Kendal was calling! 🚐

We’ve just spent a lovely weekend at Kendal Caravan & Motorhome Club site on a long overdue Jolly jaunt.

First Jolly Jaunt of the year! 😎

It isn’t actually in Kendal, it’s approx. 4.5 miles outside the town in a blissfully beautiful location beside the River Kent, set on the site of the 19th century Sedgwick Gunpowder Mill and it’s a wildlife heaven. The spacious pitches lie within separate wooded areas which gives a very peaceful sense of privacy, and a fabulous dawn chorus.

The site was fully booked up and we happily pitched up on number 77 where we could enjoy some afternoon sunshine before heading out on our first evening for a meal at The Strickland Arms, just 0.7 miles from the site which serves very good pub grub. We had pre-booked our table due to its popularity as the nearest pub/eatery to the site. We left with full and happy tummies!

  • Oh and we only found out later from a nice couple on the pitch beside us that you can get 10% off meals at The Strickland as C&MC members but they don’t promote it so you have to say, so take your membership card! You’re welcome 😉.

The next day we headed out on our bikes, firstly up to Low Sizergh Barn, a working farm, farm trail, cafe, and farm shop (online shop too), and raw milk station.

We had a coffee outside there before heading on up to Sizergh Castle (next door to the Strickland Arms) where we used our National Trust membership to gain free entry to the gardens. We thought we’d leave the house tour for another time when the weather might not be so great, as we preferred to spend some leisurely time meandering through the stunning gardens in the sunshine.

Afterwards we cycled an undulating 4.5 miles into Kendal where we had a mosey around before fish n chips mid-afternoon and a pint at The Shakespeare pub before making our way back.

We took a steep uphill detour on the way home to drop into the The Punch Bowl at Barrows Green for a drink before returning to site. Not sure how far we cycled in and around the area throughout the day but we slept very well! 😴

Next morning we enjoyed a bit of breakfast on Jolly before packing up and heading home, all the more relaxed for our short break. We’re never happier than when out and about in our Jolls.

We highly recommend this site if you like peace and nature. It caters well for families too with a playground and riverside areas for picnics, and there are plenty of walks from the site around the area. Next time we plan to visit Levens Hall & Deer Park but there was only so much we could fit in this time.

Until next time …

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri 🚐

Coastal Hamlet of Ravenglass, Lake District, Cumbria

Well we’re fresh back from another weekend in the Lake District, Cumbria. This time we re-visited the peaceful coastal hamlet of Ravenglass. It has been one of our favourites to return to over the years. The journey up was smooth and the weather remained dry but very misty in places.

We stayed as usual at the Ravenglass Camping and Caravanning Club site. It’s a beautiful site with good size pitches and a friendly, cosy feel. When we arrived there was just a choice of 3 or 4 pitches left but we managed to choose ourselves a quiet corner pitch (No. 33). One thing we would say, however, was that it rained a lot during the nights. We’re seasoned motorhomers now and always bear tree overhang in mind when choosing pitches when rain is forecast. However, due to reduced choice we found ourselves beneath a torrent of heavy rain droplets from branches throughout both nights but it was particularly noisy on the second night. We needed a few catch up 💤 when we got home 😴.

Anyhoo … Ravenglass is beautiful with everything so easily accessible. Literally 5 minutes walk from the site is the estuary which gives the most beautiful sunsets. There are benches to relax on as you watch the sun setting from an orange hue to a deep red as it sets fully. Pretty stunning. This time of year the sun set around 4:30 pm and even with more cloud cover the colours were beautiful. Here’s an earlier post from our 2014 visit when we captured a really, fantastic sunset – Ravenglass sunsets

There’s an interesting Roman history to Ravenglass and not far from the campsite is one of the largest surviving 2nd Century Roman buildings in England. It’s a Roman bath house, known as Walls Castle’ which is cared for by English Heritage. We’ve cycled past this on previous visits and had a wander round around the structure. Check it out.

We arrived mid-afternoon and walked down to the estuary just as the sun was beginning to set. We had a drink in the pub along the front, The Inn at Ravenglass. 🍻

It’s a busy little drinking pub which doesn’t serve food at the moment but may do again in the future. The Landlady was welcoming and a good laugh. We sat by the log burner warming our tootsies up after standing out by the estuary.

Sunset

We ate on both nights at The Ratty Arms which never disappoints and we always pre-book just to be sure of a table.

The Ratty Arms is situated between the site and the estuary, alongside the Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway line. You can’t visit Ravenglass and not ride ‘Ratty’s Railway’. If you do, what is wrong with you!? 🤪

We travelled the full route to Dalegarth Station in the small village of Boot. There are a couple of places to eat and drink there if you wish – The Boot Inn, Brook House Inn, and the Hardknott Bar & Cafe at The Woolpack Inn just a little further walk away. We didn’t eat in Boot but can vouch for a good pint in each establishment 😉👍.

On previous visits we have taken our push bikes on the train (you’ve to pre-book this beforehand) to Dalegarth and have cycled the Eskdale Trail back to Ravenglass. More details and pics of this along with other things to do around Ravenglass, including visiting Muncaster Castle, are included on our previous blog post. This time though with it being mid-winter we took the train both ways and just enjoyed a saunter around Boot for the afternoon. This included stopping a while to talk to a few gorrrrgeous Aberdeen Angus cows we passed grazing in a field.

We then caught the last train back to Ravenglass.

Well that’s been our last Jolly Jaunt of 2018. What a year we’ve had, so many adventures. We feel so lucky to be living our motorhoming dream. Hope you’ve enjoyed the posts too.

Bring on 2019! 🚐

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

CandMC Photography Competition WINNER! 📸

Nice day for it 🌞

Well, Suzie’s manic snapping has produced some lovely images this year.

The image on the front of the 2019 Caravan & Motorhome Club Site Directory was captured while we were cycling the club’s recommended cycle route from Southport Club Site.

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It was a beautiful day and we passed this impressively colourful show of Lupins in a field in Lydiate.  Just had to stop and snap it!  We recommend the cycle ride.  Check out the blog post if you want to know more:-

https://jollymajestic.com/2015/09/17/sunny-southport-merseyside/

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Smithson Farm Campsite, Reedley Hallows, Burnley, Lancashire

A lovely night spent with friends over Burnley way this weekend.  We decided to make a weekend of it – any excuse for a Jolly jaunt 😉.

We pre-booked a 2 night stay at Smithson Farm Campsite in Reedley Hallows which is just outside Burnley, in the heart of Lancashire.  The owners, Carole & Harry, are very friendly and welcoming and can’t do enough for you.  They gave us a tour of the facilities on arrival and this included the shower/toilet block which is currently mid-refurbishment.  We used our own on-board facilities though.

The site has grass or hardstanding pitches with EHU.  There’s a CDP and grey waste can be disposed of there also.  Just a little heads up though, you’ll need a long water hose to fill your unit as the tap is quite a way from where you park up.  There is also a shepherd’s hut, camping pods and a larger camping hut, so something for everyone. There’s a cafe/shop on site selling jams & chutneys but it was closed as it was out of season.  Carole still kindly offered us breakfast but we’d come well prepared with provisions to make our own.  The site is also home to the small Woodend Mining Museum which is an interesting piece of mining history of the area.

We paid £40 for 2 nights on a hardstanding pitch with EHU.  It isn’t a large hardstanding pitching area, and Jolly at 7.2m in length just about fit.  Bigger units would struggle.  Also, there were 2 or 3 caravans on site that seemed to be permanent fixtures leaving a very limited choice of pitches.  The power supply was low and tripped a couple of times during our stay even though we weren’t drawing much from it.  Overall, however, the site was perfectly adequate for our needs this weekend.

Our first evening we enjoyed a meal at The Forest, Fence just a short taxi ride away.  We used Cavalier Taxis and it was £10 for the journey, not cheap but it was ‘Mad Friday’ one of the busiest nights before Christmas 🎅🏻🍻.  They were a friendly and reliable service.  Our meal at The Forest was delicious even though TripAdvisor shows mixed reviews.  It seems it may be a bit hit and miss there, in which case we were lucky that night because we couldn’t fault our meals.  The atmosphere was great too.

The second evening we met up with friends for a Christmas get-together at The Fence Gate Inn, Fence which was a fantastic evening too.  In fact we were so immersed in the night we forgot to get any photos!  We’d recommend giving both places we tried a visit.  A really lovely weekend with excellent company and plenty of laughs.

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Roll on our next Jolly Jaunt 😀 but until then …

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Chester Christmas Markets, Cheshire 🎅🏻

We’ve just had a lovely weekend over Chester way in Jolly.  We headed out on our annual Jolly Christmas Market Jaunt with the parent folks, and thought that Chester would make a nice change and would look pretty magical at this time of year.  We were not wrong!

We booked a room at the historic, and apparently haunted, ‘Pied Bull’ for Lesley & Malcolm which was a very comfortable stay for them.  We also ate there together on our first evening and the food was lovely.

Our base for the weekend was a little gem of a find, approx. 3 miles outside Chester, in Bretton.   It’s a Caravan & Motorhome Club CL site called Digby Farm in a peaceful, off road location.  The owner, Barry, that we dealt with from the time of booking was great with detailed directions and a warm welcome on our arrival.  It’s very easy to drive past the site lane entrance, even the taxi drivers struggled.  The lane is beside a small Methodist chapel with black railings outside.  Blink and you’ll miss it!

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We would happily recommend this site and will definitely return.   The CL area is a circular area of 7 well spaced hardstanding pitches with grass area and views looking out across the fields.  There seems to be an area for other caravans in a separate field also.  Facilities were as you’d expect, although as usual we used our onboard shower and not the site one which requires 20p pieces.

We used the local taxi service to travel into the centre – KingKabs Taxis, tel: 01244 343434 – but found it much quicker to download their app and book that way.  The average cost of the journey was between £8-£10.

Here’s a few photos of our weekend …

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The second evening we had a really excellent meal at Chez Jules (left outside the Pied Bull and just a few yards along the street).  Top notch 👍.  For both evening meals we booked well in advance as it was busy and places were turning people away who hadn’t booked.

Table for 4 at Chez Jules

The weather was quite wild at night but we were cosy as we were buffeted about in Jolly and we awoke to glorious sunshine before the rain set in one and off for much of the day.

And before we knew it our weekend was over and it was time to head home.  The weather was kind, it had stopped raining and the journey home traffic-wise was fine.

Not long til our next Christmas jaunt with our camping buddies.   Roll on that one!

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Proper busy innit!

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Well, Jolly’s been tucked up n cosy in his storage spot for longer than normal and much longer than we’d like.  Unfortunately it’s become a very busy time for us just lately and will be for a few months.

We’ll still be getting out and about in him (hell yeah!), but have had to cancel 2 autumn trips and have to wait until December for a jaunt somewhere that will hopefully involve a Christmas Market.

We’re tripping over our bottom lips here, but all is very well so we mustn’t grumble.

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

A ‘Rail Ale Trail’, Bury, Greater Manchester

We recently enjoyed a great visit to Bury (named after the Saxon word for “a stronghold”) in Greater Manchester.  Here’s a brief history of the town.

We stayed at  Burrs Country Park Caravan Club Site on a serviced pitch (No. 89), and were pretty impressed with every aspect of our stay from the location, site facilities and pitch size to the numerous activities, things to do and eateries/pubs in the area.   There’s a Cluster Sculpture Trail to explore, and the River Irwell passes the entrance to the Country Park.

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We had pre-booked our stay some time ago, having bought tickets to attend a ‘Rail Ale Journey’ – a guided day trip on a steam train along the East Lancashire Railway  from Bury.  We thoroughly enjoyed this fun, friendly and sociable day out and can definitely recommend.  We even travelled the return journey in the comfort of an old first class carriage which ended the day beautifully.

It was a good job we’d booked our camping stay in advance because the site was fully booked due to it being the weekend of a visit from the much-loved and most famous steam engine of all – The Flying Scotsman 😮.

As further luck would have it, we managed to bag a pitch backing directly up to the railway line allowing us to watch The Flying Scotsman, the Witherslack Hall and the City of Wells steam locomotives as they chugged past Jolly 🚂.🚂🚂.

There’s a railway station at the site, making the railway easily accessible right from your doorstep.

There’s something mesmerising about the sight and sound of steam locomotives and it was a treat to see them up close.   These 2 videos were taken from our pitch:-

We’ll let the photos tell the story of the rest of our weekend.

For food and drink we visited the onsite pub, The Brown Cow, which was busy, buzzing, and great for a pint but we didn’t eat here so can’t comment.  Just a little further out from the site on the road towards town is another pub called The Garsdale Country Inn.  This was also good for a drink but the food was just ok, nothing special at all so we probably wouldn’t bother eating there again.

We found a lovely Indian Restaurant in town and can recommend it.  Excellent food and very good value too – The Jewel in the Crown.

We hadn’t actually realised just how much there is to do in Bury, and will definitely be re-visiting in the future.   Next time we’ll probably take the bikes and explore further afield.

ONWARD!

Suzie & Bri

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