I don’t actually remember when or why I booked to go camping in Crowden.
Maybe it was because it was only a 1.5-hour drive away. Or because the campsite was conveniently located on the Pennine Way with lots of walking routes.
Whatever the reason was, my Google calendar was telling me that I had booked a 5-day stay, Monday-Friday.
On the road again
After spending the morning packing Dory (my amazing little van) and making sure that all my websites and passive income streams were set up to run smoothly whilst I was away, we were ready to hit the road again.
Although Winston (my rescue dog) loves camping and hiking, he’s not so fond of the driving part. He tolerates it but it’s far from the highlight of his day. Recently, our drives have been well over 3-hours, so he was very happy when we reached the campsite in less than 2-hours!
The campsite was another Camping and Caravan Club Member site. As a member, I not only got a discount, but I could make use of their 30% off grass-only pitch promotion.
It was a small campsite, probably the smallest site which I have stayed at to date, but it was very quaint and well-kept.
As I always do at the time of booking, I put in a special request to be pitched out of the way in the quietest corner they have available. I’m not sure if that request was ever seen, if it was just ignored, or if it could not be fulfilled due to the confined size of the campsite, but this was not what I got.
Instead, I was given a pitch near the entrance, the shop, and the outdoor picnic benches. It was probably the least ‘out of the way’ pitch they had! ?
I should also point out that the site had no wi-fi and very limited phone signal. This is understandable due to the size and low cost of the campsite; providing everyone with free wi-fi is probably an expensive addition. So, if you’re looking to unplug for a few days, this is the site for you!
There is always no designated dog walk, however, there is a bunch of trees in the middle of the site when your dog needs to pee at 11pm, and there are miles of walking trails from the campsite, so, overall, no big deal.
After pitching our tent in the evening, we took a short 2-mile walk. Although the weather was grey and drizzly, I got a small insight into some of the views that this trip was going to offer!
The first full day on any campsite is always reserved for our biggest hike.
I had planned on doing a 10-mile hike, however, we ended up walking 14-miles. Although this distance is not a problem for me, my senior dog is 9-years old (his breed has a life expectancy of 12) and I would have never intentionally taken him on such a long walk.
If I could have shortened the walk and got back quicker, then I would have. But sometime, all you can do is just keep putting one foot in the front of the other and follow the track.
Since he is a spaniel, he has lots of enthusiasm, and to my surprise he managed the 14-mile hike relatively easy.
He did show some signs of being tired on the final few miles and he slept well when we got back, but other than that, he nailed it!
We walked part of the Pennine Way…
…had some amazing views on our way up and on our way down, along with some fun at the top…
…and, surprisingly, I didn’t get lost on the moors – which would have been a very easy thing to do!
B-29 crash site
On our hike, we visited the memorial crash sight of the B-29 Superfortress plane “overexposed” and paid our respects.
It’s a saddening sight that really hits you hard since most of the debris and major engine parts are left rusting.
You are in the middle of the moors approx 2000ft above sea level.
You cannot get to the crash site without hiking there, and it’s difficult to navigate since there’s no clear and obvious route.
I’ll be writing a more detailed post on the crash site soon, so make sure you’re subscribed if you don’t want to miss it.
Peace and quiet?
Back at the campsite, after Winston and I had refuelled, I planned to settle down to a quiet evening of reading.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
Firstly, my next door neighhours had a dog which barked at EVERYTHING!
Now, I have a dog and I am well aware that sometimes they just bark, but this dog went above and beyond!
If another dog went past, it barked. If a person walked past, it barked. If its owners stood up, it barked. If its owners sat down, it barked. If the wind changed direction, it barked. If a falling leaf looked suspicious, you guessed it, it bloomin’ barked!!!
I thought that this little pooch was the worst neighbor ever until a group of teenagers on a school trip rocked up, and guess where they were pitched? Yes, right next to me. I felt so blessed. ?
I’m not 100% sure how old they were, but I’m guessing around the age of 15 years. They were at the age where instead of talking to each other, they have to shout over each other.
They weren’t quite sure how to put up their 2-man tents so I had a front-row seat listening to their temper tantrums.
On the plus side, they were much more entertaining to listen to than the dog. ?
After such a long hike the previous day, Winston needed a day off to allow his aching muscles to rest and recover.
I spent the morning working from my iPad and catching up on a bit of reading that I wasn’t able to do the night before.
In the evening we went for a steady stroll (the same route we did on our arrive day) and since it was a clearer day, we took some photographs showing off the view.
I did have my fingers crossed that the teenagers would be packing up and moving on, sadly they did not. Instead, they were all sent out on a big hike. The plus side was that they were much quieter the second evening, I think they were all worn out! ?
They left the following morning, and in hindsight, they weren’t THAT bad. As far as youths go, they could have been much worse! I’m just getting old and grouchy ??? (I am in my 30’s now, which means that I am at least DOUBLE their age! – scary thought!)
Now you see me…
For our final full day I had planned a circular hike from the Crowden campsite up to Black Hill.
Unfortunately, the weather was not on my side. It was foggy with very low visibility, but still, up we went.
I’ll be honest and admit that on the way up I did question whether we should turn around it. Not being able to see more than a few meters in front of yourself was not very fun and it made navigating difficult.
Luckily, my dog is a little superstar! Even though I couldn’t see him half of the time, he always knew where I was even if I didn’t know where he was.
He was having such a good time (obviously doesn’t care about the fog) so we kept plodding on together.
Eventually, we made it to the trig and took the obligatory photos and then continued on the route to descend the hill down another path.
The route back was much more clear with a paved walkway, meaning that we were able to pick up the pace and get marching.
Then, almost as a reward for ploughing forward and making it to the top, the fog started to clear.
We could now see the landscape in front of ourselves and the views just got better and better and better! ?
Towards the end of the hike, I felt as though I was in another country or on another planet!
I looked around at such a lush, green, and undisturbed land. It’s how I imagine Earth would be if humans hadn’t taken over.
It was an incredible hike and one that I would love to do again someday. A great way to end our adventure.
Rain was forecasted for the Friday morning, our leaving day. I did contemplate packing away on the Thursday evening just so I didn’t have to pack the tent away wet, but after our hike, I didn’t have the energy to pack away our whole pitch and drive 1.5hours home.
So our final night was spent snuggled in the tent while nature watered Earth’s garden. Although the sound of rain on a tent can be very soothing, it can also be very bloomin’ noisy!
…not enough to disturb Winston though ?
The next morning, after extra-long snoozes and breakfast in bed, we popped on our waterproofs and packed away.
Back at home, I needed to hang the tent on the washing line to allow it to dry out. The number one rule in camping is to never pack your tent away when it’s wet and leave it! Always dry it out.
That about wraps up another 2021 camping and hiking adventure. I’m not one for going back to re-visit places, but this is one location where I’d happily stay again and re-traipse my steps.
P.S. I tried to give Winston a relaxing weekend after the distance he covered that week, but by Sunday he was bouncing off the walls again itching to go! ? Someone needs to tell him that he’s getting old!
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