Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Staying in A Camping Pod - in which we experience podlife



Arriving at Eskdale Campsite to stay in a Camping Pod, we received an extremely warm welcome from owner Martyn and warden Lisa.  The M6 had not been kind and our driver was frazzled but huge cups of tea delivered with a smile made things right again. After a brief but comprehensive description of site facilities we were shown to our Pod, given a introduction (how to lock it, how to use the portable gas-fired heater etc) then left to settle in.  
A slight grumble is that you cannot park your car very close to the Pod, so several journeys were necessary to transfer our essentials down a narrow twisty path to the pod, repeated two days later when we left.  In the pouring rain.  Both times.


So what can you expect to find inside a camping pod?  Well, the inside of the pod is basic.  Cushioned waterproof flooring, a couple of hooks, and that's it.  No shelves and no frames for airbeds or sleeping mats.  This means everything is stored on the floor.  So you have to be incredibly organised.  During the day, we piled all the bedding on top of each other and had the chairs inside.  That was because it rained almost non-stop the whole time we were there.

Whilst hook-up is not provided, there are a couple of pods where it could be accessed for podders with babies or medical requirements.  We took a jump starter/booster to run a 12v lamp which provided good lighting and we also used it to charge our mobile phones.  The low wattage ceiling light only provides a ghostly glow, so torches or battery lanterns are a must.  You'll need a torch for night time ablution visits in any case.   

Martyn assured us that the pods were accessible for disabled users, however, we feel that some modifications would be needed (which Martyn would facilitate as necessary), as there is a 6 inch step up onto the decking and a high cill to get into the pod. It is about a minute's walk back to the shower block on a twisting gravel/bark path, which may be heavy going for a wheelchair.



We had no intentions of cooking, but this would be done under the overhang, not inside the Pod (for safety reasons).  Actually there is no need to cook if you don't want to. . . . .




. . . . because there is a fantastic Breakfast area in the Shop where you help yourself to croissants, hot toast and butter, muffins, cornflakes and hot drinks, all at extremely reasonable prices.
Talking about the Shop - this is a fantastic place - stocking all those essentials you've forgotten to bring, together with items you never knew you needed.
A short drive or a 5 minute walk away is The Brook House Inn which welcomes walkers and dogs and serves excellent food.  There is also free wifi, a lifesaver, as there is no signal at all, ever, on the campsite.

Because we had almost wall-to-wall heavy rain during our stay, sadly, we did not see as much of the area as we would have liked (yes, I know, wimps).  A couple of short walks was all we managed. Indeed, the beautiful fell views were shrouded in mist/low cloud most of the whole time we were there.  But as Martyn said (more than once) - "that's the Lake District for you"!

We got the distinct impression that nothing was too much trouble for Martyn and his staff and you only had to ask if you needed any help - for example, we could not find an electric socket anywhere, however Martyn was happy to let us use one in the staff area if necessary.

So a huge thanks to Martyn and Sarah at Eskdale for inviting us to stay - it was certainly a memorable experience, and one we would not have missed for the world.  I do have to say, hand on heart, that, for now, we won't be swapping motorhome-life for pod-life any time soon.  We are, however, extremely pleased that we gave it a go.   

Above images : All copyright AvailablePitch.com, August 2012









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