Sat 29th April 2011 Blackpool 216 miles ..........
We have an old campervan, well it’s a 1993 Fiat Ducato Fox Autosleeper called Chugalug!! It goes really well, as long as you don’t mind going everywhere at a max speed of 60mph – which we don’t!! Well, if I’m being really honest, I think Chris would like to drive something with a little more oomph, hence why we have decided to try and sell it and buy another one next year after our world trip........
Anyway, I digress......We have always wanted to see Scotland and everyone has told us that May is the best month as the weather is usually pretty good and more importantly, the midges haven’t yet appeared!! So with Chugalug duly serviced and spring cleaned we hit the road – our only intention on the first day – to get as far north as Blackpool!! It was only 208 miles but as we didn’t leave until 09.45am and needed a coffee stop, and then a lunch stop, we didn’t get to Blackpool until about 15.00pm.
We had booked a campsite for the first night, as it is a bank holiday weekend, in a little village called Hardhorn, about 2
miles from the centre of Blackpool! After checking in we then drove into Blackpool as Chris has not visited Blackpool before. Unfortunately, they are in the process of renovating Blackpool Tower ( which means it has scaffolding all around it!) the Ballroom is also undergoing extensive renovations and the whole promenade is dug up ready for the installation of new flowerbeds and walkways! Anyway, it didn’t detract from the ‘sights’ and ‘atmosphere’. With plenty of hen and stag parties, fish and chip shops everywhere, slot machines, amusement arcades, ice cream shops and ‘I love Blackpool’ hats and sun glasses!!
We wandered from the Tower up to the Pleasure Beach, enjoying the sunshine and then caught a tram back to the Central Pier where we decided that if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them – and bought ourselves fish and chips on the pier for our tea!! After our indulgence of complete tackiness in Blackpool we were ready to head back to the campsite for the rest of the evening.
Sun 1st May 2011 Lake District 115 miles.......................
We awoke to a clear day with blue sky and sunshine! As the weather was so good
we decided that it would be a good opportunity to visit the Lake District. Our first stop was NT Fell Foot Park where we had our first sight of Lake Windermere and then drove along, lakeside to Bowness. This is when we decided that maybe the Lake District on a Bank Holiday Sunday was not such a good idea as the place was heaving!! We decided that it was probably easier to just drive through Windermere and Ambleside due to parking difficulties and instead went to NT Stagshaw Gardens where we had a lovely walk through Rhododendron (spelling??) and bluebell woods up to Jenkins Crag for a stunning view of Lake Windermere.
We also stopped at Aria Force, another NT place and another walk to see a waterfall, before heading to Ullswater and Pooley Bridge to camp for the night....only they wanted £28.00 for 1 night with no electric so we found a Caravan Club CL at Watermillock and spent a very peaceful night, if not a bit windy, on top of a hill with the sheep!
Monday 2nd May 2011 Pooley Bridge to Castle Douglas
Another clear blue sky sunny day! Still windy and decidedly chilly .....but sun!!!
An early start took us up the M6 and across the border into Scotland! I had never considered Scotland as romantic but today we went past Gretna Green, Sweetheart Abbey and walked Lovers walk!
Had a lovely walk at Kippford, where we walked along an inlet of the Solway Firth to the next village of Rockcliffe. Beautiful houses and gardens overlooking the water, the path taking us up through bluebell woods to the Mote of Mark, a 7th C Iron age Hill Fort with wonderful views of Rough Island, a small island that you can walk to at low tide (it was high tide when we were there!!)
We decided to camp at Castle Douglas (no internet!!) with the intention of seeing Threave Castle and gardens but as the weather was so warm and the campsite was overlooking the swans at Carlingwark Loch, we had a very chilled afternoon sat in the sun!! Later we had a very pleasant walk around the Loch and then planned our next days journey..............
NB......There are more photos if you scroll to the bottom of the page - underneath all the blurb and adverts
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