Monday, 27 December 2010

Arnside Knott

The thaw has started here in South Cumbria, the sound of dripping water greeted me as I looked out first thing. The weather forecast promised things would get better in the afternoon, so I waited until about 12 and then drove over to Arnside.
It only got better if you were a connoisseur of drizzle and thick mist! Anyway I left the car on the promenade and strode out through the slush towards New Barns Bay. It was treacherous underfoot, a combination of the slush, ice and wet limestone made me look like I was auditioning for "Strictly Come Dancing". The path up to the Knott through Copridding Wood was easier going, and eventually I arrived at the view indicator. This was of little use to anyone as everything was obscured by the mist/low cloud/drizzle. I continued on up to the trig, still no view, then descended across the field to Redhills and down the road to arrive back at the prom.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Ice Floes on the Bay

Just a short walk, as is the tradition for Boxing Day. We parked at Sandside on the edge of Morecambe Bay, we weren't alone, word had spread that the estuary had frozen. There were lots of folk about snapping away in all directions. We walked "upstream" and left everyone behind, the scene before us was arctic, jumbled blocks of ice and snow covered what would normally be extensive sandbanks.
We followed the Bela to cross the road and walk through Dallam Park. A tree stump was used as a seat for lunch, turkey butties of course. We made our return to the car on little used paths through the woods to Storth and eventually back to the car.
A memorable day, something perhaps you'll only see once in a lifetime? A shame the day was so foggy, as the photos show, it was very dull but still awe inspiring all the same.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Lancaster Canal at Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who may drop by.

Turkey in the oven, washing in the machine, and half an hour before next basting! Just enough time for a brisk walk beside the Lancaster canal as the sun makes an appearance. This is bridge no. 153.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Silverdale and Haweswater

Just a short walk for half a day, from the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss. There were lots of twitchers with some very impressive camera gear, I believe a rarity had been spotted! We walked through the "Trough" to Trowbarrow quarry and then on to Haweswater, which was well and truly frozen. I'd just finished lunch when I realised that my wallet and mobile were left in full view on my car seat, what an idiot!!
Ian continued, I walked briskly back to the car, all was well but better safe than sorry. I drove round to Eaves Wood and set off again, meeting Ian after about 200m. We were soon at the Pepperpot, the vista out over the bay was superb. Our route led us back via the Cove and the Lots then across field paths to my car, I gave Ian a lift back to his car at the RSPB reserve and we went our separate ways.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Middleton Fells

Tricky roads and short hours of daylight, so a relative handy walk was required. I arranged to meet Ian near the church in Barbon, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Our route to the broad ridge led us through the parkland of Barbon Manor, to reach the open fell. The initial section is quite steep past some low crags, but the angle soon eases. We had thought there would have been more snow, there was only a scattering really.
Before long we were able to sit behind the wall in the sun and out of the wind for lunch. The views in all directions were very clear from the trig on the summit of Calf Top, a Marilyn, but not a needed one sadly. We continued beside the wall and fence towards Barkin Top, before dropping down the incredibly steep slopes to the road in Barbondale. The road was our route down the valley until the footbridge which we crossed to follow the bridleway through the grounds of Barbon Manor to the village and the cars.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Only a couple of hours to get out for a walk today, so a walk from home up Farleton Knott in the late afternoon sunshine. The wind blowing from the north was really bitter, but the clear sky after the morning snow showers made for excellent views. Up and down in about an hour and a half but certainly to cold to linger.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

View from Lowood

I must pass this spot dozens of time each year, well today I stopped and took a piccy!

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Having parked under Loughrigg at Ambleside I walked up the steep metalled road to Brow Head and beyond, reaching the open fell. The Fairfield Horseshoe was much in evidence on my righthand side. I seemed to reach the trig point in no time at all, there was a guy from LA on the summit who seemed slightly disoriented. All the lakes and tarns I'd seen were frozen.
I paused to take some photo's of Grasmere on the way down, and eat my butties, hard to tell but it seemed like the temperature was rising as the day went on. I took the path through the woods past Hunting Stile and down onto the Red Bank road, which hadn't been treated at all.
Once in Grasmere, a visit to Cotswold's Rock Bottom had to be made, and a small gear Purchase! My route back to the car was via Penny Rock woods and the west side of Rydal water, then past the stepping stones under Loughrigg back to the car.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Scandale Horseshoe

A great day in the snow. Ian and I managed to get parked in Ambleside, and walked up the Struggle towards Kirkstone, the road walk was easy except for the ice and we gained height quickly. Almost as soon as we left the road the snow depth increased, fortunately a bit of trail breaking had been done by others in front.
The ridge is broad and the views expansive in all directions, the bitter wind kept us moving. The summit was a busy place, people seemed to be arriving from all directions. After a short stop we dropped down to the col at the head of Scandale, an slogged up the steep snow slope to the large cairn on High Bakestones. Another short stop and a bit of contouring and we were on the northern ridge of High Pike.
The ridge led us directly down to Ambleside, a little gear browsing to end a fantastic day.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


I was surprised to find that I hadn't been up Wetherlam this year, my favourite mountain. A late change of day off meant I was on my own for the day, so I found myself at the snowy car park at Tilbirthwaite, with a stiff NE wind for company.
I took the path up the north side of the ghyll and into Dry Cove Bottom and followed the track until eventually I arrived on Wetherlam's east ridge. The views to the north and northeast were excellent, then steepening ridge looked very inviting, before long I had to put crampons on, as the ice was hidden below the powder snow. The summit was a windy old spot today so after a few pictures I was on my way, my descent route was down the broad Ladstones ridge. An easy traverse of the frozen path across to Tilbirthwaite Ghyll led me down the south side of the ghyll and back to the car. Three and a half hours of mountain magic.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Greenburn Horseshoe Nr. Grasmere

A classic horseshoe walk in miniature from Grasmere. A stiff climb up Helm Crag, and the views opened up, in all directions considering the fall of snow has only been light in the Lake District, the hills shone under there winter coat. I scrambled up to the top of the Howitzer, it seemed much harder than last time!
The knobbly ridge stretched out in front of me, the snow pristine underfoot, I followed the path as it twisted and turned to Calf Crag and eventually Gibson Knott. I remembered as a teenager on my first visit to the ridge, again in snow but on that occasion very misty as well, I managed to walk in a complete circle, on a ridge only 100 yards wide.
I ate lunch on Gibson Knott, then turned NE to drop down and curve round to pick up the path beside the old fence posts to reach Steel Fell with it's fantastic position looking north to Thirlmere and the Northern Fells. An easy descent led down the south ridge to the road and eventually back to Grasmere

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Wray Castle

Only a short walk today, from the entrance to Wray Castle, through the grounds and down to the lake shore. The views across Windermere lake to the Fairfield horseshoe and other tops were excellent. It wasn't a day to linger, the north wind was bringing odd flakes of snow. We returned to the car via High Wray.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


A really cold , biting wind greeted us on the top of Hampsfell. The views across Morecambe Bay were a contrast to the woodland scenes we'd encountered as we strolled up through Eggerslack woods on the Cistercian Way. We dropped down to Cartmel, which was very busy, lots of people to watch, alas no Steve Coogan or Rob Bryden however! Back through different field paths with lots of stirks (young cows) to the ridge of Hampsfell, and then down into Grange-over Sands as the light faded.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Twelve Months

Well its 12 months since I started this blog. Its been a pleasure for most of the time, sometimes I was out and about for the day or week and didn't post my doings. I also haven't blogged after evening forays on the motorbike, road, mountain bike or just walking. This was a conscience move, although I will make posts this year on these trips, time permitting. I have also refrained from gear testing, I will pass on my experiences of gear etc after real use and sometimes abuse in the great outdoors. Anyway that's the summing up of the last years blogging, here's to next year with a picture taken in August on a motorbike tour of Scotland.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Dubbs and Sour Howes

A short walk from the Dubbs Road and up onto Sour Howes. A familiar walk in familiar weather! It never stopped raining, and the views were almost non existent.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Winster Valley

A short walk in the Winster valley from Roper ford a picture of which above. The sun shone and the vistas impressive, the Coniston range scattered with snow. A sharp wind kept us moving.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Barbondale & Dentdale

A beautiful day, an early start on the bike and a cross country route to Kirkby Lonsdale and onwards to Barbondale. It was packed with folk, a sponsered walk I would guess. Dentdale was much quieter. Back home via the mother of all hills at Killington.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


A short walk along the shore to New Barns and beyond. The channels seem to be moving across to the west side of the estuary and the grass encroaching. The overcast sky made it feel raw.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

BMW Threlkeld

A beautiful day and with the bad weather just round the corner I had a ride round the lakes with lunch under Blencathra. A tour of lake district cycle shops followed.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Earby Cycle Tour

With Ian from Lancaster, over the very hilly route via the Trough of Bowland, and many other villages to the YHA at Earby. The weather was excellent on Saturday, however our return today was incredibly wet we rode via Settle and the Wenning valley, we arrived back in Lancaster just as the blue sky was appearing.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Sharp Haw

A bit of illegal Mountain Biking saw me climb/ride? to the summit of Sharp Haw a Marilyn near Gargrave. The wind didn't make the task any easier, indeed the walk to the top would have been easier I think! Back to Gargrave via the Leeds Liverpool Canal, it had just managed to stay dry.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

South Tynedale

A visit to my favourite area on the BMW. Great roads, great weather, a much needed chillout day.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Glenderterra Valley

A short walk up the Glenderterra Valley, this should have been a quiet area but today it was on the course of a run from Keswick with 1400 competitors we were told. The sun shone for much of the day, although it seemed to building for a storm later.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Middleham Backpack

This had been a walk which I'd first thought of about 3 years ago. So Ian and I left Middleham on a sunny Bank Holiday morning, we crossed over to Coverdale which we followed on field paths up to Horse House. A steep ascent led us onto the very dry moor. We struggled to find first water and secondly a sheltered pitch. However we found both eventually. A cool night followed and after breakfast we descended to Bishopdale, and then West Burton. Field paths and the main road crossed we reached the banks of the River Ure, which we would follow on and off nearly all the way back to Middleham. Highlights were the sighting of a Kingfisher and the series of small falls. After a cup of tea in Wensley we were soon back in the Square in Middleham.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Leeds Liverpool Canal

Another day on the Leeds Liverpool canal again only a short walk this time from the outskirts of Barnoldswick. art of the canal had been drained for repair of lockgates etc. The sun shone on and off all day, a pleasant day was had by all.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Thornton in Craven

A short walk along the Leeds and Liverpool in the warm sunshine. All was tranquil with only the ducks creating a disturbance.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Dufton Lanes

An easy day as I get ready for my motorbike trip to the Scottish Highlands. We parked in Dufton and followed paths, tracks and lanes firstly to Brampton and then Long Marton and finally back to Dufton. The sun beat down on us all day forcing us to find shade where ever we could, we shouldn't complain!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Circuit of Malham Tarn

A walk round Malham tarn, mainly in the sun. An enjoyable day, not that busy considering its school holidays. We saw lots of Coots, a Lizard, Great Crested Grebe, Bullheads and some Penny Buns.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Dent Dale

A walk along the Dent valley following the river looking for caves. The weather was kind to us today the first day the sun has shone properly for a long time, whilst I've been out.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Tilbirthwaite Quarries

With Bill a short walk round Tilbirthwaite, Hodge Close and Penny Rigg. Just about managed to stay dry whilst we were out.

Roe Deer

First thing this morning and 2 Roe Deer Grazing only 40 metres away from home

Monday, 2 August 2010

BMW Solway Coast

On the Bmw in mixed weather up the West Cumberland coast to see Dad at Abbeytown near Silloth an enjoyable ride despite the showers. The photo is in fact Maryport harbour.

Monday, 26 July 2010


A short walk with Ian round some of the quarries and mines of the Tilbirthwaite area. This was also a chance to test a bit of gear and look for potential winter backpack sites. The day was very humid this made progress slow.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

BMW Reservoir Ride

Intrigued by the continuing hosepipe ban, even after a huge amount of rain over the last week, I decided to take a ride round our United Utilities reservoirs. They were all about where you'd expect them to be for this time of year. Really rather full! Photo is of Haweswater.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Dufton Pike

A mixed day weather wise so I decided to do a bit of Marilyn bagging. Dufton Pike from Dufton, it managed to stay dry while I was on the hill and a reasonable view was han from the top. I made a circuit, different route out and back with a full traverse of the ridge.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Wycoller on the BMW

A short ride out on the motorbike over to the Wycoller area, this is somewhere I rarely visit even though it's quite close to home. Photo is of the Atom a manmade curiosity.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Easington Fell & Longridge Fell

While in Scotland recently I met a Chap called Ken Butcher, rather an inspirational man. He spent much time explaining the Marilyns or "The Relative Hills of Britain". On my return home I decided to see how many of these hills I had climbed, and which I hadn't! Easington Fell and Longridge Fell were two targets that were in easy reach, and despite the weather (which was grim) Ian and I climbed them both. We had a restricted view from each of the summits. Sadly no photos due to the rain.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Am Faochagach

Last walk of the week Satuday the 26th June, I parked on the Dirree More and set off across the wasteland at the end of Loch Glascaroch. The ascent was uneventful an quick, the broad ridge gave easy walking, a quick turn round at the summit as Thunder had been forecast and back the same way. The weather had actually improved as the day went on.

North of Braemore

This was going to be a big day 25th June and I set off up Gleeann na Squaib an excellent path in inspiring surroundings from the col I climbed first Beinn Dearg, then Cona'Meall retracing my steps to the col. a quick snack then the easy stroll to the summit of Meall nan Ceapraichean, with the views opening up all the time. Over the Munro top and down to the next col before the final climb to Eididh nan Clach Geala. The descent was made easy by the wonderful stalkers paths.

Western Fannichs

I only had 2 Munros left in the Fannichs so these were the goal for the 24th June. The walk up the stalkers path beside the Allt Breabaig made for a pleasant start, although the weather was worsening as height was gained. just before I reached the col the rain started and continued up the ridge almost to the summit of Sgurr Breac. I didn't linger and pressed on over the top of Toman Coinich to attain the summit of A'Chailleach. It was shrouded in cloud so I turned and descended to the col and took a traverse line onto the Druim Reidh, and dropped down to the loch and eventually the car.

Drumochter Hills

Another hot day, Tuesday 22nd June, I parked at Balsporran Cottages, carrying lots of liquid. Geal Charn, A'Mharconich, Beinn Udlamain, and Sgairnearch Mhor were climbed in quick succession. the going is very easy over these hills in good weather, the views across Loch Ericht to the Ben Alder group were excellent. Even the walk back to the car alongside the A9 didn't seem to bad.

Stuchd an Lochain and Meall Buidhe

Monday 21st June, the two munros either side of the Goirra dam were the targets for the day. Stuchd an lochain first, a very steep ascent led quickly to the ridge and over the Munro top on the way. It was almost windless on the summit, so I didn't linger too long, 3 hrs 10 mins up and down. After a short rest and a bite to eat I set off for Meall Buidhe, the path was rather better than I anticipated this was one of the easiest Munros I've done, up and down in 2 hrs 30 mins.

Ben Chonzie

Sunday 20th June saw me starting my weeks holiday in Scotland. I left the car at Loch Turret and walked along the track on the east side of the loch. It was very hot, but ultimately the summit was reached. I retraced my steps back to the car.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Munro Bagging

Well this is a first a blog from the Highlands! This is being written from Cairngorm Lodge, the tally so far this week is 7 with a prospective 6 more before my return. The details will be written up on monday or tuesday next week with accompaning photos.

Thursday, 10 June 2010


A short walk in low cloud round the Snaizeholme valley near Hawes. The idea was to see if we could see any Red Squirrels, sadly none were about, no doubt sheltering from the cold northerly wind.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Silver How Backpack

Just an overnight trip really, but still good to get out. Straight from work up to New Dungeon Ghyll, a stiff climb up Mill Gill lead us to Stickle Tarn and then onwards to the Silver How ridge. The water we picked up gave us the freedom to camp where we wished. An amazingly still evening and night followed, we woke to a partial cloud inversion. our route back was a bit convoluted, taking us down into Grasmere before we again climbed over the ridge to contour back above the Langdale valley. We were greeted by dark skies and eventually heavy rain. All in all a great trip.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Coniston Coppermines

With Bill I walked in from Shepherds Bridge along the permissive path to Coppermines Valley. The heat was very oppressive as we climbed through the Bonser mine up to Simons Nick over to Levers Water, and back down through Red Dell Mine.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Nenthead & Allendale

A beautiful day, warm at last so out came the Bmw for a ride over to my favourite motorcycling area, the North Pennines. The verges were resplendent in wild flowers. Due to the dry conditions I was able to travel over several Byways. I didn't see anyone on any of them.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Monks Road

With Bill from Malham over the Monks road to Arncliffe along the valley and back over Hawkswick Cote to Street Gate and back to the car. We set off in low cloud and mist but within half an hour or so the sun was blazing down, to hot really. We were surprised to see an abundance of Birds Eye Primrose on the descent to Arncliffe. Although I think I may have walked this route many years ago, I didn't really remember any of it.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Western Dales on the Bmw

A rather poor forecast, but the day was better than I thought. Nateby to Keld and Muker to Askrigg were highlights. Back via Wharfedale and Littondale. There was a cold wind all day but the sun shone for much of the time I was out. No rain, everywhere is very dry as the photo shows.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Tewet Tarn

A short walk via Tewet Tarn to Low Rigg and back along field paths in St. Johns-in-the-Vale. New paths in the main, and my first visit to Tewet Tarn. The weather was better than forecast a pleasant suprise.