A Week in the Lake District: Coniston Park Coppice

If you’re familiar with the caravanning and have visited the Lake District you may have tried this site already but I’m here to blog about my week away. Firstly, getting there was awful. Imagine being in a warm, stuffy car when the Satellite Navigation system throws a wobbly and you end up driving through Windermere to get to the camp site. I was quite enjoying the car ride, we had beautiful scenery, myself and the parental unit were chatting away and enjoying our customary bag of sweets for the car journey. They must have had rain, dad drove through a puddle and watered splashed up everywhere covering the car window not great when you’re pulling along a caravan too but as a lorry driver and seasoned caravanner he handled it with ease. If only the Satellite Navigation hadn’t gotten confused, we would have been their sooner. Upon arrival we discovered another family on holiday there had also encountered the navigation issue so, maybe it’s just the Lake District.

Surrounded by Hills

“Coming to the Lakes for a holiday, your first task is to get here!”

Once we’d pitched up, it was time to walk the dog and explore. As soon as we encountered the first hill on the campsite I knew I needn’t worry about not bringing my running clothes I’d be able to keep the weight off and get fit by walking everywhere. On a camping holiday, the first thing I like to check is the toilet block. Yes, that may sound strange but seen as your showering in there, going to the bathroom and having a wash first thing in the morning I like them to be nice. Luckily, this place must have recently re-decorated because they were beautiful. I can honestly say I’d never seen such a nice toilet block from all the sites I’d been on.

“It’s important to be comfortable with your surroundings. I would have lived in the toilet block; they were that nice!”

So, we’d set up and jet was happy time to explore Coniston. A small place and a walk to get there but you got to see Coniston Water so I wasn’t complaining. Also, it gave me a chance to scout out routes to walk the dog. I understand why they didn’t have a dog walk on the site…look where you are, the entire Lake District is a bit like one huge dog walk. A 5/6-mile round trip we discovered overall to go into Coniston and back so not bad really. One thing you must always remember for the Lakes is boots, walking boots, boots and wellies. Its 99% of the time muddy from my previous holiday experiences up there and actually I wore them all of the time we were away.

Weather-wise we got some gorgeous days, even managed to get my legs out in a playsuit it was that warm and a dress but in equal measure we had rain during the night as well. Windermere- we couldn’t get parked up so we went one town over and I had a beautiful pulled pork panini with salad and tortilla chips. Kendal- we’ve stopped there before but it was nice to walk around. I quite enjoyed it to be honest. All in all, we had some great days out and there was lots of walking so, I was keeping fit. Dad went for a run…he’s a brave man! So many hills.

These two swans were just bobbing along beside the boat

“Even the dog was exhausted!”

Jet enjoyed it, we walked so much one day that he slept for the rest of the night and needed help getting off the sofa type seats because it was just too far. The beauty of the Lake District is you can take your dogs into almost anywhere, in fact lots of pubs make jokes about dogs being fine, it’s the people they need to worry about but if the dog says we’re good, we can come in. Jet is now 12, going on 13 so he’s an old dog but even he liked the walking and when we got home he slept for about two days only waking for food, walkies, dog chews and to play/fuss.

Coniston Water was amazing. It has been a while since I’d been on a boat so I was a little worried however, once it got going I managed to go above and take pictures. We managed to see the secret entrance used in Swallow’s and Amazons (2016)- not so secret it was on a tour and other places used for filming both films.

It’s not that much of a ‘secret’, here’s a wide shot. We saw people canoeing into the secret entrance?

“Here’s the not so-secret entrance”-the tour guide

Secret Entrance in Swallows and Amazons (2016)

Finally, heading back home. Well, if you thought we had trouble getting there. Leaving was even worse. The dog snored away for most of the journey and we had to go near Leeds to get home and that was on a Saturday. Once we got back it was time to unpack and get food and sleep. I was exhausted.

Things we learnt on the trip:

  • Mum and Dad can now order Subway…getting the sandwiches to go up with was hilarious as I explained how you did it. They sent me in. But go there on sandwiches from Subway on the way back.

  • You could get away with walking everywhere and never put on any weight so you get quite fit up there.

  • Don’t wear your mums size five wellies when you’re a size four. I’m still paying for it now with wounds all over my feet.

  • There are trees everywhere, so if it is sunny don’t expect to get sun.

  • Finally, close the vent on the top of the caravan before you go to sleep. Dad was awoken by the scurrying of feet and had to close the vent. That was a close one!!

    Mum And Dads First Subways!!

Camping and Caravanning: No One Cares What You Look Like!

On the Boat on Coniston Water.

I haven’t been away for a while…okay, the last holiday I went on was to Berlin with College three and a half years ago so, I forgot what it was like to go away in the caravan for a week. I’ve been camping in some form or another from the age of 1 (according to my parents-very reliable as I can’t remember myself) so, by the age of four-the first time I remember camping it was a pretty normal thing to do and I was very often surprised when other people didn’t camp regularly. However, if it rained, thundered or was a beautifully sunny day these are some of my best memories of my life; attending old houses, walking for miles (even though I complained at the time), playing with my brother (14 months older than me) and going to the beach or close by towns. My point- this was a normal thing for me to do.

As I got older, I began to wonder more about my appearance but by then we had got the caravan. A step up in the luxury department, bunk beds which reminded me of when I used to share a room with my brother but still, I began to care about how I looked. The beauty of camping or caravanning is that no one cares about the way you dress. I’ve seen people wearing crocs with their pjs and a dressing gown thrown on top, or the look I favoured in the lake district-pjs and walking boots… but no one gives what you wear a second glance. Instead, it’s the knowing look of nipping across to the bathroom in the morning and giving everyone a friendly morning greeting- we are a friendly bunch or talking about their pets. In the interest of full disclosure, I once saw a person walking their cat on a lead? As I’ve seen this happen on multiple occasions I’m led to believe it must be normal.

Secret Entrance in Swallows and Amazons (2016)

Anyway, my point is as a long term camper, no one cares what you look like. Sometimes, I think the world needs to go camping. You’ll see no one is bothered by the way you look instead, they probably feel just the same, tired, barely awake and hoping to remember where there turn is to get back to their beds. Camping is an experience that everyone should try at least once, it may not be for everyone but how can you know if you don’t try. I love the fact that it’s one of the only places you can act exactly like you would at home (within reason) and people just get on with it. It’s definitely a confidence builder that’s for sure.

Just try it. Camping is a brilliant, if not slightly mucky experience but, I can guarantee that some of you will love it!

Just a Beautiful view while in the Lake District