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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Monday, 26 November 2018

Longridge to Arnside (2)

Sunday 25th November 2018 - Bleasdale to Arbour

On Day Two of our straight-line route from Bowland Climber's house to mine we were joined by friend J. We rendezvoused at Grizedale View Reservoir, our eventual finishing point. As we drove back to Bleasdale for the start my two friends told me about a rhinoceros that had escaped from some location in Garstang only a few miles away. I think we were all three a bit nervous during the whole of this trip having convinced ourselves that we were walking through terrain that would be favoured by Rhinos.

We had not gone far before we were confronted by a large bull. It was on the other side of a wall through a gate and we confidently took photos, but then as we passed through the gate we saw we were no longer protected by the wall and the bull had a small harem of cows. Whether he had already encountered the Rhino and seen it off we were not sure, but just hoped that was so - fortunately Mr Bull just gave us the eye was we tripped past.

We had a steep zig-zag climb up onto Holme House Fell. Zig-zags are not so frequent in this part of the world, but were well merited here and we were all breathing quite heavily at the top of the col, perhaps fuelled by nervous excitement as we kept carefully scanning our surroundings for large beasts.

On the way to the trig at Hazelhurst Fell we found several animal traps, all lethally set, but somehow that seemed not to be the case after we had passed by, I wonder why?

Extract from a shooting website I found:

Game shooting at Bleasdale, Lancashire: This pheasant and partridge shoot is set in a moorland fringe habitat and exploits everything nature supplies to provide the most testing of birds.

My highlighting - not much chance of nature supplying variety up here - it's all been"exploited" to extinction, except of course for grouse, partridge and pheasant - note the traps were empty.

We had been anticipating exploration of "Arbour" marked on the map. This an old stone mini chapel with English arch doorway and windows (all barricaded with steel.) The location is idyllic nestling in a natural bowl with pine trees and rhododendrons scattered, and the infant, but lively River Calder running by. The Calder source is less than a couple of kilometres away higher in the hills, but it is already a worthy little river.

For our next section we will have to walk back to The Arbour to continue our route, so keeping close to our straight line over Stake House Fell.

It was uplifting to be back on proper hills again after quite a lot of country walking recently


                        

Photos a bit dingy, although weather was good the winter light is poor.


Click first photo to enlarge for slideshow.






Distant zoom to Black Coombe


Our three shadows in the winter sun
 Looks like a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan

This and next - the steep, rugged descent to The Arbour













Saturday, 24 November 2018

Longridge to Arnside Direct (1)


Friday 23rd. November 2018 - Longridge to Bleasedale

Draw a straight line on the map and try to walk as near as possible to it. Nick Crane did this walking the two degree line of longitude from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Isle of Purbeck and produced the most entertaining, by far, long walk account I have ever read: Two Degrees West. Nick's route had the added aesthetic attraction of being strictly north to south.

I am currently embarked on my own version from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Carey which was originally intended to be done in one hit, but a broken arm, and then a replacement knee intervened - I hope to resume sometime around Easter next year.

My friend Bowland Climber who comments here suggested a line between our respective houses. The straight line is 26.5 miles, but we will probably walk nearer forty miles and we are splitting it into day walks using two cars. See BC's resumé   HERE

We anticipate some problems with pathless hill terrain on the next section, and access problems further on, but more of that as it happens.

Today we walked on pleasant paths, tracks and road and kept  pretty close to our straight line. We noticed that many stiles are in disrepair and often dangerous.


This bizarre swing in the middle of nowhere had a surreal quality.

BC told me his kids used to fish in this pond.
 It has a close neighbour hence the Figure of Eight Ponds as christened by BC's  kids.

I was apprehensive on this crossing and was heartened to see that BC took it very carefully.

When we arrived here the gate had a massive combination padlock, but within seconds a lady arrived in a pick-up and unlocked the gate. She told us of the sad demise of the farm a few hundred yards down the track - she was a neighbour just accessing the land to winter some sheep.

At the deserted farm.
 All a bit sad, but indications were that it had been neglected before its demise.
I was taken with the attractive stone walling of the barn (click to enlarge.) This had a particularly attractive kind of sandstone.


BC looks towards Parlick and Fair Snape Fell.
 The next part of our straight line will go over the lower hills partly obscured by BC's hat


Nick Crane allowed himself 1 kilometre each side of his line - I think we have kept within that  restriction.
We independently plotted the route and as far as I can tell the only variance was the red bit in the centre of the map: BC's alternative which kept closer to the straight line.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Not a good day

Thursday walk with Pete - 15th November 2018 - Preston Guild Wheel

This must rank as the worst, or at least most unsuccessful walk I have ever done.

Back in 1980 when I was a young forty one I was moving in my job from Teesside to Preston. I had visited a dentist in Darlington who said he wanted to remove all my teeth. I opted to  think about that. A few days later in Preston, prior to my family removal I sought a second opinion. How I found Barry N. I can’t remember, but he was positive and offered to perform various procedures to save my teeth. I have now been going to Barry for thirty eight years and I can’t speak too highly of the attention he has given me.  I never thought twice in 2000 of changing when I moved to Arnside an hour’s drive away. I later found out that the Darlington dentist ended up in prison for some misdemeanour, the details of which now escape me.

Today I had an appointment at 3:00 pm which coincided with Pete’s walk day.

Pete and I decided to walk in the locale of the dentist, then go to Booth’s café for our natter, and tea and cake before my appointment.

That only left us half an hour each way to walk on a linear section of that splendid cycle/walking circumnavigation of Preston: The Preston Guild Wheel.

I drove to Nog Tow ( no comments please RR on this odd name - it’s not my fault) and had to park on the other side of a busy roundabout several hundred yards from access to the Guild Wheel. We risked life dodging across the roundabout, and then I became disorientated and didn’t have a proper map showing the new footpaths created and we ended up backtracking to such an extent that by the time I had us on the recognised path our first half hour was up. We  trudged gloomily back and braved the roundabout again to get back to the car. Pete was understanding (I think), but I felt humiliated. It is eighteen years since I lived in Preston and my confidence was now so dented I was having doubts about navigating my way to Booths, but I did manage this, but it was not without a bit of good luck thrown in.

At the dentist Barry told me he is retiring in five weeks time. The whole of this day left me reflective and a little depressed at the realisation of the rapid passing of time in human terms; I had an end of era feeling.

Best get get on with life and make the most of it. 

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There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Click to enlarge if you want.
 I don't think you could follow our wanderings if you tried,
 but it gives the general idea

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The rain wins

Thursday walk with Pete - 8th November 2018 - Killington area 


How often have you turned back on a walk? We trudged along south into a biting cold wind and gloomy overcast sky. We reminisced about previous more serious walks we had done together over the years. In particular Pete reminded me of an ascent of Great Whernside and Buckden Pike when he said it was the only time he could remember when I had uncharacteristically suggested turning back. On that occasion Pete pointed out that we were not far off the first summit and might as well carry on. Rain was lashing sideways and wind moving us bodily. We pressed on to the summit of Buckden Pike which is a wallowing quagmire the size of half a football pitch - one of the most unwelcoming summits I have ever visited. We descended to Buckden and had a miserable rain soaked plod back down the road to Kettlewell.

After half an hour today we turned north west on a more sheltered road with wind now more favourable, but we could see rain coming up behind. We usually walk an hour each way if it is linear, but today was more circular. When the rain arrived it was heavy and the decision to abort twenty minutes early was unequivocally mutual.

At the start we passed the potential climbing slabs adjacent to the road that I have mentioned before, and this time I took more detailed photos. We were walking in the same area where the bio and fox-trap notices were seen last week. Earlier we had come across more evidence of the desire to keep the public out: a pair of huge iron gates padlocked with something that looked as though it had come from  Harry Houdini's paraphernalia.

We were glad to get back to Cafe Ambio for cake and warming tea.

Pete hunkering down - Great Whernside summit - 8th November 2010
 Coincidentally 8 years to the day from this post






We passed this dull looking nature reserve. ok if you are into finding sedges that can only be identified, one from the other by using a microscope ( sorry, botanists - I know that's cynical)




Thursday, 8 November 2018

Don't go to Birks Farm Holiday Cottages, Cautley

Wednesday 7th November 2018

I wouldn't be paid to stay at Birks Farm holiday cottages from my experience today.

I was walking part of A Pennine Journey* from Sedbergh to near Cautley returning on the other side of the valley and passing through this place on a public footpath.

The farm had a complex number of tracks and gates, and to be fair the right of way was well marked with yellow paint, but despite that I got off track by about twenty yards. There was a shout from a farm building. The guy came out and demanded aggressively where I had come from and where was I going. He was large powerful and threatening. He shouted telling me not to come on his property and then shouting again frenziedly, directed me through a gate onto the public footpath - I tried to communicate with him, but yet again he shouted out "And don't start telling me to calm down," and then he finished off screaming out "f*** off!"

I reckon this is the most unpleasant encounter I have had with a land owner in over 60 year of walking. How on earth he has managed to secure the handwritten testimonials shown on his website I can't imagine.

The walk was not very inspiring except for it skirting underneath the eastern edges of The Howgills which seem to have unique colouration which is attractive, but for some reason I have have always failed to define I have not been attracted to walk over them very often. My best acquaintance was walking the whole of the main ridge following The Dales High Way a few years ago. At the place marked Fawcett Bank on the map there was an interesting discovery: a gate that could be opened and closed by a long length of string, some electronics, and an apparently hydraulic piston, and a bit further on there was another. I couldn't work out exactly how they worked, but they did.

From my emergence onto the A683 I had intended to continue by tracks and minor roads back to Sedbergh, but heavy rain started and I route marched back down the main road.

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http://www.birksfarmholidaycottages.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91&Itemid=106

*A long distance footpath originated from an early walk by Alfred Wainwright.


Typical Howgill scenery


This and next three - the electronic, hydraulic, string controlled gate

Note string running on the wall - pull and it opens or closes the gate
(somehow)

This box is fixed next to the gate at the end of the wall in the photo above

String runs from this tree stump back to the gate - note small orange marker on string halfway , click to enlarge


Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Arnside fireworks 2018

Saturday 3rd November - 2018

I HAVE NOW EDITED THE DROPBOX  PHOTOS, ie:
LIGHTENED AND DARKENED SOME, A BIT OF CROPPING, AND DISCARDING INFERIOR SHOTS. 
HERE IS A NEW LINK.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mdw5yv7z71nt5ko/AACj5GfuHXSqH5s0DjMbXAGea?dl=0

The display has been going from strength to strength from year to year and is funded by a bucket collection on the night.

Click on file to open thumbnails.

Click on first thumbnail.

Then click on two arrows at bottom to open as full screen and proper slideshow.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Waterfalls I have not visited

Friday - 2nd November 2018 - Rusland area

A follow up call from BC after arranging this walk had me confused. BC wanted to ask about bringing another friend. I misunderstood and thought he was referring to a lady. That reminded me of ringing my friend M for an evening out back in 1969; she had said that she could not come because she was going out with her friend Ann,  so I said "ok, bring her along as well." Ann became my wife some months later. I recounted all this to BC, expressing my thoughts that I may be heading for a repeat performance.

(My wife Ann sadly succumbed to Motor Neurone disease in 1997.)

It turned out BC was bringing J and I had mistaken genders. 

BC had majored on our walk in the Rusland area last week plotting a new route "to take in those waterfalls marked on the map and that little tarn." That sounded fine to me - I'm not one for missing a good waterfall - I nearly went over a thirty footer in Scotland some years ago after falling into a stream and being carried into the deep dub on the brink of the falls.

We all three ascended through steep woodland from Rusland church on a rocky path topping out on a Land Rover track at the point of the first of the two waterfalls.  We could hear the cascading water a few hundred yards down the other side of the track, and either BC or J suggested they had a glimpse of water through the trees, but I think that was sheer optimism - a vote was taken whether to descend to view or continue on our way to Number Two - there was no enthusiasm for the descent (pauper spirits.)

A bit further on another mini waterfall was spotted far below down an impenetrable wooded hillside which may or may not have been Number Two.

The tarn was not a disappointment and it may just have qualified for me re-naming this post The Tarn Walk. By this time, which was not so long after my breakfast, J was hungry but again democracy prevailed asnd he was outvoted in favour of sandwiching later.

The rest of the walk took us through more woodland and old lanes and tracks all with that special fringe of the Lake District ambiance.

A good day out with good friends. The conversation was wide ranging. J has a background in chemistry and we exchanged many anecdotes about making explosives back in our school days. Does that bring back some memories Gimmer? I hope the ranging search engines and or the anti-terrorism squad don't pick up on key words here.


I've just noticed that the two waterfalls are not even shown on the 1:50 OS map

Please click on first photo to enlarge all













Killington village.

Thursday walk with Pete - 1st. November 2018 - Killington village

We have been exploring the lanes around Killington Lake recently and I thought to myself I have never  actually visited the tiny village of Killington, so I plotted a there and back route starting from where we left off last week.

The long descent to the village had Pete concerned about the return - I had intended our route to go beyond the village, but we decided to shorten it at the church marked on the map in the village. That turned out to be quite unusual and included the adjacent pele tower.

As it turned out Pete ascended in spritely fashion and nonstop so we extended the walk at the other end which you can detect if you follow the arrows on the map carefully. That extension took us past a pair of minatory notices on the edge of a wood with open access from the road. What "bio-security" refers to I have no idea, but it conjures up images of Porton Down, and as for "trapping foxes," that can presumably only lead to one conclusion - sickening.

It was only as I started writing this post I found that we had walked right through Killington village on 10th October 2013 and although I remember other parts of that walk, including the intimidating notices shown in the photo below, I had no memory of the village, and we must have missed the interesting church and pele tower,

Here is a link to the relevant post from 2013, the comments were entertaining.:

http://conradwalks.blogspot.com/2013/10/gone-fishing.html



 Click first photo to see rest enlarged

From the summit before the long descent to the village

Descending to Killington village - Pete pondering about the return climb

The far gatepost is the trunk of an old tree

Pele tower on left, church on right.
 The tower is in the process of conversion to a self catering
holiday venue




Pity I managed to cut off the right-hand side.
 This was a particularly colourful
window even for stained glass


This and below were together.
The bio notice was there on the previous visit in Oct 2013
 but the fox notice is new.
I haven't heard of "trapping" foxes before. All of this just made me feel sick


On a lighter note (subject, not photo) back at Café Ambio - note the crook