We have got cabin fever and we need a break, so we collect Pogo, prime him with fresh water, food and clothing as we chat about getting away for a few days. Wild camping or pub stopover spots within one hour of home is the criteria, we don’t want to pay for camp sites on this short trip. The van is well equipped to deal with cold weather, we don’t need hook up & we can manage easily on 12 volts.
We use the website search for sites, it’s free to register and it’s great for wild camping information and locations. 11am and we are off to Pendle hill of witch folklore fame, Barley a hamlet a little north of Burnley has a no restrictions spot. It’s Sunday, the sun is out and it’s a beautiful but cold day and everybody has descended on Barley, there are no spaces in the car park or on the road. We will head off and come back later when the crowds have gone home. We drive about a mile up towards the base of Pendle, there some safe spots to park here with other cars etc. A quick change in to walking gear, no maps needed just follow your nose.
The walk has a strenuous climb to the right hand side, we took it steady, no rush with some stops, good photo opportunities, levelled out at the top and what a 360 degree view at the trig point, the camera couldn’t catch the scale and distance, it was amazing. Continued for another 10 minutes then took the path back down the hill, now there was shelter from the biting wind, the whole walk took about 90 minutes at a leisurely pace.
Once back inside the van, a light lunch and we took it in turns to lay down on the long bench soaking up the sun, feeling the sun on our faces felt good and we dreamt of european travels, hopefully it will happen very soon.
After a couple of hours we head back to the car park and now it was deserted, picked our spot to park & put kettle on. Shall we go to the pub? within 2 mins walk there are two recommended pubs, Pendle Inn & Barley Mow, we opt for Barley Mow & we had an enjoyable evening there. I liked the Kozel Czech lager and Cathy went for the Elderberry gin and fever tree tonic that was on offer at £3.60, happy days!
The car park is locked at night with a single bar across the entrance between 6pm and 9am, we were ok with that, the toilet facilities opened between 8.30am and 5.30pm, there are no restrictions on overnighting, camping, caravanning, height, weight and vehicle types. There is a honesty box for parking fees, we put £5 in as it goes towards the upkeep and facilities and hopefully it will stay open and avoid the council cuts. When we wild camp, we try to be as discreet as possible, no tables and chairs outside, no noisy music, no litter and being respectful of our neighbours and residents of the area.
We had a peaceful nights sleep, no need for earplugs as it is a very quiet place, after breakfast we set off on another walk, this time a low level walk around the reservoirs.
Once back and refreshed we set off for Dunsop Bridge, another wild camping spot Cathy found on search for sites, 30 minutes later we arrive. A quick look at the rules and regs on the noticeboard and we are ok to park here as well. Once again there are no restrictions, a pat on the back for the local council.
The toilets open during the day only, the car park fees are free between 5pm and 9am, and only £1.20 for 4 hours or £2.10 for 8 hours between 9am and 5.30pm, we bought a ticket for the afternoon and I’ll buy another one at 9am tomorrow.
Our evening meal was in the van tonight, read a little whilst listening to music, the LPG heater system was throwing the heat out thankfully, again we had a restful nights sleep.
We woke to 3 inches of snow as the “beast from the east” snow storm caught the UK, the south east and north east look worst affected. Pork sausage with cracked white pepper butty for breakfast bought from a village butcher we passed by yesterday , washed the dishes and we walk past the tea shop and post office for a low level walk through the gently falling snow flurries alongside the River Dunsop.
A little while later check the weather forecast, it is going to become worse and we are in a remote situation, it makes sense to head home after we visit Lidl in Clitheroe for supplies.
An hour later we were home, must visit this area more often it’s beautiful and on our doorstep.
Dave & Cathy