Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Camping again...

It's the first May Bank Holiday - so it's our first camping weekend. Last year we had ice on the tent, but we were hoping for something a bit warmer this year! A new campsite  - Upper Hurst Farm near Hartington. A brand new site, only opened last year, and it was lovely. Small, with a facilities block with underfloor heating. Luxury!

Arrived Friday afternoon, had the usual tussle with the tent given it was the first time we'd had to put it up for six months, but got there in the end!

I love our tent - just the right size and very cozy.
Just one disaster - I'd bought a box of fruit for the weekend. But Stuart ran over it.

There was quite a group of us this weekend - 3 tents, 3 camper vans and a gazebo, and eventually everyone was there and set up, so after drinks and nibbles we walked to the nearest pub, The Manifold Inn, for a meal. Back for some nightcaps in the gazebo, and then to bed. Halfway through the night we realised there was something seriously wrong with our airbed - it obviously had a leak!

Saturday morning was a communal breakfast, and then a walk along Beresford Dale.

Half way along we reached Pike Pool so called, according to Charles Cotton, who spent much time fishing in the river here, because of its grey monolith or pike that rises out of the water.

Beautiful walk, and we were treated to all of the kids climbing a steep hill on the way, completely unnecessary, and they would have moaned like mad if we'd made them do it.

Lunch was in the lovely village of Hartington, and then we had a wander round the shops, and called into the famous cheese shop.

Also found a fab Buddha's head in an antique shop, but didn't think it would be sensible to carry it back. After an ice cream by the huge duck pond, and a visit to another pub, we set off back for a shortish walk to the campsite. Some of the stiles were a little narrow for some of the party....

In fact, they were Lily sized:

Back at the campsite the kids played football and ran around a lot, and the grown ups had a civilised rest  - together with some frozen lager:

Then a BBQ, with lots of good food - kebabs, burgers, gammon, sausages, salad, jacket potatoes. In the gazebo someone thought it would be a good idea to make Vampire WooWoos. Not sure entirely what was in them, but they had a layer of black vodka floating on top:

Next morning, with a slightly thick head, we had another communal breakfast and set off on another walk, this time to Whetton for lunch, and then quite a long walk along the Manifold Valley, past Thor's Cave

Past a very welcome ice cream van

and through a disused railway tunnel

Finally we got back to the Manifold Inn  for a welcome pint about 5pm. About 8miles in total, and not bad for our five year old grandaughter to finish. Back to the campsite where the kids were entertained by rides round the site!

Another BBQ, another set of nightcaps in the gazebo, and off to our flat airbed. Next morning was sunny, and we had a lazy breakfast and packed everything away. Our car is packed to the roof, and the tent always goes in first.  We then quickly slam the boot down and slam the doors, hoping they shut.

Normally we would then drive off, but this time we couldn't find the car keys. Till we realised they were still in the tent.  Oops. So, everything unpacked, and guess whose job it was to crawl into the unrolled tent?

Found them, so we eventually set off, and stopped in Hartington where I got my Buddha, and it's now sitting happily in my garden.

Great weekend - some good food, walks, sunshine and smashing company.

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