Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Past Trips, UK 2008 Staveley


August 16th to 20th

August 16th

Us away during school holidays, very strange, but here we are, with the twins for a few days, on a new Caravan Club site, Poolsbrook Country Park in Staveley.

Poolsbrook Caravan Club Site
Poolsbrook Country Park, Staveley S43 3LS

We were on one of the few fully serviced pitches, I do not remember booking it but apparently I did.  With it being a new site all of the facilities are very good, idiots are still speeding though, I would have thought the club would have clamped down on this.  By the time we got sorted on the first day, there is only time to have a look round the site, have a ride on their bikes and a quick go in the play area in the Country Park.

Camping is so demanding

August 17th

First thing, me and the girls went out for a bike ride, we followed a trail around the outside perimeter of the site and got a bit muddy.

As it was a nice day we went for a walk around the Poolsbrook Country Park, we had no idea what was there so we just set off to walk round the lake. The girls had a play on the industrial sculptures, patted some horses and then we had to run the gauntlet though a huge gaggle of geese.

PosingEmily 2008

It was now, at what we thought was the end of the lake, we discovered it was L shaped and it was a lot bigger, about twice the size. Anyway we just continued with our circumnavigation and eventually made it back to the playground.


While the girls were playing I had a wander up to the cafe and decided we would get something for our lunch there, I had a burger and to the others had baked potatoes with various fillings. I started to rain as we were eating and we had to make a dash back to the van.

The rain didn't last long and a soon as it stopped, the girls were wanting to get back out on their bikes, so Dot went with them and they showed her where they had been with me.

By tea time the sun was shining and we ate outside but it was nowhere near as warm as it should be in August and we soon ended up back in the van.

August 18th

Another day in the park, we took a picnic, some bread for the ducks and the girls took their bikes. We went the opposite way round the lake to yesterday.

It was good that we took a picnic as the cafe was closed, it's August, it'd the school holidays, it's a country park and the cafe is closed???

August 19th

Our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary, the plan was to spend the day on a long walk with the girls, anything would be better that Scotland last year, where it was cold and wet.  An old railway runs past the campsite (Great Central Main Line), now part of Trans-Pennine Trail, so we headed north along the trail towards the Chesterfield Canal.  We knew it was going to be a long walk, so the girls took their bikes.

Great Central Main Line

Unfortunately the building of a new bypass road, has meant the closure of the trail until 2009 and we could not understand from the notices as to where the detour was.  So we came off the trail and walked through Staveley to the canal but first, we stopped for fish and chips for the girls.


We followed signs to the canal and came to the river Rother, so we turned left and followed a path in the direction the canal should be following.  Eventual we came to the canal, well the end of canal or the start of the canal.  The rest of the canal the way we had come was filled in, I should do more research before we set off, I would have known that the Trans-Pennine Trail was closed and that the canal didn't go as far as I thought it did.


So the canal walk started at Mill Green Bridge No 10 and we set off in he direction of chesterfield. Just as we reached the first lock gates, Hollingwood Lock, it started to rain and we sheltered under a road bridge over the lock.


We had already come about two miles by now and the weather was changing, so we headed away from the canal and back, by road towards Staveley. 

On the way we came to a large park, the sun was now shining, so the girls had some time in the playground.  We then walked round the park's lake and came out of the park at the opposite end to where we went in.

PlaytimeWater Lilies

We used the GPS to find where we where and then crossed a field to a housing estate and from there back to the Trans-Pennine Trail and the campsite. This sounds, easy, leisurely, well it wasn't, we had to get up a long steep grass bank, with two bicycles and two five year olds, I dealt with the bikes, Dot got the twins up.  At the top we did make a stop at some shops for ice creams and a rest though.

August 20th

Going home today but we had seen a canal lock and visitor centre advertised and it looked worth a visit (it wasn't that interesting, more later).  So we set off towards Chesterfield on the A619, it was about 3.5 miles and I think 5 speed cameras.  The signs to the Tapton Lock Visitor Centre are not that good, it looks like recent road improvements and supermarkets have messed up the entrance. Next the parking is atrocious, there is no car park just on road parking and there are several car showrooms vying for the parking space available as well.  This is not good for an attraction that is widely advertised.

Tapton Lock   Tapton Lock

The Visitor Centre did have a shop, toilets and picnic tables to eat our food but as a Visitor Centre there is not much else.  Although the walks along the canal are very good.

   Canal Walk

We set off through the Tapton Tunnel under the A619 and had a short walk along the towpath.  There were lots of baby ducks in the canal, unfortunately we didn't have any bread with us to feed them.

TunnelTapton Tunnel

We then came back through the tunnel and watched a narrowboat come up through the lock.  Then we walked the other way as far as the two railway bridges.

Railway BridgeRailway Bridge

Back at the Visitor Centre, we eat at the picnic tables and used the toilets, then it was back home before the roads got too busy.

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