For those of you that have met me, I bet camping is not something you would imagine I would do. If you know me really well you are probably crying with laughter at the idea of me in a tent. And you’d be absolutely right. I have no intention of going anywhere without a proper loo and mattress.
So it was a surprise to me when my husband persuaded me to spend a few days on a couple of campsites in the Lake District, not under canvas, but in my brother-in-law’s mobile home. This beauty is called Lemmy and has the requisite loo and mattress! There was even room for the dogs.
The first night we stayed at Castlerigg Hall over looking Derwent Water, and I do mean overlooking. Check out that view! This site had fantastic facilities and even a lounge to hang out in. It was all off to a great start – ‘Not bad, this camping lark,’ I thought.
The second campsite was in Langdale, down a long, winding, very narrow road. I had cajoled DH into taking our car aswell, so we could get out and about, so I was merrily following him singing ‘She’ll be coming round the mountains’ to the dogs.
This campsite was a completely different matter. Not only was it tipping down when we arrived – a veritable monsoon – but it was just plain basic compared to the first site. I can only pity the poor people in the two man tents. The only respite they got from the rain was a bit of time in the drying room. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery was lovely, the local pub served a mean pint and everything was very clean. It was just a bit, how shall I put this, MUDDY.
The next day the weather was actually nice, which was a pleasant surprise. There is no internet connection in Langdale – there is no anything connection – so we hadn’t been able to check the weather forecast. My DH decided we would walk up to Stake Pass. When I say walk, what I really mean is a forced route march because DH has no setting for ambling and enjoying the scenery. Even the dogs were tired.
When it came to scaling to the pass I turned all southern and mamby pamby, so I sat on a rock and waited for DH and the dogs for so long I thought they had dropped off the edge. This is what happens when you have to sit on the edge of a mountain without your knitting, you imagine all kinds of calamities.
My balance isn’t great at the best of times and sitting there for half an hour contemplating the descent made me quite nervous. I did manage it, slowly, on two feet, but there were points when I would have happily gone down on my bum.
The Langdale valley was gorgeous – I don’t want you to think it was torture from start to finish. We even had a Wheatear come and sing right next to us – don’t get me started on the gangs of lambs – too cute. And I am getting really proficient at peeing behind a rock. I don’t even have to look down anymore to make sure I am not wetting my trousers!
That night the campsite filled up for May Bank Holiday with loads of families coming up from Manchester and it had a really festive air. We really enjoyed watching a numpty in a massive land cruiser try to make his campsite on a spot that the staff told him was too muddy and who he didn’t listen to. I mean this vehicle was only slightly smaller than a Hummer. It was better than any soap on TV. The next morning he returned all shame-faced to tread down the divots he had made.
We had a tremendous time, we really did. Lemmy was a joy, the countryside was amazing, we met some lovely people, I had a proper bed and I would definitely do it again.