It was very much a campervan that ignited my love for the great outdoors and I indeed wrote a few words about our old campervan here. Our old van has long since been sold but both Nicola and I would like to get another one in the near future, perhaps something we could use as a normal car too, meaning we’d only need to tax, MOT and insure just one vehicle instead of two. I became aware of Bumble Campers a while back and I liked the idea of their budget campervans.
Bumble Campers are based in Peterborough which logistically for us in Edinburgh is not really viable unless perhaps we planned to tour the south of England. However they’ve recently opened a branch in Manchester, we decided to take the plunge and hire one for the weekend. It didn’t make sense travelling back to Scotland so we opted for a weekend in the Lake District.
We picked the van up from their Manchester branch on Friday and set off for the Eskdale Campsite. All Bumble campervans are currently Toyota Previa’s which began their lives as people carriers. Our van was a ‘sits and sleeps 2 persons version’. With an automatic gear box and decent visibility all round, these campervans are very easy to drive and of course park.
The next again day we set off on a hill walk up Illgill Head, which is a Wainwright if you’re a hill bagger. We left the campsite and walked up towards the small village of Boot passed the Eskdale Mill (currently closed for refurbishment through lottery funding).
After Eskdale Mill the path forks, the right fork takes you to Wasdale Head and this was my intended route. However I never looked at the map and we followed the left path up hill towards Low Longrigg. When I realised my mistake it was too late to descend back to the Mill, so opted to take the path that runs NE skirting under Boat How and down to Burnmoor Tarn.
We both decided to wear mesh trail running shoes, Nicola was cursing me as I promised excellent Lakeland paths, my mistake meant we had to circumnavigate boggy ground, but it was unavoidable in places.
We reached Burnmoor Tarn where I discovered my back was soaking. Whist it was warm and sunny, I wasn’t exactly sweaty. It was my trusty old hydration bladder, it had finally given up the ghost. I decanted what water I had left into Nicola’s hydration bladder and offered to carry all the water. I know, what a gentleman. 😛
We crossed over more boggy ground and struck up hill directly towards the summit of Illgill Head. Walked passed a tiny cairn and down to a nice view point of some of the Lakeland classics.
From here we wandered up to the summit, however when I arrived at the summit cairn and checked the map we were 5 metres below the true summit. The 609m top looked smaller from where we were standing.
We continued along the ridge towards Whin Rigg, we met lots of walkers coming from the opposite direction. The cloud rolled in off the coast and we couldn’t see much. Thankfully the clag did blow over and once again we had some nice views.
We carried on passed the 395 spot height and encountered more boggy terrain, we stuck to the north side of the wall which until we reached the gate for Miterdale forest, we headed south towards Eskdale Green. Some of the forest on the ridge has been felled to prevent disease spreading to more trees. The woodland walk through Miterdale was a delight and the bluebells were in full bloom.
We reached Eskdale Green and thought about catching the miniature train back to Boot. However their timetable and pricing structure was a bit cryptic so we opted for the riverside walk along the River Esk instead. Later that night we ate out at the busy Woolpack Inn.
The next again day we went on a drive to Ambleside and Windermere then stopped off at the Lakeland Motor museum before driving back to the campsite for our last night.
Eskdale campsite is an excellent base for exploring some of the fine mountains on offer and loads of other low level walks too. There are 3 pubs to choose from, all within walking distance from the campsite, so you’re spoiled for choice for dining out. The campsite its self is peaceful, loads of wildlife and the facilities are spot on too, the shower and toilet block is modern, warm and clean.
It was great fun exploring in a campervan again, whilst we found the Bumble Camper a bit tight for space at times we have to remember that it’s a compromise if you want something smaller that you can use as a car too. I would definitely recommend hiring a Bumble camper or similar if you’re looking for budget campervan hire as I know how expensive it can be hiring larger more modern campervans and motorhomes.
I’ve made a short video review of the Bumble camper if you’re thinking of hiring one too.