So Jolly’s just had a cleaning inspection by young Mr Pip! 🐾 He was very thorough.
Happy to say we passed ✅
Suzie & Bri
So Jolly’s just had a cleaning inspection by young Mr Pip! 🐾 He was very thorough.
Happy to say we passed ✅
Suzie & Bri
Well, we’ve just parked Jolly back up in storage after a weekend break near Broughton in Furness, a small market town on the South West border of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria.
We stayed at Upper Hawthwaite Caravan Park, a C&MC adult-only CL site on a working farm. It’s approx. 1.5 miles outside Broughton-in-Furness and about a mile in the other direction from the village of Broughton Mills.
This is a small, quiet site of 5 hard standing pitches backing onto fields with sweeping views of the surrounding Dunnerdale Fells and Duddon Valley. Being a working farm, there are many different farming machines, etc. around but we heard no noise during our stay. We only met one of the owners briefly on arrival when he came to collect payment.
The facilities are perfectly adequate, close by to each other and spotlessly clean.
The weather was far from that which we had come to expect after a summer of endless sunshine. That said, the beauty of Cumbria and the Lakes is never diminished by a spot of rain. Well we say spot, but at times the heavens absolutely opened although thankfully this was through the nights with days remaining mostly dry.
For our first evening we walked the mile from site along a winding ‘B’ road to the village of Broughton Mills and the beautifully traditional Lakeland inn called The Blacksmiths Arms.
We had pre-booked a table which is essential as it’s definitely the place to go in this area and therefore gets very busy. The bar area is small and intimate giving it a friendly, social feel. They serve a good selection of real ales and high quality home-cooked food. This has to be one of our favourite pubs we’ve been to recently. We highly recommend you visit it if in the area!
Overnight, we were rocked to sleep in Jolly due to high winds blowing down through the valley and across the site which is quite exposed. These winds had died down by lunch time the next day so, after a late breakfast and a lazy morning, we jumped on our bikes to cycle into Broughton.
It was all downhill towards the town so we knew the homeward trip would demand much more pedal power. We also experienced a hairy moment when a motorist came flying up the hill around a blind bend onto our side of the road and nearly took us out, swerving at the last minute 😱. We saw the whites of her 👀 and if she looked in her rear view mirror she’ll have seen the flicking of Suzie’s two fingers!! ✌🏻🤬.
Anyway, we survived and cycled on into the centre of Broughton in Furness, parking up in the pretty Georgian market square where there’s an obelisk which has stood there since 1810, erected to commemorate the 50th year of the reign of King George III. This is the main focal point of the town. By the obelisk is a set of stocks and a couple of market fish slabs, and across the road is the Tourist Information Centre located in the old market hall.
As it was a dry and warm day we decided to ride out a little further on the bikes, following a short cycle/walking route we’d found online (approx. 4 miles). The first part follows a renovated stretch of the old Coniston Railway track which once carried slate and copper ore from the mines at Coniston to the coast.
At the beginning of the ride we passed a cute little community vegetable patch with a sign inviting locals to pick and/or plant whatever they wished.
Further along we arrived at a small tarn with a wooden bench where we walked quietly up to a flock of ducks sleeping. It was very peaceful sight so we sat there for a while before the ducks were woken by some dog walkers.
They were all standing on one leg (the ducks not the dog walkers). They do this to conserve heat via an adaptation called ‘rete mirabile’ (Latin for ‘wonderful net’). Their arteries carrying warm blood to the legs lie in contact with the veins carrying cold blood to the heart, helping them to maintain body temperature (Nature lesson over 🤓).
It was a gradual incline to the end of the renovated stretch of old railway line, when we then followed a narrower track to the right which took us down to Five Arches Road, sadly the five arches bridge no longer exists. We followed the rest of the route along lanes & tracks before completing the circular route back into town.
We finished off with a little detour along Foxfield Road to visit ‘Donkey Rock’, aka Eccle Riggs Bank Quarry. It’s easy to miss the entrance and just shoot past but it’s a site of geological interest and well worth a peek.
The quarry wall is over 400 million years old, and once part of a Silurian sea bed. It was pushed into the vertical position we see today by earth movements. That’s as much as we understand anyway!
For us, the most interesting and characterful by far is the 17th Century Manor Arms freehouse, which offers a good selection of real ales. It doesn’t do food. The pub to eat in seemed to be the Old Kings Head which has been refurbished and is very modern. The Black Cock Inn also serves food.
There’s a restaurant called Beswicks Langholme House but we weren’t sure whether this has now closed, and The Square Cafe both within the market square.
Here’s a list of eateries in the area.
We knew the cycling back up to site would take more effort than it had coming down. So we got our heads down to cycle & push (well it is called a push bike!) in equal measure.
Once we got back we could chill out and enjoy the rest of our evening. We actually timed our return well because within half an hour or so the rains and mist had set in.
We fired up the Lotus Grill and slapped on two very succulent fillet steaks to sizzle away while the mist descended upon the hills around us.
It was like a scene from that film, ‘Grillers in the Mist’ …. (sorry!) 🦍
We boiled some new potatoes and green beans inside on Jolly to accompany our meaty feast. Mmm, mmmmm, it was delicious.
A great way to end our stay 😊.
Next morning we drove through the misty valley back home. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend and in a strange way it was nice to have different weather this time around. It all adds to the experience.
Suzie & Bri
We recently spent a weekend up in the Northern edge of the Lake District or, as the locals call it, the ‘Back O’ Skidda’.
Our journey up was smooth without any hold-ups. The weather was changeable, driving through drizzle and low cloud over the southern lakes then finally being greeted with sunshine on arrival at our destination. Result! 😎
It’s an open all year, adult-only site which suited us well during the busy school summer holidays. There are both CL pitches for C&MC members and another section called ‘Millrace’ which we had pre-booked onto as the CL had already been booked up.
We’d originally booked for the previous weekend but had changed our plans and must say that the owners were very flexible with our request to move our stay. Big 👍 for that.
On arrival there’s a ‘New Arrivals’ board by the gate which had our name on and a pre-allocated pitch number. So we filled Jolly up and made our way to our pitch which was clearly marked with a reserved sign.
We were allocated Pitch 9 which was perfect for us in a quiet corner down by the riverside. All pitches are a generous size, separated by mature hedges for added privacy and most, if not all, are hard standing.
The site appeared to be run very efficiently. We didn’t actually meet the owners – maybe next time. There was no need to though, having paid upfront by PayPal and just following the instructions on arrival.
We found it to be a wonderfully quirky site in some ways, especially the toilets, showers and the variety of piping gear provided to fit any type of waste outlet imaginable! 😀.
Once pitched up we had a cuppa and a chill out for a while. The site was almost full but quiet. Normally you’d have the sound of the River Caldew which runs alongside the site, but it was very low, little more than a trickle after the prolonged period of hot, dry weather we’ve had.
The River Caldew runs through Millhouse from it’s origin at Skiddaw, down through the nearby fells at Caldbeck and onwards to Carlisle where it joins the River Eden.
The first evening we ate at the 18th Century Old Crown Inn in Hesket Newmarket, Britain’s first co-operatively owned pub with its own brewery next door (Hesket Market Brewery). The co-operative model of ownership of this pub has enabled it to retain a real community friendly feel. We enjoyed a couple of excellent ales (particularly enjoyed the Skiddaw) and some good pub grub there that night.
Prince Charles has visited twice. Yes, twice. ‘Nuff said about this great little pub! 🍻 👑
The next day we cycled from the campsite back through Hesket Newmarket and on towards the larger village of Caldbeck. Here we visited Priests Mill – a restored old water mill which was originally built by a Rector of the church next door. It now houses the Watermill Cafe and gift shops.
After a wander around the mill area and a cuppa and cheeky slice of cake at the cafe, we headed towards the 12th Century St Kentigern’s Church. We took a walk around the churchyard where the famous Huntsman, John Peel is buried, and went inside to write a message in the prayer book for a recently deceased friend 🙏.
By the riverside to the rear of the church you can see St Mungo’s/St Kentigern’s Well. This Well was made holy by St Kentigern for early Christian baptisms.
It’s a pretty riverside trail and although the water levels were low and the waterfall wasn’t thundering, it was still quite an impressive sight and sound. There is a section of very steep stone steps at the waterfall.
Before reaching The Howk, you walk through the ruins of an Old Bobbin Mill.
After our leisurely exploration of Caldbeck, we finished our day off with drinks and a meal at the Oddfellows Arms before cycling back to camp, calling in again at The Old Crown on the way. The Old Crown was definitely our favourite of the 2 pubs.
And that was it, another adventure over so quickly! Oh well, there’s always another just around the corner 🙂
Suzie & Bri
We’ve just enjoyed a cheeky one-nighter this weekend with some good buddies. Our destination this time was the little village of Cononley, in the Aire Valley, North Yorkshire. It’s approx. 3.5 miles from the bustling market town of Skipton.
We stayed at the Riverside Campsite, a C&CC certified site which is spread over 3 acres of level grass, with some areas sectioned off by tall privacy hedges. There are also a few hard standing pitches. The facilities and the surrounding scenery make it an impressive location and the centre of the village is just a 5-minute walk away. The cost as C&CC members for our moho, 2 adults, 1 night on a grass pitch with EHU was £16
Cononley has a general convenience store, railway station, Chinese take-away (Oriental May) and two pubs – The New Inn and The Railway. We had a drink in each of the pubs (be rude not to!) but didn’t eat in either.
We decided to catch the train from Cononley into Skipton late afternoon/early evening. The trains run regularly and its about an 8 minute journey. The ticket price was £4 return for 2 adults and £5 return for 2 adults/1 child.
After a few hours meandering around Skipton, visiting one or two hostelries (plenty to choose from), and finishing off with excellent fish n chips from Bizzie Lizzies by the canal, we caught the train back.
As we returned to site, the sun was beginning to set and we all gathered around outside chatting and having a nightcap before turning in for the night.
The following morning we all enjoyed bacon and egg baps and a cuppa tea or two before we packed Jolly up for our journey home. One-night camping trips are definitely worth doing whenever you can’t fit a full weekend in.
What a summer we’re having this year, it feels like the sun has been shining forever 😎. More of the same please!
Suzie & Bri
Last weekend we returned to the Lakeland village of Pooley Bridge for the first time in … ooooh … many years and our first time in Jolly.
We stayed at Waterfoot Park which is located just 0.9 miles from the centre of the village. The staff were very welcoming and helpful, giving us the usual facilities info and local info. As usual we didn’t use the site toilet/showers, using Jolly’s onboard facilities instead.
If you stay here and want to use Ullswater Steamer during your stay you can buy your ticket from the site reception at a reduced price.
It was a busy weekend on site and we were directed to a pre-allocated pitch on arrival (Pitch 19) which was one of the pitches on the outer perimeter of the touring site. We were happy with this as we thought that the centre pitches looked a little tight with the units backed up close to one another with less privacy.
After a couple of hours sunbathing beside Jolly, we followed directions given to us by reception for a pathway from the site into Pooley. The path is very scenic and a lot safer than walking along the busy road.
We took a slight detour first though, to check out the on-site bar – The Mansion Bar and Cafe. As its name suggests, it’s set in an old mansion house with a large terrace at the back and views of Ullswater in the distance. After a quick drink here we headed off on our walk. There’s a chippy van that parks up outside the mansion on certain evenings.
Pooley Bridge is situated at the North East end of Ullswater Lake with the River Eamont running through it. The old stone bridge that crossed the river at Pooley was sadly destroyed in the floods caused by Storm Desmond in 2015 and during our visit we saw the temporary metal bridge that is still in situ awaiting a permant replacement structure to be built.
We had a wander around the village before sitting out with a drink at the 1863 bar/bistro
Followed by a meal at the Sun Inn
Next day we decided to go for a walk in the beautiful weather. We set off well prepared with full flasks of water and decided to walk a section of the Ullswater Way, which is a 21-mile walking route around Ullswater. It can be walked from any starting point and in any direction.
We began by walking down to Pooley Bridge Pier and taking a ride on the Ullswater Steamer over to Howtown Pier.
From Howtown Pier we walked on approx. 500 yards into Martindale valley which lies between Ullswater and Haweswater. There’s an old Church of St Martin there and a hotel – The Howtown Hotel. We visited the cosy, traditional bar to the rear of the hotel and sat out for a little while on the sloping grass there.
After our drink, we walked back towards Howtown Pier where we joined the Ullswater Way via a gate up into a field on the right opposite the Pier entrance. It was an approx. 6-mile walk from here along the low level route back into Pooley Bridge. There’s the option of a higher route which takes you up to the Cock Pit Stone Circle but we were happy enough with our wander along the tracks overlooking Ullswater and through the fields, eventually coming out alongside the lake and continuing into Pooley Bridge.
But ohhhh, the vampire bloodsucking horseflies were bitey little bu*$ers up in the fields that day! 🧛♂️.
On arrival into Pooley Bridge, we had a couple of cool down pints and some food before heading back up to site, catching a lovely sunset over the hills on our way back. A total of about 8-miles walked in the day. We sat out on site with a brew before turning in.
The beautiful Lake District seen in the most perfect weather. Top weekend 👌. Our next Jolly trip is a cheeky little overnighter in Yorkshire with some camping buddies.
Suzie & Bri.
Although not a Jolly adventure, we recently visited Sir Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ sculptures which stand on Crosby Beach along the Merseyside coastline. We thought it worthy of a blog post.
The display consists of 100 cast-iron figures moulded to match his own body measurements. They all face out to sea and cover an area of approx. 2 miles from Waterloo to Blundellsands.
This is a visit we had on our ‘To Do’ list for a while now and one we think is a must to include in your itinerary if on a holiday in the area.
The sculptures stand enigmatically staring out at the horizon and we found them captivating. Each is submerged at different levels in the water as the tide rolls in and out. The idea behind them is apparently to represent the experience of occupying a human body and its connection with nature, the ebb and flow of the tide and the passing of time. Some of the figures were covered in barnacles adding greater emphasis to the effects of nature’s elements and planetary time on the ‘bodies’.
Obviously you see more as the tides goes out, so be sure to check the tide times. That said, we arrived just after high tide and it was fascinating watching more and more of the figures slowly becoming visible as the water receded.
Nearest camping sites we’ve located online for visiting this area are:-
Here’s a link to more of his work:-
A fascinating day out!
Suzie & Bri
Our Isle of Wight Adventure was drawing to a close and we decided to spend another day oot n aboot on the bikes.
We found what looked to be an interesting circular cycling route on the Wightlink website. It turned out to be very scenic and without many steep hills (just two I think) – result! The route involved a combination of road, off road and cycle track.
We picked the route up outside the site at the top of Heathfield Road (just up from Colwell Road on the map), turning left and following the road down through Totland and on towards Freshwater Bay. There are old smuggler caves in this bay that can be seen at low tide. Today though, the action seemed to be mostly water sports enthusiasts.
We sat at the bay for a while before carrying on through the hamlet of Afton, after which we turned onto the cycleway which carried us along into Yarmouth. This part was a gentle ride alongside the picturesque River Yar Estuary.
On arrival at Yarmouth we reached ‘Off The Rails’, a cafe/restaurant located within the old Yarmouth Railway Station. It’s furnished very much in keeping with its rail history. We stopped here for a drink and sat at a table outside on the old platform imagining the station back in its day.
Afterwards, we continued into the bustling Yarmouth Harbour which is pretty and lively with plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, etc to keep you occupied.
Basically, our afternoon was spent in the Harbour area wandering and watching boats come and go. Two places we visited and would recommend for food/drink are:-
Salty’s – a quirkily appealing bar with a separate restaurant. We only went into the bar section downstairs which was very welcoming and relaxed with long tables and long bench seating creating a very sociable feel. Visitors can write on the ceiling (so obviously we did!) which is painted over every 2 years so that there’s always space for visitors to leave their mark. Upstairs is the seafood restaurant and we’d love to try this out on a future visit.
Bugle Coaching Inn – 16th century inn in the Market Square. Despite being very busy we somehow managed to find a table and enjoyed a lovely meal there.
Obviously there are loads more places but there’s only so much us two could eat/drink during one afternoon/evening there 😬.
By evening there was another lovely sunset over the boats in the Harbour which we captured before cycling back to site over Bridge Road. There’s quite a steep section after this point where we pushed our bikes up before re-mounting to finish off the short ride back to site.
All this fresh air and exercise out and about was making us sleep very well! 😴.
On the final day of our holiday we decided to chill out beside Jolly and soak up some of the glorious sunshine 😎 as we’d been on the move pretty much since we arrived. The site wasn’t over busy and so we enjoyed a relaxing, peaceful afternoon. We also started to pack up some things in preparation for leaving the next morning.
By late afternoon, we’d decided that our final meal for this visit had to be back at The Hut in Colwell Bay. So we pre-booked a table online and walked there as the bikes had been loaded back up onto the back of Jolly. It was about a 2 mile walk to The Hut and back.
The Hut was heaving on arrival but again still seemed to retain just the right atmosphere, and soon quietened down a little after the afternoon rush. We ate, had a couple of drinks and stayed just long enough to catch the sunset, before returning for an early night in preparation for our long journey home the next day.
The perfect finish to our hollibobs.
Our drive back up took us through the New Forest which looked stunning and had animals roaming freely through the fields and by the roadside. It’s another place on our lonnnnng ‘To Do’ list.
So, our verdict on the Isle of Wight for a moho adventure ….
FANBLINKINTASTIC! Obviously the perfect summer weather helped, but the place itself is beautiful with so much more to see and do than we had originally expected of this relatively small island. Numerous camping sites/touring parks to allow easy exploration of all areas of the island. The South is considered the more tourist-popular side of the island, but we found the North equally appealing. We came back having fallen in love with the place and knowing that we must return to explore it some more.
Ahhh, I’m all blogged out after this trip and Jolly’s parked up having a rest … but not for long 😉.
Suzie & Bri
We spent a day at Alum Bay. Although it’s only approx. 3 miles from the campsite we caught the bus as the roads for the route weren’t ideal for cycling. We caught the Southern Vectis No.7 Newport-Alum Bay bus from the bus stop just outside the site entrance. The name of the site bus stop is ‘Heathfield Road Top’ and the stop for the return trip is just a little further up across the road.
It was a superb day out and the continuing wonderful weather we were enjoying really made it special. Our day was filled with stunning scenery, a chairlift ride down to the beach & back up, a boat ride around the Needles rocks & lighthouse, and an open top bus ride up to the Needles Old & New Batteries for what turned out to be a fascinating and informative couple of hours of military history.
Firstly though, on arrival we purchased tickets for the chairlift ride. The cost was £6 each return, but they advised us at the ticket office that it was cheaper to buy a book of tickets for £9 which would cover us both for the ride. So that’s obviously what we did.
We’d previously read that the chairlift wasn’t for the faint hearted. However, never ones to let the possibility of plummeting from a great height and crashing down onto a rocky cliff face to deter us, we gave it a go.
The point where it first takes you over the cliff edge is a bit of a squeaky bum moment, but we really enjoyed it. It’s a slow and gentle ride and luckily it was a very still and clear day. The impressive views over the beach, out to sea, and of the Needles in the distance took most of our attention.
Once down at the beach we decided to take the pleasure boat ride on ‘Ramblin’Rose’ out to the Needles rocks and lighthouse to get a closer view and some photos.
The boat ride also provided good views of the unusual multi-coloured sand cliffs.
There are apparently 21 different shades of colour and, according to the Needles Landmark Attraction website, the reason for this is:-
“Approximately 70 million years ago, the sea bed rose, was eroded and then sank beneath the sea again. The new sea was shallow and it laid down a series of sands and clays. Some 10 million years later, movement in the bedrock caused these sediments to be pushed nearly vertically to form the multi-coloured cliffs that are visible today”
The sands are made of three minerals – quartz, felspar and mica, and in their pure state are white with other colours being produced through contamination by other minerals.
We brought home a memento glass jar of the sand from the gift shop like most people probably do.
After exploring the beach for a while we rode back up the cliff and hopped on the open top ‘Needles Breezer’ bus which took us up to the Old and New Needles Batteries. It was a refreshing, blustery ride up the coastal road. Alternatively, there’s a coastal footpath you can walk up. We’d love to return to this area and explore Tennyson Down which we didn’t have the time to do on this trip.
The Needles Battery is a National Trust attraction and we decided to become members while we were there. We had been meaning to join for a while. The membership took immediate effect so we got free entrance into the Old Battery. The New Battery is free to everyone.
We’ll let the photos tell the story of our visit because we saw too much to talk about and took plenty of snaps.
Half way through our wander up there, we called into the 1940s style cafe for tea and cake. It’s so authentic that we really felt like we’d been transported back in time. In fact, I can still hear Glen Miller as I type … 🎺 🎶
We poked our noses in pretty much every room, nook and cranny of the site, finishing up in the tunnel to the searchlight which has windows looking directly out at the chalk stacks that are The Needles. Not sure how long exactly we were there but the time flew by.
Here are a few more photos taken at the Old Battery throughout the afternoon:-
Well that was quite enough excitement for one day 🙂 so we caught the No.7 back to site.
Next day we were going to the Yarmouth Harbour area as we’d only driven through it on arrival.
Suzie & Bri
So, we’ve finally joined the National Trust after several years of saying we really ought to support this fabulous organisation. We’ve visited many places and have benefitted from plenty of their work over the years, especially since adventuring in Jolly. On top of that, the prospect of helping to preserve such special places for future generations makes it a no-brainer really.
£114 for joint membership for the year. Worth every penny.
We joined whilst on the Isle of Wight visiting The Needles Battery (blog post to follow). Membership took immediate effect so we didn’t pay admission on that day, and our membership cards arrived this morning 🙂.
Suzie & Bri
So, after a fab 4-night stay at Southland C&MC Site we set off for Heathfield Farm Camping Park at Norton Green just outside Freshwater.
That morning, we saw our first bit of rain since arriving on the island but it didn’t get heavy or last for very long. On arrival at Heathfield, we checked in with the wardens, were given some information about the site and local area, filled Jolly up with water and then followed the warden who led us to our pitch (no. 12). We had pre-booked and opted for a large pitch and we certainly got that. It was huge compared to some sites. Plenty of privacy space to enjoy the sunshine which did reappear soon enough 😎.
That afternoon we decided to explore the area on our bikes. We turned left out of site to the top of Heathfield Road, turned left again and followed the road down until we came to a sign for Colwell Bay which is located between Totland & Yarmouth.
There are good views of mainland England from the bay and to the right as you look out you can see Fort Albert, a Victorian gun tower. You can also walk further along the sea wall to Totland Bay (approx. 1.5 miles).
On arrival at the bay we passed a cafe by the beach and as we reached the sea wall/prom we looked to our left and saw a row of colourful beach huts. These huts can be hired out for the day.
In between the rows of beach huts, we came across ‘The Hut’ which is a restaurant/bar. This turned out to be the best find of our whole holiday eatery-wise. We bought a drink and sat at an outside table on the front terrace looking out across the Solent. The sun had reappeared by this time and we kicked back, relaxed and just watched the boats coming and going. The chill out lounge music being played was spot on for the setting.
The Hut offers a collection service for people arriving by boat, bringing them in to shore and this appeared to be a popular service. We saw several groups of people arriving from the mainland to eat here.
We had originally only intended to have a drink before venturing further afield but we were so pulled in by the whole vibe of the place that we ended up booking a table for our evening meal. We decided to try our first ever lobster and steak ‘surf and turf’. It was SENSATIONAL. Wowzers! 😋 . Our holiday treat to ourselves.
If we lived locally this would definitely be a regular haunt for us. The atmosphere was great, lots of groups in party mood but without any rowdiness. Also couples, a real mix. It really pulled us in. One of the best bar restaurants we’ve ever been to (and we’ve been to a few 😉).
Anyway, that was the first day of the second half of our Isle of Wight Adventure. Next day we planned to visit The Needles at Alum Bay. Soooo much to see on this beautiful island.
Suzie & Bri