Saturday 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Sunset over the Paps of  Jura

So we bid goodbye to 2011 and welcome 2012. Best wishes to all for the New Year, be you walking or on two wheels enjoy your Outdoor World!
Dawn from Silver Howe

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Byways by Bike

Dollywood Lane
A rather dull and damp day today gave me a chance to catch up on a few jobs. However by 2pm things were looking a bit drier, and with daylight at a premium  I ventured out on the rough-stuff bike to ride a few lanes locally. I left Holme by Old Lane picking up Hangbridge Lane and after crossing the A6 rode through Beetham. The short climb to Slackhead and after a few hundred metres I took to the byway of Dollywood Lane, everywhere is very wet but this lane has a good stoney surface. The end of the lane brings you to Hazelslack Farm and its adjacent old tower, I turned right along the lane to Storth. For a change I branched off on the back road from Sandside past the huge renovated limekilns, onwards across the Milnthorpe Marsh, the dykes all full trying to drain the fields. Back across the A6 to ride up Grieveson Lane, another byway. This would have been better ridden down, it was very muddy, a lot of pushing was required! Breathing returned to normal once on the tarmac at Mabbin Hall, the rest of the ride was on quiet lanes. I made a detour on the way back via Nook and Farleton, the rain had held off for the hour and half I was out, the fresh air is always welcome.

Monday 26 December 2011

Boxing Day Amble

Cairns on Hutton Roof Crags

Limestone pavement
A walk from home, following the Lancaster Canal south before crossing the M6 and taking the footpath into Curwen Woods. The path heads across a large area of limestone pavement, much of it has been robbed out but there's still a lot left to see, thankfully protected. A short bit of metalled road then southwest along a bridleway which gave access to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve of "Lancelot Clark Storth,"(wonderful name). A steady climb through the reserve amidst hazel, ash, oak and yew all growing on the outcropping limestone brought me onto the confusing plateau of Hutton Roof Crags. I visited the prominent cairn, although this isn't the summit, that lies to the south (Ploverlands a Marilyn). The wind was gusting strongly so my plans for lunch at this point were posponed. I headed north along the broad ridge, crossing the road and once sheltered by the tall limestone wall I had my turkey butties. Onward to the summit of Farleton Knott, with the wind battering me, I was pleased to drop down and make my way to the bridleway and Holmefield, just a short way and I was home.

Sunday 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

A rather more seasonal scene than we have at the moment!
                 Wishing all who follow or merely pop by for a browse a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday 24 December 2011

RSF ride from Halton

Bridleway below Caton Moor
A short mainly tarmac ride from the home of the South Lakes group RSF. From Halton, near Lancaster we rode along the Lune Cycle path to just beyond Caton, uphill was the order of the day as we climbed through Brookhouse beside Bull Beck. Quarry Road took us onto Caton Moor and a height of over 250metres, the view from here would be excellent on a better day, albeit blighted to the south by a wind farm. Apparently one of the first in the country dating from 1994, if only we knew then what we know now! Down hill on the rough bridleway past the clay quarry's which serve the brickworks at Claughton. Then a short lane to Farleton, followed by a short section of the busy A683 road before we branched off to Wray riding along the rather muddy "Back Lane" which brought us into the village. The tearooms at Wray Bridge beckoned, fortified by cake and coffee, (or chips in Ian's case) the ride led through Hornby and across the Lune at Loyn bridge. All road work via Eskrigge but bypassing Aughton. The weather had been a lot better than the forecast, with no rain whilst we were riding.

Sunday 18 December 2011

RSF ride round Kentmere

Coniston Fells from above Brow Foot

Three Wise Men.........Ermm!
Once again we met in Wilf's Cafe in Staveley, after cakes, coffee and a chat, and a final decision on our route for the day. This was determined by the heavy frost, which meant we should keep to tracks and bridleways as much as possible, the theory being "more grip!" We rode up past Brow Foot and turned right onto the bridleway which led round into Kentmere Park. The track had alot of ice and frozen puddles, I decided to reduce the pressure in my tyres, which may in hindsight have been an error, as within half a mile or so I had a puncture! This meant my colleagues had a good chance to look at the amazing views, plus some Red Deer in the foreground. We continued to Park Beck where we had lunch sat in the sun. Round the corner past Whiteside End we were treated to the eastern arm of the Kentmere Horseshoe which was plastered in snow. Down to Kentmere Hall, a fortified farmstead, managing to avoid the icy patches, then on to the church which always looks a bit plain to me. A short leg down the valley road, then up the bridleway at Longhouses, which was largely unrideable until it levelled out below Green Quarter, this is a lovely quiet area. Well on our way back now we descended past Park House before taking the short bridleway at Elf Howe to the valley floor. Only a few hundred yards from here to Staveley and coffee and tiffin in "The Cakery," highly recommended!

Sunday 11 December 2011

RSF ride from Carnforth

The Old Rectory, Warton

Our meeting point today was the Refreshment Rooms of "Brief Encounter" fame At Carnforth railway station, the weather didn't look promising. I had ridden down to Carnforth in heavy rain, but after we'd had a coffee the rain had stopped. Most of todays ride was on the tarmac, we called and had a look at the 14thC Old Rectory in Warton. After our lunch on the shore at Silverdale we rode the bridleway over the shoulder of Arnside Knott. The rain set in again so we called in to "The Old Post Office" tearoom in Beetham for cake and coffee. Fortunately the rain had eased off, our route took us up through Slackhead , down to the mosses near Hale, I said goodbye to Simeon and Norman at Tarn Lane and made my way home.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Thin End of the Wedge?

Here's a link to the news which I heard today on local radio .     As you can see, there were mitigating circumstance's put forward by the current landlord. But I would suggest this application was rather low key, I listen to local radio whenever I'm in the car and I can't remember hearing anything about this until this week. The Wind Turbines are to be 15metres high, I guess these will be very visible from Red Screes, and to a lesser extent from elsewhere. The pub and the car park (Nat Trust) are in some peoples minds an eyesore anyway.  Perhaps of more concern, as far as I'm aware, other than odd turbines on individual properties, these are the first free standing turbines in the LDNP. How long before the slate mine at Honister puts in an application? A sad day for the Lakes I think.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Sour Howes

North from Sour Howes
This quite a regular walk for me, Sour Howes from the Moor Top Road. It's an old favourite going right back to schooldays, the area holds many happy memories. Dubbs Road is an easy walk past the recently repaired Dubbs reservoir, the track then climbs until the Troutbeck valley comes fully into view. Today the fells had the first significant snowfall on them, it'll take a bit more before i'll be out on the ski's or snowboard though! A steep stile gives you access to the open fell, it's quite steep as the path twists and turns ever upwards onto Applethwaite Common. I was soon on the summit of Sour Howes, or at least one of them. I visited the other bumps, before continuing along the broad ridge towards Sallows, I didn't visit the top, I've been there many times before and knew the ground would be very wet. I dropped down to the Garburn Road to be greeted by a terrific snowstorm, it didn't last long, and in-fact stayed dry all the way back to the car.