Monday, 8 August 2011

Camping in Bakewell

Me and my family have just arrived home from 3 nights camping in the Peak District; we camped at Greenhills Holiday Park near Bakewell.

One of the camping fields at Greenhills
This is our second visit to Greenhills. We first visited last year with my sister and her family. We enjoyed the site so much we thought we would go again this year and take my husband's parents with us. They haven't camped before and since this site has such good facilities, we thought it would be a good place for their camping introduction.

Family camp
When we mentioned at a family party in April that we were going camping, the rest of my husband's family (aunt and uncle and their children) decided to join us. So that made 14 of us in total! I knew we would be in for a fun weekend.

Playing cricket Friday morning before arrivals
We arrived at lunchtime on Thursday but couldn't pitch until after 1 pm, so we headed into Bakewell for an excellent lunch at The Castle Inn. No need to worry about the children being hungry while pitching the tent later. By 3 pm we had pitched our tents and were enjoying our first (of many!) camp beers. The children had already met up with their cousins and had disappeared to the playground.

Playground at Greenhills; the ball games field is just behind

On Friday we had a very leisurely morning while family latecomers turned up, then we decided to have a walk together along the Monsal Trail. This 9-mile walk follows the course of an old railway line so it is flat and wide, perfect for young children whose legs can't manage hills quite yet. The very helpful staff at Greenhills gave me written directions to Hassop Station, and advised that it was the best place to start a walk from because it had toilets and an ice cream shop (most important!). We had a lovely hour walk and managed 2 miles, which with 14 people to keep together was actually quite good!

Evening chat
We had a barbecue on Friday night, which was chaotic and rowdy! Another large family group were nearby, celebrating a 30th birthday, so we were definitely not the noisiest party there. We did bend the camp rules about open fires though (what started as a disposable BBQ soon turned into an impressive brick fire pit). Oh well, no harm done, except perhaps to my liver. Me and my husband took along a film picture quiz and that kept everyone quiet for 30 mins or so.

On Saturday we took a trip to Peak Village Outlet, which is at Rowsley (between Bakewell and Matlock). The old Rowsley station building forms part of this centre. Two people were displaying a collection of owls and other birds of prey outside the shops, which the children enjoyed, and they also found a large gathering of various ducks in a corner of the carpark.

Arriving back at the campsite with fish and chips for lunch, we decided to burn off the greasy calories by spending a few hours playing rounders on the campsite's ball games field. What started as a confusing mix of rounders and baseball soon became a passionately enforced game of proper rounders! We then spent Saturday evening eating yet more salad and barbecued burgers and sausage and doing a few quizzes and games my in-laws brought with them. And drinking lots of sambuca shots as forfeits!

The next morning was spent clearing up the mess and decamping (sadly, when we have the party at our tent we also get left with the debris and washing up). With 8 other adults helping our tent was speedily brought down and packed away. I need to remember to pack 8 adults next time I go camping!

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