So, Christmas was out of the way and we couldn’t wait to get out with Pod. Our first trip of 2016 had finally arrived and we were off to Chatsworth Caravan Club Site. Only two days away but couldn’t wait to get out in the countryside with Pod and walk in open spaces and breath in that fresh air.
Didn’t get up particularly early but we were packed and ready for the off an hour before our planned departure, all we could do was wait for the time to pass, this we didn’t do very well and ended up leaving after half an hour. Didn’t plan on rushing, we just wanted that holiday travelling feeling, you know what we mean.
Traffic was none existent and no matter how slow we were we arrived about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, our fault we know but you can’t knock our passion and enthusiasm around Pod and our little adventures.
Our enthusiasm didn’t work on everyone though, we weren’t allowed on the site for another 30 minutes so sat patiently in the car outside the office until the required time, during which no one either left or joined our queue.
The site looked empty, no more than 12 vans on site, which was to be expected for the time of year. Not everyone fancies living in a plastic box first week in January, especially with the weather we’ve been having.
We eventually booked in and were given a gate key which enabled direct access to Chatsworths grounds, we soon found a favourable pitch so set about making Pod our home for the weekend.
We decided to use the key given to us on arrival and as we approached the high brick wall shrouded in trees with the wooden gate hidden within, it felt like a mix of the Secret Garden and Alice in Wonderland with no idea what was waiting behind the gate.
It opened to a spectacular open grassland with trees lining the path and perimeter, we strolled along the path in the direction of Chatsworth House, it was starting to get dark and the house was lit up giving it an elegant air as if we’d stepped back in time and expected to see a horse drawn carriage draw up full of people arriving for an evening of entertainment.
We walked along the river Derwent before turning and heading back to Pod for our evening meal, after which we used the on site facilities which were caravan club standard, clean and had glorious hot showers which you just can’t beat. Once back in Pod we climbed into bed and were asleep within minutes, the fresh air was working already.
The following morning after breakfast we made a decision around our days activities. Mr.B had new walking boots, a gift from Christmas, one of our usual long walks was out of the question as sore feet and blisters aren’t fun at any time, so the plan was to explore more of the grounds of Chatsworth Park and the decision was made to head up to the house to begin.
Once through the gate we walked up past the house and towards the play area, we soon found a path which took us into the woods. It was steep in places but very peaceful, we eventually reached the top and the view down to the house and across the countryside was spectacular.
The rain however decided to make an appearance and as it was nearing lunch time we decided to walk into the village and find The Wheatsheaf Pub as we’d been told we could get 20% discount for Caravan Club members. As we walked down the hill the rain didn’t let up, by the time we reached the open grassed land we were staring to feel the effects, top half was doing ok but legs were totally soaked, this didn’t deter us though as we slowed our pace to take in the grazing deer, in particular a stag with an incredible set of antlers who watched as we walked from one side to the other.
After finding a table near a radiator we hoped was on we ordered whilst at the same time mentioning the discount, this was thankfully accepted. The food was delicious, starter and mains with a pint of San Miguel and a wee dram of Talisker single malt to warm LB up, our only disappointment was the cold radiator.
The rain had stopped for our walk back and as we slowly wound our way down the lanes it brought us to the Cannon kissing gate, as the gate is named we had to do what was expected, obviously.. and once through we were back in Chatsworth Park.
Back at Pod MB was happy to report his new boots had left him with dry feet and blister free, we then spent the evening listening to an owl moving from tree to tree, along with a few drinks and a game of scrabble. We made the evening last as long as possible, knowing we’d have to pack up in the morning, not too much of a rush though as we didn’t have to be off till 12.00.
Despite the weather we’d thoroughly enjoyed our two nights at Chatsworth and even got to put the awning away dry.