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Home Travel StoriesA Long Weekend Around Penrith

The Horror Of Luxury

Ride Date 13 October 2023

By Ren Withnell

Oh the shame, oh the ignominy! It's so embarrassing I can barely bring myself to write these words.

We're off to Penrith, Sharon's idea. This being Sharon's idea you can imagine what the accommodation will be like. Firstly being October it'll need to be warm, that's the main priority. Secondly if she can persuade me it needs to be at least "nice" if not "luxurious". Pfffft, humbug.

Good value is a relative term. My definition of good value is - there are a lot of campsites charging £20-30 per night per pitch, therefore finding a site that is charging £15 is quite good, £10 is good value. You can of course pay several thousands of pounds for a night in a hotel but you're usually looking anywhere between £80 to £150 these days. Thus and therefore when Sharon finds a whole lodge with its own kitchen, living room, 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms AND a hot tub for £85 per night this represents excellent value! Apparently.

Ren's bike in the scruffy back yard, in the rain and with a light luggage load
The sweet scruffy dirty back yard of home. And it's raining presently.

As previously mentioned we now have a budget. This budget is sufficient to cover the outlay for a 3 day night break. I already know I have lost this argument so I shall have to suffer the horrors of a real bed, an en-suite bathroom, central heating, comfortable seating, a real kitchen, and, oh dear, not having to share a bathroom and toilet with various random strangers. Gosh and golly, what an awful thought.

I gird my loins and pack my bag. Oh my this is a nightmare! I only need one bag, I don't need my stove and cooking stuff, my tent and sleeping stuff, I just need some clothes and a few packable food items. With the bike feeling decidedly light I depart my hovel and ride the 37 miles to Lancaster Services NorthBound. Sharon arrives, we have a brew and a pee break then head out into the rest of our arduous journey.

The arduous journey comprises of 55 miles of free flowing motorway, mostly dry weather save for a light shower here and there, and with this being October the air is cold enough to require the wearing of a jumper. Oh the horror. Off the motorway at Penrith and I need the sat nav to lead me through a couple of miles of countryside and to "Ullswater Heights". 

It's a bit posh is Ullswater Heights. Well it is for the likes of me at least. The reception is admittedly a glorified plastic PortaKabin but it is a very nice PortaKabin. Glass tables, smartly attired young staff, clean paving outside, the room has that "Laura Ashley" potpourri smell. I feel a tad embarrassed parking my scruffy bike between the black X5s and Q7s, stuff 'em, my money's worth the same as theirs. The attractive young lady repeats her "this is the key for... and this is where you're staying" routine professionally and with a smile. You know you're old when young ladies fail to notice you. 

Our "lodge" is in fact a large wide plastic static caravan, but again a very nice large wide plastic static caravan. It seems solidly built, well insulated and very well appointed. We are not disappointed. Sharon cranks up the heating as we unpack a little then muster up this evening's meal between the foodstuffs we've brought with us. 

Towels rolled neatly on the freshly made bed in the clean bedroom of the smart lodge
It's like that is it? Far too posh I tell ya.
The smart clean modern kitchen with table and chairs of the lodge
So, where do I put my stove?

I would like to tell you of how I miss being under canvas, how much I miss the cool evening breeze gently fluttering the tent. I feel as though we have far too much in this world and all we need is a simple shelter, basic food and water, and the night sky is entertainment enough for the soul. Codswallop. It's flipping freezing out there, bitingly so, with a harsh wind and occasional icy rain. It's t-shirt warm, totally dry, plush and soft and well lit in here. Terrible ain't it.

Sharon and Ren's bikes on a section of tarmac specifically for parking with other lodges behind
Why aren't the bikes sinking into mud?

Sharon enjoys the warmth, I muddle through as best I can being the brave hero that I am. I can't believe the trials and tribulations I put myself through for you, dear readers. 

Advertise here - contact

The Horror Of Luxury Remember folks, Ren does these things so you don't have to. Poor lad, Sharon's given him nothing to moan about.
A Piece Of The Lakes, Rethinking Maryport Ren is long overdue a reassessment of the town of Maryport so while he's doing they The Dynamic Duo have a look around the area too. There's hot tea, good food and decadent living.
The Hadrian's Wall Experience Ren takes Sharon for a (very limited) Hadrian's Wall experience. There's a lot of tea to be consumed too. It's another day of leisurely exploration.
Home From Penrith There's time enough to enjoy a little detour on the way home from Penrith. Ren is also pondering his atypical indifference towards a place he feels he ought to adore.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North ¹ said :-
Don't worry Ed, normal service will be resumed and your dirty heap lowers the feel of the place nicely.
15/12/2023 11:01:50 UTC
Bogger said :-
To be honest I'm surprised they let you in.

Bogger....just saying like

ps you really are going soft in your old age.

pps just take the car next time
15/12/2023 11:54:09 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Now, where is the laughing man emoji when you need one?
15/12/2023 12:24:35 UTC
ROD¹ said :-
It all looks very nice Ren, but you do know where this is leading???
You are not wearing those dirty jeans in here are you? You are not coming out with me dressed like that are you? You really need some new clothes!
You can't ride the bike in those new clothes, we will have to take the car!

I can see your bike becoming a garage queen.

Eighty Five Pounds a night!
That's £255.00 or about 20 nights camping.

No, I can see the attraction,I hope you both had a great time.
15/12/2023 16:47:33 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I think I've been telling you this for years Ren....

As for young ladies failing to notice you that's been happening to me since I was in my teens.
15/12/2023 16:59:16 UTC
nab301 said :-
That looks good Ren!, with all those spare rooms you could have organised a budget Batty meet up, on second thoughts , maybe not. Did you get to use the hot tub and if so did they charge you for new filters when you were leaving... As for being ignored by the young ladies , I'm sure hidden among the Q7s and X5s there was a lonely Mrs Robinson or two that would have have been attracted to that rugged looking ( in their eyes) youngster ....
15/12/2023 17:29:59 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Thanks folks. I think.

ROD - I get in trouble SO MANY times for my lack of dress sense and my attitude towards clothing. Many moons since when we was young she purchased me a nice pair of "combats", branded too. It wasn't 6 months before I was working on the bike while sitting on a random battery. Turns out the battery was leaking and soon the material just fell out of the arse. Battery acid see. Sharon keeps "nice" clothes at her place and dresses me accordingly when required.

I could do with a rich older woman nab301, to keep me in the luxury I ought to be in. Mind you, you can put me in smart clothes and a posh house and I'll still make it look scruffy. It wouldn't be long before I'd be turfed out for leaving an oil stain on the Axminster.
15/12/2023 21:43:02 UTC
Bigngreen said :-
Guys, if we just take 5 pound a month off Ren each we can return him to poverty.
Please help.
25/12/2023 18:00:32 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Bigngreen is this like a reverse Christmas charity appeal? I'm laughing while clutching my wallet tightly!
25/12/2023 21:30:19 UTC

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