A really wild time

We’ve just left our favourite caravan site to date. Why was it our favourite? Because it offered very little in the way of facilities – no toilet block, no wifi, no laundry. Sadly, these are the very same reasons that fewer and fewer families are actually visiting the site, preferring the homes comfort that many larger sites offer.

This site, offered a real escape back into nature, into the wild, almost like wild camping. Pitches were sparsely spread and hidden amongst the trees so we felt we were only one of a select few. The woodland environment, home to red squirrels, woodpeckers, cuckoos, pheasants and ducks, was better than any artificial playground or country park. Its proximity to nature meant that spotting (or hearing) our fellow inhabitants was a daily occurrence. The girls enjoyed running around the location freely, playing hide and seek, exploring the streams that trickle through and playing games that didn’t involve any electronics. They were free to play and enjoy the natural environment, being as creative as their imaginations let them.

The wardens at the site actively encourage children to venture into the National Trust property and try out some of the suggested 50 things to do before you’re 11 1/2. This list exists because children aren’t doing these outdoor activities the way they used to. Fewer children are building dens, paddling in streams and climbing trees. But they won’t do it, if they’re not given the chance, or taken to locations at which to try them.

This location, in the Lake District, on the banks of Derwent Water is an adventure heaven. Wild swimming in the lake (shallowest in the Lake District therefore warmest), paddling with own or hired canoes / kayaks / SUPs or walking the endless routes up and down the surrounding hills and mountains should keep every outdoor enthusiast happy. Ideally located at the base of Catbells, meant we didn’t even have to venture very far to gain some height and an invigorating walk. Catcalls (accessible by boat from Keswick) is an ideal walk of families. It is a picturesque hill that offers some easy scrambling, gentle ridges and fabulous views.

Whilst the depletion in numbers of families visiting this site is a sad refection on modern living and childhood, the reflection that we saw of Amy and Ella’s faces in the gently rippling lake water showed two happy smiling faces.


  1. What a heartening story. This is exactly what we have looked for in caravanning. The simpler, the better. A chance to breathe, enjoy nature and each other. Love your website.

    1. Thanks Andrew 🙂 I share your comments about enjoying nature and caravanning is a great way to enjoy the outdoors 🙂

  2. Just heard you on Radio 4 this evening and I feel so inspired! The campsite you describe on Derwent Water sounds like heaven. Would you mind telling me which one it is? We’ve been planning a trip that way. Thanks!
    Oh and I ordered a copy of your book 😉

    1. Hi. Thanks for your getting in touch 🙂

      The campsite is the Borrowdale Caravan Club site:
      Manesty,Keswick,Cumbria,CA12 5UG
      01768 777275

      Thoroughly recommend a visit 🙂

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