Thursday, 31 May 2018

A Wild Weekend







This last long weekend has been just wonderful, and the continuing good weather (we've barely had any rain here) has been the backdrop for a getting back to nature,  barefoot paddling, rope swinging time. I feel like I'm on a post holiday come down, and any doubts I previously had about not having booked a trip away this year have been firmly put to rest. We have so much to enjoy right here, and as  much as I love the outdoors, I'm not the type to be out in all weathers, so it's even better to be able to seize the opportunity to get out while the sun is shining.
On Saturday we needed to run an errand, but rather than letting it interrupt our day, we made it part of it. So, as is usual here, a picnic lunch was packed and off we went, and as soon as we had collected our parcel, we went down to the nearby nature reserve. The fine golden sand felt so soft and warm beneath our feet we had a lovely time collecting shells and much to our surprise we discovered some Oystercatcher eggs. To say it was breezy would be a bit of an understatement, it was so blustery we couldn't even manage to fly our kite, but the air was warm and we enjoyed our lunch sheltered among the dunes, on which we all had a great time climbing up and down  and trying to avoid the prickly grasses.


The following day we took ourselves off to the woods and completed one of the  National Trust Wild Trails. We had such  a lot of fun. Of course, it is designed for children but I'm proud to say I managed it all! 😃 We followed the written clues around the woods, crawling through a wall, climbing over rocks, balancing on trees and finishing at a rope swing which was Lily's favourite part. A great little adventure.
















For a while now I have been hoping to get Lily camping, and last week, with the promise of some good weather,  I decided at the weekend would be  a great time to do it, completely forgetting, of course, that it was a Bank Holiday and there was no availability. I didn't want to chance one of the sites where you just turn up, so it would have to be Monday night. No problem, that would be fine, and the site sounded perfect for us. Lily began counting  down the days.
On Monday morning, as soon as we were packed ( how much stuff for just one night?!!) we set off and made our way to Ullswater. Our first stop was Aira Force, a beautiful waterfalls walk through ancient woodland. The climb was quite steep and it was such a hot day we were grateful for  the shade of the trees. Having walked up to High Cascades, we made time for a paddle in the stream on the way back down, before stopping for a picnic lunch. We then followed the pathway down to lake shore for a rest and another paddle before making our way to the campsite.
It has been a good few years since I've been camping so I was a little anxious, but I couldn't have chosen a nicer site for Lily's first time. It was a small, friendly site and we were given a lovely pitch with it's own water supply, overlooking the play area and just a few metres away from the shower block. The tent was soon pitched and as Lily went off to play with new found friends, I was able to relax in the sunshine, read a book and even do a little crochet, although it felt a little strange to be working on a woolly blanket in that heat, so I didn't spend too much time on it.
As afternoon turned to evening, the faint aroma of barbecues started to waft around the site and we cooked the sausages on our little camping stove, then as the sun began to set, we drank our hot chocolates, before snuggling down for the night in our sleeping bags.
The following morning, after breakfast, we walked up the lane from the site to Little Mell Fell. We had planned to climb it the previous day but as it was so hot I didn't think it was a good idea. Still warm, but a little overcast, the morning made for a much more comfortable walk and it was a lovely way to end our long weekend. We returned to the site, packed up the tent and made our way back home.
We've had the best few days, and did Lily enjoy camping? Apparently, it was 'awesome!' and she's looking forward to the next time.
J. X



42 comments:

  1. Ahh...beautiful! Blue rocks and eggs and camping and riverscapes...soul-filling!

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  2. It all sounds absolutely lovely - she will remember that week end for the rest of her life.

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    1. I do hope so Pat. I know I will. X

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  3. What wonderful photos - it sounds like you had a brilliant long weekend, the camp site looks good and I'm glad Lily enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more or your camping adventures now Lily thinks it's 'awesome' :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice. It was a really lovely site which seemed to have it's regular clientele. I hope we will manage some more overnight trips over the Summer months. I admit to being a fair weather camper, however. X

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  4. It sounds wonderful and your photos are breathtakingly beautiful as always.

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    1. Thank you Nil. We had a great time. X

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  5. You and Lily really know how to make the most of your weekends! It sounds like you had a wonderful long weekend and the photos are as lovely as ever! That picture of the beach full of seashells reminded me of the beaches of my childhood! I have never gone camping! I wouldn't even know how to pitch a tent!

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    1. I think we probably excelled ourselves this last weekend, but we made the most of the good weather. The beach is lovely - all sea shells and golden sand - a lot of which is now in my house!
      I haven't been camping in a long time, but soon got back in the swing of it. We only have a little tent and it is very straightforward to put up. X

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  6. I have never been camping...

    ...it looks like you and Lily had an awesome time:)

    Does Lily have a "Learning Journal" that she can draw pictures in and write about her adventures? :)

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    1. Oh, you should try it. Evie would love it. Lily spent a lot of time on the play area having fun with the other children.
      This has been the first half-term that Lily hasn't brought home a 'What I did this week' sheet. I must admit I felt somewhat relieved. X

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  7. Such a beautiful part of the world and it's great that Lily had such a good time.

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    1. Thank you Joy. It was lovely. X

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  8. What a lovely lovely time you both had - treasure them, I have such happy memories of camping when the boys were little - their enjoyment outweighs any of the hassle and preparation involved. now they are older - camping is old hat and that wonderful 'delightment' they had has worn off (it has not for me by the way!!)

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    1. You're right Kate. Any hassle was worth it just to see the delight on Lily's face. She had such a great time. X

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  9. Bliss...absolute bliss...I'd trade places with that teddie any day! x

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    1. Haha! I don't think Lily would be up for the trade. Sorry. X

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  10. You have had some fabulous adventures with Lily, she'll grow up with wonderful memories of her childhood. Lovely photos from your long weekend, as Lily would say they're awesome :)

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    1. I really hope she does Eileen. My fondest childhood memories are of time spent outdoors. X

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  11. What a fabulous few day. I agree, you really do have to make the most of the good weather as no one knows how long it'll last, and you certainly did that. I'm glad that Lily enjoyed her first experience of camping, I'm sure she'll be urging you to plan another trip now.

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    1. Oh yes. I'm not sure I would enjoy camping in wet weather. I'll have to have a think where we can visit next time. X

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  12. Your pictures are all so lovely. I am not a person who enjoys camping but I have some sweet memories of helping my children set up a tent in the back yard and spending mostly sleepless nights looking over them from inside the house. They grew up loving the whole idea of camping and continue to do it today with their children. The places they go, though, are far more adventurous than 50 yards from their homes.

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    1. Thank you Arleen. I quite enjoy camping but only when the weather is sunny and warm, it can be a bit miserable otherwise. It's great you gave your children the opportunity and that they still love to camp. X

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  13. What a wonderful post.
    The wild trail looks and sounds fun.

    You were so fortunate with the weather, and I enjoyed reading about your walking and camping ... the photographs are just lovely.
    Pleased Lily enjoyed her first camping adventure!

    Happy June Wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan. The Wild Trails are great for children. I think they have them at a quite a few National Trust places now. X

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  14. It all looks so idyllic Jules and the weather has been perfect for the past few days hasn't it. I honestly don't think you can beat the UK when the sun is shining. Lily will have a lot of lovely memories of her childhood with all the lovely trips out you take. I'd much rather pack a picnic than eat out as well.

    I've been to Aira Force, I think it's one of those places that has to be seen to truly appreciate it. Love the photo of Teddy, so sweet :) I always find packing for one night takes as much thought as for a week and it always amazes me when Mark says we just need a change of clothes for the van. Left up to him and we'd have no bedding, no towels, no food, no toiletries etc. etc. Hope you get a few more camping trips in again this year. It's thundering here at the moment but it's still refusing to rain. We could do with a good downpour though to clear the air. It's been a bit muggy today. xx

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    1. It's been such a great week off school for us Suzanne, and yes, the UK is fabulous if the weather is good.
      I'm always packing up a picnic. Lily is particularly fussy about what she will eat anyway (remind you of someone?) but I 'treated' myself to a coffee at the café and the family in front were buying only a few takeaway sandwiches and drinks, and the bill came to £31! I couldn't justify that for the time it takes to throw some together.
      Aira Force is beautiful and Lily really enjoys having a paddle so it was the perfect place to visit. I would like to go back again and see it during the Autumn. I bet it's even more spectacular with a greater amount of water coming down.
      It is surprising how much stuff you need to pack for a weekend away, even down to the washing up liquid. I've kept hold of the list of things I took so it will be easier next time.
      It's finally raining a bit here! The gardens will be grateful for it. X

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  15. That was a busy weekend Jules. I bet you slept like logs after all that fresh air.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Haha! We certainly did Sheila. X

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  16. Sounds like the perfect way to spend some quality outdoors time. I'll look forward to lots more camping adventures especially as Lily finds is 'awesome'

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    1. I'm hoping there will be many more camping trips in the future. X

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  17. Mermories are made in weekends like this.

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    1. I do hope so Sol. We had a wonderful time. X

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  18. How amazing to come across the oystercatcher eggs!
    What a fabulous experience for Lily; she will grow up appreciating the outdoors so much.
    I wonder if she will ever ask why you only ever too pictures of ther from behind! Haha, I'm sure you take lots of others too. And once again, great photographs.

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    1. Ha ha! Naturally I'm very careful about what I post and I do take lots of other photographs of Lily, but so often she is charging off into the distance anyway and she is very rarely still for long. X

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  19. Lake, sea and trees, ideal! So glad camping was awesome!

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    1. Thanks TD. It was a fun weekend. X

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  20. It must be more than thirty years since I last went camping. Your lovely photos triggered a little yearning and I can almost smell those sausages cooking. The sand on that beach looks very inviting. We have beautiful pale golden sandy beaches here on the east coast and we are only fifteen minute drive to our closest beach. Roll on warm sunny days.

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    1. I've worked out that it was six years since I last went, and we camped half way between Whitby and Sandsend. I remember cooking breakfast overlooking the sea. I hope you enjoy your time in Whitby today. X

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  21. What a gorgeous weekend! :)
    The landscapes are very beautiful and I find the beach especially impressive. Here we only dream of a fine sand like that... but dreaming is good as well. Thank you for the inspiring post! xx

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    1. Thank you Sara. That sand is so soft. It always makes me happy to feel sand between my toes. X

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