It seems like such a long time ago, especially having been working from home due to coronavirus for a year now, but I sitting at my desk at work, I happened to mention I fancied going wild camping. I work with plenty of brilliant people, two of whom are Angela and Beth. As it turned out, they also fancied a bit of wild camping and so we had the start of a plan! After synchronising diaries, and geeking out over the OS Maps app (ok, that was mostly me), we had a date and location in mind. Now it was time to prepare.
Standing at 2,866 feet, Goat Fell is the highest mountain on Arran. On our first visit to the island, we decided against trying to reach the summit. It would have been by far the furthest and highest Rowan had walked, so we didn’t want to over-do it and potentially put him off days out in the mountains. But for our latest visit, and with Birkhouse Moor under his belt, we decided he would probably be ok. We just needed a decent mountain forecast during the week – and we were in luck.
Long summer days mean it’s possible to really make the most of where you are visiting on holiday. After chilling on the beach by the Preaching Cave in Kilpatrick, we drove round the southern edge of the island to Sandbraes, just past Whiting Bay. Parking alongside some playing fields in front of the Whiting Bay and Kildonan Church (postcode KA27 8RE) just off the A841, we bundled out of the car for our second stroll of the day, this time, to Kingscross Point.
In 2018, our honeymoon took us to the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland. We fell in love with the place. So much so, we were back again the following year, this time bringing along my Mum, Dad and sister, Karen. Whilst driving around during our prior visit, I kept noticing a path running alongside a river in the mountainous north of the island. It was so inviting, and it was now time to see where it led.
For eighteen miles between Whitby and Pickering, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs steam and diesel locomotives through the gorgeous North York Moors National Park. But to Rowan, a steam train can only mean one thing – the Hogwarts Express. I was really looking forward to our day out with a difference.
Last summer saw us back in Whitby for a few days. (yep – I am THAT behind on writing things up – good job I have notes and lots of photos!) Previously, we had wanted to take the cliff top walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Boggle Hole, but I had been too poorly. After exploring the town the night before we had woken to glorious sunshine – today would be the day.
Time for another castle! We’d had a brilliant day out at Harlech earlier in the year, so while me and the boy were staying with Anma and Grandpa at the caravan, we took the opportunity to pootle round another. Grandpa loves castles too, so he joined us for our day out – this time to Conwy Castle. We parked up at Morfa Bach car park (postcode LL32 8FZ) and paid £4.50 for over four hours parking – Conwy is a big one. And with Rowan all kitted out as a knight, we headed through the pedestrian tunnel towards the imposing walls.
Our first weekend away in Tormund proved to be extremely lucky with the weather. After a brilliant day out exploring Birkhouse Moor and Red Tarnand a surprisingly comfortable night in the van, we woke to warm sunshine and wisps of cloud in the blue sky. We had already decided to take it easy on the Sunday so after a bit of a lie, we started the day with a breakfast of kings in the fresh air.