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Home Travel StoriesOne Night Camping In The Lake District 2005 - By Ren Withnell

One Night Camping In The Lake District 2005 - Day 1

So, there I am working away at my computer when the gf comes onto messenger.  She asks
"What are you doing this Saturday night?"
"I was expecting you to come over, why?"
"Can we go camping?"
"Er...Yes...It's going to be very cold you know."

I get the impression she needs to do something different, a bit out of the normal.  You know how it is, kids, work, ex husbands, poorly mothers, mounds of washing and terminal monotony.  I think she just needs a change of scenery.  

I know a good campsite in the Lake District, about 2 hours ride from here.  I stopped there when I went with my friend last year, see http://bikesandtravels.com/travels/Camping%20In%20The%20Lakes%202004.aspx  I go to the campsite's website, http://www.parkcliffe.co.uk and find their number.  I call them to check they are open and if I need to book.  They are open and since I am in a tent there will be no need to book.  Job done, all sorted.

On Friday I pack everything up.  We are only going for the one night so up to scratch there is not much to take.  Tent, sleeping bags, airbed, toiletries and my camping stove for making cups of tea.  Saturday comes and the gf arrives, late as ever, at 1300.  I had given a moments passing thought as to what the gf may bring and where I could put it. I had underestimated was how much she would want to take.

On the previous trips with the gf I have been remarkably surprised out how light she can travel.  Cornwall, Derbyshire and York were all completed with room left to spare on the bike.  We are only going for one short night this time yet I am woefully short on space.  I'm in a humorously grumpy mood at present and take great pains to ensure the gf knows I disapprove of the load she has brought.  All in good fun you understand, I don't think the gf did though.

Finally with bags packed, tent bungeed and helmets on we set off.  It is 1400 already and the light fails by 1700 at this time of year.  I could take the scenic route up to the Lake District but time being against us I take the motorways.  Traffic is light, the air is damp and cool but it is not raining and I am in the mood for riding.  After an hour of motorway I come off the M6 at junction 35 and get on the A6.  

I am comfortable and still ready for more miles.  At some traffic lights I check the gf is ok and she reports she is.  The road drifts casually along, all the time the surrounding scenery becomes more rural and hilly.  The bike is heavy with the load and is happy to cruise behind the cars whilst I take in the views.  It is not long until I am making the turn onto the A590.  

This is a faster road, mostly dual carriageway.  Still I plod along on the inside lane travelling at a steady 60mph.  The scenery now is turning from hilly to mountainous and the air is a touch colder.  I am still comfortable but curious if the gf is too.  She's not fidgeting and we are only ten minutes from the site so I carry on. We turn off the A590 onto the A592 towards Windermere.  The road is now twisty and tree-lined.  Tree-lined is not good in autumn, the road is covered in slippery leaf-mush so I drop my speed accordingly.  Occasionally I feel the tyres twitch so I focus on avoiding the mush as best I can.

As ever I struggle to find the campsite entrance, it is hidden among the trees and steep banks.  We step off the bike, just t touch stiff from the journey, and wander into the campsite office.  Having been here before the faces are familiar, as is the banter.  After the required amount of joking abuse from all parties and being relieved of some money we are guided to our pitch.  Normally tents go on the hillside but as this is the end of the season and the ground is very wet we are pitching on the grass around a caravan space.  This affords us the luxury of exiting the tent onto gravel as opposed to muddy grass.

I always put the tent up myself.  It's not that the gf is incompetent I just have my own way of doing things now.  I do however leave her to blow up the airbed.  Considering she does not smoke and could once run half marathons she is totally hopeless in the blowing up of airbeds department.  I finish the job before she passes out.  The final thing I do is make a nice hot cup of tea on the stove for us both, aaawww, ain't I nice!

Our tent in the cold evening air Our tent in the cold evening air...brrrrrr!

It is going dark slowly, and the cold is starting to bite.  We take an executive decision to ride into Bowness and Windermere in search of food.  So we kit up and ride into the ever-cooling evening air.  I don't recall it being quite so far into Bowness.  It is only 6 or 7 miles but it seems a lot further tonight.  Bowness and Windermere are 2 towns right next door to each other, you can hardly tell when you have left one and entered the other.  We ride aimlessly for almost an hour around the 2 towns, looking for somewhere inspiring to eat.  

Nothing inspiring comes up.  Finally I notice a pub advertising good food, so I park up.  We walk inside but it is smoky and packed with locals watching football, not conducive to a relaxing meal.  Another pub is most pleasant but one look at the prices sends us scurrying out again.  Finally we find a pub with a quiet restaurant section and meals at acceptable prices.  I have Chicken Tikka, the gf has steak.  The food is nothing special but perfectly adequate, the surroundings are comfortable and I am happy to eat and talk with the gf for a while.

Back at the campsite it is getting cold.  The sky is losing its cloud cover, a sure sign of frost at this time of year.  We go into the bar on the site.  It is packed!  Normally it gently ticks over but tonight we struggle to find somewhere to sit.  It seems this is the last night of the season at the site and all the regulars and locals are having their last fling before the winter sets in.  We stop and drink coke for a while and listen to the quiz and raffle.  The gf wins a sticky toffee pudding in the raffle!  I ponder how we are to get it home on the bike without crushing it.

Finally we retire to bed.  It is cold, very cold.  It's not freezing but the gf is suffering.  We snuggle up and I manage to remove enough of her layers to try out some exercises of the bedroom kind.  This warms her up well enough.  At this point I would like to say I fell asleep.  The gf drifts off but I can't seem to get warm.  I need a pee...get up...get dressed...walk to toilets...pee...walk back...undress in the cold...get in tent...relax and warm up...start to drift off...need another pee...get up...get dressed...  You get the idea.

One Night Camping In The Lake District 2005 - Day 1
One Night Camping In The Lake District 2005 - Day 2
Home Travel StoriesOne Night Camping In The Lake District 2005 - By Ren Withnell Random Link

Reader's Comments

said :-
How much dose it cost

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james conald said :-
how much is it for one night

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said :-
how much dose it cost to camp out one night in lake windermere

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Rachel Lambourne said :-
How much for one night because i want to spend all the time i can with my girlfriend Becky in a tent!
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Thanjeema Smith said :-
I LOVE CAMPING is lake windermere a nice place i loe views
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Jonathon edwards said :-
i hate camping wtf are you making a website about it
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Chris Harvey said :-
I AGREE WITH JONATHON I HATE CAMPING BUT MY GIRLFRIEND LOVES IT WILL I ENJOY IT?
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Rachel Fattyencheque said :-
HEYA BLUD
I LOVE CAMPING CAUSE I ACTUALLY LIVE IN A TENT SO I AM SO USED TO MOVING ROUND I AM A TRAVELER
PEOPLE CALL ME A GYPSY BUT I H8 BEIN CALLED THAT HOW MUCH IS THIS PLACE CAUSE I AM PLANNING A SEPECIAL HOLIDAY WITH MY 14 KIDS AND MY
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dave said :-
iv stayed in this campsite a few times and has the smallest bar area i know but is clean and well run. i cant believe you are geting comments from people who dont like camping. if you dont like it dont do it and dont comment on people that do. you dont know what you are missing.im off with my lass nxt weekend camping on the bike round the lakes. keep it up m8 and to let you know there is another campsite in the grizedale forest park on a farm and its all signposted and there is a great pub a short walk from the site. if you need more info email me at ombrearanya72@hotmail.co.uk
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g said :-
how much did it cost ?????
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cheryl cole said :-
wow u gocamping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Pen said :-
Brilliant
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