A difficult start

Wednesday 12 July 2017. This latest caravanning/walking holiday got off to a difficult start when, on Monday morning, my caravan mover wasn’t working properly with the roller, which drives the wheels, only rotating on the off-side. In this condition my caravan wasn’t going anywhere other than in circles and I couldn’t move it forward to hitch-up to my car. It seemed as if there was an electrical problem so I scrambled under  the side of the caravan and jiggled the wires that connected the near-side drive motor to the caravan battery. This seemed to do the trick and both rollers sprang into life.

My concern was whether or not they would work again when I arrived at the Youlgreave caravan site and needed them to manoeuvre my caravan onto the pitch. My worst fears were confirmed with the near-side roller still refusing to function. More jiggling did the trick and I was able to reverse my caravan up a steepish hill onto my pitch after which it stopped working again. The mover had long since past its 5 years guarantee so any repairs would be at my own cost. I rang the manufacturer, Powertouch, for some technical support and to call out an engineer. They suggested that I might be able to fix it myself and save on the £70 call-out fee but I felt that it was beyond my capabilities and I needed the reassurance of a professional repair and the peace of mind that this would bring that the mover would work when needed. The engineer called this morning and replaced the connectors to both motors and in doing so resolved the problem. The mover is an essential piece of kit without which it would be impossible to manoeuvre onto caravan site pitches and to park outside my house.

The weather yesterday wasn’t conducive to walking being showery in the morning with more persistent rain in the afternoon. It was therefore a good opportunity to drive across to Hathersage and visit Alpkit’s new shop. It would have been rude to leave without buying something so I came away with a couple of technical tee shirts.

It was a nice day today so, after the mover engineer had left, I decided to go on a short 2.4 mile exploratory walk directly from my caravan. This took me into Bradford Dale and the bottom end of Youlgreave. It gave me an opportunity to try out a couple of new Apps, Strava and Relive which track my route and then produce and aerial view of the walk. This is the “new feature” that I mentioned in an earlier post.

Caravan Site – walk route


Cold Overton

Sunday 2 July 2017. There were just 6 of us for today’s walk including Gee from the Peterborough Group who was walking with us for the first time. Setting off from Gates Garden Centre we headed across fields towards Knossington where we stopped for coffee at the village playing field. Soon after we came across an extremely small pony which is pictured taking an interest in Linda’s boots.

I hadn’t done this walk since October and was worried that some of the cross-field paths might be overgrown by crops. This wasn’t the case and we were able to walk down the tractor lines in some wheat fields and directly on the line of the footpath in others. We walked through the village of Somerby on the way to our lunch stop at Pickwell church where a Swallow had made its nest in the eaves of the porch. From here, it wasn’t too far back to the cars although the last mile or so was all uphill. Perhaps we should have done it the other way around.

The walk was just 7 miles with a total ascent of 600ft. My knee stood up well with only minor discomfort. After the walk we all went for tea on the verandah of the garden centre cafe.

Cold Overton – walk route



The Benefits of Blogging

Thursday 29 June 2017. Responding to a “Twitter” request for advice on the Coast to Coast walk prompted me to write this blog. Some of you will be aware that I finished my C2C walk on my 60th birthday. It seems odd that tomorrow marks the 6th anniversary of this walk, something that I couldn’t do right now. However, it was interesting to look back on my blog for this event and re-live long-lost memories.

On the subject of blogs, it is over 5 years since I started the Fenland Ramblers blog. It was started primarily as a tool to share walk reports with members but has also been used to record the many walks that I’ve undertaken whilst away with my caravan, either on my own or with friends. I hope that you’ve found it interesting. I’ll be adding a new feature on future reports. Watch this space!

Keswick Holiday

Sunday 25 June 2017. I’m home a day early as I wanted to avoid Monday traffic congestion on the A66 and A1. This was a holiday of two halves. The first half was good, the second half less so. As already reported, I walked with Jacqui on 3 consecutive days. Whilst me knee held up, it didn’t enjoy the downhill bits and after the last 9 mile walk I just about seized up.

I took a couple of days rest at the end of the first week hoping that the knee would get better. It didn’t and then a heat wave struck making walking even less pleasurable. I did manage one more respectable walk but gave in after a couple of miles on another walk in the heat of Borrowdale. I killed time until yesterday which was the day of the 10in10 and 5in5 charity challenge walks. I had entered the easier 5in5 which was 10 miles with 4,000ft of ascent. Needless to say I couldn’t start but went along to the finish at the Swinside Inn, just outside of Portinscale, to cheer in the finishers. I took a lot of photographs and, if you want to see more, then follow this link

I’ve had a sore knee for 4 months now. I’ve seen my GP, had an x-ray and visited 2 separate physiotherapists. All to no avail and whilst I haven’t done much walking of late, I’ve decided to reduce this even further by cancelling my planned August holiday in Cheddar. This will give me 6 weeks at home to rest up and hopefully feel better for my final summer holiday in September at Henley-on-Thames. I’m still going off to Youlgreave next month when I might meet up with Jacqui for a weekend walk.


Wednesday Wander

Wednesday 21 June 2017. There was a heavy shower first thing this morning and thunderstorms are forecast later. With this in mind, I didn’t want to do anything too taxing so I took myself off  to the The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden just outside Portinscale. I had a coffee and a bacon sandwich, after which I thought about going for a short walk. It was hot, humid and sticky so plans were readily revised in favour of doing nothing.

I had seen on Facebook that Max & Paddy frequented the Lingholm Kitchen and luckily they were there this morning. I couldn’t resist going over to say “hello” to their very understanding owners.

Just one final thing. My nose has broken out in cold sores which now seems to happen every summer. As I carry Zovirax with me, I was able to treat this before it became too painful.

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In search of shade

Monday 19 June 2017. I had a very odd and brief walk this morning. I knew that I wanted to keep out of the sun as much as I could and that a walk from Seatoller to Grange in Borrowdale would meet this need. I couldn’t use my bus pass on the 09:20 from Keswick and the 10:20 would probably be rammed with pensioners and would result in a delayed start to my walk.

The only sensible option was to drive the 8 miles to Seatoller, park the car there and then catch the bus back after my walk. The National Trust are rolling out new parking meters which require their members to scan a QR code on their membership card and to obtain a parking ticket. The windscreen sticker will soon become obsolete. My NT Scotland card doesn’t have a QR code but NT England have confirmed that the windscreen sticker, which is valid until March 2018, will suffice.

My route took me behind the Glaramara outdoor centre to follow the River Derwent to the Borrowdale Youth Hostel where I sat on a bench for a rest. I’d only walked three-quarters of a mile and wasn’t feeling very energetic. My knee was troubling more than usual today. The New Bridge over the River Derwent was something of a decision point. I still had a couple of miles to go to reach Grange but the bus was less than an hour away. Should I push on to Grange with a chance of missing the bus and waiting for an hour for the next one, or should I cut it short and go into Rosthwaite for a cup of tea whilst killing forty minutes or so waiting for the bus. The latter option won out which meant that today’s walk was just over 2 miles with a total ascent of 350ft.

Seatoller – walk route



Sunday 18 June 2017. After 2 days rest I thought that I should resume walking although the temperatures yesterday and today were stupidly hot and hardly conducive to physical exercise. Wanting to avoid the mid-day heat I made an early (08:10) start to today’s walk, setting off from the bouncy bridge over the River Derwent at Portinscale and following the river north to Dancing Gate. It is haymaking time in the lakes and the fields were strewn with piles of drying grass. The whole of the Coledale Horseshoe was in view from Causey Pike round to Grisdale Pike. in the opposite direction there were great views of Skiddaw.

Crossing the A591, I made my way through Millbeck before the briefest of stops in Applethwiate. The last leg of the walk took me back across the A591 and A66 to pass around Keswick school and back to the car which had been parked in the shade, making for a comfortable drive back into Keswick. The walk was just 5.5 miles with a total ascent of 500ft.

I had thought about doing a section of the Ullswater Way tomorrow but will have to wait to see if it cools down a little as the bus that I need to use doesn’t leave until 10:15 which means that I will be walking in the hottest part of the day.

Applethwaite – walk route