Weekend in The Lake District

This was to be the longest journey yet for my new motorhome, over 250 miles North West to The Lake District. Parmeet, Blossom, Barney and myself left London at 2:30pm, finally arriving at The Quiet Site near Ullswater seven hours later. Tim had already arrived and was doing his best to support the local economy in the bar. Unfortunately the bar was to close at 10:00pm on the Friday night so we only had time for one quick drink before calling it a night. The girls and I did not really envy Tim and Barney who had to share a chilly camping pod whilst we closed the blinds, turned the heating on and settled down for the night.

The plan for Saturday had been to hike up to Helvellyn. Originally we had planned to ascend via the famous Striding Edge but the mountain forecasts seemed to indicate this route was only for those with ice axe and crampons. We heeded this advice and decided to find an easier route. Tim and I were not too disappointed since we had both been over Striding Edge before. There were a few other hikers on the paths but most people we met were mountain rescue team members, the first group being SARDA members who were training the rescue dogs.

It was a little after we met the dogs that Blossom and Parmeet decided to head back, probably a wise decision as their footwear was not really suited to the deeper snow we would encounter higher up. Their afternoon was not totally wasted as they took the opportunity to take a trip on the Ullswater Steamer to Howtown.

Barney, Tim and I pressed on finally reaching the summit of Helvellyn in good time. We then decided to walk on towards Striding Edge to see how the conditions had affected the route. A member of mountain rescue coming up via the ridge, complete with crampons and ice axe warned us not to attempt it. Whilst we saw a few coming up the ridge kitted out in full winter kit, none were attempting the descent.

Barney & Tim near summit of Helvellyn
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Barney & Tim near summit of Helvellyn

On our way down we stopped briefly to escape the winds and to watch the mountain rescue helicopter in what looked like a training exercise. Once back at the car park in Glenridding we found a note on the car left by the girls who would not return until 5:30pm, giving us lads the chance to visit the pub and watch the rugby.

In the evening we headed out to Keswick to eat in a pub Tim knew quite well before returning to the bar at the campsite. The bar really does deserve a mention as it has so much character. There is a huge open fireplace, animal heads on the wall and even a bear skin. There was even a playpen for the under 5’s but we could not find the adults playpen despite a good search.

On Sunday we decided to do a walk that started from the campsite. The Aira Force waterfall walk was the obvious candidate at a little over 8 miles. It offered some great views of Ullswater before we reached the waterfall itself.

Ullswater
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Views of Ullswater

When we reached Undercragg cottage which was mentioned in the walk notes we knew we had almost reached the finish.

Undercragg Cottage
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Undercragg Cottage dating from 1761

The final mile or so was on tarmac and we arrived back at the campsite weary but happy. The weather had behaved itself all weekend which is not always the case as anyone who has visited The Lake District will know. We said goodbye to Tim who only had a short journey back to Cheshire and headed for the M6 southbound. Another seven hours later and we were back at Hatton Cross at the end of a long but enjoyable weekend.

Gary Box

Author: Gary Box. Gary decided for a complete change of lifestyle late in 2009 which resulted in him buying a Hymer motorhome to live in and starting the Motorhome Vagabond blog. A tour of Europe followed in 2010 and he still writes about his adventures. Google

3 thoughts on “Weekend in The Lake District

  • March 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm
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    Hi Gary,
    guess am following your blog.
    Had lovely time in Lake District….I had never imagined myself straining my limbs- get a bit of excerise(bit of couch potato, if you would like to call me); I am certainly pleased I joined you guys on this trip, in your great motorhome (not at all envious of Tim and Barney).
    The weather was just perfect…sunshine brightened the whole trip.I havent been to many campsites but still i will recommend Quietsite and the bar there, alongwith views and easy distance to amazing other walks.
    Thank you Gary for organising the trip and for driving back to london after two days of walking.All together thank to you and the lovely group (Tim, Barney, Blossom and Motorhome) for a great weekend.

  • March 22, 2010 at 12:05 am
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    Hi Parmeet,

    Thanks for the comment on the blog, hoping to get as many visitors and comments as I can. Glad you liked the Lake District, it really is a special place if you get the right weather. Actually the UK has lots of really great places to visit and you really must try and get out and see some of them. If steep mountains are not your thing there are lots of other places that you would love. We have some great coastline in the UK for example and cities with so much history, all waiting to be photographed.

    You and Blossom were the first people to spend time in my motorhome besides me so it is a bit of a learning curve. Once I get the privacy tent attached and get more settled I think it will be even more comfortable and more roomy.

    I’ve seen some of Blossoms photos on Facebook, look forward to seeing yours too.

    All the best,

    Gary

  • May 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm
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    I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

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