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!

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…



Viewpoints Gallery, Keswick


If you are ever in Keswick and at a loose end or looking for photographic inspiration, why not pop into Viewpoints run by Pete Tasker…



I’ve bought a few framed prints from Pete now, I use them as my inspiration !


Pete has started running photography workshops, so, if you’re looking to improve your photography – why not have a chat with Pete!


Photography Workshops

Great How

Had a nice little jaunt up Great How on Sunday 27th May. Started off from the car park at the North Western end of Thirlemere – it transpires United Utilities in all their wisdom have decided it would be most helpful to relieve us of £4.50 prior to setting off walking – that car park has been free for as long as I’ve been going there (since 1984).

It was a hot day, about 27 degrees C…The walk was made a little more difficult as I was testing out my new Berghaus Verden rucksack – carrying all my usual kit plus my Benbo Trekker Tripod and other photographic equipment.


Got to the modest top of Great How after about 40 minutes – there was a great view to be had…


I had to wear my hat on account of the sun beating down in my bald head …I don’t look good in hats…


In fact I don’t look good in anything !


All in all, had a brilliant little walk and field test of the new rucksack !

Well recommended!