When: 5th July 2014
Where: Sleddale Hall, near Penrith, Cumbria
£: Tickets cost £38 and included camping, an evening meal, cake and sherry, and the film screening
What was it?
“We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!”
For the third year running, the Picnic Cinema was showing the classic British film, Withnail & I, at Sleddale Hall in Cumbria. As fans of the film and being in the mood for a quirky camping trip, Contrary Life went along to chill out in the Cumbrian countryside.
For those not in the know, this is the location of Crow Crag, Uncle Monty’s holiday cottage where Withnail and his thespian friend ‘go on holiday by mistake’. The film has something of a cult status and this special screening has become something of an annual pilgrimage for fans. The event gives visitors the unique chance to watch the film at the location, enjoy some drinks and camp over.
We arrived at the venue and quickly got our tent up. The campsite was in the field next to ‘Crow Crag’, overlooking Wet Sleddale Reservoir. On a sunny day it would have been a great location to set up camp.
A makeshift bar was set up outside the cottage, serving suitable beverages for the screening, including red wine, the rhesus negative (or Bloody Mary to you and me) and a selection of special Withnail & I craft beers by the Eden Brewery. As the rain (rather aptly) came down we huddled under the gazebo of the makeshift bar and sampled some ‘HereHareBeer’ and ‘Antifreeze’. The Picnic Cinema staff were welcoming and friendly, and the other cinema-goers sociable which reduced the pain of the rain.
Before the film there was food from a barbecue, a quick quiz, and a toast to the late Richard Griffiths with cake and sherry. As the rain came down, the film screening became something of a feat of endurance, and some people left before the end to go back to their sodden tents. However, most people stuck it out and enjoyed the night regardless.
In the morning the sun finally came out as pastries and coffee were served up at the house. We packed up the tent and went away having had such a good time we immediately booked tickets to see The Shining at Muncaster Castle.
The Picnic Cinema is touring the country throughout July and August, showing classic films in quirky locations. Why not watch The Blair Witch Project in Sherwood Pines Forest, The Big Lebowski in Cannock Chase Forest, or The Woman in Black at Lowther Castle?
More info: picniccinema.co.uk