- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it
Saturday April 20th 2019 Part 1 - Mooching round Maryport
I woke that morning to sunshine over the fields beyond my pitch and the promise of another glorious day. After a short dog walk down to the on-site wildfowl lake I sorted out some breakfast and ate al fresco while taking in the view in front of me and formulating a 'sort of plan' for the day. There were four places on the coast which I particularly wanted to visit, starting at Allonby and working my way south to St. Bees, so just in case the good weather didn't last this was going to be my 'big day out'.
It was an easy drive from the site to the coast but as is often the case my 'sort of plan' was changed at the last minute. I had to drive through Maryport to get to Allonby and as Jayne had given me directions to a promenade in Maryport where I could walk the dogs I decided to start there first and go on to Allonby later. I found the promenade easily enough and with a long pleasant green and gardens at the base of the cliff it was a pleasant enough place to walk although there wasn't much else there.
Wanting to photograph the lighthouse my original thought was to walk there but looking across from the promenade it seemed to be quite a distance round to it so I decided to drive there instead, and having previously checked out the harbour area on Google maps I was able to find somewhere to park for free close to the aquarium building. On a corner of the harbour just across from the aquarium was the Alauna Aura, a new sculpture installed in August 2018. At over two metres in height its design is based around Maryport's development over the years, including its Roman history, mining, railways, shipbuilding and its connections to HMS Bounty and the Titanic.
Leaving the sculpture behind I wandered along the harbour side until I came to the end of Elizabeth Dock where several colourful fishing boats were moored up. Across the harbour was a wide green space, a couple of car parks and a small caravan site, with a marina at the far side - the lighthouse was situated on a wide breakwater at the far side of the marina and still a long way to walk, so again I decided to take the easy way out and drive round.
When I finally got round to the lighthouse I found quite a large parking area which was free and made a good place to leave the van while I had a mooch about. The old lighthouse, which photography-wise was the more interesting, was situated on a bend in the breakwater; built around 1856 it features a slender octagonal tower on a single-storey stone base, though it's been inactive for a number of years. In 1996 a new aluminium tower was built at the end of the breakwater, and though it's smaller and less powerful than the original lighthouse its light can still be seen almost ten miles out to sea.
Across from the old lighthouse and built up a steep bank was a derelict stone building with no roof and partially demolished walls. There was nothing anywhere to say what it had once been but there were wide stone steps leading up one side of it so I went up to see what was there. The answer was 'not much' but the view looking back towards the town was good - and looking right over to the left, to where I'd first parked the van on the promenade, I was glad I hadn't walked all the way from there to the lighthouse.
With that last shot I made my way back down the steps and round to the van; I'd been mooching round Maryport sea front and harbour for almost two hours and it was time to move on. It was also getting on for lunch time, and having seen something on Google maps a few days previously I knew what I wanted and where I would hopefully get it from so off I went, out of Maryport and heading a few miles north in the direction of lunch.
Posted by Tigermouse