It appears that you have to be careful in the Lake District when parking a vehicle because there are thieves about. These thieves act a little differently from your run of the mill criminal element. They do not appear to smash your window and nick your expensive outdoor kit, or steal your car. They are much more cunning in taking your money.
I arrived in the Lake District at around 11.00pm last Thursday, a long tiring drive after work. I planned to walk the fells above Watendlath the following day so aimed the campervan in the direction of the minor road that leads from Borrowdale. I suspected that the car park by Ashness bridge would be pay and display, seeing that it is a popular spot. Indeed it was so I continued up the steep road, the water running off the fells having turned to lethal black ice. I started to dread the return downward trip, ice and gravity not being the best combination.
I found a lovely spot in the woods to park up, it turned out to be right next to a fantastic view across Derwent Water. Apart from some idiot parking next to me about midnight and beeping their horn before driving off, I had a great nights sleep.
The following morning I set off up the road and found this lurking in the undergrowth, like a peeping tom.
What? I have to pay to leave my van on a rough bit of ground in the woods in the arse end of nowhere? I walked up to investigate and found out that the National Trust wanted £6.20 off me for the pleasure in doing so.
I can understand charging for parking in towns and villages and popular spots. There you get things like marked bays. Here the National Trust had just stuck a pay and display machine in the woods and expect you to pay without even designating a parking spot. A couple of pound donation I would happily have paid, but £6.20? Nope, I simply left my van there for the day free of charge. £6.20 is just being greedy.
I met a guy on High Tove later that day who said the forestry commission were charging £7 a day to leave a vehicle on the west side of Thirlmere.
The following day I happily paid the £3 donation to park in the Newlands Valley, that’s fair.
The National trust are evidently taking the piss and are probably the reason why the lakes appear to be full of Audi’s and shiny 4×4’s. No one else can afford to visit. The hills accessible for all? Only if you can afford it.
And I’m still pissed off that it took the National Trust two years to get round to sending me those free binoculars when I joined in 2009. The reason why I never renewed my membership. See, I’m not bitter……….