Welcome back to #AdventureCalling. Sorry it is a little late this month, but we’ve been out out. Half term meant we managed to get away, and this weekend I completed something I have wanted to do for a long time. A marathon!!! It was a beautiful day in Coniston and the views were absolutely amazing!
Who’s excited about being able to travel a bit further afield and start exploring the wild places again? I know I am! Our local, open spaces have provided some much needed outdoors time, but honestly, I can’t wait to visit somewhere new. Saying that, we visited a not been to in recent memory, local National Trust site recently and had a really fab time. We strolled through the woods and gardens, Rowan spotted birds and Rocky handled all the other dogs brilliantly – what a brave doggo!
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.
Can you believe it’s December already? It’s certainly been a unusual/difficult year for most of us, but hopefully you have been able to get outside, maybe exploring local areas a bit more. We’ve recently been to local parkland watching the deer, and I’ve also found a quiet local field that has great visibility. Having visibility is fab for me and my two fearful mutts as they get a bit of off lead running and I can keep an eye out for other “scary” dawgs whilst watching their happy faces as they charge about. It’s certainly better than pavement pounding.
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.
I love it when someone goes hill walking for the first time and gets the bug. After walking the Langdale Pikes and the Old Man of Coniston, I was out with Beth again, this time to tackle Bowfell on another hot day. Nigel also joined us as we set off early from Manchester to arrive at the National Trust car park by the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub (LA22 9JY) by about 10 am. After toilet stop and a check to ensure plentiful supplies of suntan lotion, we set off towards Stool End (snigger) farm. Our route would take us along both the valleys we could see, but whilst the tops of Mickleden were clear, clouds shrouded Crinkle Crags at the head of Oxendale.
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.
You may remember from my first Wainwright walk post, Cold Pike and Pike o’Blisco, we used to get around the Lakes in Old Peg, our brilliant old campervan. We’ve missed having a van so last year, after much scrolling through eBay, we bought Tormund the Transit. And our first trip (after the back garden) – the Lake District. Travelling up on Friday night, we stayed at Sykeside Camping Park and after tea in the pub and a wander down the lane at the back of the site, we settled in for the night.