Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

To finish our afternoon wanderings off, we stopped off for a couple of drinks in town.  There are 3 pubs within the centre, the Black Cock Inn, the Old Kings Head and the Manor Arms

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.

However, we’d decided to cook our own meal back on Jolly that evening.  So we called into the village bakery (also a cafe), Butchers/grocers to collect our ingredients.

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.

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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.

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ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Pooley Bridge, Cumbria

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.

https://www.waterfootpark.co.uk/

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.

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We had a wander around the village before sitting out with a drink at the 1863 bar/bistro

https://1863ullswater.co.uk/

Followed by a meal at the Sun Inn

https://suninnpooleybridge.co.uk/

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.

http://www.ullswater.co.uk/the-ullswater-way.html

Map of the Ullswater Way

We began by walking down to Pooley Bridge Pier and taking a ride on the Ullswater Steamer over to Howtown Pier.

https://www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk/

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! 🧛‍♂️.

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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.

ONWARD!>>>> 🚐

Suzie & Bri.

Santon Bridge, Holmrook, Cumbria

The Old Post Office Campsite at Santon Bridge, Holmrook in the Lake District was the destination for our most recent Jolly adventure.  It’s a privately run riverside site comprising both hard standing and grass pitches with the usual facilities.  We used our onboard facilities though.  Some of the pitches overlook the River Irt and we were lucky enough to be allocated one of these, a hard standing with EHU.

Couldn’t fault the location – riverside, countryside and just a short stroll over the bridge to the Bridge Inn pub which serves great food.   We ate here on both nights.

Many people visit this area to climb Scaffell Pike and enjoy the various other walks the area has to offer.   The scenery is truly spectacular in this less touristy western lakes area.

On the Saturday we jumped on our bikes to cycle the undulating country road that runs alongside the shores of Wastwater towards Wasdale Head.  This area has a number of  claims to fame as the home of England’s highest mountain (Scafell Pike), deepest lake (Wastwater), smallest church (St Olaf’s) and the biggest liar 🤥.

This was the route we took.  If you look closely you can see I’ve placed faint red bike symbols along the yellow route.  Sorry if it isn’t particularly good you’ll just have to look a bit harder 😛😂

Map of our cycle route

The weather during our stay was fabulously hot and sunny 😎, in fact possibly the best weather we’ve experienced in the Lakes.  We had an active day, but made plenty of time to stop and take in the beauty of the area.   At one point we were sitting on a steep, rocky mound overlooking the lake when we both caught a glimpse out of the corner of our eyes of a cycle helmet rolling and bouncing down the banking … then into the lake  *splash* 💦😳.   Bri enjoyed the feeling of the wind flowing through his locks for the rest of the day.

As you can imagine in such stunning surroundings, there were a lot of photographs to be taken so I’ll stick ‘em in a slide show:-

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We had a well earned pit stop sitting out at the Wasdale Head Inn before our return journey by the same route, with a slight detour into Nether Wasdale.

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Wow, what a weekend made all the more perfect by the weather.  We couldn’t have hoped to see Wasdale in better conditions.  After our little detour on the way home we cycled back to The Bridge Inn next door to camp for some tea before returning to site to relax.

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The next morning was more overcast though still warm as we packed up for home, taking an unintentional route over some fell or other, we know not which (Birker Fell?).  Anyhow, we were pleased to descend back down into Broughton-in-Furness to pick up the ‘A’ roads again.

Yet more great memories made.  Our next adventure will be our annual Jolly June Jaunt.  Bring it on!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Lakes & Fells Caravan Site, Newby Bridge, Cumbria

Sooo, what a lovely weekend we’ve just had in Jolly, staying around the Newby Bridge area of the Lake District, Cumbria, at the southern tip of Lake Windermere.

You wouldn’t think it was supposed to be Spring, meteorologically speaking anyway.  The weather was definitely more wintry. Astronomically, Spring didn’t start until 20th March though, so for the intervening period and to avoid ourselves any further confusion we declared a new season – ‘Sprinter’ 😁.

Anyhoo, for this Sprinter break we enjoyed some changeable but very lovely weather. A little snow but not too much and plenty of bright sunshine in between the snow showers. It was breezy, windier through the nights, but when wrapped up warm during the daytime it made for a perfect couple of days out and about in the picturesque Lake District.

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We arrived on Friday afternoon and stayed at the Lakes & Fells Caravan Site which is approximately 1.5 miles outside Newby Bridge. It’s a small Camping and Caravanning Club CS member-only site of 5 pitches and is adults-only. Each pitch is spacious with electric hook-up, drinking water tap and a satellite connection. There’s a motorhome waste water disposal area and a chemical toilet disposal point located a little way out of the pitch area up a grass banking.

The site’s quiet and secluded and it suited us well. Each pitch was occupied during our stay. We didn’t see the owners, probably missed them as we were out and about through the daylight hours. When it came to leaving we rang them and they directed us to a box on the gate of the pitch area, asking us to place our money in a waterproof bag (it rains in the box a little) and post it in the box.  It was 24 for two nights which we thought very reasonable.

Soon after arrival and a steaming hot mug of tea, we walked the 1.5 miles or so down into Newby Bridge, turning right out of the site and following the main road down. There is a more scenic, slightly longer walk which can be taken by turning left out of site through Finsthwaite, down by the church, where there’s a sign for Newby Bridge off to the right. Not sure the details of this route but presume it brings you out alongside the river at Newby Bridge.

Anyway, on our route down the main road to Newby Bridge we took care as it was fairly busy with bends and turns and there’s always at least one nutter who sees no reason to expect walkers around a bend … until he/she sees the whites of their eyes  👀 ).

About half a mile down we passed the Quay at Lakeside and the Lakeside Hotel. From the Lakeside Pier you can board steamers and explore the Windermere area further. We’ve used these in the past when we’ve stayed at the Lakeside Hotel before our Jolly days, but we didn’t use them during this stay.

We had an eventful walk that afternoon. About a further half a mile down, as we were bumbling along the road we heard the plaintive cry of a lamb, and on looking over the wall we saw the heartbreaking sight of a little lost lamb by a roadside stream.

Without further ado, we immediately instigated “Operation Jolly Lamb Rescue”, both climbing the wall, crossing the shallow stream, and coaxing the lamb back up through the thicket and eventually over the fencing it must’ve come through. We then carried Lucky (we hope he was) back across the field to his flock and left him with them in the hope that his mother would locate him or at the very least the farmer would know he was there. We’d no idea whose land it was.  Fingers crossed all turned out well for the little one 🐑.

 

Another half a mile later mile we crossed a bridge over the old Lakeside & Haverthwaite Heritage Railway line before arriving in Newby Bridge, a small hamlet which got its name from the 5-arched 17th century stone bridge which spans the River Leven there.

We pottered and called into The Huntsman’s Inn (he wasn’t) at the Newby Bridge Hotel and later had a fish n chip supper at the Swan Hotel before commencing our walk back to camp armed with high viz jackets and torch 🔦.

The wind was quite wild at times during the night but we woke to a beautiful Sprinter’s day. After a toasted tea cake & a mug of tea we made flasks up and headed out for a walk up to High Dam.  We turned left out of site towards Finsthwaite, passing the old Stott Park Bobbin Mill.  This mill is open as a visitor attraction and on our next stay here we’ll call but unfortunately it was still closed for winter during our visit (it opens at the end of March).

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Following the road to Finsthwaite we reached the Finsthwaite High Dam car park and started the climb up from there. The weather really made this walk something special, as it was bitterly cold, but there were periods of bright sunshine in between snow flurries with the flakes dancing around the air and over the water. It made for some impressive photographic scenes.

We passed Low Dam just before reaching High Dam, which used to serve Bobbin Mill in its day, and carried on walking right around the Dam.  We took time to sit on a bench half way around to take in the beautiful view and have cup of warming hot coffee. Although this isn’t by any means a long or difficult walk, except maybe the uneven rocky terrain in some areas on the way up, the rewarding views, particularly on a day like we had make it an absolute gem not to be overlooked if in the area.

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Suzie getting arty farty – snow flakes dancing in the air at High Dam

We came down from our High Dam visit and walked through the small village of Finsthwaite, turning down past St Peter’s Church. Here, there are footpaths either to Lakeside or Newby Bridge. We carried on straight ahead towards Lakeside as we planned on eating there that evening. It was about a mile or so away, across a field and through Great Knott Wood before re-joining the main road just up from the Lakeside Hotel.

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There’s a cosy bar at the Lakeside Hotel and we enjoyed a couple of drinks before eating in the John Ruskin Brasserie within the hotel. Not the cheapest of eats, but the food there was absolutely delicious – we can recommend the fillet steak and the sea bass. Yum! 😋.

Top o’ the day to ya! We took Seamus along to raise a glass for St Patrick’s Day 🍻 ☘️

By the time we left the hotel, the snow had set in again and was beginning to stick as we headed back the half mile to camp.  By the time we arrived back at Jolly it was looking like it might get to a decent depth. However, by the time morning arrived and the sunshine came out it started to melt away quickly before we set off for home.

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Another top weekend and we’ll probably return to this site to visit the mill, Lakeside Quay and I think there’s a walk up to Finsthwaite Tower from Newby Bridge. Someone had said to us there’s nothing to do in Newby Bridge, but we found plenty!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

An Autumnal Coniston, Lake District

This month we returned to Coniston in the Lake District.  It’s definitely one of our favourites, not only because of the beauty of the area but because it was the destination for our maiden Jolly adventure back in March, 2014.   We’ve been here three times now in Jolly – see previous blog posts by searching ‘Coniston’.

As per previous visits, we pitched up at Coniston Park Coppice Caravan Club Site

Jolly doing his best Elvis impression – I’m all hooked up ooh hoo hoo, ooh hoo, yeah yeahhhh …

It’s a huge site of 228 touring pitches, some tent pitches and there are now some camping pods named after Coniston’s famous speedster son, Donald Campbell, and a few luxury chalets.  The site’s open all year round but out of season only the top end remains open.  During our visit the whole site was still open, a first for us and we really got a feel of the size of the site.  There are pitches to suit everyone, well spaced too.

We find this site ideally located between Coniston itself and the small village of Torver which we like to visit on our first evening there.  We’ve had some good times at the Wilsons Arms  with its warm open fire, friendly welcome, good beer, great food and relaxing ambience.  Perfect.

 

There’s another pub in Torver, the Church House Inn which is equally nice and also has a 5-pitch caravan/motorhome site to the rear.  Facilities provided are: a toilet and shower block and water supply.  Prices for Caravan Club members start at £10 per night. We didn’t call in this time though as it was shut on the Friday night which was unusual.  Maybe they’d heard we were coming?

This was our first visit to Coniston in Autumn and what a stunning show of autumnal hues we were treated to.  The weather was wet and there was already quite a lot of surface water before we arrived.  Never ones to allow a bit of rain and mud to stop us though, we had a great time … and plenty of mud-caked laundry on our return.

 

A great weekend.  Not sure where we’re off to next just yet.

Oh, nearly forgot, Ed Sheeran works at The Ship Inn, Coniston where we ate on our last evening following a day out on the bikes around the local area …

Cheeky little photo with Ed!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Coniston, The Lake District

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Some top advice 😉

This was our third visit to the Park Coppice Caravan Club site at Coniston and it never loses its appeal for us.

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/caravanclubapps/applications/uk-caravan-sites-and-parks/SiteDetails.aspx?csid=21956

This was our first motorhome destination in 2014 after buying Jolly.  Check out our two previous blog posts for info on what we got up to.

We were extremely lucky with the weather this time, having booked this jaunt several weeks ago and finding ourselves blessed with the best weekend weather of the last few weeks.  We arrived on site mid-afternoon and were soon pitched up and relaxing.  This is a large all year round site of 252 good-sized pitches set within woodland.  However, the site only has the top end pitches open out of season.

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Pitched up

We enjoyed a couple of hours taking in our surroundings in the sunshine with a brew or two and some nibbles, before climbing on our bikes and cycling the couple of miles into the hamlet of Torver.  The bridleway there is an old rail track which takes you safely away from the main road.  It is easy to blink and miss Torver as you pass through, but we recently discovered that Torver has an extensive history since its very earliest days when Vikings settled there and farmed the land.  Also, an interesting fact we discovered is that in 1954 the first major UFO sighting in Britain is recorded as taking place near Torver …

 

Ooooh!  Anyhow, hoax or no hoax, it is our tradition for the first evening at this site to have a few drinks and tea in Torver.  Previously, though, there has only been one choice of pub in the village – The Wilson’s Arms.

http://www.thewilsonsarms.co.uk/

… but this year we discovered that the Church House Inn, just across the road, has now reopened adding a little more variety.  We noted too, from chatting to another couple of motorhomers, that the Church House Inn provides 5 caravan/motorhome pitches to the rear with electric, shower & toilet facilities.  They hold regular live music nights, food nights and beer festivals at this pub so if this is your thing it’s worth checking out their website for upcoming events.

http://www.thechurchhouseinn.com/

Needless to say, we managed to fit both pubs in and enjoyed a few drinks, game of cards, and a hearty meal of fish and chips at the Wilson’s Arms before returning to Jolly to cabin up for the night.

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An impressive Torver sunset

Our next day was spent well wrapped up and cycling in and around Coniston, just taking in the fabulous scenery on a perfect winter’s day of sunshine and blue skies.  Suzie enjoyed some great photography too.  We meandered around and enjoyed a warming hot chocolate and cake at the Bluebird Cafe down by the boating centre at Coniston Water.  Yum!

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http://www.thebluebirdcafe.co.uk/index.html

We then decided to explore Tarn Hows which we hadn’t done on previous visits.  This is approx. a mile and a half away from the centre of Coniston.  It is an often quite steep wooded track up to the Tarn, which was made trickier for us as we pushed our bikes all the way up to the top car park!  That said, the rewarding views of the Tarn and the exhilarating downhill return journey by road more than made up for our earlier efforts.

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Tarn Hows is a popular visitor attraction and said to be the most photographed water in the Lake District.  It used to be three smaller ones called High, Middle and Low Tarn. Until in 1862, a dam was built to raise the level, and with other landscaping the Tarn we see today was created.  The Hows are the surrounding small, wooded hills.  The spot was once owned by Beatrix Potter who later passed it on to the National Trust for future safe-keeping.

We managed to capture some lovely photos of the amazing scenery encountered during our day:-

After all that exercise we were, understandably, quite thirsty(!) and cycled down into Coniston for a couple of well-earned pints of Bluebird Bitter by Coniston Brewing Co at the Black Bull Inn.  We then ate at The Ship Inn on the way back to camp.

https://www.robinsonsbrewery.com/shipinnconiston

We slept well that night 💤💤 after a perfect weekend.

Our next planned Jolly jaunt isn’t for a few weeks, unless we manage to cram a cheeky one in between, who knows!?

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Ulverston, South Lakes, Cumbria

We’ve just had a great adventure to Ulverston in Jolly.  It was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.  We knew we’d enjoy this break but it far exceeded our expectations.  The lovely town, friendly people, and no shortage of things to see and do really made for an excellent stay and we reckon we’ll be re-visiting time and again in the future for a regular fix.  We’ll also be sure to pay a visit at Christmas time one year for the town’s Dickensian Festival.

Driving into the Cumbria sunshine 🌞

Driving into the Cumbrian sunshine 🌞

Ulverston is a market town in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, North West England.  It was previously located in Lancashire before changes to boundaries.   It is very much a festival town, attracting visitors from far and wide for a variety of festivals throughout the year.  Check out this link for the full list of events and details of the town’s history:-

http://visitulverston.com/

The reason for our visit was Suzie’s interest in the town’s link to Stan Laurel, of the legendary Laurel & Hardy comedy duo.  He was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson at his grandparents house in Ulverston on 16th June 1890, and spent the first 6 years of his life in the town before moving away.  We both remember watching the old black and white L&H films as children in the school holidays.  Shame they don’t still televise them, a whole generation are missing out these comedy legends …

… First things first though! We stayed at Bardsea Leisure Park on Priory Road, about a 25 minute walk/10 minute cycle from the town centre.  It’s the only caravan park we could find actually within Ulverston itself and it was perfectly adequate for our stay.

Arrival at site

Arrival at site

We used our onboard toilet/shower facilities so didn’t experience the site facilities.  There are touring pitches among residential caravans and seasonal pitches.  The park is also part of a caravan & motorhome sales business, and there was quite frequent use of empty touring pitches around us for the storage of caravans and motorhomes that were on sale.  It wasn’t the quietest of stays in the mornings, quite busy with vehicles to-ing and fro-ing, but it was fine for us as we were out and about for the majority of our stay and only really used the site for sleeping.  All the pitches were fully serviced with electric, water and waste points which was definitely a bonus.

http://www.bardsealeisure.co.uk/touring-pitches

View from our pitch

View from our pitch

Again, the weather was good.  The first day we sat out for a couple of hours in the warm sunshine, the second day was more overcast but still quite warm as we ventured around town.

We explored the area via pushbike. Initially we turned right out of the caravan park and followed Priory Road to the coastline with the plan of cycling along the coast road to the Bay Horse Hotel at the canal foot for an evening meal.  However, as our map didn’t cover this area it was only on reaching the coast that we realised the road didn’t link for cyclists so, after a detour, we headed back into the town centre for our first evening, but not before getting the camera out and capturing the stunning view.

A view along the coastline

A view along the coastline

On the way into town we passed Argyle Street, the birthplace of Stan Laurel and took some photos of his old house and the plaque that hangs on the wall.

We had a wander up the cobbled Market Street towards the Market Cross at the top.  The town has outdoor market stalls there on Thursdays and Saturdays and an indoor market in the market hall on New Market Street Monday-Saturday (not Wednesday).

It soon became apparent that there is no shortage of pubs, cafes and restaurants in Ulverston.  A comprehensive list of these can be found at this link:-

http://visitulverston.com/features/eating/

Looking up from the bottom of Market Street

Looking up from the bottom of Market Street

We decided to eat at The Farmers (previously The Farmers Arms) at the top of Market Street, but first we stopped off for a drink at the Hope & Anchor pub just around the corner.  This traditional pub serves a good range of cask and keg ales, and according to its website … “You will be guaranteed a quirky night of entertainment with local folk musicians some tasty nibbles and a strong desire to come back”.  This is SO true!  There’s a warm welcome with friendly banter and a very relaxed atmosphere.  We felt like locals within a few minutes!  We had a couple of drinks before our meal and were keen to return afterwards for a nightcap and to listen to a live jazz band before cycling back to camp.

No ghosts on this visit but obviously plenty of 'spirits' 😉

No ghosts on this visit but obviously plenty of ‘spirits’ 😉

The Farmers restaurant is known as THE place to eat in the area and we were suitably impressed.  It was a Thursday night and the restaurant was fully booked up till late.  We waited in the outside seating area for a while and got chatting to a friendly local who shared his local knowledge with us to help us make the most of our stay (thanks Colin! 👍).  Soon enough a table by the fire in the bar area became available so our patience paid off and we had an excellent meal and evening.  We’d recommend this place without hesitation but you’d be wise to book if you wanted to eat in the restaurant at a specific time, definitely so at weekends.

There’s no shortage of things to see and do in this town.  As time was limited though, rather than rush to fit everything in we took it slowly leaving plenty to do on our next visit.

The next day, as planned, we visited the Laurel & Hardy Museum

http://www.laurel-and-hardy.co.uk/index.php

We spent the whole afternoon there, it was amazing reading up on the story of L&H and viewing lots of memorabilia, including furniture from Stan’s childhood home, personal letters he wrote, and sitting in a small purpose-built cinema watching a number of clips which play all day through.  Fantastic!  Photography is allowed inside so Suzie snapped away:-

The Laurel & Hardy Museum is located on the ground floor of the Roxy Cinema

The Laurel & Hardy Museum is located on the ground floor of the Roxy Cinema

The furniture in this photo was from Stan's time in the house in Argyle Street and would have been familiar to Him.

The furniture in this photo was from Stan’s home in Argyle Street and would have been familiar to him

Bed from the house, It is believed that Stan was born in this bed

It is believed that Stan was born in this bed

Small cinema within the museum, showing back to back Laurel & Hardy clips

Small cinema within the museum, showing back to back Laurel & Hardy clips

Hat worn by Stan on their last tour of Britain in 1954

Hat worn by Stan on their last tour of Britain in 1954

Memento! 😜

Memento! 😜

After a fab few hours happily lost in the world of L&H we emerged back into the present day, and walked around the corner to Coronation Hall to see the statue that stands there.

Statue outside Coronation Hall in the town centre

Statue outside Coronation Hall in the town centre

We finished the afternoon off with a cream tea at Gillam’s on Market Street.  This cafe/shop was est’d in 1892 and is another link to the young Stan.  It was a sweet shop and he used to buy Beers Treacle Toffee here with his Grandmother.

Gillam's on Market Street

Gillam’s on Market Street

Afternoon tea.

Afternoon cream tea

We finished the day off with a bike ride through town and along the canal, which in itself has an interesting history.  It was built after Ulverston was declared a port town despite being situated over a mile away from the bay, necessitating this link to enable the transport of goods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulverston_Canal

Autumn feeding time

Autumn feeding time in the fields by the canal

It’s a pleasant ride along the towpath which brings you out at the Bay Horse Hotel at the canal foot.

Next visit we might dine there in the restaurant overlooking the bay.

http://www.thebayhorsehotel.co.uk

Canal towpath brings you to the Bay Horse Hotel

Canal towpath brings you to the Bay Horse Hotel

Suzie relaxing by the bay

Suzie relaxing by the bay

Sun setting

Sun setting

This time, however, we just had a drink or two before heading back to camp along the country roads before nightfall and chilling out with a meal back at Jolly.

Candlelit dinner for two back at Jolly 🍴🍷😊

Candlelit dinner for two back at Jolly 🍴🍷😊

Next time we’ll probably visit Conishead Priory and the Hoad monument which towers over the town.

Hoad monument

Hoad monument

Another top trip and only a couple of weeks until our next Jolly adventure to …… Oswestry.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Troutbeck Head Caravan Club Site, Penrith, North Lake District

Just back from a lovely break in Troutbeck.  We’re having a sort of year-long extended honeymoon to various UK locations throughout the year in Jolly, because motorhoming is the thing we enjoy most & we’ve lots of wedding gift tokens for our adventures.  This was the first outing of our Jolly T-shirts too, even persuaded Bri to don his …

This trip involved quite a bit of cycling.  The weather was mostly fair, except for our last night, but more about that later.  The pitches at the Troutbeck Head Caravan Club site are very spacious and we also upgraded to fully serviced for extra convenience.  Our pitch (No.44) was beside a babbling brook, with a grassy, walled area to the side giving a little extra privacy. Drive forward or reverse on, they are not bothered which at this site.  It was a perfect spot for all day round sunshine, although there wasn’t too much of this during our visit.  Reviews have rated the facilities as adequate, however, we used our on-board shower and toilet facilities so had no need for the site facilities.

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/caravanclubapps/applications/uk-caravan-sites-and-parks/SiteDetails.aspx?csid=22006

Pitched up on site

Pitched up on site with a rare glimpse of sunshine

Pitch 44, spacious and sheltered

Pitch 44, spacious and sheltered

View of Blencathra and the sharp edge from the top of the site & near entrance to Rookin House Farm Centre which offers lots of activities

View of Blencathra and the sharp edge from the top of the site & near the entrance to Rookin House Farm Centre which offers lots of activities

It’s just a mile from the site to the Troutbeck Inn, which serves fabulous food.

http://www.thetroutbeckinn.co.uk/

The Troutbeck Inn

The Troutbeck Inn

A variety of expressions inside the Troutbeck Inn ...

Top: Resisting dessert.  Bottom: Giving in to dessert

That’s where we spent our first evening after an hour or so on site after arrival.  It wasn’t just the typical pub grub we had been expecting.  Lovely selection.  We chose and would heartily recommend:-

Bri's starter: Pot of smooth duck pate with cognac, cumberland sauce & toasted baguette

Bri’s starter: Pot of smooth duck pate with cognac, cumberland sauce & toasted baguette

Suzie's starter: Grilled white asparagus with onion & lemon veloute & parmesan crisp

Suzie’s starter: Grilled white asparagus with onion & lemon veloute & parmesan crisp

Unfortunately the mains looked so appetising we devoured them before taking a photograph!  Bri opted for: Chicken fillet & Mediterranean king prawns with Indonesian curry, lime, coriander & turmeric rice.  Suzie opted for: Grilled cod loin steak with char grilled king prawn, fennel, crayfish butter, mushroom risotto & Parmesan shavings.  Both dishes absolutely delicious.  Managed to capture the desserts:-

Bri's desert: Meringue with raspberries, cream & vanilla ice cream

Bri’s dessert: Meringue with raspberries, cream & vanilla ice cream

Suzie's dessert: Sticky toffee pudding and cream

Suzie’s dessert: Sticky toffee pudding and cream

Bri outside the Troutbeck Inn

Bri outside the Troutbeck Inn

The next day we set off on our bikes from the site heading back down towards Troutbeck and cycled tracks and side roads away from the very busy A66.  We cycled in quite windy weather and light showers, firstly over to Scale, Threlkeld.  We took a little detour (unintentional) and a very kind farmer allowed us through his field over to the top track taking us down to the White Horse Inn for a well earned Real Ale refreshment stop (Haystack)  We probably cycled 5.5 miles by our route, which involved a little stream crossing and uphill field walk.  Really pleasant detour though.

Field on the way up to the top track (C2C 71 cycle route)

Field on the way up to the top track (C2C 71 cycle route)

Nervy little lambs

Nervy little black lambs under camouflage and shelter

Bri on the C2C cycle path

Bri on the C2C cycle path

Suzie on the C2C cycle path

Suzie on the C2C cycle path

The White Horse Inn is situated at the foot of Blencathra and the sharp edge (Bri has previously climbed this).  It’s obviously very popular with walkers and cyclists.  From here we picked up the Coast to Coast (C2C) 71 cycle route and meandered over to Mungrisdale, approx.  4 miles away, along the foot of Blencathra.  Beautiful views.  We stopped at the Mill Inn at Mungrisdale

http://www.the-millinn.co.uk/

The weather had improved slightly, allowing us to sit out, cool down and put our feet up for a while with a Real Ale (Sharp Edge & Cumbria Way).  We later ate tea here, enjoying a traditional steak and ale pie before cycling the calories off on our way home.

Tea time stop at The Mill Inn, Mungrisdale

Tea time stop at The Mill Inn, Mungrisdale

Feet up and refreshment

Feet up and refreshment

Oops, somebody's already forgotten to wear their wedding ring

Oops, somebody’s already forgotten to wear their wedding ring

Cosy fire at the Mill Inn, Mungrisdale

Cosy fire at the Mill Inn, Mungrisdale

Trying to beat the storm clouds home

Mirror, mirror on the roadside …

Happy cyclists!

Happy cyclists!

We headed back the 4.5 miles to site via Troutbeck and a stop for a quick drink at the Inn there.  As we headed the last mile to site, the winds had risen and being slightly uphill and a headwind the ride back was the most challenging part of the day!  We arrived back from our 14 mile round trip in good time to cabin up and prepare for the stronger winds and heavy rain forecast for that night.  It arrived at about 11 pm and continued through to about 7 am, rocking Jolly at times but we were snug and slept well.  By breakfast time the weather had lifted and the sun broke through, allowing us to sit out and cook our fried egg muffins before packing up to head home.

Finishing breakfast on site before heading home

Finishing breakfast on site before heading home

Another lovely break.

Next stop is at the Camping & Caravanning Club Site Delamere Forest.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri