Showing posts with label lancashire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lancashire. Show all posts

Monday 12 July 2021

Worston, near Pendle Hill

Sunday 11 July 2021 
Nido's nestled in a very quiet and scenic meadow between Clitheroe and Pendle Hill. We're on the CL at Angram Green, a site we visited almost 6 years ago to the day. It was such a lovely, peaceful stop last time, we vowed to return one day. As it's on the way to Northumberland, it provided an ideal stopover for a couple of nights. Last time we stayed we had it all to ourselves, but today there's another campervan and two caravans, although the field is large enough to give us all plenty of room and private space. There's no EHU to connect to, so we can all pitch where we fancy. 

This is the longest trip we've made since we spent a month in France in 2019. Our other trips since then have been only for a couple of nights, with the exception of 6 nights in Pembrokeshire. It's taken some thought to get back into the swing of a slightly longer trip. For just a few nights away, I'd either cook or take all the food we needed, noting we'd normally stay on one site for the whole time, usually in some remote location. But this trip. we'll be travelling around, so they'll be opportunity to buy food as we go, hopefully making use of roadside fruit and veg stalls plus small, independent shops to support the local community. 

When planning this trip, my initial thought was to just head off and rely on the opportunity to wildcamp, use pub stops or book into CLs at the last minute. But over the past weeks, reading about other's trips and checking various forums, it became obvious there would be little opportunity for impromptu stopovers. All of the club main sites I checked were fully booked for several weeks. Even some of the CLs I called were booked solid through to the middle of September. So this trip - as is now the norm in the UK - needed some research, planning and advance bookings. This CL was therefore booked in advance, plus one close to Hadrian's Wall and a pop-up campsite not too far from the Northumberland coast. Aside from that, I've planned a couple of stops found on the Search for Sites website, including a free parking spot courtesy of Scottish Forestry, pub stops and a couple of C&CC Temporary Holiday Sites. This should give us a mix of certainty and flexibility on where we end up staying. It's not the same as just turning up at a French aire, but it does mean we don't have to worry too much about upsetting people by wild camping at a time when campervans and motorhomes are being ostracised for all sorts of reasons. 

The journey here was relatively painless - mainly motorway - and we arrived at 1pm. We decompressed with a cup of tea sat outside under cloudy but warm skies. Salty was a bit stressed by the journey, although we'd moved his safety line to allow him to lie on our bed for the trip, which seemed to help. But a walk of a couple of miles through fields and quiet lanes, with new smells and sights calmed him down and he's now snoozing next to me, having eaten his tea, plus some of ours! 

All's quiet now - a very still evening with only the birdsong and lambs breaking the silence. 

Monday 12 July 2021 

It's a still afternoon, raining steadily but it's warm. I'm sat outside under the awning, watching the rain and listening to a blackbird in the large tree next to us, competing with the sounds (and lovely garlicky smells) of Cathy cooking dinner behind me in the van. After a good walk and lunch, Salty is snoozing on the driving seat. I have a glass of Portuguese red wine from the Doura region. I'm enjoying my day! 

I'm a bit set in my ways. Normally, if it's raining I wouldn't chance putting the awning out and would close the door and stay in the van. But I decided to try it, mainly to see if it stopped the rain coming into the van with the side door open...and it does! So I'm enjoying the al-fresco experience and we'll do it again. 

It rained throughout the night but the site here is flat and drains well, so I'm not worried about getting away tomorrow. The other campervan left as we were having breakfast, so it's us and a couple of caravans now. I chatted to the couple in the smaller caravan yesterday - an old but well loved caravan about the size of an Eriba. They come here about three times a year as they love the peace and quiet. Normally, they'd be in France from May for a couple of months but there's no chance of that right now. Like us, they're not a fan of the Club main sites, preferring these small, tucked-away CLs. They have a basic, open awning up and lots of fairy lights and seem very content with their lot; I reckon they have it right. 

The last time we stayed here we completed a 10 mile walk. Six years on, we're not so fit so I planned one half of the loop for today, taking us along the foot of Pendle Hill, back towards the village of Downham (where we walked yesterday), along the base of Worsaw Hill and down to Worston village before walking back up the lane to the campsite. We lucked out with the weather; thankfully the rain held off, although it was a bit misty over the hills. Salty enjoyed the new smells and took the opportunity for a paddle and a drink when we came across streams. Back at base, we sat under the awning with a pot of tea and coffee, reading or catching up with what everyone else is doing today. I watched a couple of YouTube videos from The Urban Motorhome and Camper-Vibe. 

The rain's getting heavier, but we can still sit outside in the shelter of the awning and dinner is almost done, so that's it for today. We move on tomorrow, heading to the North Pennines.

Misty on Pendle Hill


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Blowing a hooley in Lancashire

It's been about six weeks since we went away in El Nido and we were ready for a break.  It was our 32nd wedding anniversary on Thursday, so we thought a short trip away would be a good way to celebrate.....

Friday 27 November 2015
We drove up to Nido's storage home, stored and provisioned him up, topped up the fresh water tank and hit the road.  Our first stop was a Britstop (#619), a pub in rural Lancashire, about 45  minutes drive away.  We arrived at about 2.30pm and parked up at the end of the car park with plenty of room around us.  We popped in to let the landlady know we were there and had a drink to chill out and start our weekend.  After a snooze in the van we went back to the pub later to have a bite to eat.  The staff were friendly and the food was filling, wholesome pub grub.  By now the weather was turning - high winds and rain - but luckily our commute from van to pub was short!

Saturday 28 November 2015
The next morning we woke at about 0830 and had a lazy breakfast; we've perfected making toast in a dry frying pan on the gas hob.  With everything stowed, we drove out of the village and on to the M6 heading north.  Our next stop was an 'Aire' on the seafront at Lytham St Annes.  This is an experiment by Fylde Council and it seems to be working out.  When we arrived three vans were already parked up in the seven spaces reserved for motorhomes, tucked behind the Toby Carvery on the seafront.  It costs £5 per night (or £8 for a day/night ticket) and you can stay for a maximum of three nights.  I reversed us into a space at the end, overlooking the cinema car park and we had a brew while watching the sea boil in front of us; the tide was in and with the increasingly strong wind blowing onshore, the seas were quite high.  I had planned to walk to a fish and chip shop, but with the strong winds and torrential rain I'd have been soaked very quickly (people walking around the corner into the car park were almost being blown over).  So we drove to a nearby pub car park with the chippy just across the road.  With our fish, chips and mushy peas back in the van, I drove us back to the aire and we enjoyed them sat in the van, with a bottle of cava!  It was clear the weather wasn't going to improve any time soon, in fact it was worsening, so we spent the afternoon in the van reading and watching the storm rather than going out for our planned walk along the beach or prom.  With the cinema adjacent we'd already decided to go and see 'The Lady in the Van', which seemed appropriate!  The tickets were only £3.50 each.  The cinema felt a bit like a portacabin inside, with small, flea-pit seating and screens.  Thankfully it was warm inside so we soon settled down, enjoying the film while listening to the howling wind outside and the rain beating against the flat roof!  Back in the van, it was rocking in the gusts, but luckily had sprung no leaks, nor lost any attachments or skylights! So we settled down for a game of Scrabble before crashing out with a good book.

Wet and windy view towards the beach

Fish, chips, mushy peas......and Cava!

Nido parked up on the Aire
Sunday 29 November 2015
It was very stormy in the night and we woke several times to torrential rain and very strong gusts of wind straight off the sea, but Nido did us proud, keeping us safe and toasty warm. After breakfast we wrapped ourselves up, hats, scarves and gloves on, hoods up (and wellies on for C) and braved the storm.  Luckily, we'd hit a weather window with no rain, although the winds were still storm force.  The tide was out so luckily we were able to walk along the beach, crunching across deep lines of mussel and very large razor clam shells. Turning into the wind with arms outstretched, we were able to lean right into it - great fun! We were out for about 45 minutes and really enjoyed being out in the extreme weather after a long period of enforced van time.  Faces glowing and hair a mess (Cathy's not mine!) we made a brew and had some lunch before braving the weather to drive down a very wet and blustery motorway.

Back home, Cathy sorted out the inside of the van, while I added some cleaning fluid to the grey and fresh water tanks, emptied and cleaned the loo cassette and washed the sea salt from the outside of the van.  I then emptied all the water tanks and Truma holding tank in case we didn't get to use the van through the winter, although we plan to get away over New Year if the weather's not icy.  Nido is heading off to A&E in the morning to have the awning replaced, then he'll be back into storage for our New Year trip.  A short but enjoyable trip.

A brief spell of sunshine during our walk

Leaning into the storm-force winds!

Monday 27 July 2015

Witches in Worston

We spent last weekend on a CL at Angram Green, just outside the village of Worston, near Clitheroe, Lancashire.  The CL is in a large field so even if the 5 pitches were taken, there would still be plenty of room for everyone to enjoy some peace.  Although basic (bins, fresh water and chemical disposal point), at £7 per night and with lovely views, we enjoyed our two nights.  Although I'd thought of not renewing our Caravan Club membership, with half-price M6 'Troll' road fees and some great CLs (which save for posh facilities and bars/restaurants offer the same as more expensive campsites), I reckon we've had value for money already.

Friday 24 July 2015
After a day at work, we drove up to the storage site to collect Nido, filled up with fresh water and headed north on the M6 - I say headed, actually we crawled along covering jsut a few miles in an hour! I also forgot to put the water filler cap back on, as I discovered on arrival at the CL, but luckily the storage owner found it and it was finally reunited with Nido on Sunday evening. I also wanted to fill up the LPG tanks.  We'd been away for two weeks in France and a weekend since last filling up, so I was interested to see how much we had used.  I (after two failed attempts!) finally found a garage that had access to LPG and was pleased to see it took under 10 litres (at 55.9p per litre) which equates to just over one 6kg bottle used, so we still had plenty in reserve.

Due to the traffic we were about an hour late, but the CL owner met us on arrival (I think they could see us approaching from their farm).  He let me know we had the field all to ourselves so could pitch anywhere.  He also apologised for the grass being so long and pointed out areas down by the trees that were more level and not so long, but Cathy liked it as the grass and clover attracted lots of bees! We pitched up and had a quick brew, watching the remains of the sunset, before enjoying our dinner of hot dogs, onions and salad (all prepared by Cathy that morning) - plus a glass of red.  After a long day and now nearly dark, we settled down for a sleep in the peace and quiet - my ears were ringing from the silence. The only sounds were the odd owl and some strange thumping sounds - perhaps the Pendle Witches doing circuits on their broomsticks!?  If you're interested in the history behind the Pendle Witch trials, you can read more here.

Saturday 25 July 2015
We woke to clear blue skies and warm sunshine after quite a chilly night.  Breakfast was cooked and enjoyed outside and Cathy sorted our picnic ready for a walk.  I'd downloaded a 10 mile walk and we headed off at about 1030.  The first section took us along the bottom of Pendle Hill and then climbing (via some lovely old stone barns, both of which were occupied by sheep and one by an old wooden horse cart) up the moor to come out on the road opposite the Pendle Ski Slope and next door was a bar and restaurant - The Wellsprings Inn - which specialises in Spanish and Mexican food; the views from their outside tables and car park over the valley looking toward Clitheroe were amazing. On the walk up to the Nick of Pendle, para-gliders flew above us, having thrown themselves off the top of Pendle Hill and a professional road cycling team passed us, supported by a couple of team cars - I was attempted to run alongside them shouting "Allez, Allez, Allez" but suspect firstly that they would think I was mad and secondly I would be out of puff before the first "Allez" was out!

We walked down the hill into Pendleton and sat on a bench by the beck to enjoy half of our picnic, saving the rest for later. Onwards, we walked into Worston and stopped at the Calf's Head for a quick pint, good timing as it rained for about half an hour before the sun reappeared.  Heading out toward Downham, we were met by Billy the horse and his minder.  We were munching apples as we walked and Billy took 'great' interest in these - Cathy cracked and donated hers!  As we approached Downham we could hear a band playing (brass or silver, no idea which) at what looked like a village fete.  We sat on a bench by the beck and enjoyed the rest of our picnic, with a brew and cake.  As we ate the cake we saw Billy and minder walking along the road on the other side of the Beck - luckily he didn't spot us or the cake, although his chance of Cathy donating any of that was zero!  A couple of Americans were also taking a keen interest on the bench we were sat on, even taking some photos of it as we sat there! When we checked out the plaque on the backrest we saw it was donated by someone from the Mormons. A quick Google search found that a Mormon leader - Richard Douglass - was born in Downham in 1828, emigrating to Utah in 1852.  Picnic done, we completed the final section of the walk along the base of Pendle Hill, back to the campsite.  We sat in the sunshine resting our legs and enjoying a brew, followed not long after by a G&T apero!  Dinner was a kind of chicken paella/rice thingy, all cooked in one pot for ease and eaten outside in the setting sun.  With the washing up done, it was starting to get a bit chilly in the breeze, so we moved into the van and played a word game (I think I won!) before heading off to bed.

Sunday 26 July 2015
We had a lie in and opened the van to high cloud and a breeze, but at least the forecast rain hadn't arrived - yet.  We again had breakfast outside, albeit wearing a jumper and just finished washing up when the rain started.  So we packed everything up, emptied waste and drove off, heading for the coast at Southport in an attempt to extend the weekend.  Unfortunately the weather worsened and this really didn't help Southport, which I doubt would have looked any better in bright, hot sunshine - what a dismal place!  We saw a sign for a beach car park and pulled into a small, grubby area, full of large, water-filled pot holes and the 'beach' nowhere in sight.  A German motorhome was parked up with no sign of the occupants.  How they must be regretting their decision to holiday in England!  On the way out we passed the Pontins Holiday Camp - it's the height of the season but it looked empty and the 'chalets' reminded us of the condemned naval housing at Rowner - grim.  We won't be returning to Southport.  Nido back in storage, we were soon back home, enjoying a shop-bought pizza with some salad and wine, watching 'Place in the Sun' to plan future long-term trips as the rain lashed down outside.  Still, we had a good Saturday and enjoyed our weekend away.

Edge of Pendle Hill

A galley with a view

Nido looks very small in that big field!

Amazing tree roots, holding the embankment together

Barn door graffiti - dating back to 14th October 1897!

Looking back at one of the barns

Giant liquorice allsorts farm!

A Pendle Witch.....or one of Cathy's relatives?

Billy the Horse - after his apple and no cake!

Post-walk brew


Boots recovering from a 10 mile walk

Topping up the tan

A great CL with lovely views and all to ourselves