The roof box is packed, the boot nearly so and the kids are in bed. At last. We’re off on our holidays tomorrow and the excitement levels are high.
We’re going camping in Cumbria with bookend stops in Belfast (dinosaurs) and Loch Lomond (why not?) at either end. The toddler doesn’t like to do long stretches in the car – Donegal to Cumbria is a good 8 hour journey all in – so we’re trying to accomodate him, for his sake and ours. I’ve bought an alarmingly named gizmo called the Anti Escape System to stop him shimmying out of his car seat straps when he stretches up to look at tractors. Let’s hope it does the trick.
The last time I was home in Cumbria was in February when I attended the Local Gov Camp in Preston with the lovely Paul Webster. That weekend the snow was forecast and, sure enough, it came. There we gov campers were, surruptiously checking our devices for the latest weather forecast as the skies above Preston remained a resolute grey, whilst trying to give 100% attention to the fab sessions going on.
Heedless as I was to my mother’s advice to “Get out of Preston now, it’s snowing so much here that the hens are covered!” I really had no one to blame when I became stuck hours later. Despite revving the a##se off the hire car I couldn’t make it all the way home. How lovely it was to see the familiar figure of my Dad swashing the snow flakes from his face as he came to find me after trudging through miles of snow.
This week, however, the forecast looks a lot more promising which is just as well as camping is not much fun in rubbish weather, with or without kids.
We’re looking forward to a week of kicking back with all the family and celebrating a 21st birthday with our own mini rock festival. (The neighbours are a friendly bunch, although we will be unplugged).
The walking probably won’t get more strenuous than a trip up Orrest Head or round Tarn Hows as the toddler’s legs aren’t quite up to Great Gable or Helvellyn yet. There might also be some duck feeding at Waterhead and possibly paddling in a tarn or two.
There’s a lot more for families with young kids to do in the Lakes nowadays (the aquarium at Lakeside, the wildlifepark at Dalton-in-Furness) and Brockhole seems a whole lot better than I remember too so we’re going to be spoilt for choice for trips out.
Of course it’s hard to beat the wave machine at Keswick baths on a wet day and just mooching through the ginnels in Kendal is enjoyable nowadays too (althouth not high octane enough for the 7 year old). I’ll let you know what we enjoy the most.
Best get some sleep now – isn’t it impossible to get a lie in when you’re camping?
Bye for now.