Wild Camping? Give me a break…

Lots of people now posting their ‘Wild Camping’ adventures on Social Media as if it’s a new concept.

Well…the terminology might have changed.

In my day it was called camping..

Circa 1980 was at a loose end one Easter. A friend suggested we go camping in The Lake District.

Now…I lived a conservative life in Washington, Tyne & Wear. Furthest I’d been was Filey one summer holiday with my parents.

Anyway, bought the gear, no idea…Ultimate Peapod Tent, Berghaus rucksack, Trangia stove etc.

And we’re off…

Caught a bus from Washington to Newcastle.

Then a coach from Newcastle to Keswick Bus Station (now Booths)

Then the Mark 1 legs took over…

The initial formula of getting to The Lakes never changed…

I had many many adventures over the years.

I’d walk to a pre-planned camp site or more often, just walked until I was tired…put my tent up. Ate, drank, slept. Decamped then started walking again…

I walked all over The Lakes…and I mean all over…

If social media existed back in the 80’s and 90’s I’d be a <YouTube> <Instagram> sensation 😂

My mate Alex (deceased) on Helvellyn
We’re on top of the world ma!

Legs are a bit weary now. Being late fifties ain’t no fun. Still aim to complete the Birketts though!

Skye, May 2017…

It was only last July that I vowed to never ever visit Skye again…see here why

I knew my lovers tiff wouldn’t last long…and on the 5th May 2017 I made my way back!

My alarm was set for 0500 hrs. however, on account of the excitement I awoke at 0448 hrs. I showered, packed the car, picked up some provisions from my local Asda, picked up my companion for the trip and set off.

The first stop, as is usual for me on these trips, was Inveruglas…a Red Bull, pie and packet of crisps later I was ready for the next stage to The Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge.

After a brief walk around it was back in the car to the next stop…the car park at Dornie…

Next stop, the campsite at Glenbrittle! We pitched our tents, had a brew (or a cider 😉 ) then had a walk on the beach…

After a couple (ahem) of ciders it was bed time.

On the Saturday we walked up to the Loch an Fhir-bhallaich near The Coire Lagan…details of the walk are here…

It was a wonderful sunny day and the views were glorious.

After we descended we just chilled around the campsite, reading or simply taking in the atmosphere…

On the Sunday we broke camp, drove to The Sligachan Campsite and set up camp there.

We rested a while, then I met a good friend of mine in Seumus’ Bar

We have a pint (ahem) of Guinness then it was time to say our goodbyes…for now.

Sunday evening was quite windy…however, when the wind died down I popped out to take a couple of hand held shots of the sunset…

The next morning, we got up early and left for home by 0710 hrs.

I’ll be back Skye!
Skye images here…

Back to Skye!

I fell a little out of love with Skye in the summer of 2016 on account of the amount of visitors / tourists who simply didn’t know how to drive / park – especially around the beauty spots (honey pots) of:

The Fairy Pools



Neist Point


Talisker Bay


And Elgol


Anyway, I’ve gotten over my little hissy fit and have decided to go back to Skye in May…so I’m currently planning my camping trip….


In the doldrums 

I’ve been in the photography / walking / camping doldrums for a few years now. Must be an age thing.

I used to be a very keen fell walker and have done it since about 1983.


Anyway, I’ve snapped out of that now. I’ve just prepped my new Berghaus Crusader rucksack for this years adventures.

And I’ve bought a new OEX Lynx tent for some camping adventures!

And I’ve sorted out the camping kit.

Let the adventures begin!

Off to Skye soon

Off to Skye soon, can’t wait…

The ‘plan’ is to camp on the Glenbrittle campsite on night one.  To get there we have to pass The Fairy Pools…

Fairy Pools-5

The next day the current intention is to visit Neist Point, the most Westerly point on Skye.


After that walk we’ll probably camp at Dunvegan.  The next day we intend visiting Duntulm Castle.


Then driving around the island and camp at either Sligachan…



Or Ashaig.

Of course there are always visits to Talisker Bay…


or Elgol to consider…so much to see and do, so little time…



Some of the images displayed here are available on the Storm Imaging web site

Ultimate Peapod 

About 1984 I bought an Ultimate Peapod tent to use as I camped all over The Lake District. 


I used it extensively until about 1991.

It then went into the loft…

I used it once in 2009 on a Skye trip…apart from a few blemishes it was as good as new.

I’m off to Skye soon so thought I’d best check it out.

I pitched it on Sunday 5th April 2015….remarkably after  31 years it appears to function as new. (Although I’ve not checked its waterproofness)!



I think it cost about £100 at the time, when I was on about £28 per week. So very expensive. Looking back….best £100 I ever spent. Used to ‘Wild Camp’ before it was ‘fashionable’ and was just called ‘Camping’…


Another fabulous holiday in Eskdale.

We recently spent a fabulous few days at the Camping and Caravanning site in Eskdale.


The site was, as ever, immaculate.  My son squirted the trees with ‘Alien Acid’ whilst I erected the Vango Airbeam tent.





There are some great pubs nearby, for lunch one day we visited the Boot Inn.



I was enjoying a rather tasty Tuna Mayo sandwich until I found two blonde hairs stuck to the bread, yuk.  They clearly weren’t mine as you can see I’m as bald as a coot!

On another day we walked to Dalegarth Station (a very short walk indeed) and took La’al Ratty to Ravenglass.  My wife and son did a bit of beach combing.





We also had a short stroll to the Roman Bath House…


When we returned to the camp site my son tried to wear himself out on the trampoline.


On our last day we had a wonderful walk alongside the River Esk…







We had an excellent time and will return again soon!




A weekend camping in Eskdale…

We recently purchased a  new tent…a Vango Icarus 500 Airbeam.  Having no experience of the Airbeam technology we decided to use the long weekend as a ‘pilot’ camp – to test the ease of erection <ahem> and stability.

We returned to the Camping and Caravanning  camp site at Eskdale on Friday. We had stayed the previous  year in the Camping Pods, my son loved it so much and made some friends who were staying in tents, hence him persuading us to buy ours.



On arrival we were greeted by Martyn Merckel, the Franchisee.  He’s a very friendly chap…and a busy one… Martin showed us to our pitch, a nice quiet area away from the top field where there is a children’s play area, so it can get a bit boisterous with lots of excitable kids playing.

My wife took my son to play in the play area whilst I rolled my sleeves up and prepared the camp.  Putting up the tent was simplicity itself, you simply peg out the corners, inflate the 3 Airbeams with the pump provided, then peg out the rest of the tent and guy ropes.  Easy peasy.  Once the tent was fully erected it appeared very stable indeed, that said, there was no rain or wind to contend with.


When my son returned from playing he could not believe daddy had got the tent up so quickly….


It was also Harry’s first camp (the pooch)…he seemed to enjoy himself…


The camp site is dog friendly, has all the facilities you could wish for, and is immaculate.  A credit to Martin and Sara.

Whilst I was sitting chilling with a beer, I noticed an Army truck dropping people off and picking them up from the camp site entrance.  On investigation I found out it was being used as transportation to The Woolpack Inn about a mile along the undulating and narrow road.

We decided to visit the Inn on the Saturday.

The Woolpack Inn is in the heart of Eskdale in the Lake District National Park and the location is stunning – at the top of one of England’s most dramatic valleys, and the bottom of one of its most exciting roads – Hardknott Pass.

We walked along the road where there were some fantastic views to be had along the way…we soon reached the Inn.


And shortly after our arrival, the Army truck turned up…


Apparently, it’s a Reynolds-Boughton: RB44. You can find out more about it here…

We lazed in the sunshine drinking beer whilst my son played in the play area.  The menu at the Woolpack Inn is fabulous…it had us salivating in no time…


We went back to the camp site in the evening after a fabulous day….after another lazy ‘sit around drinking beer’ episode it was time for bed, have to be up early to strike camp and drive back home.

We can’t wait to return…