So that’s us, finished with our relatively normal way of life, we’ve put most of our belongings into storage, moved out of our 3-bed house and are settling into motorhome living! With Richard still at work until mid-May, we decided to take a week off and move into our motorhome in luxury by spending our first week in the Lake District, and by luxury we mean staying on a campsite! So, after much debate over where to go, we decided to explore part of the lakes we haven’t spent much time in and headed to a campsite near Pooley Bridge on the banks of Ullswater called Park Foot Campsite. A decent site with modern shower blocks, a shop, 2 play areas (a must to keep the kids happy), an on-site restaurant/bar/take away and only a 10-minute walk into Pooley Bridge, making it the perfect place to make camp and explore the surrounding area.
Our first little adventure was a trip out to Aira Force, a stunning waterfall on the north side of Ullswater. We arrived about lunchtime, and as an added bonus someone gave us their parking ticket, saving us a whopping £7 for a few hours parking. We soon found a place to park and with it being lunchtime we decided to get the kettle on, make up a few sandwiches and enjoy a spot of lunch. With our belly’s full we headed off along the footpath, through the trees, up towards the waterfall, stopping along the way to look at the ‘money tree’, anyone that’s been to Aira Force will know what we’re talking about, it’s the fallen tree with loads of coins hammered into it. It wasn’t long until in true Lake District fashion it started to rain, Jack was safe in his Osprey carrier with its built-in rain cover and so was Piper who was wearing a nice warm thick coat, but for us who opted for hoodies it was time to get wet. Luckily, the rain was short lived and we were soon standing on the bridge overlooking the spectacular Aira Force. After a short stop at the top it was time for a steady walk back along the well-maintained path, stopping near the bottom footbridge to have a run around the daffodils.
That night, back at the campsite the temperature dropped to -4 degrees centigrade and we faced our first real test, luckily our motorhome has built-in heating, though it doesn’t have a timer and is run off gas so we weren’t willing to leave it on all night. Needless to say, it was a cold wake up call, and not wanting to face another cold night we headed into Penrith to buy a fan heater to provide us with extra warmth. After this we decided to go somewhere we’ve been once before that serves one of the best sausage rolls in the country, I know it’s a big statement but it’s true, they’re gorgeous, this being the Rheged Discovery Centre just west of Penrith. With a good soft play, or as Piper calls them ‘play soft’, it gave the kids a chance to burn off some energy climbing through tunnels and sliding into ball pits. Jack was having none of the area for smaller kids and headed straight into the area for older kids and needless to say after sliding into the ball pit, he had to be rescued by Daddy when he got stuck. We then headed for some lunch and we faced our second real test, only one sausage roll was left! After a short stand off it was settled, one of us had a cheese & onion pie and the other got the sausage roll, we’ll let you ponder on who had what???
It was now our final day and with that we decided to spend the day locally exploring the shores of Ullswater and Pooley Bridge. The campsite owned a car park on the shores of the lake and with some (strong) persuasion Keira took the opportunity to drive from our pitch to the car park, needless to say we all made it in one piece though some of us were slightly shook up by the experience. With a chill in the air, we got the kids wrapped up and headed out, fishing nets in hand for a stroll along the shore stopping at several places along the way to see what we could catch. Both Piper and Jack loved the little adventure, especially our independent Jack who kept trying to make a break for it by running off, typical Jack! After walking on a bit further and lunchtime approaching both Piper and Jack (but especially Piper) started to have the usual whines “my legs ache”, “I don’t wanna walk anymore” & “what’s for lunch”, so we headed back. With lunch over and Pooley Bridge only 5 minutes walk we set off to explore. A small, quaint place once an inland fishing village, but now mostly tourism, Pooley Bridge has several pubs/hotels and couple of cafes and a handful of small shops selling the usual tourist stuff like flip-flops and fudge. After popping into every shop, we walked away with some honeycomb fudge, a magazine for Piper, a couple of beers and that night’s dinner, a traditional Cumberland sausage.
All in all, the first week in our motorhome went surprisingly well. We learnt a lot about our new home on wheels and also and little bit about being ‘motorhomers’, like the very enthusiastic wave you have to give as you drive past another ‘motorhomer’. Though the space in the motorhome is much, much smaller than our old house, it seems to work incredibly well, we don’t seem to get in each other’s way, even when the kids are running or dancing around and the kids are even sleeping better, what a bonus! Despite the big change, the kids are still kids and we still have to parent. There’s not a day that we don’t have the tantrums to deal with or nappies to change (not good in the confined space of a motorhome) or a desperate run to the toilet after hearing Piper shout “I need a wee” and don’t get us started on the mess they make at dinner, it’s lucky we have Charlie; our awesome Labrador to clear the mess up!
Let the adventures continue…