Another weekend in the tent

Cooking at sunset
It's now the end of September and probably nearing the end of comfortable tent camping for this year. The weather forecast was good for this weekend and so we decided to choose a Certified Location from the Camping and Caravanning Club which we've been members of for a week!

We chose Heathy Roods Farm in the Peak District and it was absolutely stunning. The small site is quite remote, up on top of a hill with beautiful views all around. We arrived at 6.45pm and had about another hour of light to pitch the tent and make a start on preparing dinner.

There are two level fields to this site and I think the larger one has the best views. It sits next to a sloping field that had just been harvested for hay and the bails sat dotted around. The larger field has a corner sectioned off for Duke of Edinburgh groups and one such group was there on our first night. They didn't make too much noise and were quiet by at least 10pm until they packed up about 8am in the morning.

The site charge of £4.50 per person per night was a bargain, even accounting for the £1 you must spend for four minutes in the shower. All the facilities are unisex. There are two nicely maintained showers, two toilets, three washbasins and two sinks for dishwashing. We didn't have to queue to use any facilities over the course of the weekend.

The location is the main selling point of this site. It's a walker's paradise and there are some lovely little villages around and most seemed to have pubs. We only tried The Greyhound Inn in Warslow and I can't say I'd recommend it - we were the only two people there and the landlord seemed to want to talk when we just wanted to chill out after the long walk mentioned below.

Buying coffee in Dovedale.
On Saturday we completed a seven mile walk we found on the National Trust's website, starting in the picture postcard village of Ilam, up the Dovedale valley, which is beautiful. The first section of the walk is easy and for most of the way you're walking along a river in between the two steep sides of the valley. At the top of the walk you cross over stepping stones and then you're in the pretty village of Dovedale where you simply must buy a drink and sausage roll from Polly's. It's served from the stable door of her kitchen and just looks so quaint.

It was lovely to be in the great outdoors again and we've now tested a weekend using exactly the same equipment we'll be packing in the campervan. A little extra were the two head lamps brought from Poundland which work very well indeed. I'd highly recommend them - it's just as if everywhere you look the light is on - brilliant!

Money spent: £39.50 (£18 pitch fees, £5 for showers, £7 for two pints of real ale, £2.50 for two bottles of water in Ilam)

Meals cooked: spaghetti bolognaise, Pork loin goulash


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