Tag Archives: borrowdale

Lake District MTB trip

Lake District camp site
Camp site.

This was a trip to the Lake District organised by MBSwindon. We stayed at Baysbrown farm camp site. I’d ridden past this years ago and remember nothing apart from an empty field. That’s pretty much what it is. I suppose that’s pretty much what any camp site is. There was a farm at the end with pretty good washing facilities and inquisitive hens that wandered around.

I have a very complicated love-hate relationship with camping. I think I hate it. Then when I do it I quite enjoy it. If the weather is really bad then it starts to appeal to my determination to survive, so even though I should be hating it I enjoy it. So, I actually quite like it. But I hate it in principle. I resent the amount of exertion that’s required before you can even start doing anything like riding. I’d much rather stay in B&B. This time Kate told us that we should camp, so we did.

I’d bought myself an exciting new tent to try out – a Wild Country Aspect 2.5. My old tent was knackered and people were tiring of me saying that I was about to replace it. I bought it because the reviews said it was light, had good head room and it could withstand high winds. Remember that last point.

Inquisitive chickens.
Inquisitive chickens.

Now, one thing I really noticed about our camping trip was that the wind blew strongly pretty much the whole time I was there. Oh, and it rained a bit too and then hail stones. We’d brought the club gazebo along as a group tent. We had a lot of trouble with the wind pulling the guy ropes out of the ground and shaking the frame around. Every day we spent time putting rocks on the edges and pushing the pegs back in.

Half of our party went home after the first night because they broke their bike and there were no spares in the county. I suspect that the weather might have had something to do with it.

Camp site view.
Camp site view.

Now, this post might appear to be a big downbeat about the trip. But that would be wrong. We did three great rides before abandoning the area and the sun shone on one of them. Pretty much every bridleway we rode had something to offer. Rocks, steps, drops and ramps, wooden boards. The Lake District has some stunning views too.

We did the classic Borrowdale Bash, a very wet Walna Scar ride  and a Grizedale forest extended mix that turned the much criticised trail into something a lot more interesting.

We walked to the Britannia Inn every evening for beer (or sparkling water) and food. We were there one night and thought it would be very amusing to post on Facebook that “we thought the gazebo could probably be fixed with a bit of luck”. Oh how we laughed.

Camp site disaster.
Camp site disaster.

We awoke on the final morning to find that the wind had ripped the gazebo out of the ground and dumped it upside down in the next field. It had pulled a peg out of the ground along with a lump of mud the size of a football. The gazebo has an complicated Aluminium frame to support it and the impact had twisted that. It was pretty clear that it was now scrap. Our little joke post didn’t seem quite so amusing now. That’s pubs for you.

Broken gazebo.
Broken gazebo.

Now, I’m knocking the camp site. It’s more the weather and that endless wind. Blame the Lake Disctrict for that and camping in general. I have a very amusing photograph of Kate in the gazebo but I’ve been banned from ever posting it up. If you saw it you would definitely laugh. It captures perfectly the cold, wet, miserable part of camping. The good news is that for our next trip the word is “let’s not camp”.

Route summary: