Obviously almost any journey we make involves heading north but this time we are planning to go as far north as you can without leaving the land or falling off the edge. After a slight hiatus when we somehow couldn’t quite get the caravan and car to attach, we departed on the hottest day of the year so far. We seem to make a habit of this. At least this time we are not flying off and missing the summer.
We make a ‘breaking the journey’ overnight stop at Tewkesbury, This site is notorious for flooding and was underwater for weeks earlier in the year. No sign of floods today and we arrive in time for a quick wander round Tewkesbury. Sadly some of the beautiful ancient houses are in disrepair. The heraldic flags brighten the town but the shops are distinctly lacking in anything that would be remotely useful on a daily basis. Plenty of interesting antique shops but I can’t start filling the caravan with random items at this stage of our trip. There is also a branch of every conceivable bank, I wonder how long some of these will survive. We do locate a well hidden supermarket for essential supplies, like super-glue. This is required to reattach a vital knob to the caravan fridge.
The local insects have decided that I need a rehearsal for the promised midges of Scotland and have had a quick chew. Fortunately bite cream is not one of the things that I have inadvertently managed to leave at home. We are staying in sight of the cathedral. The quarter hour chimes vie with the collared doves to ensure that we are sleep deprived. In fact it is too hot to sleep anyway so neither win.
The next day and we depart for the Lake District. There are only minor motorway hold-ups for roadworks. Many of these seem to involve miles of traffic cones and not a workman in sight. The last third of our journey leaves the industrial Midlands behind and the scenery begins to look like a holiday destination. It makes a change to be able to actually see the Lake District as last time we were here in rain, floods and mist. There is pinky-purple Rosebay Willowherb growing everywhere, setting the hillsides alight. The Sat Nav gets us safely to the site at Troutbeck and the van is, as the name suggests, right by the Trout Beck. We go for a short wander through the Matterdale Forest in 27 degree temperatures – yes overseas friends that is hot for us.
On returning to the van I look for the site on the map so I can plan for tomorrow. Ah there is a place called Troutbeck. Funny, I didn’t think we were as far south as that. Oh, there is another river to the north east called Trout Beck, maybe we are there instead but how can we be, there is no nearby road? I give up and look at the Caravan Club book to see which Troutbeck is correct. Hmm that would be neither of them – there is a third Troutbeck and that is where we are! I appreciate there must be a lot of trout round here but it does suggest a distinct lack of imagination.