Thursday, 7 April 2011

Skelwith Fold, Ambleside - The Review

The first campsite review on this blog is definitely reserved for one of our favourite places to visit. It is no coincidence that the first trip we made as a family of 5 is here. We have visited Skelwith Fold on several occasions and have never had a less than satisfactory experience.

The Arrival

The driveway into the site is long and winding with stunning scenery. It is plenty wide enough for 2 vehicles to pass - unlike the road up to the driveway which can get a bit hairy (We once met a bus coming the other way and had to breath in a LOT!)
You will always get a friendly and efficient welcome at reception which also serves as a pretty amazing shop. I've never found anything yet that you can't get in that shop.

What sort of campsite is Skelwith?

A haven of peace and tranquility but not boring - there is plenty to explore, always a new direction to walk in. Tourers and Motorhomes are welcome with some new larger super pitches with TV reception, a picnic bench and plenty of space. There are loads of static caravans which are well established and give the site a well rounded feeling. Children can happily explore the site and walkers will love the undulating paths with glorious views.

The Toilets/Showers

Absolutely spotless and very modern - One of the only sites where I have walked into the showers and actually felt like they were inviting me to have a shower rather than something you just have to do. The kids actually asked if they could have a shower too! On one occasion last year, I believe there was a very minor problem with the temperature in the showers - I didn't even notice but everyone who stayed at this time was sent a lovely apology letter offering 2 free nights stay and a bottle of wine - They really go the extra mile here and they know us caravanners love wine!

Can you pick your own pitch?

Yes and if you let reception know which pitch you have chosen you are entered into a monthly draw to win a bottle of wine (One of the only times we have remembered to inform reception, we won!)

What can the kids do?

There is a good play area - 2 toddler and 2 standard swings, a good climbing frame, roundabout, football/netball pitch which is kept in good condition, a zip wire (which my kids love!) and lots more.

What is there to do if it rains?

Anyone who visits the Lakes needs to prepare for rain so most people would not be put off the stunning walks by a bit of rain.
For young children, there is an indoor soft play centre as you go into Ambleside.
The shop has DVDs to hire and colouring books and activites if you are mad enough not to have brought any with you.

I was not asked to write this review - I just did it because I love it there and highly recommend the site!

Our Maiden Voyage as 5 - Skelwith Fold, The Lake District

Well, we did it! And it was brilliant. We have made our first trip in the van as a family of 5 and survived - actually we more than survived, we really enjoyed it.

I won't lie, it did feel like we were packing for weeks before we went but to be fair every first trip of the season is a bit like that. We had to do things slghtly differently i.e. making sure Baby T had her own cupboard, making room for the steriliser, finding space for her carry cot etc but that was part of the challenge.

As far as travelling with a baby goes, I can highly recommend newborns. They stay in the same place and there seems to be something about the fresh air that knocked her out - she slept brilliantly and there was no sign of the dreaded colic. (It did come back once we were home!)

We even managed to 'adopt' some 4 year old twins so our van was even more hectic but its all part of the fun and it is much easier to keep the girls entertained when they find a friend. We really didn't expect that there would be anyone to play with as the site was quite quiet with it being a weekend in April before the school holidays but what a bonus!

So where were we? Skelwith Fold near Ambleside in the Lake District. A lovely site that we have visited plenty of times. The site review is here.

We stayed for 2 nights and were lucky to get sunny, hot weather - On the middle day we went for a 6 mile walk, taking in our favourite coffee shop, Chesters By The River and onto the Britannia Inn at Elterwater - This was a great family walk (with a bit of a steep hill at the end back at the site). Loads of people stopped to chat (that tends to happen when you have a 6 week old), we walked through a field of sheep and strolled at the side of the river - very pram friendly. We decided not to do our usual walk to The Drunken Duck as the past few times we have been it has not felt that child friendly and with it being Mother's Day, it would probably be even more packed than usual.

The picture at the top is me and M & V at the start of the walk - I know it looks like we have been super-imposed. I had to include a picture of Baby T just to show how small she was when we first started vanning with her!