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

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.

Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

Jolly recently took us to Woodclose Park approx. half a mile outside the pretty, historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, on the border between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Woodclose Park is beautifully laid out and immaculately maintained with excellent facilities.  We stayed in the circular touring section on pitch number 2.  The pitches were well spaced and fully serviced with water, electric, grey waste drain & tv hook-up points.

It was a busy weekend there but the atmosphere remained chilled and very peaceful.  All of the staff were friendly, especially Rick who we spoke to a couple of times and who gave us some recommendations and info about the area.

Kirkby Lonsdale is such a lovely town with an array of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.  There’s a Market day on Thursdays and a Farmers Market on the first Thursday of the month.  They also have a Victorian Street Fair during the first week in September.

In 2013, the town was used as one of the filming locations for the BBC drama ‘Jamaica Inn‘ We didn’t watch the drama but have googled it since to see the transformation of the town centre that was carried out.

The best walk from site into town takes you over the ancient 3-arched Devil’s Bridge, which crosses the River Lune and dates back to the 12th/13th Century.  It’s a popular site for tourists and has a butty/brew van and an ice-cream van parked up there.  It’s a favourite haunt for motorcyclists and we also noticed that several motorhomes stayed overnight in a parking lay-by nearby.

After the bridge, turn right and follow the path along the riverbank until you reach the 86 ‘Radical Steps’.  These steps take you up into St Mary’s churchyard and some gates lead out into the town centre.

According to a sign we read along the walk, the ‘Radical Steps’ came about in 1820 when Dr Francis Pearson, a man who held very strong Liberal views, obtained an order to divert a public footpath that ran through his garden at Abbots Brow.  Many locals were opposed to this and as a result the flight of steps that replaced the footpath became known as the ‘Radical Steps’ in reference to Dr Pearson’s radical politics.

After climbing to the top of the steps you reach St Mary’s Churchyard.  If you turn right at the top and walk just a little further along you come to ‘Ruskin’s View’.  It’s the point from which the famous artist JMW Turner painted the River Lune in 1822.  His painting moved the poet John Ruskin to write:

‘I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine’

Ruskin was so impressed with the painting that he described the panorama as ‘one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world’. The painting became known as ‘Ruskin’s View’.

The story of Ruskin’s View

The Norman St Mary’s Church and attractive churchyard is lovely to wander through.  We also went into the Church to look around and to light candles before walking out of the churchyard down an alleyway past the Sun Inn (well, we say ‘past’, we never pass a pub 😉).

We walked along Salt Pie Lane (formerly Cattle Market Yard).  This is where cattle used to be sold in the town, which led to a local lady deciding to make and sell hot salted mutton pies to the traders.  This salty pies created quite a thirst in the traders who would then visit the Green Dragon pub (now the Snooty Fox) to quench their thirst.  Apparently, the landlord of the pub was a relation of the pie-lady – great business idea!

There’s no shortage of great drinking holes.  To name a few we called into:- The Royal Hotel (serving Bowland Brewery ales), The Red Dragon Inn, The Sun Inn, The Kings Arms (live music), and The Orange Tree.

Bowland Brewery ales at The Royal Hotel

Be sure to call into the Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery in the centre which also serves some great local ales.

We enjoyed food at both The Red Dragon Inn and The Sun Inn during our stay.  We only ate from the bar menu at the Sun Inn but we’ll make sure we book in for an evening meal next time.  It’s a very popular place and they were having to turn people away as they were fully booked.   We also spent a few hours listening to some live music in the Kings Arms across the road from the Sun.  Great atmosphere!

It’s a pleasant stroll back to site from town and as we walked back over the bridge one night, we saw a humongous salmon jump twice down below.  We decided we’ll definitely have to buy a visitor’s permit and fish there some time!

The sun decided to appear for our journey home

Until next time …

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri

Hawkshead Christmas Fair, Lake District

Ow do!

Well, after a few technical issues with the blog (aka user error) we can now finally update with a couple of Christmas trips.  So what if it’s almost a month after Christmas, it was certainly a ‘Jolly’ one in our motor ho-ho-home 🙂

At the beginning of December, we returned to Hawkshead, one of our favourite lakeland villages, to visit their Christmas Fair.  It’s held on the first weekend of December each year, although there had been some uncertainty about this year’s event taking place following the previous year’s devastating floods.  However, it did take place and was most definitely worth the visit.

http://hawksheadchristmasfair.com/

Jolly was in festive mood and especially accommodating on this trip, as he also transported Suzie’s parents, who had booked 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at the cosy 17th Century Queen’s Head Inn right in the heart of the village.  We had to book this several months in advance, as all accommodation books up quickly for Christmas.

http://queensheadhawkshead.co.uk/

After dropping the folks off at their accommodation, we pitched Jolly up at the Croft Campsite just across the main road from the village centre.  We’ve been here before (see previous posts), as Hawkshead is a place we often return to.  The site is relaxed with a friendly feel, clean with good facilities, and the pitches are a generous size.  The site was more or less full by Saturday, with other campers ready to kick off the festivities.

http://www.hawkshead-croft.co.uk/camping/

We all had a great time over the weekend involving mulled wine/cider, local ales & seasonal food, street entertainers, live festive music, stalls with all you can think of, lantern procession, and carol singing.  However, rather than witter on for this post, we’ll let the following photos tell the story of our weekend.  We highly recommend you put this one in your diary for a future Christmas visit.  You won’t be disappointed.  Hawkshead is captivating at any time of the year but extra magical at Christmas …

 

ONWARD!>>>>

Suzie & Bri