First day Rutland and Derbyshire 26th July


This was always going to be a substitute holiday it started with a journey across London up to the A1 a road that has a history that most of the motorways don’t. A big jam up to Apex corner where I think the A1 starts delayed my arrival at Stamford Waitrose where I had planned to fish for my dinner and breakfast. The ride up the A1 was enjoyable no delays and I could have made even better time that I did. Stamford is stunning I had forgotten. In the days of coaches, before cars when travel had to conform to some natural world constraints and structures, it must have been a stop from London where they changed the horses. 

Cuckoo farm campsite is about 15 minutes out of Stamford. Its pleasant with a wide view across some gentle hills. The place is super clean perhaps due to Covid and I am pitched on a slight slope next to a field with gambolling lambs. 

As I’ve mentioned here at least once before, I’m trying out a few new lighter things, this lightweight tent for example. Terra nova starlight 2. It packs much smaller and lighter than my nearly ten year old and much travelled Vango Spirit 2. But it is definitely more cramped with a much more slopy vestibule and less versatile door. So far it’s workable and definitely a worthwhile trade off for being able to leave one top box at home. It came with limited pegs so I need to buy some more tomorrow – actually two short by design – they weren’t missing. I should have brought more with me. if I had tried putting it up before I left as everyone recommends.  

My dinner was some nice steak cooked with garlic, red pepper and fresh noodles cooked while sitting on those versatile Touratech panniers. My nearest neighbours here are one or maybe two Eastern European families with much calling after running off children but it is a great advantage not to be able to understand their conversation. 

The other new kit is a Thermarest inflating mattress slightly lighter than my old fave but actually slightly too long for the tent. The wind is buffeting the tent and as usual children are still running around playing while I am thinking about crawling into my sleeping bag and getting my head down. 

Tuesday 28th July

It’s payday today. I’m sitting on my Touratech metal box wearing my cap and waiting to leave Cuckoo Farm Campsite. Yesterday rained most of the day but today I woke up to bright sunshine, so the ground was dry as was anything else available to perch on. I’ve plotted a route up to Derbyshire to my next campsite Dale Farm. 

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