We had a trip out in Frank this weekend.  July was the last time we’d had an outing in Frank so it was long overdue really…

We headed up on Thursday after work to camp near Kendal in Cumbria.  The plan was that this would put us in a good position to get into Ambleside early Friday morning.  We had targeted Ambleside because the Tour of Britain cycling event was passing through the village around lunch time and we both were keen to see it.  In the morning we went for a walk up to High Sweden bridge (making sure we had enough time to stop and play in Scandale Beck).  We passed a few highland cows along the way – much to Stella’s worry.

When we got back into the village, there was a really fun atmosphere as people gathered to watch the cyclists.  When the race came, there were four cyclists in a breakaway group with the rest of the peloton about 2 minutes behind them.  The peloton was stretched out in a line with their support vehicles behind them.

After a little potter around Ambleside we headed over Kirkstone Pass to our campsite in Pooley Bridge on the banks of Ullswater. We really loved Hillcroft Park.  It’s been about 10 years since we last stayed there and it’s a changed place.  It’s much bigger and there is a palatial new toilet block which include a games room with some really cool arcade games in it.  I actually said “wow” when I saw it.  The dog shower was both hilarious and super practical and there was a soundtrack in the loos which made it sound like there were birds, sheep and tractors in there.  Our pitch was enormous and we settled their nicely.

On Saturday morning we set off on a walk from one end of Ullswater to the other.  Originally we had thought we would walk up high across High Street but decided against that based on disappearing paths and drizzly weather.  The lakeside path was undulating making for some quite tough walking in places but we got to Glenridding in time to catch one of the steam ferry’s back about 2pm.  The journey took just over an hour and we sat by the bar on the boat (so Paul was happy) where it was warm and dry (so Stella and I were happy too).

The weather looked a bit changeable on Sunday morning despite the reasonably dry forecast and Stella was suffering with grazed paws again – we think it might be down to her little bow legged walk – so we decided against a big walk and headed into Keswick instead for a pub lunch and look around the shops.  It was a busy spot as a lot of others seemed to have decided on the same course of action.  We had a lovely lunch at the Royal Oak which was dog friendly and served yummy food too.   When we got back to the campsite I lost spectacularly in a five game challenge in the games room – although I did win the driving game after knocking Paul off the road.

We headed home Monday with a stop at the Tebay farm shop for some sustenance mostly in the form of pies and sausages.  The air seems to have a chill to it now and when the heating came on in the house we felt that having a fire was justified.      We finished off our break by finishing watching the TV series called Unforgotten – good stuff.

On the way up to Cumbria, we realised that the heating in the van was not working.  It was fine when we were parked up as we could plug into a hook-up and our electric heater and blanket served us well but Paul’s hands were freezing by the time we arrived at the campsite on Thursday evening and it wasn’t great trying to defog the van on Friday morning either.  But apparently cable ties and duct tape are all you need to fix the van.  Paul used some cable ties (which he just happened to have in the van) to tie open the offending valves giving us heating while we were driving for the rest of the trip.  No – we couldn’t turn it off but we weren’t going to be too cold and open windows are great at regulating temperature.

We hope to manage to get away again in October so fingers crossed for some good weather for us and for the van to be properly fixed by then!