Months ago we arranged a weekend away with friends (Ali & Martyn Houslay) in September and a couple of weeks before we shortlisted a few campsites and sent this to them to choose. They selected a site called Knotlow Farm at Flagg nr Buxton Derbyshire which allowed us to take our own fire pit (after all camping even in a motorhome is all about the outdoors). Paul & I decided to head up a day before and opted to stay at a Britstops pub The Okeover Arms at Mapleton near Ashbourne. What a great decision this turned out to be. Although the lane leading to the pub was a little tight on the approach fortunately we didn’t meet anything coming from the other direction. The car park was roomy and the setting on the edge of the village very peaceful. We stayed on a Thursday and it was great to see a country pub so busy and popular. I can understand why though as the staff, food and atmosphere were all good and prices reasonable. We both ate and had a couple of drinks for £27! Great hospitality.
The following morning we awoke to beautiful sunshine so decided to cycle to Ashbourne for a look around. Its a pretty little town with an abundance of coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. As it was early morning we only sampled the deli coffee shop on this occasion.
After lunch we headed off to Knotlow farm to set up camp ready for our get together with Ali & Martyn later. As our motorhome has a 2nd double bed that is made up from the seating area in the lounge they were going to stay with us for the weekend. The site is part of a farm and is in a rural setting in between Buxton and Bakewell. What attracted us to it mainly as the fact that you could either take your own firepit (or hire one from the site for £5 per night) as the weather forecast was good we had to make the most of it. The site was well kept with good, clean toilet facilities and showers. There were just a couple of negatives that we found, one was that you had to feed the showers with 20p’s and the fresh water taps were all of the self closing type which makes filling a motorhome water tank tricky!!
We enjoyed a relaxing weekend of chilling, cycling, eating and drinking with good friends. We’re gonna miss these guys like crazy when we’re away next year but hopefully now they’ve had a taster they will come and join us somewhere on our travels for a reunion.
After our friends headed home on Sunday Paul and I weren’t ready to leave so headed to Dovedale to try and find somewhere to camp for the night. We headed to the long stay car parked and asked the guy if we could stay there overnight. Unfortunately they didn’t allow overnight camping, but he told us of a field just further down the road that belonged to the farm next door where we could park overnight. There was a school party taking part in D O E awards setting up camp as we arrived but with plenty of space we pitched for the night and headed off in the sunshine to take a look at Dovedale. We thought we’d managed to find a sneaky free camping spot but the wily farmer showed up later in the day and collected his dues (£4 each). You have to be self sufficient here though as there are no facilities.
This late September sunshine means we don’t want to return home!!! Can we squeeze in just one more night we say ? The discussion was rather short “yes lets make the most of it”. With that decision out of the way we decided we would head out on our bikes to take a look around Ilam country park before heading off.
With no internet connection or signal we’d been unable to look at possible sites at Carsington so drove towards Ashbourne hoping that we may get a connection where there was some life. As soon as the phone showed 3G we pulled over and found Upper Town Farm at Carsington – as their website says that at just £6 per night they are the cheapest campsite at Carsington we thought it worth a look. With water and chemical toilet disposal it sounded like a good deal. Hopefully the pics speak for themsleves.
All this in just 5 days, I can’t begin to imagine what an adventure we are going to have in a whole year next year. #excited