Back to Gibraltar Farm

The plan for the weekend was to do some domestic chores on Friday, watch Wigan in the Play Off Semi Final in the evening, then go to a Vintage Fair in Manchester on Saturday and then onwards to John Lewis to look at sourcing a new TV.

The first part went to plan – we got lots done on Friday and the Warriors beat Leeds to make it through to Old Trafford, so Friday was a good day. What had also helped was the fact that we had wall to wall sunshine and that the forecast for the weekend was just as good, so we abandoned Manchester in favour of a night away in Absinthe. But where to go?

Initially, we thought we’d go to the Coach House Inn in Torver near Coniston. It’s got a campsite behind it and is close to where my mate Mike lives so we could have invited him and his wife, Dawn, for a meal in the evening. Enquiries with him via text brought the news that the pub had closed and the site wasn’t available so we switched to plan B or C.

Plan B was Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire and Plan C was Silverdale. A quick look at the weather forecast gave higher temperatures in the West so we chose Silverdale.

I’d stayed with Boris at Gibraltar Farm back in June but Alison hadn’t stopped here before. We arrived about 1.30pm after sorting some things at home and managed to get a pitch with Electric Hook Up. There was a camping rally in the main field with a marquee, etc and quite a few of the members had motorhomes on the EHU pitches.

We’d had no lunch so walked with Boz to the Wolfhouse Gallery and Cafe, close to the entrance to the site.The cafe was extremely busy – this is a popular spot for walkers and day trippers – so we had quite a wait for food. The main gallery seems to be undergoing refurbishment with new stock and fittings arriving during the time we were there and there was a Transit van parked in the access way as we went to leave.

As I got close to the van to squeeze through, a girl of about eight rushed rudely past and when I gave her Mother the eyes she also brushed past me, saying, “I’ll have to go after her, she only speaks Russian” Fair enough.

I was reading the Westmorland Gazette (known locally as the Wezzy Gezzy) later and it seems that there are a group of children from Chernobyl being looked after in the area and I assume the girl was part of that group. They’re over for a month on a trip organised by volunteers and I hope they have a great time.

The cave at The Cove

After lunch we walked down to Silverdale village, across The Lots and down to The Cove, then back along the shore. The weather was great, Boris behaved himself and we sat for while on a bench, people watching and looking out to sea, with the sun beating down. Bliss.

A short stop at the pub up the road (The Silverdale Hotel) brought two glasses of wine in the beer garden and a packet of Cheddars for Boris. The beer garden could be so much better. There are plenty of picnic benches to sit at (and the usual smoking shelter) but the floor is covered in large limestone chippings which are neither attractive to look at, nor comfortable to walk on.

We walked back to the van and chilled, watching the sun gradually sink towards the horizon over Morecambe Bay. It turned quite chilly as we walked back down to the pub for an evening meal but we’d come prepared with fleeces and jumpers. The meal was OK although the beer didn’t seem as good as last time I went in June. Another diner complained to the waitress about her meal (apparently it wasn’t what she’d expected) – strangely, once the cost had been deducted from their bill, she proceeded to eat it all. Very odd.

We were back at the van and in bed by 9.30pm, listening to a programme about irony on R4 (insert your own jokes please), but neither of us had a sound night’s sleep – I was cold and Mrs B was constricted by a certain Schnauzer, who was commanding his own space on the bed. Grrr.

Sunday started cool and breezy but sunny and after we’d packed up we headed back down to the car park at the beach for a breakfast of crumpets and coffee. Apparently, there was a cross Bay walk organised for Derian House Childrens’ Hospice on Sunday, but we didn’t spot the walkers whilst we were there. We were booked to do the walk a few years ago for the Hospice but it was cancelled at the last minute because of the weather. I’ve added it back to my ‘to do’ list. Cedric Robinson has recently completed 50 years as a guide across the Bay – whenever I’ve seen him on TV he always seems very calm and happy in his own skin.

Grange over Sands across Morecambe Bay

We sat watching the sea and people for a few hours then made our way back home. We’re organising a meeting for the Northern Chapter of the BrazilianVWBay Forum next June at Gibraltar Farm and if the weather’s good we should all have a great time. It would be fun to try and get all the vans down to the beach car park on Sunday morning for a photo opportunity but we’ll have to be there sharpish to beat the other cars.

Things I’ve learned:

  • Traveling light can be fun
  • THAT dog’s not getting any smaller at night
  • We never fall out when the sun’s shining (there’s no rain in our world)
  • There are more stars in the countryside ( I know this isn’t true, but you know what I mean)
  • Spontaneity is often the best way forward

Things we forgot:

  • Alison’s Kindle

Things we (she) couldn’t find:

  •  The duvet cover and bedding for the van – heaven knows where she’s put them!

There is a full set of photos here: Flickr

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