Tuesday 31 May 2016

#CountryKids A weekend camping in Dent, Cumbria

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
This Bank Holiday I was invited to sell Usborne books in Dent and so I turned it into a mini camping break with my children. We arrived at Millbeck Farm on a hot and sunny afternoon:

We had booked into the basic camp site which was only £9 a night! There were portaloos in the field plus a water tap. At the farm up the track were real loos and showers. Luckily the campsite was nice and quiet as we were putting up our new tent for the first time... this was a stressful experience eventually we were able to check out our spacious new tent with our own sleeping compartments (just enough room for our new camp beds):

Then we needed to recover from our exertions so headed up the road into the village itself which was somewhere we had never bin. Its a beautiful, little village with lots of things to spot:

We were hungry and thirsty so checked out the two pubs in the village (amazing there are 2 in such a small place!). The George and Dragon didn't appear to have a beer garden so we didn't stop in there:

Luckily the Sun Inn was only just up the street:

The pub had a beer garden hidden around the back as the front was straight on to the road:

The pub and beer garden were incredibly busy but my children found us a shady tree to sit under in the beer garden to enjoy a cold drink and some chips:

We chatted to some other campers from another site before heading back towards our camp via the church yard:

The village isn't too far from plenty of other local tourist honeypots:

This monument at the water fountain intrigued us and we later found out he was one of the most famous Dent born person after he helped found the study of geology at Cambridge:

I am a real sucker for old milestone posts like this one in the village:

The children raced back across the almost empty field to our tent:

Whilst waiting for tea to cook we had a family Trivial Pursuit challenge:

I wanted a simple weekend so I just cooked up ham & cheese tortellini on the gas cooker:

After tea we befriended the family next door and my son played football with their 2 year old. They told us how close the river was so we popped across the road to checkout the River Dee:

There is always a magnetic attraction between children and water:

What amazed me was despite the fact the next campsite along was heaving we had the river to ourselves:

Then my son said "Look I've found a weird creature":


Then of course he found some steps built into the river bank so they just had to climb them:

It was still daylight on our return so we joined the other campers for a while before I decided I needed to go to bed:

From about 3 AM the birds started up singing and by 6:30 I gave up and got the water on for a coffee. The children were still asleep so I nipped up to the farm to meet the neighbours:

At 8 it was time to set up in the next field and my children were still fast asleep! So I had fun wrangling the gazebo in a stiff breeze to set up my Usborne books stall:

It was a lovely day for a family fun day:

My children managed to mix helping me with having fun:

At the end of the day there was a balloon race (I am not sure about these having seen what happens to wildlife with the balloons....):

After the event we has packed up we wandered back into the village. Why do children always take the more interesting route:

We headed back to the Sun Inn and the children couldn't resist the horse mounting blocks:

I came back out to the beer garden to discover my daughter up the tree. I shouldn't have been surprised! 

After our bar snacks our buddies from the night before showed up so the children headed to the playground whilst the adults chatted. Eventually it was time to head back to camp for tea but my son wanted to try out the net he had been given by another camper:

He did't catch anything but his big sister found an intriguing rusty metal loop that had been washed onto the bank:

Back on our site we were the only tent left in the basic field. The children weren't happy to have no-one but each other to play with:

This morning it was lovely having our final camping breakfast before tackling the tent. It was a hot and sunny:

We packed everything up, even had my daughter still in bed when we started collapsing the tent, and got it all in the car. Still can't get the tent back in the bag though... Then we drove in to the village to check out the Heritage Centre:

My son was immediately attracted to the model railway display of the railway that runs nearby:

The museum was full of artefacts and information about the history of the local area. My son found the moving mannequins and dolls a bit creepy! As for my daughter it was the old veterinary equipment that took her fancy.. They both had a go at the puzzles in the foyer though:

Afterwards we grabbed some extra bits for our lunch and went off to explore more of the village. Another milestone from the days when Dent was in Yorkshire:

We wanted to walk along the river and my daughter wasn't sure that I would fit through the squeeze stile on the bridge:

It was a bit worrying when she had a snug fit:

No problem for little brother:

This was them checking that I had made it (all I can say is thank goodness for long legs!!):

I am really glad that this wasn't one of the local bridges destroyed during the December floods:

There was a well trodden path along the river with a beautiful wildflower meadow next to it:

There was another challenge for non skinny people with this narrow bridge:

The views back up to the village where lovely:

At the stile my son decided that going over it properly was boring. Instead he went the trickier way:

Then he channeled his inner Captain Jack Sparrow by balancing on the tree as if it was the sinking ship in the film:

Back down by the water my daughter found this lovely coloured stone:

My son found out that the river was too wide to throw his shoes across:

Apparently the water was very cold and the rocks were very slippery has he paddled back over:

The walk back to the village took a lot longer when he was dodging nettles and stones in his bare feet:

We ate our picnic in the meadow next to the car park. It was a perfect spot apart from the cold breeze:

We wanted one last explore before leaving so we went to find the grave of the Dent vampire George Hodgson by the door to the church (complete with the end of the stake they drove through his heart): 

I noticed that just like in Staveley the village had had a branch of Martins Bank:

There was time for one last play in the playground before the drive home:

I can really recommend Dent for family short break off the grid with good old fashioned outdoor fun!

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