The other week my husband and I decided to go on a UK camping adventure. Borrowing a Citroën C4 Cactus* from the team at Citroen (complete with bike rack) we set out to Scotland, with a stops to the Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales on the way back. You may have spotted this all happening on my Twitter or my Instagram, or even my YouTube channel… but here is the blog run down.
We both love the outdoors and the adventure that comes with it, but unfortunately our currently little KA is getting a bit old and some trips I’m always wary he will actually make it. This time we were in good hands with the ultimate adventure car to take us there, the Citroën C4 Cactus.
It was going to be the first time we had central locking, automatic windows, DAB radio, cup holders, cruise control, glass roof, roof bike rack, air-conditioning (that worked), built in SAT NAV and parking sensors with a screen. FYI our current car does none of that… as soon as I sat in this luxury feeling passenger seat, I could sense I was going to have a massive car come-down when it needed to be returned. I was utterly spoilt in that moment and quite possibly had the best road trip ever because of it.
We kicked off our camping holiday at the Loch Ken Holiday Park in Scotland after a 5 1/2 hour drive. It was sunny and rather windy, but it was fine because it was one of the best places to go star gazing. We had planned on doing a wild camp into the Galloway Forest, but due to various things we never actually managed to, however we did have such great weather we took our High gear pioneer 300 sleeping bags out of the tent and slept under the stars.
|Top // Primark Oversized Zip Jumper, Leggings // Sweaty Betty Contour Leggings*, Yoga Mat // Nike Just Do It Yoga|
We stayed two nights at the Loch Ken Holiday park, it was ‘nice’ but wasn’t our first choice as the original campsite was full. As we’d been semi spontaneous about where we were headed we hadn’t prebooked – so it is our own fault. None the less the campsite was very pretty overlooking a lake, but people would pitch tents in this vast field basically on top of each other, which was rather frustrating.
We had our ‘big’ tent at this site which we picked up from Tesco years ago when we went to see the Foo Fighters gig in Milton Keynes. To be honest Tesco wouldn’t of been the top of my lists of where to buy a tent, but it has been such an amazing tent at lasted a good 5 years.
|Fleece // Columbia Trail Edge Fleece*, Shorts // Columbia Silver Ridge Shorts *, Shoes // Columbia Conspiracy VI Trail*|
|Top // Oakley Shorts // Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pant*, Bag // Salomon Hydration Backpack Shoes // Columbia Conspiracy Hiking VI*|
We decided to do a mountain bike trail into the main village for a bit of tea and cake, and also a hike along the Galloway Kite Trail from Mossdale. It was the first time I had ever been on a hike and not seen another person. Not one! Normally in the Lake District you see someone every few minutes, this was ridiculously quiet and amazing at the same time.
You could tell the trail wasn’t even used that much as from Mossdale most of the paths were overgrown, with the path being buried under bushes. At this point myself and Nick started humming the Jurassic Park tune – obviously.
|Dress // Next Ecru Print Dress, Shoes // Teva Universal Flatforms*, Bag // Fiorelli Florence Backpack|
We took a well needed pit stop for some lunch where I decided to be slightly more feminine looking,(picture above), in my new Next thistle printed dress and my fave new Teva platforms (ridiculously comfy and easy to walk in). I actually found these shoes to be a perfect balance for a trip like this because they gave me height, didn’t look too dressy and were stylish! Becoming a big fan of Teva shoes at the moment for these kinds of trips.
After we decided to pack up the tent and the car, we started our journey to the Lake District towards Ambleside. Normally Nick and I will head over to Rydal but we were hitting the Lakes at peak time, so even driving through Ambleside was a nightmare… people everywhere! Obviously Rydal Hall was full so we headed to Coniston Lake campsite. Of course it was raining as it always does in the Lakes!
For this part of the trip we were only going to be stopping one night, so went for our compact two-man Vango Banshee 200 Tent. Felt appropriate because it was spitting anyway, and more importantly it was quick to assemble.
|My Shoes // Columbia Conspiracy IV Trail Shoes* Nick’s Shoes // Columbia Conspiracy IV Hiking Shoes*|
The shoes above got sent to us before we left for the adventure. I can hands down tell you they were the best all-rounder you could take on a trip like this. Firstly they were ridiculously comfortable, secondly they were water-proof and thirdly they worked for walking or cycling. I didn’t actually take my specific walking boots because I knew I had these!
What do you do when it rains? Go for a swim in the lake of course! Wetsuits came out and off we went for a paddle. The plan had been to go paddle boarding, but as the rain was getting worse we decided just a lake swim would be best. It was lovely to see kayaks and other swimmers, (including a dog) dotting about the waters. We took our new Karimor dry bags down to the lake to keep our stuff nice and dry whilst we swam – they were amazing! In fact we did talk about trying to swim to the other side for coffee one morning, with the bag full of stuff and see if it kept dry. Alas we didn’t try it because the weather was so miserable it would of got wet either way!
You can’t really go to the lakes without embracing the country life in the form of a pub, so off to try the local ale and eating something rich and warm. Plan was to cycle, but the weather had gotten so bad we dragged out the golf umbrella and walked in. It wasn’t too far actually and quite nice walking back after a big meal before bed.
After an unsettled night of howling wind and non stop rain, I was quite pleased to be packing up and moving on. Don’t get me wrong I love the Lake District but I must admit out of season makes a massive difference for me, so as you can imagine I was ready to explore the Yorkshire dales.
Nick had previously been to see the Ribblehead Viaduct on a school trip so we decided would head towards that first. Regardless of it blowing a gail and sideways rain in my face, I couldn’t help but be stunned by what I saw. The Ribblehead Viaduct was so vast and epic I couldn’t quite believe it was still standing with such great winds! Obviously it was but it was wonderful to see how grand it looked in person.
After we checked one Harry Potter reference off, (Hogwarts Express goes over this bridge) we moved onto the next in Malham. Of course I can only mean Malham Cove! In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry and Harmione are pictured right on the top.
|Coat // Columbia Rainstormer Jacket*, Leggings // Decathlon Black Activewear Leggings, Boots // Timberland Nellie Chukka Boots*|
Obviously when do you end a good trip? On a high! So that is where we decided we would head back to the midlands. We hadn’t had the weather on our side but thanks to decent kit, a top car and good planning, (in some aspects!) we were always warm and dry. I must admit I was gutted we didn’t actually get a chance to go wild camping, but I reckon that will be happening soon – watch this space.
Fancy seeing us in action on our trip? Check out my YouTube camping VLOG below
*Citroen kindly loaned us the car for our camping trip