Lucky September Camping
We booked two nights camping in August for a trip in September, it was a brave decision. As it turned out it was a very good decision, the weather was spot on. I’m a little nervous about camping at this time of year after a fairly stressful trip three years ago, maybe I’ve written about this before, but basically the temperature was down to 4c at night and I was up every three of breastfeeding The Farmer who was just four months, the weather was dreadful and I was beyond exhausted. Anyway this trip proved to be much better, of course there’s always a bit of stress involved when you have a three and four year old though.
We camped at a camping and caravanning club site in Leek, it’s only about an hour from us, so we went straight there after school. We packed light in comparison to our week long trips. It was the first outing with our new smaller tent, an Etesian 6 by Terra Nova. We wanted something much smaller and quicker to pitch, this took less than 15mins to pitch. It was a great choice, even though there’s four of us, I’m glad we got the six person tent. It made a nice change to have the basics, such as a small stove that I could just pick up and put outside next to our chairs to make a cuppa. The site itself is not one i’d rush back to though. It seems more suitable for caravans and campers, most of it is hardstandings. The toilet block was freezing, it was warmer outside. The site is on a gentle slope, which was OK, it was good fun for the boys on their bikes.
The following day was a damp misty start. We decided to walk over to Tittesworth reservoir, about two miles on mostly tracks and farm fields. It was the first time we could consider this being a proper family walk, no pushchairs or carriers. The walk was quite interesting, lots of stiles and bridges to cross and mud to squelch in. They did start to tire, but we made sure we were well stocked up with snacks, trail mix seemed to work well. At Tittesworth we had lunch in the cafe at the visitor centre. I was quite impressed with what they served, good choices and good prices.
After lunch we headed to the playground, this was the promise we had made the boys for walking there. It a huge playground and luckily fairly quiet. The sun came out at this point too, lucky us! The Cyclist walked back to get the car and collected us from the playground, we both knew it would be too much for the boys to walk back. So we popped to the local pub, The Lazy Trout at Meerbrook, it was perfect sat in the garden, in sunshine, views of the Roaches with cider and a bag of ham and mustard crisps.
Back to the campsite for tea and cake and more cycling, then The Cyclist headed into Leek to get fish and chips for tea, yum! We all slept pretty well, but the other downside to this site is the amount of lights left on over night. I know they’re there to help navigate in the darkness, I am well aware of navigating in the darkness as I have to get up for a wee EVERY NIGHT!! But it’s a shame that you’re tent is illuminated, when camping should be about sleeping outdoors under the stars etc.
The next day we packed up and slowly made our way back home. We stopped at Ashford-in-the-Water for a picnic. Ashford is an extremely picturesque Peak District village, worth a trip and has a couple of good pubs and a great deli. Anyway our picnic was lovely next to the river, apart from the pesky ducks, they don’t get any of our food I’m afraid!
I’m glad we risked a camping trip in September and as it turns out, we’d probably still be fine camping in October seeing how the weather’s been, not this weekend though, too much rain!