Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

  I won't bore to many folk I hope, but take this opportunity to thank all those who pass this way. Your kind comments are gratefully appreciated. Here's to 2014 and another year of outdoor adventures on two legs and two wheels.

This photo was published on the blog back in May. I make no apology for including it again here, this was my most enjoyable day in the outdoors this year.
 I shall remember the flowing trails and awesome views of both the Achnashellach and Torridon Hills. 

Sunday 29 December 2013

Deepdale Horseshoe

Out today in the Lakes with @ianwood2011 from Deepdale Bridge in Patterdale. This is a great circuit.

Climbing to the ridge as the early morning sunlight falls on the flanks of  Gavel Pike and Birks.

Gaining height the view behind was filled with Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes

Once on the ridge proper we were hit by several sleet/hail showers.

Looking back along the ridge from the summit of Hartsop Above How, Deepdale down on our left as we look from here

The ridge continues to gain the trade route , Fairfield Horseshoe at Hart Crag. Here Windermere was lit up and shone like a mirror.

Once on Fairfield, Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag grabbed our attention. The summit was heavily verglassed and the descent to Cofa Pike was tricky to say the least.

Once at the foot of Cofa Pike we had lunch, distracted by the view above!

Lunch eaten it was on to St Sunday Crag the uphill was welcome to warm us up! The view in back to Fairfield, Cofa Pike and Grisedale Tarn was excellent.

The summit Of St Sunday Crag soon came as we chatted on the easy slopes. The final couple of hundred metres again very icy. Above we see the Helvellyn range from Dollywagon Pike to Raise.

Our descent route was over Gavel Pike and Lords Seat, here Ian looks down to Deepdale and on to BridgeEnd

Northeast from Lords Seat looking over Birks to Ullswater and Place Fell.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Boxing Day Stroll

Just a short stroll today beside Derwentwater, the fresh air was welcome after the excess's of Christmas Day. Derwentwater was still high after the recent storms, the lakeside path under water in several places requiring detours.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas Greetings

Here's to a great winter's walking....not much sign of it yet here in the Lakes tho!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Thursday 5 December 2013

Stormy Ride to the Coast

A late start after a couple of hours at work, mind it was just as well the South Lakes was taking a battering from the wind and rain since the early hours. Things started to look a bit better by 11ish, and I knew the expected high tide would be about noon, so off I wobbled to Arnside and the coast. I rode through sheltered lanes, but even so progress was very difficult. Arnside was taking a real battering the waves were over the stone jetty, salt spray heavy in the air....my camera stayed tucked away. I then rode North towards St Johns Cross and Sandside.

Here at St Johns Cross the sea was well across the road, and so started the first of many detours.

Here at Storth the Arnside to Milnthorpe road was I guess approx 4ft underwater. Even the detour from here to Milnthorpe along the old quarry road was impassable.

The Kent estuary looking very full! Whitbarrow Scar and the Lakes hills beyond.

In the grounds of Dallam Tower the River Bela had burst its banks and another detour required.
Whilst the pictures look dramatic you've got to feel for anyone inundated by the flood water, today it was all to clear how powerful the sea can be even here in a relatively sheltered estuary.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Torver to Coniston (and Back!)

Recently there has been a fair bit of publicity locally about the construction of  a footpath/cyclepath on the bed of the old railway from Torver to Coniston. Today we parked at Torver to put the claims to the test... sadly I feel a great opportunity has been missed! After only half a mile the railway bed is left, the path basically following the road as a glorified pavement, a great shame. Anyway it certainly didn't spoil our wander.

All good so far a well constructed slate chipped path heading towards Coniston.

After out walk beside the road we get back on the line of the old railway. Sadly here we look back along the section of railway bed which for some reason the public can't walk. Why??

In the overgrown cutting above the "Ship Inn" .My Father and paternal Grandparents knew the Foxfield to Coniston railway well as they used it to travel back to their home just outside the village. My maternal Great-Grandmother also arrived in the area on the line as a 13 year old girl to work in service for a wealthy family at their home near the village.

Looking South down Coniston Waterfrom the jetty near the "Bluebird" cafe. (Very good Hot Chocolate!)

Our return route was back through Coniston Old Hall and along the Cumbria Way.

Eventually we had to leave the lake behind, and as the light faded we walked back to the car past Hoathwaite Farm.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Langcliffe to Stainforth (and Back!)

Todays stroll was conducted under almost cloud free skies. We left Langcliffe and walked down to cross the River Ribble and head North on its West bank before crossing Stainforth Bridge. Our return was through the old quarry and Hoffmann limekiln, a must visit for anyone who appreciates industrial archaeology.

Looking North from the footbridge over the Ribble, below Langcliffe.

Quite alot of water in the Ribble this morning

Stainforth Bridge from Stainforth Force.

Inside the Hoffmann limekiln, and this is less than half of it!

The quarry which supplied the limestone for the kiln, now being reclaimed by nature.

The beech trees today in the wonderful light gave the appearance of being on fire!

Thursday 7 November 2013


We had in mind a walk elsewhere today, but as we drove over Shap the weather deteriorated rapidly. Somewhere relatively sheltered was the requirement. Having parked in Hackthorpe we set off on a circuit of Lowther Park using bridleways, footpaths and permissive paths. There was quite alot of rain, and a few sunny spells, umbrellas were deployed! You've got to make the most of precious time off!

The hamlet of Whale, the rain stopped long enough for us to have a quick buttie, and the sun highlighted this little Beech tree.

The manicured parkland contains some wonderful trees, many still changing colour.

The path starts to climb as it leaves the  River Lowther and enters a plantation to eventually arrive at Lowther Castle. 

The castle has laid empty since 1937,  renovation only starting in 2012.  Here in the courtyard with the old coachhouses and stables we had Hot Chocolate in the rather splendid cafe.

Sunday 3 November 2013

A Night at Gregs Hut

This has been a long time on the to do list...So yesterday evening with  we parked at Kirkland under the dark slopes of Cross Fell. It was tipping it down as we set off up the bridleway which contours round the North side of Cross Fell. There aren't any Photo's of the walk up...my camera stayed in the dry!

We arrived at Gregs Hut just before it got properly dark. (Sorry about the grainy pic, it's a miracle it took one at all!)

Ian keeping an eye on the stove, the MBA (no doubt Dick Phillips in particular) have improved Gregs Hut immeasurably since I first visited this shelter over 30 years ago.

The weather was considerably better this morning, the view to the East lit up by the early morning sun.

Here just entering the low cloud which was sat stubbornly on Cross Fell. We made a beeline for the summit.

It wasn't long before we were in the shelter on the summit of Cross Fell. A compass bearing roughly Southeast, led us off in the direction of Litttle Dun Fell.

Turning Southwest at the col on the indistinct bridleway we soon dropped below the cloud. The upper Eden valley enjoying a sunny morning.

The bridleway becomes more obvious the further you walk along it, as we looked out to the West to the Lakes hills Blencathra had recieved a scattering of snow or hail overnight.

Here we are just about to drop off  Wild Boar Edge to descend to the Eden valley. 

In the centre of the picture are the "Hanging Walls of Mark Anthony".....not worthy of a visit on there own in my humble opinion!

Back almost at the car, in the lane which we had walked up 24hrs before in rather different conditions.

Friday 1 November 2013

Dale Head and Hindscarth

Out with  today for a walk from Littletown in the Newlands valley today. The route changed several times as we walked! A great day! I'll let the pictures do the talking....

Leaving Littletown, Scope End, with Robinson in the background.

Following Newlands Beck, looking West to the bizarrely named Squat Crags

Back towards Littletown 

A last minute change to our plan saw us crossing the boulder field below Great Gable (the large crag under Dale Head) not the Hill!

Once across the boulders we picked up the old miners path. This brought us to the derelict mine directly under the upper slopes of Dale Head. The sun was finally making an appearance lighting up Hindscarth

Ian on the summit of Dale Head....just a bit windy here!

As we descended from Dale Head,  Buttermere comes into view with the High Stile hills beyond. 

Looking back to Dale Head from the col 

After a snack in the large wind shelter at the lower Northern top of Hindscarth we started the descent.

The path weaves its way through the heather along the ridge to Scope End before a final steep descent to Low Snab and then to Littletown

We arrived back at the car just as the last of the light disappeared, the sun setting beyond Robinson.