Family Weekend in Rutland

A year ago we spoke with Alison’s brother, Richard and said we should have a family weekend away with all the Haworth family and a trip to Wing Hall in Rutland was suggested. Wing Hall features in the Cool Camping book and has a cafe, decent shop and plenty of space. It would be ideal if JLS from the Brazilian Bay Forum ever thought about organising a Midlands Meet.

Breakfast at Wing Hall


Chez Haworth

We didn’t manage it last year, so earlier in 2013 I suggested a date to try and get things organised. I didn’t realise at the time it was Father’s Day weekend so that was an added bonus as Alison’s Father, Philip was also coming.

The plan was that we’d all stay at Wing Hall; us in Absinthe; Richard, Mandy and their children, Ella and Max in their tent; Philip and Ruth in their caravan and Ann and Malc would book one of the cottages on site. Unfortunately, the cottages were all booked and, in the end, Philip, Ruth, Ann & Malc stopped in the pub just round the corner from the campsite, the Kings Arms in Wing.

The Kings Arms, Wing

The trouble with booking a trip this far head is that you can’t guarantee the weather and the forecast didn’t look good as we got to mid week. Richard was away on business in Stockholm for part of the week which put some pressure on Mandy to get things sorted for his return. It looked at one stage as if they wouldn’t be able to join us with their tent and we even thought of baling out on the Friday and just coming down for the Saturday.

Everything worked out OK in the end, although the M6 was its usual busy self and it took us 5 hours to get there instead of 3, but we were set up by 5pm. We’d travelled light for once with no awning, shelter or even the canopy. We didn’t even take any chairs as we thought the weather would be too poor to sit outside. Wrong as it turns out because the weekend was one of mainly broken sunshine with some heavy showers.

We were treated to the sight of a Red Kite flying over the campsite which was a great start to the weekend.

After a quick pint with Alison’s Mum and Dad and Sister and Brother in Law, we lent Richard and Mandy a hand to put up their tent. Then, later, we ate in the Veranda Cafe of Wing Hall – a nice meal, with good service and some excellent red wine.

Specials in the Veranda Cafe

I make no comment on the following set of photos:

We decided that if the weather was OK on Saturday morning, some of us would walk to Rutland Water and meet the others who’d travel by car. The forecast was for rain before lunchtime but we decided to risk it, so, Alison, Richard, Mandy, Ella, Max and I, plus Alfie and Boris set off through Wing Village and followed a bridle path to the Nature Reserve. For once, the two dogs were getting on OK and the walk was a very pleasant one, past fields of rape and on to the birding centre at Lyndon. There are ospreys in Rutland and a large screen beams pictures back from the nest, where the pair were looking after three chicks.

We saw a yellowhammer near the feeders, sadly a fairly rare sight these days. There used to be loads about when I was a boy. We used to hear their ‘little bit of bread with no cheese‘ song more often than we saw them though.

There was  a Rolls Royce and Bentley Rally taking place at nearby Rockingham Castle and there was a super example parked in the car park at the Reserve. Nice.

We all decided to walk along the shore path to the main visitor centre where we’d be able to get a coffee and a snack. Richard thought it was about 2 miles but I suspect it was quite a bit longer than that. Everyone made it though and after a brief stop the heavens opened with a great thunderstorm (no lightning, just thunder) and a shuttle run of cars was needed to get people back to the camp site.

Alison and I opted to walk back with Bozzer and as I’d predicted (like John Kettley, I am a weather man!) it soon stopped and the sun came out. It was quite a walk back but we enjoyed it and knew that Boris would sleep OK in the van when we went down to the pub later for dinner.

We met the others outside the pub and had  another pint before heading back to Absinthe for a short snooze, then back to the Kings Arms for dinner.

The meal was great, as was the craic. Alison and Richard had lamb with sweetbreads and the usual argument about what they really are ensued… Much laughter and good company, a brilliant way to spend a Saturday night.

Sunday morning was all about packing up and then  back to cafe for breakfast and the handing over of Father’s Day presents before heading back home.

Boris , being a dutiful son, bought his Dad a book…

There were a few other Vws on the site and we spotted loads coming home along the A50.

Things I’ve learned:

Philip is still as persistent as ever with that Flip video camera
Don’t trust weather forecasts
Boris CAN get on with other dogs
Travelling light can deffo be a bonus sometimes
Smoked eel is delicious
Malc has a trampoline in his bedroom
Auntie Joan set her uPVC window frames on fire whilst she was shaving (I think I’ve got that one right!)
Be careful if you’re in a band with Richard, he may stage a coup

Things I already knew:

Sweetbreads are definitely not made from testicles

There’s a full set of photos here: Flickr

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