If Carlsberg did CL’s

Due to Debbie working on the Friday of the early May bank holiday, we decided to stay close to home again for the sake of ease. After a “I wouldn’t mind trying this one” from my Dad, we elected to go to White House farm CL in the little hamlet of Heathcote, between Ashbourne and Buxton in the glorious Peak District. White house farm

This is a little gem of a site, 5 hardstandings with EHU, the usual water services and the ability for motorhomes to fill up with water (no drive-over grey waste though). It’s set opposite the farm at the end of a lane so no passing traffic although the turn in to the field is a tad on the tight side.


We arrived Friday evening with plenty of light left to set the awning up and get tea on before a dog walk, a couple of medicinal drinks and off to bed.

Saturday we headed out to the village of Hathersage, about half an hours drive, mainly as Alpkit had their grand opening weekend and I’m drawn like a magnet to outdoor gear…..I volunteered at their annual festival last year and they are the soundest bunch of people, their gear is also awesome and reasonably priced (plug over). If you ever find yourself in the vicinity, we can recommend Colemans Deli, next to Alpkit; the place was packed with customers and seems a popular cake stop for cyclists, the scotch eggs were a triumph!

A wander round the rest of the village, a swift pint and then back to the site for a chilled out afternoon,


unfortunately Leah neglected to bring anything other than her phone with her and had run out of her data allowance so there was extended amounts of huffing and puffing as she was “bored of the boredness”……..

Sunday we took a walk over the fields and picked up the Tissington trail again and walked up past Hartington station and up to the cafe at Parsley Hay where the trail meets the High Peak trail, not to bad a walk and relatively flat albeit windy. We came back down the high peak trail a mile or so then followed the public footpath through the fields back to Hartington station before heading back to the van; if we didn’t have the dog, you could have a really good day out on these trails without too much effort and cover some distance.


20170430_120823We’d definitely use this site again, other than paying your fee’s the owners left us alone, and the site itself was spotless. £14 a night including EHU is a bargain!

Unfortunately the car drama’s continued with yet more bursts of limp home mode on the way back, I’m desperately hoping I can get this sorted before Cornwall as the last thing we need is it going haywire on the A30 hills….




The soggy weekend

This weekend didn’t quite go as planned…….

We’d been itching to get away since we bought our new awning at the manchester caravan show in early February; this weekend coincided nicely with me having to use up some excess hours from work and a weekend. Given Deb would be at work Friday and Leah at school, we decided to stay close to home and to save a few pennies we picked a CL site just north of Ashbourne in the glorious Peak District. We plumped for Washbrook farm which is located right on the Tissington trail and over the bridge from the large commercial site, Ashbourne Heights, at £11 a night including EHU, the weekend was the price of a couple of rounds in the local.

The forecast for the weekend was for rain Friday and dry Saturday so (somewhat ambitiously) i planned to do the shopping first thing, head over to the storage yard and drive up to the site to arrive at around lunchtime. In my head I’d planned to get set up, do a time-lapse of me putting the awning up and a short review, leaving a couple of hours for some odd jobs in the van and a chill out before the rabble arrived; best laid plans……


It absolutely wazzed it down in the morning, i got soaked hooking the van up then spent what seemed like an age trying to get the van level before the heavens really opened; the grass next to the hard standing was quite boggy and covered in molehills – awning video out of the window then.

The devil makes work for idle hands but fortunately I’d already measured and pre-cut some foam board to improve the storage situation in the drinks cupboard and in the bathroom. The former had a ridiculous perspex shelf in to supposedly hold a bottle and wine glasses, it was no use to us to hold Bourbon, Gin and Amaretto bottles so i made this. I’m undecided as to whether to finish the front with another piece of board but as it is, it works well.


I can’t lay claim to this idea, i stole it from caravan blog star Mr Dan Trudgian over at  the trudgians. The second storage issue was the long cupboard in the washroom; bags of storage but every time you open it after arriving on site, it dumped the contents on the toilet lid; annoying and only a matter of time before damage was caused. Foam board and glue gun et voilà!


Friday night came and went, a few other hardy souls had arrived on site in the dark, including this dinky beaut



After a lazy breakfast we stuck our boots on and toddled off down the Tissington Trail towards Dovedale. The Tissington Trail follows the long disused Ashbourne to Buxton railway line from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay where it joins the High Peak trail; traffic free and largely flat, you can walk/cycle between various points along it. We opted to alight at Thorpe and along to Dovedale and the famous stepping stones; given the amount of rain and how boggy it was on the farmland footpaths i was surprised at how busy it was. It’s a gorgeous place but it really does get rammed when it’s warmer.


We were in need of refreshments and opted for Ice cream before heading back from whence we came.

dsc_1198.jpg A very, very muddy walk of about 6 miles before a hotdog lunch (has to be done in the caravan) before a drive to Ashbourne for a wander and a drink.

I was questioning my sanity when packing away this morning (Gore-tex is a wonderful invention) and glad we didn’t bother with the awning but after getting Paddy back to the yard and giving him a quick wash over, I’m glad we did.

No such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes!