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A Family Staycation in Gunnerside Gill

I like the term ‘staycation’, which of course is trending right now. With a map, the right equipment and some imagination, you can whisk up a proper little adventure that you and your family won’t forget for many years to come. Here’s one Staycation that the Wulf family dreamt up and carried out, starting in Gunnerside. Armed with foam mats, good sleeping bags, bivvy bags (breathable recommended), light weight camping food, stove, hot chocolate and of course teddy, we set off mid-afternoon with plenty of daylight and a good weather forecast as nature’s companions.

Now, this was pre-pandemic, so I will happily talk about the little café called Mary Shaw’s that this trip revolved around. You see, it’s a café where all the cake is gluten free, well why not? And that is perfect for some of the members of my family, so talk about a carrot at the end of a mini expedition!

So the plan was to walk into Gunnerside Gill, which gets deeper and more wild looking, the further you get. Yet you can picture busy, productive scenes as you wander among the industrial relics nestled against the valley side. What’s more simple that to walk in as far as you like, select a sheltered spot near a water source, camp for the night and then walk out again? Total adventure on a mini scale – which you need when you’ve got kids – something achievable that feels real, but that is within everyone’s limits. Oh yes, and that cake afterwards… or was it breakfast? Or both?


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