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 the flock of sheep 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 🔦.

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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

Welltrough Hall Farm, Lower Withington, Cheshire

Last weekend we visited what we found to be a top rate CL site.  It was at Welltrough Hall Farm in Lower Withington, Cheshire.

This is an adults-only site which began as a 5-pitch C&MC Certified Location and has been extended to provide more pitches, all fully serviced and refreshingly spacious with hardstanding and a grassy area.  Some have wooden boundaries.  There are also grass pitches and a camping pod.

The original 5 pitches have the most impressive views across open countryside, although all have open views.   However, we found a cosy corner pitch (no 13) which was located by a small pond and trees.  It provided plenty of quiet and privacy.  Although most pitches are level, pitches 10-13 definitely need levelling blocks.  We were at the top of our ramps and still slightly sloping although this was no issue to us.

Facilities provided:- elsan chemical toilet disposal point, 2 portaloo-style toilets, showers (and one for doggies), washer/dryer, information hut, a farm walk and also a well signed walk through 2 fields to the local Red Lion Pub in the village of Lower Withington, about half a mile away.

We visited the Red Lion on our first evening for a chilled couple of drinks & game of cards in the bar area before moving into the dining area to eat later.  It was lovely food.  Would definitely recommend 😊

On site, our pitch provided a clear view of the impressive local landmark that is the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.  This is just 2.7 miles from site.

Lovell Telescope in distance

We visited Jodrell Bank the next day while out and about exploring the area on our bikes.  We spent a pleasant 1-2 hours there which was plenty of time for what we wanted to see.  It was a perfect winter’s day with sunshine but VERY cold.  It was pleasant walking around outside and seeing the Lovell Telescope up close.  We also caught a film (on continuous play) in the film pod indoors.  This gave an interesting, detailed insight into the history and current role of the telescope in space research. There are several other interactive and informative displays inside and a couple of cafes.  It’s definitely a worthwhile visit if in the area.

Tickets were £8 per adult (£7.30 without gift aid) but we saved 10% booking online in advance.  It’s also worth noting there’s work ongoing on the car park at present.  This didn’t affect us being on bikes but car parking spaces were reduced.

Other villages we cycled through during our day out included the old farming village of Goostrey, Twemlow Green and Swettenham.  We had planned on calling into The Yellow Broom for refreshments but it was closed when we arrived so we headed another 3 miles or so through Kermincham and into Swettenham.  It was worth the often-uphill effort because we found a fine country inn, purportedly haunted, called The Swettenham Arms.   It’s easy to cycle past as it’s tucked away to the rear of St Peter’s Church.

After re-fuelling with well-earned fodder, we headed back by just the lights on our bikes to site.

A great day and top weekend.   Roll on the next one!

Chatty Chappy

A chatty blue tit chirped “Cheerio!” as we left

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Jolly’s Blog Award

As a great start to Jolly’s 2018 adventures, we’ve just heard that our blog has been selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 200 RV Blogs on the web.

http://blog.feedspot.com/rv_blogs/

We’re no. 114 – soooooo close to the top 100.  Sweet!  Nice to know Jolly’s adventures are reaching many like-minded people all around the world.

Thank you.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie, Bri & Jolly

 

Wheel Clamp & Trims

Jolly’s recently acquired a new piece of footwear and he wears it well.  Most importantly it’s a bit of added security.

We’re using the Milenco original wheel clamp.  Relatively lightweight, quick and easy to fit, and gets good reviews.

http://www.milenco.com/products/security/wheelclamps/original-wheelclamp

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Milenco Original Wheelclamp

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Wheelclamp

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Milenco Wheelclamp

He’s also looking a bobby dazzler with some new bling wheel trims.   Cushty.   👌

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ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly …

Life’s a pitch

We’ve been busy giving Jolls a good ol’ clean up ready for winter.  Also found him a new and more suitable storage area which has worked out well.  We are itching to get away in him again.

Fortunately, we’ve a night away with friends booked in the next couple of weeks so not too long to go.  We CAN.  NOT.  WAIT!

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

Edisford Farm Campsite, Clitheroe, Lancashire

After too many weeks without a Jolly adventure, we finally got away again this weekend with a group of friends on a return trip to Clitheroe.

We stayed at Edisford Bridge Caravan and Camping, a private campsite conveniently located right next door to the Edisford Bridge Pub and just a stone’s throw from the River Ribble.

The site appeared more or less full and our camping party was made up of 6 adults (Mo, Lee, Anne, Laurie and us) and 1 child (Emma), with 2 tents and Jolly.  The weather was wet and dull, but the company was quite the opposite!

We had all come well prepared with plenty of food, nibbles and drink (definitely lots of drink) and basically from the word go on Friday afternoon things quickly turned lively and a really good time was had by all!  Chef Lee cooked delicious steak on Friday night, this was accompanied by a lovely potato salad and bread courtesy of Mo.  Lee used a Cadac Carri Chef portable gas bbq with hot plate to cook all the food, including the breakfasts over the two days.

On Saturday afternoon we all walked off our over-indulgences from the previous day, strolling up into Clitheroe town centre then dropping in at the Holmes Mill beer hall and the new local-produce food hall that has opened there.  Several ales were sampled as ‘thirds’, including Unicorn, Crafty Fox, Hen Harrier, Pheasant Plucker, Blueberry, Cherry Choc (this would be more aptly named ‘Knock Yer Socks Off’), Pennine Best, Mango Decker Dence, and Heart & Soul.

Bowland Brewery ales

We later walked back to camp and freshened up before finishing the day off with a meal at the Edisford Bridge Pub.

It’s usually necessary to pre-book a table in the restaurant as it does get busy especially at weekends.  Each of us made the mistake of having a starter before our main courses and we were all beaten by the meal as the portions are so generous we simply couldn’t eat it all.  Definitely a pub we’ll return to again and again though when over that way and we’d recommend it to anyone without hesitation.

Sunday seemed to come around in no time and as a group we gathered for breakfast and the rain finally stopped long enough for the tents to be taken down and packed up before we said our goodbyes after a great weekend.

Our next Jolly jaunt is just a couple of weeks away when we’ll be heading back up to the Lake District.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Clitheroe Food Festival, Ribble Valley, Lancashire

Sooo, a food festival.   What’s not to like?

We were back in Clitheroe a couple of weekends ago to experience the Clitheroe Food Festival  which we’d been meaning to visit several times but always seemed to have other trips planned.  We made sure that we made it there this year.

We stayed at Clitheroe Camping & Caravanning Club Site .  It’s situated in an idyllic location beside the River Ribble at Edisford Bridge just a mile or so outside the town centre.  We often stay at this site and this time noticed a big improvement in that the old plastic mesh matting pitches have now been replaced with gravel hard standings.  This is a big improvement as this site is so close to the River Ribble it’s prone to water logging and flooding.

Our weekend had begun Friday lunchtime when our nephew, George, who had been staying with us for a couple of days helped us to collect Jolly from storage and joined us on board as we took him back home on the way.

For Friday night, we’d pre-booked ourselves a table at The Red Pump Inn, Bashall Eaves So, after a chilled afternoon on Jolly (it was raining quite heavily outside) we rang for a taxi up to the Red Pump, which is about 2.5 miles outside Clitheroe.  It’s in a peaceful location with good views of the surrounding countryside.

We’d heard before going that the steaks here were top notch, and although there was plenty on the menu that could easily have turned our eyes, noses and taste buds, we both decided to go for a steak.  We ordered a fillet steak with garstang blue cheese sauce and a 90 day dry aged rib-eye steak with chimichurri sauce.  Both were cooked to medium rare perfection, served with tasty chunky hand cooked chips and a side salad. The food portions were just right too, comfortably filling.

In fact, the whole evening was pretty perfect – great staff, service and atmosphere.  We can recommend this one without hesitation.  It made an interesting change for us too as we usually go into Waddington which also has great pubs/restaurants – The Higher Buck, Waddington Arms, and The Lower Buck.

The next day the sun came out of hiding in time for the Food Festival and the town centre was buzzing with a large turnout of people who were treated to a festival offering an impressive display of different food/drink/produce stalls.  There was plenty of live street music, entertainment and food demos too.  This Festival is rated as one of the most successful of its kind in the North West of England and in the top 10 throughout the country, and this was its 7th year.

We enjoyed our afternoon wandering through the town centre then ventured down to another place that put on a great day – the Bowland Brewery at Holmes Mill just down from the town centre.  There were food stalls, their new food hall was open, live music, ice cream shop and of course some great ales to be enjoyed.  For us, this place is an absolute must to drop into whenever we’re over Clitheroe way.

The town’s festival was rounded off perfectly at approx. 4pm when the Red Arrows treated everyone to a fly-over display on their way across to the Blackpool Air Show.  It was a spectacular finish to the event.

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Clitheroe Main Street

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Red Arrows Flyover (photo by Zoie Carter-Ingham)

Afterwards, we cycled back down from town to the Edisford Bridge pub which is just over the bridge from the C&CC site.  We grabbed a pint and some tea (because we hadn’t actually eaten at the food festival!?) before heading back to our pitch to await the arrival of a couple of good friends and fellow campers, Mo & Lee, who were coming to see Jolly and have a few drinks with us.

We sat out for a couple of hours chatting, laughing and drinking before the evening chill finally beat us and we retreated inside Jolly for the remainder of the evening.  Our next outing will actually be back in Clitheroe but a group social gathering with Mo, Lee and another couple..  We’re really looking forward to that one.

Great weekend! 😊  Til next time ..

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Oswestry – ‘Where Shropshire meets Wales’

We returned for a second visit this weekend to Cranberry Moss Camping & Caravanning Club Site which is located just off the busy A5 between Oswestry (8 miles) and Shrewsbury (10 miles).  It’s a beautifully maintained site with an open layout, and we received a warm welcome from the warden who showed us around the site and allowed us to choose our own pitch.  We didn’t use the onsite facilities during our stay but they looked clean and what you’d expect from a club site.

As with our last visit here, our journey involved several hold-ups and general heavy Friday traffic.  We reached the site mid-afternoon and pitched up just before some heavy rain arrived.  It rained non-stop for the rest of the afternoon so we stuck the kettle on and had a relaxing few hours on Jolly before heading out for a meal in the evening.

We knew from our last visit that there’s a lovely pub a couple of miles away in Nesscliffe, called The Old Three Pigeons.  So, after realising the rain wasn’t for stopping, we got togged up and cycled through the downpours into Nesscliffe.  We were rewarded with a delicious meal there so it was well worth the effort!  By the time we returned to camp the rain had ceased and it was still light so it was quite a pleasant ride back.

Cheers to a good evening at the Old Three Pigeons

There’s a Country Park in Nesscliffe where you’ll find an iron age hill fort, quarries which supplied stone for some of Shropshire’s’ castles and churches, and a cave hewn into the sandstone, which it is claimed was the hideout of a medieval outlaw called Humphrey Kynaston – Shropshire’s answer to Robin Hood.  It’s claimed that the Old Three Pigeons is haunted by Humphrey.

A handy Arriva bus service runs past the site entrance and can take you to Shrewsbury (opposite side of road) or Oswestry (just outside site entrance).  The warden told us to avoid any bus with an ‘X’ by the number when returning to site as this was an express service which would not pass the site and would leave us a good 2 miles away.  On our last visit, we had visited Shrewsbury so this time we jumped on the number 70 bus to explore the market town of Oswestry.

The name ‘Oswestry’, is derived from King Oswald of Northumbria (died in AD641).  He was apparently nailed to a tree – hence the name “Oswald’s Tree“.    Probably the most famous person to have hailed from Oswestry is the First World War Poet, Wilfred Owen (1893-1918).  We visited the tourist information, which is housed in an old school building by St Oswald’s Church, to pick up a map of the Wilfred Owen Trail which takes you through the town and to places of note including his place of birth and early childhood home at ‘Plas Wilmot’.

We had a good walk around the town on the trail and later enjoyed an early evening pizza and prosecco at Prezzo before returning to camp.

Our journey back home the next morning was fortunately without any of the hold-ups we’d experienced on our way down.  The sun was shining too which made a difference.

Summer’s marching on.  Still plenty of Jolly adventures lined up though 🙂

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri