Cumbria, Northumberland, and a bit of 'Whisky Galore'!


This post is about my most recent trip to Cumbria and Northumberland from the 6th to the 12th of August 2021. It takes the total number of nights living in the caravan this year to 43.

I had planned this trip back in the Spring. I noticed a review of Crofton Hall CL on social media, liked what I read, and booked a few nights. Just as well as all pitches look now like they are booked until the end of the season. A 'CL' or Certified Location is an approved C&MC site, privately owned, limited to 5 pitches, and for the exclusive use of C&MC Members. They are normally very basic and is often reflected in the price.

It wasn't a great drive south. It was wet, and there were major roadwork delays at Longforgan near Dundee, and on the M74 at Hamilton. This probably added an hour to the journey, taking us in total around 4.5hrs to the site near Dalston just outside Carlisle. 

Well worth it, this place was outstanding!

Massive individual well spaced pitches.

It was in what looked like a former walled garden, the structure above housed a table tennis table, some plastic chairs and tables, and led through to the courtyard.

Crofton Hall. On the left is a toilet unit exclusively for campers and there were a number of small business units operating as Graphic Designers, a Cafe, a Yoga studio, a kids clothes shop, and amongst some others, a Cheese Farm.

Across the road was a Carp Pond, the Crofton Lakes which was busy with anglers but there was a good 'on the lead' walk around the lake.

The toilet block was incredible for a CL. 2 basins and Male and Female Toilets.

Incredibly, 4 showers!

Lovely bog, with some top end soap as well!

Each pitch also had power and your own water point.

Next day, the Saturday, I had an appointment to keep at Annandale Distillery in Annan.

Re-opened in 2014, I have a vested interest as I helped with the venture by purchasing a cask of whisky to enable them to continue until the whisky was ready for market, which it was in 2017.

A beautifully restored Distillery.

I was taken into the warehouse, and there it is! A second fill Heaven Hill Bourbon cask filled with Annandale non-peated spirit (can't call it 'whisky' until it is 3yr old).

A lovely aromatic and very warm place.

And, collected my first of the 'permitted' 100ml sample, which can be drawn annually. 

That evening, took the drive out to visit Silloth on the Solway Firth, right across from Annan.

By the age I was being chased by the 'feds', I think they'd moved onto Ford Escorts, but parked up was a fine Police Morris Minor.

A nice seaside place which must have been a popular holiday destination at some point.

The next couple of days we spent walking around the nearby country and visiting a few towns along the coast and nearby to the site.

The gravel shore at Flimby. This part of the coast was post-industrial, and quite 'gritty' in character. 

The wind farm on the Solway Firth, Scotland in the distance.

A nice walk on the green at Dalston.

The bridge over the River Caldew in Dalston.

It was a good 3 nights at Crofton Hall with a mix of weather, but generally OK for walking and getting out and about. We then travelled a couple of hours east to Northumberland and to the River Breamish C&MC Site near Powburn.

I've been here many times. When here, I regularly walk the dogs around a lake at Hedgeley, 5 mins from the site. I was fortunate to come across some local honey! Great price too (£5.50).

Again, had a fine 3 nights at the site in good weather. Occasionally it was dull, but mostly dry and bright. 

Some of the places we visited.

Great walk at Hepburn Forest, a Forestry England wood not far from Chillingham, the place with the Wild Cattle Herd.

A great walk from Hedgeley to Powburn, across the neglected football field.

Northumberland is definetely Big Oak country, with some huge specimens.

A very wild Forest, Wide Hope on the Rothbury to Alnwick road.

It was a fine 3 days, and we also visited Alnwick a few times, and the next door nature reserve at Brandon. A lovely area, and my last trip here for this year, I'm sure.

A great trip yet again.


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