Over the long weekend we were away camping at Lane Foot Farm near Thornthwaite in the Lake District. This is an annual get together which has been going on in various venues for over 20 years now, but which in recent years has changed in character due to the addition of ankle-biters.
On Saturday we took the assembled clans for a short walk to Braithwaite in search of a playground. The sun shone and although the gorse has been flowering for months (does it ever stop?), this was the first time this year that it has given off its wonderful coconut scent.
There were butterflies about too: peacocks, orange-tips and what I think was a small blue. It’s extraordinary that these are the first that I’ve seen this year – a testament to how unusually cold March and April have been.
We had to settle for a picnic snack in Braithwaite, but who needs a playground when there are woods to explore on the way home?
Worms and beetles are endlessly fascinating to Ben and here he had a willing accomplice. He also made a fine collection of pine cones. The woodland floor was carpeted with wood sorrel:
The tiny flowers are beautiful and the shamrock like leaves have a pleasant sharp grape-skin flavour.
The path follows the bottom edge of the wood and we had great views across the valley to Skiddaw:
We finally found our playground in the last field that we crossed before arriving back at the farmhouse:
As parents we took it in turns to bite our tongues as the kids vied with each other to climb highest up the tree.
The children had organised their own queuing system so that even the youngest of them had his turn:
He was also discovering challenges nearer the ground, where it seemed as if the root system had been exposed or perhaps several trees in close proximity had cooperated and joined to become one:
Later we enjoyed a barbecue…
…and the evening light on Skiddaw:
The kids took seats into the trees behind our tents and took great delight in eating their hotdogs in their ‘den’.