Our friends at Trakke took Finn for a climbing adventure in the Peak District. Agile and perfectly formed, Finn really is the perfect partner for this kind of trip.
A great night first sleep in Finn was followed by an epic veggie breakfast at the Canalside Cafe. Simon, Finn’s owner, showed us his book Brit Stops which lists where you can park up for the night for free. The marina in Great Rugeley where we picked Finn up was on the list so it was super convenient to be able to stay after arriving late in the evening.
We made it up to Stanage in the Peak District where we’d spend our long weekend rock climbing. Although it had rained all day we got out for a wonder to check out the crags and boulders. We were rewarded with a short spell of warm evening sunshine. It started to look more hopeful for good climbing conditions the next day.
The rain was on again for our second night in Finn. We hunkered in for dinner, a couple of beers and a film. Why have I not been camper van camping before?! I was amazed how quickly we both felt so at home. It was better than home – we were on the road, free to go where we liked, fewer distractions to get in the way of quality time enjoying the moment.
Time to go climbing. The ground was still wet but there was enough breeze that the cliffs should dry up quickly. We had a leisurely breakfast before heading back to Stanage, where we’d hopefully find better conditions than the previous day.
We got climbing! I finally fulfilled a long standing dream to climb at Stanage. After years being thwarted by missed opportunities I’d finally topped out on some of the classic routes in this world renowned climbing venue. After a happy day at the crag we hiked back to Finn, our little home, and had a well deserved meal.
If you own a camper van you need to check out Brit Stops. It was a brilliant way for us to stay in the area and as long as you support the local business where you’re staying in some way, everyone is happy. To get your membership, you just buy the book and display it on your dashboard. Here, Xander is doing his bit to support that night’s stop.
A long weekend away wouldn’t be complete without a good ol’ lie in. With more rain outside there wasn’t a better place to be. Usually on climbing trips we camp in a tent. Weather like this would’ve driven us a bit mad – wanting to go climbing but stuck in the tent. But in Finn, the weather outside couldn’t have been a better excuse to spend a bit more time in our new friend.
A late start to the day. Leaving Finn’s beautiful, boat like interior to venture out onto some rocks.
The rock at Stanage is incredible. It dries so fast! Many crags in Scotland would need days of dry weather before being suitable to climb on. But not Stanage. After an hour or so the friction had returned to the rock and we had a full day of climbing on more glorious gritstone.
Not more rain! Wrapping things up quickly to escape back to Finn. We were getting hungry by then anyway…
And back to blue skies. Thanks Peak District for giving us a real rollercoaster of conditions. Fed, warm and dry, we enjoyed the last evening of our trip watching the sunset over the crag, dancing to our road trip playlist on full blast and brainstorming how we’d convert our own future van.
Back in Great Rugeley. Couldn’t thank Simon enough for providing such a wonderful mini-camper. We were sad to say good-bye to our new pal but luckily for us the memory of our trip was the best souvenir we could hope for.