UK Road Trip Diary: The Lake District
Part 1 : Off we go, Skelwith and Wray Castle
We’ve been planning this trip since early on in the year. We wanted an adventure and we’ve longed to see Scotland for a while so here is our journey…
Destination: Skelwith Fold Caravan Site
We picked up the motorhome yesterday afternoon, so we had all afternoon and evening to pack it to the brim with our belongings and supplies. Pops really wanted to sleep in it this evening but we managed to peel her away. I’m a bit nervous about the motorhome, how it handles and getting down country roads (probably over worried but that’s me!).
We leave home at about 10.30 am. The first leg is all motorway so no issues there albeit a bit boring when it comes to scenery, but the excitement is there as we are finally on our way.
We arrive at Skelwith just after lunch. The site is about 10 minutes outside of Ambleside and sits amongst natural woodland. We choose a plot near the kids playground and about a 5 minute walk to the toilets and showers. Perfect. Luckily my OH used to caravan as a child so is familiar with hooking it up and doing all the yucky jobs like emptying the toilet.
I had no phone signal, the tv signal was pants and too far for the wifi connection but that’s ok, i’m not on holiday to browse the internet, watch tv and schedule tweets! Really I’m not.
As the weather is sunny and dry though, it’s perfect to let kids run around, and we head off to explore the forest.
Luckily the motorhome has a fully functioning oven, hob and microwave. So for tea this evening we had a ready made Lasagne with salad, which we all lapped up. Instead of bringing Puds booster seat we just used his car seat instead.
Setting up the van for bedtime is easy. Just a little rearranging of cushions and closing the blinds and we’re ready for getting them to bed. A bit later than usual but they are definitely ready for bed. Pops has been asking to go to bed since about 6 pm, she’s eager to try out her new snuggle sac and very own sleeping area above the driver seat. Pud is exhausted from all the exploring and snoozes off straight away. I could get used to this.
We set up our bed and get cosy and play some BananaGrams! The bed is surprisingly comfy, but it is our first night so we’ll see how we feel by the end.
Destination: Wray Castle, Ambleside
Oh the rain, it rained all night and continues through today. Question is do we sulk in the van or kit ourselves out in all the waterproofs we own and get out in this typically British of days in the lakes? We get out of course, what’s the point in staying inside.
Now originally we had planned to walk but with the heavens opening my OH thought it may be a good idea to drive in the motorhome down to Wray castle, despite me saying that the website said that arrival by vehicle was not recommended and that the roads looked unsuitable via street view (yes i’m a worrier!) but he insisted we try. Guess what the road was unsuitable for motorhomes and large vehicles! So we turned around back to the campsite.
We decided to risk walking instead.
We took a 3 mile walk to Wray Castle a National Trust property. We walked from the caravan site which led us along waymarked paths off road through some beautiful countryside. Pud in the backpack and Pops walked. In total the walk was just short of 6 miles, not bad for a 5 year old hey?
The castle isn’t your ordinary castle. It’s set up for kids to explore so no worrying about cheeky 1 year olds climbing on some precious display or a curious 5 year old picking up pretty looking expensive ornaments. A cafe onsite is always a winner too, especially when you’ve just walked in constant rain. We had intended on getting the boat across to Brockhole but given the weather and the time we decided to walk straight back. I do wish we could have done the boat trip but hopefully there’ll be a next time.
Thankfully the walk back didn’t involve so much rain and the time passed quickly with a game of guess who, only my daughter seemed to head off track and was thinking of objects, so our questions of “are you thinking of a male / female / adult / child” etc didn’t get us anywhere! Lots of laughter.
What a brilliant feeling it was to change into our comfy tracksuit bottoms and get a bru once back at the motorhome.
Despite the rain we had a lovely first full day on our travels. Very few tantrums and lots of valuable time spent together.
Come back soon to read about Day 3: Travel to Loch Lomond