I had reset Strict Lady with a well recommended site on a farm about seventeen miles away. Obviously I knew the first bit of the route as we were simply retracing our steps, but once again she had gone incommunicado on me. Of course I soon missed a turning but spotted a café car park. Would you believe a huge double jigger truck followed me in, and I had to try and get out of his way, but we did it and he continued on to an industrial unit which was hidden behind the café carpark. So another bit of reversing (I shall soon get better at this rate) and then I settled down to see what on earth keeps upsetting Strict Lady.
I never did work out what it was, but I managed to get her going again through a series of switchings-off and switchings-on again, but when she did start talking to me she was putting very long gaps in between her phrases
In 100 yards..................................turn...........................left.............................towards Penrith.
So by the time she said it we had pretty well done it. But one of the things which had been delivered in with the mound of parcels for me at Signature was a length of extra strong velcro strip, so I had cut a small piece and used it to attach Strict Lady to her dashboard stand, which had given up the ghost within half a dozen times of using it. That being done I could now see the map, so when she refused to speak at least I had some guidance, otherwise everytime I picked it up to check what was going on I touched the screen which then sends you into another menu. So progress is being made – if slowly.
The approach roads to the site were not too bad, even with Thebus, though be warned, if you decide to visit, the sat nav takes you to the wrong place – if approaching from the A66, when you think you are near keep a watch out for a small sign saying Caravan Club (you will see it in the photos of the gateway).
In the event I sailed past, and for some reason it takes you to the next farm along on the opposite side of the road. I knew it was a working farm I was going to but I had expected it to look marginally less working, nevertheless I turned in and headed towards what looked to be the farmhouse, assuming there would be somewhere to turn Thebus round if necessary. Of course as it was not the place, there wasn't, but extremely fortunately just at that very instant a lovely couple appeared. They lived in the house at the end of the drive, and having spotted their motorhome parked up I had assumed I was pulling into the right place. They rushed forward waving frantically for me to stop. Apparently where I was headed was very narrow, just a muddy track really, but they kindly directed me as I reversed which was a little on the tight side, and then gave me good directions to the correct place, only a few hundred yards away and said how nice it was, which it is.
The gateway in felt tight for me and Thebus in between two stone pillars, and once in the approach to the actual pitch was even tighter between a stone building and high stone wall, but when I had phoned to say I might be staying the owners had very kindly offered to drive Thebus in, so in fact if I had left him on the roadway we would have been fine.
Before I had even got out of the drivers seat the owner was in the farmhouse doorway to welcome me, and though her husband who I had spoken to the previous night was not around her son was there within minutes and drove Thebus very capably down their driveway and parked him up for me in a most beautiful spot.
It is a truly lovely site here, I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay, and have extended it far longer than I intended, or needed as it is all so very pleasant. I can highly recommend it, either for tired urbanites wanting to experience some peace and tranquillity in the countryside – there are sheep grazing the fields in front, snowdrops and daffodils in the hedgerows, visiting rabbits, pheasants, frogs, and even a red squirrel, though I have not been fortunate enough to see him. Or for farmery types who will be fascinated to talk to the farmer and his son here who breed some fantastic cattle - Belgium Blue, British Blue and Beef Shorthorn. All kept in beautiful conditions, and a pleasure to see. The farm, the farm house gardens and grounds, and the caravan plots are immaculately kept, and it has been wonderful for Phoebe, as I have been able to let her off her lead in the caravan park which is completely fenced and fitted with a gate. And as well as the caravan/motorhome bit they do farmhouse bed and breakfast
If you can get about more easily than I then this would have to be walking heaven, and apparently there is an excellent pub serving really good food just a field away. It would have been too far for me, but I have been more than entertained watching the play of the light over the Fells and Pikes in front of us, and as the weather cleared and changed seeing the snow capped peaks of the Pennines in the distance. It has been so lovely I have taken lots of photos, and included a few here - I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed being here and taking them
Croft Ends approaching from A66 end
You can just see the tiny Caravan Club sign by the electric pole
Croft Ends Farmhouse viewed from the road
The approach to the actual site is between the garage and the high stone wall!
Not a lot of elbow room for Thebus but he was expertly driven through for me
View from Thebus window after he had been parked up for me
View from pitches at Croft Ends
Thebus with Phoebe enjoying the opportunity to be off the lead