Following the success of last year's Weekend in a Camping Barn in the Lake District, we decided to make it an annual event and the weekend of 30th September to 2nd October saw 12 of us on 11 bikes descend to Borrowdale near Keswick for a weekend of 'Wakefield MAG wackiness'. Ten of the party met at Redbeck and set off at 10:20 (should have been 10 but Cathy couldn't get out of bed ;-). Steve & Justine both had to work in the morning, so were setting off early afternoon.
The early party had to deal with rains of biblical proportions and flooded roads, but enjoyed a scenic and leisurely trip north, with lots of stops, and even met IoM TT hero John McGuinness at Devils Bridge (not on his bike though, but in a broken down car). Steve & Justine set off at 14:00 and quite bizarrely, met up with the earlier party in Keswick, who had set off well over 3 hours ahead of them. From Keswick, it's a 5 mile trip alongside Derwent Water to Dinah Hoggus Camping Barn, on the outskirts of the village of Rosthwaite in the Borrowdale valley.
The location is simply stunning, in a valley looking out to high peaks, that hold the mist, the only noise is a nearby waterfall and the bleating Hardwick sheep who were our nearest neighbours.
Once over the culture shock of the accommodation (it's best described as 'rustic'), we settled down, unpacked, then headed to the local pub (a mere 300 yard stroll). The pub had 4 real ales on tap, and did rather splendid pub food, so we were well and truly sorted.
We left the pub after a couple of hours to continue drinking in the barn (well, it would have been rude not to).
The following morning, Terry was on breakfast duty and did a splendid job of rustling up bacon butties for everyone.
Suitably breakfasted, we headed to the end of the lane to catch the bus into Keswick.
It's an open top double decker bus, which negotiates a narrow winding country road, so it was like riding a roller coaster on the top deck, albeit, a very scenic one.
Once in Keswick, we all did a spot of shopping and trying to keep the group together was akin to trying to herd cats. Come lunchtime, we headed into the Bank Tavern for a couple of goblets of foaming ale and a pub lunch (the Game Casserole is highly recommended).
A spot more shopping, including some last minute items for that evening's BBQ, back into the Bank Tavern (rude not to), then back on the roller coaster bus to our 5 star accommodation.
Lorna used her Girl Scouts skills to great effect by building a BBQ and together with Bob, cooking us all burgers, sausages and pork belly steaks, all washed down with mandatory beers (or a fruit based drink for the ladies).
We also had a bit of a bonfire in a great little fire pit that had been fashioned out of an automatic washing machine drum.
Lots of fun and hilarity before we all bedded down for the night.
Sunday morning came and Terry was on breakfast duty again, this time with sausage as we only had 4 rashers of bacon left. We gave the barn a good clean and tidy (the owner says we can come back anytime) and we all set off together mid-morning. After a few miles we stopped for petrol and lo and behold, we bumped into Clare at the petrol station, who was up in the lakes for the week on holiday - small world and all that. Pete then took us on a cracking route down to Windermere, then joining the A65, with a quick toilet stop at Devils Bridge (which was packed), before heading to Gargrave for lunch, where we found a very nice cafe that could accommodate all 12 of us.
We then continued our route home, picking up the A650, through Keighley, Bradford, Morley and back into Wakefield.
Other than Friday, we had enjoyed good weather, particularly the Sunday for the long ride home. All in all, a simply brilliant weekend, with the Wakefield MAG family. Bravo. Whilst we spend lots of weekends away together, we are invariably marshalling at some event or other so it's actually rare that we are all in the same place at the same time. What a great way to finish off the 'season'. A huge thanks to Pete for organising the weekend
Can't wait until next September for the 3rd one !!!