Sunday, 6 June 2010

Camping in the Lake District..

OK, there was a crazed gunman on the rampage, which is something I'm still processing. But at the time we were completely oblivious. So here are my remembrances and impressions of our few days in the Lake District...

Driving for miles through vast expanses of mountainous territory, inhabited only by sheep, to reach our campsite. Well, I had wanted to get away from it all in the middle of nowhere (there wasn't even a camping store that sold the fuel our stove needed. And no sign of a McDonalds for hours.)

The campfires! One of the reasons I picked this spot was because our eldest daughter wanted a campfire (we did only cook marshmallows, but it was great to sit around watching the flames/embers in the evening.) Yes, the kids coughed a lot in their sleep, but I have an abiding memory of walking back from the loo block, seeing plumes of smoke rising to the sky in the twilight.

There was even an ice-cream van on site, which tinkled its sweet tune and served enormous cornets for a great value price, trundling around the campsite of an evening.

Rafting Lake! Sadly, we felt unable to just let a 4 and 5 year old explore stream, lake and adventure playground unsupervised (the first time Imogen fell into the water she was distraught!) but there was still a Swallows & Amazons feel to seeing them make friends, be rafted around the lake, learn how to journey others, and forget that any grownups were even there.

Kendal Mint Cake! Amazingly, all of the family loved this sugary confection this time round.

The best pub in the Lakes. OK, so it was a gastropub, but it was in a beautiful location, fab service, nice food, lovely area for the kids to play.

Finally, finally getting the overtired little dance show girls to settle into camping mode, sleeping in past 8am one morning...

Just that pottering around the campsite vibe, watching the kids play with the little boy at the next tent,

Me wilting in the sunshine while Daddy supervised 2 girls washing and drying and dishes, accompanied to their soundtrack of Over the Rainbow (first verse only, ad infinitum, but the other campers seemed to genuinely enjoy it - that's a family campsite for you!)

Eating outdoors. 'Nuff said!

Being kicked around for the entire first night of our stay, by this little 30-week being in my uterus (I think it's turned....)

Watching the kids genuinely thrilled by the non-native animals in the wonderful of environment of the South Lakes Animal Park (their Teddy Bears' Picnic was a shambles, though.)

Imogen's genuine thrill of excitement from hammering in tent pegs and filling up water containers at the campsite tap.

A husband who diligently got up and made tea for his pregnant wife each morning...on the camp stove.

And finally, returning back via civilization (well, Hyde, Manchester) to stay in a Premier Inn budget hotel, with the tiredest, yet most beautifully behaved girls who quelled their wild camping ways to remember their restaurant manners!

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