Ingleton’ post), and the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct, through pretty towns and villages such as Burton-in-Lonsdale, Chapel-le-Dale, Hawes and Aysgarth, then finally into Leyburn, where just a mile further down the road into Harmby we turned left at the Pheasant Inn and took the narrow road up to site.

It’s clear to see why it’s important for visitors to adhere to the specified arrival/departure times here as there would be no passing space for two units.  Big thumbs up to the Lower Wensleydale Caravan & Motorhome Club Site.  It’s a gem.  Set in an old disused quarry, which is now well-established with trees and wildlife, including LOTS of rabbits.

From the moment we arrived we were struck by the great welcome and bright smiles from the wardens.  They were also very helpful in pointing out the best available sunshine pitches.

It was a busy weekend on site, probably due to the great weather, and yet still so tranquil.  Facilities were spot on.


The Wensleydale Railway, which provides some tourist steam services and special event days, runs from Northallerton to Redmire and passes through Leyburn and along the bottom of the site.


We spent our first afternoon soaking up some much needed sunshine before biking the mile or so along the main road into Leyburn via Harmby.

It’s a thriving market town which is quite big on tourism with a variety of things to do or visit, including many walks and cycling routes.

Rather than list them all, check out this Leyburn Tourist Information vid for a bit of inspiration:-


After some deliberation about food on our first evening (plenty of choices), we finally decided to eat at a gastropub called The Sandpiper Inn in the town centre.  Right choice!  This places gets great reviews and served us some fabulous food.  OK, not the cheapest but worth the money.   With happy, full bellies we cycled back to camp for the night and slept likes logs 🙂


The next morning, we awoke to birdsong and, wow, the sun really shone for Suzie’s birthday!  After a fried egg on crumpet brekkie, the breakfast of champions, we saddled up for a day out on the bikes.

Check out the link below for our ‘Jolly Wensley’ale Bike Trail’ we put together.  Let us know if you try it:- 🙂

The Jolly Wensley’Ale Bike Trail

Obviously drinking responsibly, the main aim was really to visit as many of the surrounding villages as we could in the day but with the added interest of calling into some olde worlde hostelries.

There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn” ~ Samuel Johnson

With the scenic rolling hills, there was a good balance of ups and downs, the downhills always compensating for the uphill pushes.  The final stretch up Harmby Bank is definitely a walker though, unless you’re a real fittie 😀

Next day, another great weekend over, we enjoyed a brew in the sunshine before heading home from the Yorkshire Dales back to Lancashire.

The clocks have sprung forward now for British Summertime so bring on the summer adventures!


Suzie & Bri