Sunday, 5 September 2010

Great North Fun - The Finale!


Why must all good things come to an end?  Who decided that?  I'd like a pretty stern word with whoever it was.  Party pooper.  So here I sit back in my dining room having spent the day catching up on emails, post, lots of washing and clearing out Delores ready for next time.  This is not a return to work, it is simply a break inbetween trips.  If I manage to master the technology I'll even add a few pics today.  Oh and here's a small quiz for you.  The Lake District is so called because of it's many, many lakes, and yet only one of them has the name 'lake' in its title - all the others are meres, waters, tarns or reservoirs.  So which is the only one with 'lake' in its name?

And so as promised some reflections on the previous 5 weeks or so.  First of all the awards!

New England Bay.  Love at first "site".
Best Proper Campsite:  CC New England Bay - clear and easy winner.  Mindbogglingly fabulous location, lovely pitches, nice loos and showers and lovely wardens.  Oh and the fish and chip van.  And the fresh fish man.  I could go on and on and on.  I absolutely loved it here.  Honourable mentions go to Berwick CC site and Grange CC site next to Derwent.  Both were lovely sites were great in their own way, Berwick had great views and Grange had wonderfully secluded pitches.

Best CL/CS:  Another easy winner this - Moat Vale CS near Gretna.  It was quirky, fun and friendly.  There was hardstanding, a nice loo and shower and the owners were delightful.  I bought home grown lamb and veg and the prices were incredibly reasonable.  Honourable mentions go to Howslack Farm CL near Moffat and Annstead Farm CS near Seahouses - both lovely sites, tucked away and with pristine facilities.

Moat Vale CS nr Gretna
Best Road:  A tie between the A686 Haydon to Alston and the B6277 from Alston to High Force falls in Teesdale.  Wonderful roads to drive though dramatic scenery.  Not too tough on Delores and lots of passing opportunities to let people whiz past.

Best Mountain:  Helvellyn - by a gnats whisker from Great Gable.  The only reasons Helvellyn wins is because it's so perfectly geologically wonderful and we climbed it.  Great Gable is next on my list though - it's a great slab of a mountain just asking to be climbed.

Best Lake/ Loch:  I'm going to go for Coniston Water as although it suffered from the scourge of tourism it's actually a gorgeous place with lots of really interesting history.  Ullswater is very pretty but perhaps too predictably so in a George Clooney kind of a way so I'm plumping for something with a little more substance.  Close second is Loch Skeen at the top of Grey Mares Tail falls - big climb but well worth it, gorgeous loch and stunning views.

Coniston Water
There are so many fantastic places we've seen that it's hard to pick out a few but hopefully the rest of the blog has given you some flavour of them.  As for things we've learned along the way...

1.  If you're taking a cat then also take a vacuum cleaner, the litter gets everywhere!
2.  Don't pull the freezer door too hard or the hinge may snap...
3.  Always take your waterproof, I don't care if it's 30C and clear skies, that's just there to fool you.  You'll thank me for that one day.
4.  You won't need as many clothes or as much food as you think you will.  There's loads of stuff I haven't worn - but that could be down to the lack of summer.
5.  Just do it.  Don't make excuses.  Life is too short and we now have a full summer of wonderful memories and plan to add a whole lot more over the coming years.

So that's it, all done and no more blogging till the next trip adventure.  Hope I didn't bore you too much.  Tomorrow I'm back to work and believe me you don't want to hear all about that!  Did you get the answer to my little quiz question?  It's Bassenthwaite Lake.  Next time you're on Who Wants to be a Millionnaire and that question comes up I'll be expecting my cut of the winnings.  Just enough to see us on a few more nice long hols will do me...