Planning Scotland for Easter

So currently not able to run, walk or work you would think I would have hours to plan and research our next Scottish adventure but as excited as I am to go I just can’t be bothered doing anything, I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on anything for long.

I did discover that the Glenlivet 10km is the first Sunday we are away and having got as far as deciding we were heading up to Loch Morlich (an hour from Glenlivet) I asked my whiskey loving husband if a side trip was possible, how could he say no to a distillery? So I have signed up to the run, have an overnight spot in mind close to the distillery and then 2 nights booked on a site at Loch Morlich.

Now from there we have an idea we would like to head to the coast, Mallaig, Arisaig, Ardnamurchan and Oban possibly but I ask for any other campervan owners for advice on stopovers, any other adventurers any suggestions for walks, runs, good coffee shops, pubs and any other places of interest that we should visit?

I look forward to seeing some comments, thank you in advance.

Whernside and Langcliffe park

New Year’s Eve 2019, we didn’t fancy going out so instead went on an adventure.

Monday 30th finished work, headed home for dinner, the van was already packed up, the forecast was for a mild night the last time we checked so we decided to head off early, we had a campsite booked for NYE but would just find a parking spot somewhere near Ribblehead viaduct for the night.

The Railway pub at Ribblehead allows campervans to park up and is clearly very popular as we could see ALOT of vans parked there as we passed, we took the first right just further on and found a large lay-by to stay in. Not long after we stopped the gritter drove along, wait what, the weather people had kept saying it was to be a mild new year.

Well let’s just say we got no sleep and the first thing I did once we got home was to order us both thermal long sleeve tops and full length bottoms!

What a view we had once it was light.

We drove over to the big parking bay nearer to Ribblehead viaduct, made breakfast and wrapped up to head out for our first walk of Whernside, one of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. It was a gorgeous, yet cold, sunny morning, however just passed the surprise Tarn as we were nearing the summit the cloud rolled in, the wind got stronger and it was bitterly cold, no view from the summit at all but considering how slippery the stone path had been going up I was just glad to have made it.

The descent wasn’t too bad as the sun was shining on the stone on that side, or had been I should say, we didn’t actually get back into sunshine until we were almost at the farm. From the farm there are lot’s of options back to the viaduct, we took what looked the most direct, with the help of OS maps app.

I was pleased I had made some soup the previous weekend and brought it with us as this made a quick and warming (I went overboard with the spices) lunch once back at the van.

Warmed up it was time to head to www.langcliffe.com a lovely caravan site just outside settle. Once settled on our pitch I headed straight out for a run, I have to admit I did not feel like it after an 8 mile walk but if I am going to achieve my running goals then I have to get some consistency back and I always enjoy exploring new areas.

3.5 miles at sunset, perfect then back to half a lager and a curry or so I thought until we realised the curry we had brought was still frozen! Wrapped up again we headed into Settle hoping for some fish and chips, the chippy was shut so instead I had to find ingredients for something, anything from the garage and go back and cook.

We actually had quite a nice chicken chow mein, a Prosecco and in bed by 10.30 absolutely shattered.

Of course we were woken at midnight by fireworks, they sounded VERY close to the van, Hank, our cocker spaniel was terrified, he is usually ok but I guess the bangs were exceptionally loud, we were so tired we couldn’t even bring ourselves to rise and watch the display, as soon as they were done I was out for the count.

New Year’s Day 2020

We had a lie in and a leisurely morning, coffee and bagels then headed away from our pitch, a flying visit but a site we will return to again I’m sure. We asked a reception if there was somewhere we could park and headed off on our walk of the day from the site.

Warrendale knotts and Victoria caves was the perfect distance post Whernside and allowed us time to stop for a sandwich and be home in time for the football!

Best new year, shame Steve is on call next year and we won’t be able to do something similar again.

Delamere Forest

Friday 18th October, finishing work at 5pm now on a Friday instead of the 6pm it used to be makes such a difference, we were on the road by 5.30 heading down the M6 to Cheshire, half way there I realised I had FORGOTTEN MY PARKRUN BARCODE!!

 

When we arrived at the  camping and caravan club site Delamere Forest, we found that all though we had left Cumbria in Sunshine, in Delamere it had rained heavily and parts of the site were flooded, this wasn’t a problem, the staff put us on a different pitch and it was not long until I had the sausage casserole warming up nicely.

 

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I often make something like this, a curry or a chilli through the week and freeze it so when we are heading off in the camper van we can quickly have a hearty meal once we have arrived on site.

 

Saturday 19th October

After a brief chat with my run spire team mates I took a screenshot of my barcode, the reception wasn’t open to ask them to print me a copy so after a quick coffee I headed off into the forest to find the start of Delamere Parkrun, it is a nice course, 1km out from the visitor centre, a 3km loop of the water and 1km back down to the start/finish.

A lovely girl at the finish tried scanning my screenshot but of course it didn’t work! She advised me to go and see the time keeper who was jotting down lots of people park run numbers but she stuck with the no barcode rule, which is fine I know there should not be exceptions but when you have travelled a long way it is annoying you want to have evidence that you have been to different Parkruns, what did annoy me was the lady in front of me was added to the list because hers wouldn’t scan because it was a screwed up mess, surely if you can’t look after your barcode you should go down as “unknown”too.

 

 

 

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first outing for the mud and blood insulated hybrid jacket

Back to the campsite for a shower, bagel and coffee, it started raining so we delayed our exploring until the rain had eased and then we headed off to Cheshire Smokehouse near Wilmslow, a lovely farmshop, which is clearly popular there were lots of people coming out with bag loads of shopping as we arrived.

We got some smoked bacon for breakfast the next day, some venison sausage to take home and some other bits and bobs, all of which was lovely.

On from there we went to Dunham Massey for a lovely walk round the parkland, looking for a photographing deer (photos below are just from my phone)

Heading back for another night at Delamere Camping and Caravan club site

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Sunday 20th October

We pack up and drive for an hour to Lyme Park for more Walking and Deer stalking, the car park said it was full when we arrived which was disappointing having travelled so far but good old google maps re routed and we found ourselves on a quiet country lane with parking on it, we got the last space.

I am gutted I forgot to start my Garmin and track the walk but we had a lovely couple of hours walking and watching the deer, it is rutting season so the stags were fairly vocal

We arrived back at the van, starving, made a brew and had some cake and set off home, collecting a curry from our favourite indian take away on the way home, finishing another great weekend right.

 

Must do more!

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I wrote anything on here!

 

This is my commitment to blogging more, well some would be an improvement! 2 posts in 12 months is ridiculous.

I don’t take the laptop when we travel and I am thinking this could be what makes the difference. If I am able to write as things happen and post when we return home and have internet again I am hoping I will get more done.

In the mean time I will try and write about some of the adventures we have had so far in 2019, if you have any interest in Great Britain, #vwt5 campervanning or running I would be grateful if you had a read and gave me some feed back.

 

Thank you in advance

The one that made me cry!

@kieldermarathon(instagram), I decided way back in January that I wanted to run around Kielder water in Northumberland as it is dubbed “Britain’s most beautiful”

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start area

As I have never run a full marathon and don’t really have the urge to I opted for the half, setting off from the Dam on a cold Sunday Morning.

The lead upto this race had not been ideal, after a last minute entry to Great run’s Manchester half back in May I had been struggling with a hamstring issue and my coach had advised against racing! I’m stubborn and having paid the entry and campsite fees I was not pulling out. Especially as I had managed a 10km PB with the same issue, adrenaline kicked in and I felt no pain during that race in London so was hoping for the same at Kielder, although being trail I had said it was not a race for me, I was just going out to enjoy the scenery.

We had booked onto the boe rigg for the Saturday evening, a campsite, B&B, restaurant and bar just a 10 minute drive to the start, the organisers have shuttle buses running to and from various car parks on the day of the race but do make sure you know how long you will need to get parked, and a bus in time to get to the start as if doing the half it is quite a way from Kielder village to the Dam. On the Saturday we drove down to the water to get our bearings and suss out parking as I was running but my other half had taken his mountain bike so he could do something he enjoys whilst I was out on the course so we needed to be somewhere he could easily get onto the bike routes and I could get a shuttle to the start. We headed back to The Boe rigg for a pre dinner drink in the bar and then a pasta dinner in the camper van, next time we will try the food in the restaurant,maybe stay 2 nights but being gluten and dairy free I prefer to know I’m definitely eating something that my tummy is ok with the night before a race.

The shower and toilet facilities are in the process of being renovated but this did not cause any issues and by the time it gets busier again for high season this will be complete.

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early morning frost

We were up early Sunday morning and away to the car park before breakfast was being served, I believe they start at 8am, as it was so cold the drinking water taps had frozen but the staff were kind enough to fill my camelback for me ready for the race and we headed down to the car park and made breakfast in the van there, again purely because I know what my body can take pre race and I like to get to where I am needing to be and make breakfast there as I hate being late, as it happens the queues of traffic heading in as I was on the shuttle to the start confined we had made the right decision, the start had to be delayed due to people not arriving on time.

 

Well the scenery was beautiful but the lack of training on trails became an issue very early on, first I had tummy issues, if I don’t drink enough pre run I get what can only be described as period pains but when not on my period, I had drunk plenty the day before but standing around in tent waiting to start, I had barely had any water (my own fault I know) so just over the Dam and the pain started, I dove into the loos thinking I needed a wee, you know that psychological thing we all get in a race when you don’t really need it! I took on some water and half a caffeine bullet and set off again, feeling quite good and enjoying the atmosphere and scenery until about mile 5 when the real pain started, Hamstring? No that was doing ok, this was my calves, they had gone so tight and as the race went on they got tighter and tighter and were pulling on my knees, causing a shooting pain inside the knees and a feeling that they may give way. I kept stopping and stretching which helped but only for a minute or two, the course is fairly hilly, which in an injury free year I am used to however hills had been pushed out of my training routine this year and I am sure this is a lot of the reason for the tightening of the calves.

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Like I said earlier I am stubborn and although I have never felt pain like it, I was fighting back tears but there was no way this was going to become a DNF, other runners would ask if I was ok, one gentleman said he had gone through the same the previous year, a lady was struggling a mile or so from the end and we ran together for a while pushing each other on, I found myself alone as I approached the finish line, the commentator announced my arrival as “the lovely Emma” he did not know me and I felt anything but lovely as I literally stumbled over the finish line, just about holding it together through the medal and t shirt collection, then the goody bag and passed the banana lady, I was looking for the nearest free bench oblivious to the fact my other half had seen me finish and was trying to locate me, I got to the bench and started to cry just as he got to me, that was quite frankly the most difficult race I have taken part in and am emotional now writing this, however I know if circumstances had been different I would have enjoyed it, it really is very scenic, its is well organised, finishers t shirts are a good fit, you get a bag for like with a mars bar in it amongst other things of course and when you get the official medal ( there was a delay this year) it is a cracker.

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The face of a broken lady, crossing the finish line

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So Kielder marathon, I will be back on  13th October 2019 to tackle you once again and this time I will be finishing with a smile on my face!!

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I have never done a blog before and I can’t promise it will be great as I will be learning as I go, however as a VW T5 campervan owner who runs I felt it would be useful for others who enjoy similar weekend adventures and holidays in the UK 🇬🇧 if I blogged about where we have stayed and running routes and walking routes we have enjoyed and maybe those we haven’t too as it’s all about honesty.

If you are into the running side of things then you may also like to follow me on Instagram @emmategsruns and see how a none runner is getting on with races!! ( I loose that term loosely)  that I have entered this year.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton