Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Carnforth and Coniston.

46.8 Miles. Now at Park Coppice Club Site, in Coniston.

The sun finally came out as we left the Herons Wood camp site at Lancaster. We hadn’t gone far when we were confronted with an old Gypsy caravan being pulled by two beautiful white horse’s. The road we were travelling on didn’t really make it easy to pass but we finally got around them. We later learnt that there is a Gypsy Horse Fair at Appleby over the next week so we assume that’s where he was heading.

Gypsy traveller on his way to Appleby Horse Fair.Gypsy Traveller on his way to Appleby Horse Fair.

Travelling the A6 we of course passed through Carnforth and no self respecting railway enthusiast  would fail to stop and have a look at this famous station now being looked after by the Carnforth Station Railway Trust. The station had been neglected since 1960 and it was in the 1990’s  that the trust started to restore it. There is a museum in some of the old waiting and staff rooms and a shop and cafe to help raise funds for the ongoing maintenance. One room is set aside for the famous 1946 movie “Brief Encounter” which was filmed in the station. Even the British Railways engine driver and fireman involved are mentioned.

IMG_3110Carnforth Railway Station and Visitor Centre

Carnforth's operating platforms.Carnforth's operating platforms.

You wouldn't expect to find this on a station platform. This old Chevrolet is registered and street legal.You wouldn't expect to find this on a railway platform. This old Chevrolet is registered and street legal.

Carnforth's famous "Brief Encounter"  film clock.Carnforth's famous "Brief Encounter"  film clock.

The old Station hotel opposite Carnforth railway station.The old Station Hotel opposite Carnforth Railway Station.

Carnforth is another typical railway town starting life as a village of a mere 290 inhabitants. First came the canal which increased the population but it wasn’t until the arrival of the railway that Carnforth became a town. An Ironworks was added to this bringing more prosperity to the town. The demise came in the 1960’s when steam loco’s were phased out in favour of diesel power. The old engine sheds and associated buildings were taken over by Steam Town, a group of steam railway enthusiast’s. This establishment was open to the public until the 1990’s when costs involving Health and Safety regulations forced the management to close their doors. These days they are still very much involved in Steam Train excursions on the main line.

Lakeland motor launch Lakeland motor launch "Ruskin" on Lake Coniston.

Camping grounds at Coniston Hall, Lake Coniston.Camping grounds at Coniston Hall, Lake Coniston.

Country houses across Lake Coniston.Country houses across Lake Coniston.

Lake Coniston sailing club.Lake Coniston Sailing Club with an old boathouse on the shore.

Our campsite here in Coniston is 20 acre’s spread out through a 62 acre forest alongside Lake Coniston and is totally different to any other camp we have visited. There are 285 sites and the camp is just about full. After getting settled we went for a walk along the edge of the lake past Coniston Hall where there is a large campsite which is full of true campers in tents, trailer campers and a few small camper vans. All in all the whole place is abuzz with families taking advantage of the school holiday.

Gypsy Rover at Park Coppice, Lake Coniston.Gypsy Rover at Park Coppice, Lake Coniston.

Coniston Hall now looked after by the National Trust.Coniston Hall now looked after by the National Trust.

Interesting tent spotted at Coniston Hall camping grounds.Interesting tent spotted at Coniston Hall camping grounds.

A total of 2529 miles, since 5 March 2011

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