From Keswick we made our way to Ambleside, to the campsite just behind the pitch and putt. We’d heard about this place from friends a year ago and checked it out when we were up here for Christmas. It costs £10 per night and you have access to drinking water and waste disposal, with the walk into the town just five minutes.
Graeme comes most evenings to check all is well, but if you don’t see him you just pop your money into an envelope and post it in the honesty box. He is one of the friendliest, laid back people we’ve met and makes you feel really welcome. There were a few motorhomes there for a couple of the nights but for one we were on our own. It is a very quiet area and we felt safe enough to leave the ‘van unattended while we went walking, and when we visited the cinema.
You need to contact Graeme in advance of your arrival to obtain the key code for the barrier as it is changed on a regular basis. They do take bookings so you need to make sure they have space – they are fully booked for Easter, with a waiting list already on the go! If you’re able to visit outside of peak times, it is an ideal base for exploring the area with plenty of walking from the site. Ambleside has lots of shops, restaurants, pubs, cinemas and cafes to keep everyone entertained. Esquires coffee shop also offer a re-charging facility – within the cafe itself they have slot machines (like you see on campsites to use the hairdryers etc.) that cost 50p for half an hour of charging time.
Plenty of places have free Wifi too, including The White Lion pub where we called in for a drink after our walk around Loughrigg. We were only going to have a drink, but the staff were eating flatbreads on the table next to us and they smelt and looked so good (the food, not the staff) we ended up ordering the same! Very good marketing ploy we thought. They’re a nice bunch in there, with jokes going on between the staff but as soon as someone needs serving they’re straight there.
On our last evening we went to Fellinis cinema and watched Les Mis, which certainly lived up to the hype. We came back to the ‘van and fired up the gas heating and in no time at all we were nice and toasty. If it hadn’t been for the weather forecast of impending doom we would have stayed there longer, but our gas bottles had just changed over and thought it would be best if we were hooked up to the grid for next few days.
We’ll fill up our gas the next time we head off but our aim to get to the North East looks decidedly dodgy at the moment – maybe after Easter…