Family travel

Tin Box’s first summer tour: part two

After a great week in Devon, we started the long journey north to see friends get married in Scotland. We split the 350 mile trip into two parts to keep us in the holiday spirit and to introduce baby Tin Box to more of the British countryside than she could see from her car seat.

Our first stop was a one night stay at Butterton Grange, a Caravan Club registered Certified Location, near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. This site is ideally located for anyone heading north on the M6 as it is just minutes from the motorway. We had a warm welcome from the site owners and enjoyed a quiet night on their beautifully kept back lawn.

Tin box at Borrowdale

We were up early the next morning for a run to the Lake District where we were to spend four nights nestled between Cat Bells and Derwentwater at the Caravan Club’s Borrowdale site. The journey was mostly straight-forward, until the final approach from Keswick where our SatNav decided to take us the shortest distance to Borrowdale. Mr Tin box, who had been looking a little travel weary until this point, perked up at the sight of the tight bends and sheer drops off this narrow passageway along the western side of Derwentwater. I wouldn’t advise this route and neither do the official site directions. It’s a shame I only noticed this after we were already committed!

Path from Borrowdale to Derwentwater

With only a few days to look around we decided to keep our expeditions quite local. We were pleased to find the lake side was just a few minutes away from our pitch, with a Miles without Stiles walk into Keswick along its banks. We decided to tackle this 10 mile round trip with Baby Tin Box’s pushchair and were not disappointed by the access.

When we reached Keswick it was heaving with holiday makers. We stopped for lunch at one of the pubs on the High Street, followed by a look around the many doggy friendly outdoor shops. We decided to give the Cumberland Pencil Museum a miss, although after returning home we were intrigued to discover it had been listed as one of Britain’s top 10 oddest days. Maybe next time…

On day two of our Lakes mini-break we gave our feet a rest and headed to Cockermouth in the car. It was Bank Holiday Monday so things were pretty quiet when we arrived just before 10am. We did however find the tea rooms at Wordsworth House open. Unfortunately, so did every other early bird.

We squeezed ourselves into a corner and, while baby Tin Box grabbed at the crockery from her dad’s lap (all the high chairs had already been taken), we hurriedly enjoyed a pot of tea and a slice of cake. By the time the main house opened at 11am we didn’t have enough money in the parking meter to do a tour, so we decided to head back to Keswick to restock our BBQ supplies. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing outside Tin Box.

The view from the top of Cat Bells

On our final day we brushed off our walking boots, crossed the road at the top of the site and set off up Cat Bells. It was a gorgeous day and the views were stunning. We continued along the ridge to Maiden Moor, where we began our descent into the valley south of Derwentwater. Mr Tin Box was using the OutDoors GB and Parks app on his iPhone to navigate. This was great, but when the track we were following became lost in the undergrowth it wasn’t much help to know we were heading in the right direction.

After scrabbling around stony outcrops and scree slopes for about an hour, we abandoned the ‘path’ and headed through the bracken towards a campsite at the bottom of the hill. It was a relief to get back to Tin Box, but it wouldn’t be a proper holiday without a bit of ‘off roading’.

Our next stop was Troon in Ayrshire where Tin Box had front row seats for our friends’ wedding. More on that in Part three, coming soon.