For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Day 7

Thelwall to Northwich - Tuesday 31st August - about 15 miles

My Air B and B at Thelwall was excellent . A very pleasant welcome (with tea) and much good conversation.

My meal in the Little Manor was a bit of an expensive blow out. My main  was a crispy beef salad with a sweet chilli sauce , and cashew nuts, something new to me . The subtle combination of salad ingredients and the overall balance of tastes was superb - these things don't happen with some chef coming up with something that seemed like a good idea at the time, it takes skill, knowledge and experience to get such things right.

Walking was on a mixture of country lanes, footpaths, death defying A road, motorway link roundabouts, and the odd crop field margin. It's surprising how many farm tracks have now been tarmaced. I hardly saw anybody all day and must confess it was a bit lonely. At one point I walked one kilometre on the wrong road and had to re-trace steps.

I had a sandwich, tea  stop at Arley Hall café amongst many greys. Nearly everybody was foreign - it was very busy.

Walking through Northwich  was hectic negotiating correct entries and exits from roundabouts with crazy streaming traffic in all directions.

I had a super welcome at my Air b snd b. Almost in the centre of town. I had a whole pot of tea - what would we (or I) do without it. The house and room are immaculate.

I am now eating in the Bombay Quay Indian restaurant only five minutes walk from th b snd b snd all is most enjoyable.



Arley Hall café.


Great Budworth - pretty.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Day 6

Monday 30th July - Salford Quays to Thelwall - about 15.5 miles

Self service breakfast at Travelodge made for an efficient early start - walking by 7:30 - I was marching
down one of Manchester's main thoroughfares with hundreds rushing to work well beyond the speed limit and interspersed with blue flashing ambulances and unmarked police cars..

Careful scrutiny of the OS map got me to the canal properly. Was it last year, Bowland climber snd I finished off our undone part of the Cheshire Ring Canal walk, and I seem to remember us having some difficulty around here.

During my four kms or so on the canal I must have met head on well over a hundred cyclists presumably commuting into Manchestre for work. Normally leisure cyclists give one a hello but that was less than one in twenty today - shows the difference in the mental state between work and leisure I reckon - perhaps a subject for an aspirant PhD?

Lanes enclosed by high hedges prevented any views, i was following perhaps the Pennine Trail which I certainly did further. At the underpass for the M60 ( SJ 784 936) I encountered the highlight of the day.. The underpass is around fifty yards long. It consisted, one hundred percent, wall to wall of slimy, black, five inch deep, liquid mud. It took me quarter of an hour, suction trapped step by suction trapped step step.That is one of the most disgusting experiences ever. Later on at an equestrian centre two very young horsey girls let me use their hose pipe. I stripped off shoes and socks and did my best to clean up. My originally brown trainers remained black, stained by that evil gunk. Later at my Air B and B I prevailed on my host Julie to wash the socks for me.

A bit further on, with Himalayan Balsam on both sides I encountered a sickening smell and I was on the verge of wretching, and gasping for clean air. That prevailed for a few hundred yards. Looking at the map I saw there was an adjacent sewage works.

I had made good time (for me) on easy walking and arrived at my excellent Air B and B at 4:30 after a long trod down the disused railway forming part of the Pennine Trail.

I am now eating at The Little Manor - a bit up market and my first blow-out of the trip. I may say more tomorrow, but time has run out.


From my Travelodge window





The disgusting underpass for the M60




Sunday, 29 July 2018

Day 5

Middleton to Salford Quays - about 11 miles - Sunday 30th July

Rain,rain,rain. It was heavy and none stop until 12:30. The new Mountain Warehouse lightweight waterproof withstood it all at less than half the price of most of the well known brands. Apart from that it is well designed with good zips and it is long enough, and roomy enough to cover my waist pouch and camera. Everything remained dry.

Initial walking was through wooded trail paths and then crossing th M60 motorway. From there it was mostly Tarmac through endless inferior housing estates and then onto busy big city roads, but always things of interest to see.

I have now found an up-and-coming rival for discarded Lucozade bottles, the most frequented litter item. The newby is (or are) what I presume are the three inch metal, silver coloured mini gas bottles from the vaping addicts - not a good way to minimise criticism of this new disgusting phenonemum. I mentioned the plural because they often seem to be thrown down in groups of two or three or four which is a bit of a puzzle. I despair of the litter problem, it is an ever increasing rampant blight on our towns snd countryside.

I took no photos until the rain ceased which coincided with a tea and cake stop at a jolly but down market café on the edge of a housing estate.

I have just finished eating at the Travellodge, Salford Quays. I enjoy their common sense budget price policy but still providing good quality and cheerful service.

After an hour and a half of intensive internet work I have managed to book the next two nights ahead. All goes well, and I'm proud of keeping my powder dry today.


First stop after four hours rain.



The start, over the bridge, of  The Irwell Sculpture Trail as named on the OS map, not a sculpture in sight.

The artless trail - I was so looking forward to a bit of culture.



First sighting of Msnchester city accross the River. 






Saturday, 28 July 2018

Day 4

Whitworth to Middleton - Saturday 28th July - about 12 miles

Some good walking, partly on bits of The Pennine Bridleway, and the Burnley Way. From those samples I reckon they are worthwhile routes using old lanes, some cobbled and paved. They may look pretty but not comfortable to walk on. At one place I lost the plot with my navigation and did a bit of wandering but all came good. A petrol station provided refreshment at the right time. It had rained in the night and I had two short but heavy showers - they were quite welcome after the drought.

The hotel in Middleton reflects its price. A clean room with not even a chair, toilet and shower well up the corridor somewhere , breakfast not served,, but what the heck it's a comfortable bed for the night. Weatherspoons is just across the road. On entering the din was like a football match in full swing but I found a relatively quiet corner and ate well for surprisingly little cost.

I am in the town centre and every few minutes there is the raucous sound of a car without exhaust being driven at speed by some nutcase who must think it sounds good. If I tried to do that I'd be in the cells overnight with my car confiscated - how do they get away with it?








That last one is the way ahead on a public footpath - I think it's Himalayan Balsam - hard going for a while.


Photos from yeasterday






The quarry photo is just a small disused one on the way to the big one later. As I was walking here I realised I had been to the obscure summit a couple of years ago -it is a Marilyn.


Friday, 27 July 2018

Day 3

Worsthorne to Whitworth SD 886 187

That was a really enjoyable Air band b last night.

Off to a good start good walking with extensive views . There must be loads of  good walks in these Lancashire hills and the attractive, stone built villages dating back to the Industrisl Re olution , but now mostly much prettified. I went in search of the Singing Kristi Whistling tree but never found it. Knowing it is perched on top of a hill it should have been easy but in the heat I gave it up as a bad job. I followed part of the Pennine Bridlesay on ancient tracks. I stopped at a cottage renovation asking for a refill of my water bottle. A young lad had been renovating this property for his sister for two years. He filled me up with delicious spring water.

I was getting tired and moving slowly until I came across a café in  Stacksteads - one mug of tea, a visit to the toilet and quite a long rest had me like a new man, BUT...

A steep, pathless grass climb took me up to the unnamed moor showing a footpath bee lining for Whitworrh across Briannia Quarries. From here on an enjoyable day’s walking turned into a minor epic. The footpath, very indistinct, took me to the edge of the quarry marked on the map. The quarry is still being worked. I have since learned the footpath is closed whatever that means The path disappeared. I spent ages trying to find the  track leafing leading down to the reservoir and into Whtiworth but I was stalled by up and down  spoil heaps, tracks—and barbed wire fences - I actually cut some barbed wire going across the top of a gate. After much deliberation i had included some recently purchased wire cutters in my kit. I was eventually forced onnto the quarry access road. At least that would get me out to Whitworth...BUT after half a mile massive locked gates prevented me.I squeezed through some other fencing to gain access to an encampment for quarry workers and got the help of a young quarry guy who told me of a bent hole in the galavsnised fencing so off I went - there was no way I could get through. I went back and Young Man produced keys and unlocked the gates. I was now running late for my Air B and B but eventually got there hot and bothered. I then had limited time to shower, rinse through very sweaty clothing, and generally re-group. My hostess inferred the Red Lion was in z"walking distance..  I phoned them and was only able to book for 7:45 so off I set leaving some of my chores undone. It turned out to be over s mile's walk! I was bushed again when i arrived, just in time. I managed to knock over my first pint, due to fatigue and a sweet covered body. I didn't feel hungry despot having Estonia nothin midday, snd most un characteristically for me , had to leave an enjoyable smoked salmon and hot new potatoes salad - I just couldn't eat any more.

I ordered a taxi to get mr bsck to b snd b.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Day 2

Old Stone Trough to  Worsthorne SD 886 187 Thursday 26th July
11.5 miles.

A good start with the high minor road to Foulridge giving marvellous views.

The Noyna Café in Foulridge provided a coffee stop. I had a good breakfast at the Stone Trough. I sent BC an email telling him I had slept in The Old Stone Trough (but not literally.)

The café husband was sat at a table reading the Daily Mail. His wife prepared the coffee. He was my first Jonah on this trip.

"How far are you going?"

"Worsthorne."

"it's uphill all the way."

I politely told him I was following the canal.

The Leeds Liverpool was my route for most of the day after I had walked round the nearly empty Foulridge Reservoir. I passed the emergence of the famous canal tunnel.

At my Air B and B I had an excellent greeting from Gillian and husbandThey are kindred spirits, keen walkers and bikers. I had a ten minute walk to the Bay Horse in Worsthorne village and was told, quite rudely, that the kitchen was closed. Although in Lancashire this was redolent of the surly kind of customer relations I know all about in Yorkshire - I was born there and stayed until I was over thirty, so feel entitled to comment in this vane.

I walked back to Gillian's and was very kindly given a lift further down the road where I am now eating in s other pub where i appear to be othe only customer at 8:00 pm - not a good den- Nuffield said. If anybody wants a reference to this Air b snd b give me a call. I think precise details are reserved for the Air B and B website.

Doing these posts on the iPad is laborious to say the least do please put up with typos and miss -spells.








Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Day one



Resumption of walk from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Carey after two interruptions from broken arm at Weardale then disintegrated knee at Hellifield.

Hellifield SD 854 566 to Old Stone Trough south of Kelbrook SD 900 439 - Wednesday .

Dropped off at Carnforth by daughter Jill and granddaughter Katie - train to Carnforth. Started walking 7:50 am.

Just a brief account today to get up to speed with blogging on the hoof again. And a good excuse because I'm pretty tired after just over 14 miles with temperature increasing as the day went on. Most of the walking was on farm tracks and then canal towpath with a few small sections of road and field paths. All very pleasant in the rolling lowlands of the Yorkshire Dales with characteristic limestone scenery. On the canal I met Anne, Joe, and springer spaniel Doris and walked with them for a while. Doris is a rescue dog and only just coming to terms with water, but enthusiastic as always with springers, and it was all a bit nostalgic walking with the best of dog breeds again. I stopped off at a little canal-side café for tea and parted with the good company of Anne, Joe and Doris. I hope I have Joe's name correct - i suffer from the affliction of instantly forgetting names after being introduced. After that the heat increased and I was glad to arrive at the Old Stone Trough. Where I now sit awaiting food and writing this. I suspect I am not also up yo speed with my people watching.

More tomorrow including anything else that develops this evening.







Saturday, 21 July 2018

The Invasion of Barbon

19th July 2018 - Thursday walk with Pete - Barbon

Part of the enjoyment of a walk may arise from the get-away-from-it-all feeling, and part may come from unexpected happenings if they are pleasant. Since the second half of our route only serviced one or two properties on a narrow lane running as a loop from the main road I was confident we would have peace and quiet.

We had only walked a few hundred yards down the road after parking by Barbon church when the Church Mouse Café displayed a notice board stating "No lunches today." The reason given was the imminent invasion of "500+ school children"." A group of people were chatting outside the café and Pete said to me "That's Tim Farron." So it was (Tim is our local MP and erstwhile leader of the Liberal party.) A few yards further on another notice board announced that Tim was having a surgery that day in the adjacent village hall.  I had a memory of another walk on my own a few years ago near Barbon on an even lesser used and narrower lane which turned out to be in the process of full scale re-surfacing, with all the clamour and disturbance from heavy machinery - I guessed that was the one day in a fifty year period that this would have been done, and I had managed to pick it. 

We walked on and speculated on whether we would encounter the school children. Pleasant walking took us to the turning point and as we returned, at about half distance, from round a bend the first group of school children appeared, bearing down on us. Large groups were then continually encountered all the way back into Barbon. We stopped several times to chat with supervising teachers and learned that they were from Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale. The whole school undertakes this 21km. walk every year on a compulsory basis, and never mind the predicted 500 mentioned on the notice board, we learned that there were actually 800 plus. 

That all made for bonus entertainment and it was good to see most of the children enjoying themselves - it may have been different if it had been a rainy dreich day.



Barbon war memorial

Tim Farron in the background



I never fail to be impressed by the public works and utilities architecture and building skills of the Victorians, even on this modest and insignificant bit of railway long since disused and dismantled. I couldn't find any reference after a brief internet search 
Our quiet grass-in-the-middle, pheasant populated lane before the invasion of eight hundred plus school children


They just kept coming and coming


A quiet afternoon in Café Ambio


Sunday, 15 July 2018

Funny shaped bottles

My father was not strong on advice to his three sons. He was a bon viveur loving his fine wines, Havana cigars and good food. The one recommendation we all three remembered was,

“Always choose something on the menu you’ve not had before, and never drink anything out of funny shaped bottles”

Last night I was well entertained to an excellent meal by Gimmer who comments here and his wife B. Our conversation had me repeating, I suspect for the umpteenth time, the above anecdote. Father's dictum was well supported by B who produced a strange looking and unfamiliar bottle of a digestive originating from I know not where - B had been given it as a present by a “friend.”


I was going to taste, but first I had a sniff- it was exactly like the smell at a motorway service station after a half hearted attempt to clean the toilets. I proceeded no further. Father’s case rests.

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Thanks T and B for your hospitality, super food and a very convivial evening.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Woodman Lane from the Highwayman

Thursday 12th July 2018 -  walk with Pete

As I become more conscious of plotting routes that are comfortable for Pete I started looking at the profile facility in Memory Map and quickly discarded a couple of possibilities which seemed to show lots of steep ascent, although I had not read that from the contours.

It is only as I messed with the map for this post I realised the profiles can be whatever you want just by stretching their boxes - here are two extremes for this walk:



We have now had two or three weeks with hot sunshine and no rain. This morning I looked at the BBC weather app and it predicted thunder and lightning at precisely 6:00pm -  similar predictions have been remarkably accurate of late, but that would be no problem for us as we are finished by 4:00pm.

We have often eaten well at the Highwayman from where Woodman Lane departs. I asked permission to park and conscientiously put the car at the far end of the large car park on its own. 

We walked and chuntered in oppressive heat and humidity - our lane mostly nestled between high  hedges giving us only occasional ripples of the faint wind.

Rest Harrow Equestrian looked impressive - a newly built complex for horsey people with an unbelievable list of facilities including:

  • "A Hot Water Horse wash and shower bay"
  • "Horse Solarium"

and many other features redolent of a luxury spa for ladies.

If I were a horse I would want my owner to have me stabled there .

See their website:


The strange thing was that despite the vast amount of investment that must have been made here there seemed to be absolutely nothing going on.

At Overtown we found a welcome bench and sat for a while and then decided to return before we had reached Cowan Bridge. There is an interesting network of paths around here which may provide more pleasant walking for me later, along with investigation of the strange perfect circle shown on the OS map (see map below.)

Back at the Highwayman, despite having parked at the most remote part of the car park another car had parked close on the passenger side, and another so close on the driver's side of my car I could hardly open my door and only managed to get in with a huge amount of squeezing and difficulty. There were many double and treble open parking spaces all over the carpark. My goodness - I was so angry. If I had been a paying customer at the pub I think I would have  gone in and identified this prat with a likely fisticuffs outcome.

As I dropped Pete off at Storth where he joins his wife from her painting class, dark broody clouds  threatened over the bay but the thunder and lightning didn't materialise, but as I type this at ten next morning rain has started, albeit a bit feeble, but welcome for the garden and wildlife.

CLICK FIRST PHOTO TO SEE AS SLIDESHOW

That is a transparent sign.
 The purpose of a sign is to inform.
Although obviously modish this sign fails to achieve its objective;  it is difficult to read.
 Another masterpiece of the designer's art.

My caption: loud and clear:
REST HARROW EQUESTRIAN

Ingleborough looms

Looks compatible with Rest Harrow Equestrian?

Strange looking cairn at the end of the footings of a drystone wall - bit of a mystery

Identification of the white stuff please - I've seen it before.
 One for BeatingTheBounds

Our turning point

One seems able to see Ingleborough from so many locations



Andy Goldsworthy - 1 ( Mountjoy)

Wednesday 11th July 2018

Andy Goldsworthy is an artist who refurbished, and or re-built, a number of sheepfolds scattered about the north a number of years ago ostensibly to produce a work of art - they seem to be referred to as "installations." I suggest Google if you want to learn more.

All this, having been brought to my attention by friends The Kendal Grufties who comment here, I decided to visit some of these forty five venues periodically, although I am not motivated to take this too seriously or urgently, so perhaps my visits will only appear from time to time.

1. Mountjoy Farm Folds - Underbarrow, nr. Kendal -  SD 459 933 and SD 459 935

Two folds in opposite corners of the same field. A feature common to some of these installations is a large boulder inside the installation, so I suspect these are new constructions built round the boulder rather than historic sheepfolds refurbished. It seems strange that there was only a stile entrance and no provision for sheep to enter?

On the way, rounding a bend, I was jolted by this blaze of colour and stopped the car in the middle of the road and snapped this through the windscreen

Number 1a.
A stone stile in the wall is located at the far corner where there are two lighter coloured stones on the wall.
That was the location from where the next photo is taken.

number 1b.

Looking back at 1a in context of the location

2a
N.b. only entrance is hardly suitable for sheep?