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, 30 April 2019

Day 7 for Alan R


Day 7


Ledbury to Kilcot

Despite impressions I may give I am enjoying this trip. I’m glad I’ve reduced my mileage , twelve seems to be much more comfortable.

No breakfast served at the Seven Stars so I bought a bacon butty and tea and sat on a bench in the town centre comfortable in short sleeves in the sunshine at 8:15 am.

I have revised my route to take in roads instead of the predictably rugged footpaths - the way marked long distance paths excepted. I was thinking about other possible routes to devise - perhaps a circuit of the boundary of Yorkshire - much could be revealed in the plotting.

I have seen almost nobody all day and wonder how these footpaths are as established as they are. I have stopped at posh houses a couple of times to ask for a refill of my water bottle. At one the lady and gent seemed to be showing friends their fabulous garden - the house was in the £1m plus bracket. The gent seemed to be relived to opt out of the conducted tour, but I got the impression filing my water bottle was the the limit of his domestic chores ability.

I have now converted to blogging with the iPhone and it is much better behaved.

The Kilcot Inn is a superior eating establishment  . When I phoned to book the proprietor went out of his way to make a room available whilst in the midst of a refurbishment programme - a welcome positive response rarely met these days. I think the chef was also brought in specially for me and another party. A double Gloucester soufflé with a pear compote I think addition was  heavenly. My mother used to cook brisket to perfection back in the 1950s today Kilcot equalled or even surpassed especially with well thought out trimmings. For anybody in the area this archetypal old English pub would be a good venue for a special occasion.





Monday, 29 April 2019

Day 6

Monday 29th April 2019

Talbot Nightwick to Seven Stars, Ludlow.

Breakfast redeemed everything from
Last night. It seems there had been a local point to point causing crowds and noise.

Breakfast was served in a room of bookshelves with many more books than I or RR possess. Bacon and bacon and eggs o toast was all home grown and quite above anything I have had before for this simple dish. I think the Talbot would be worth a visit.

The first half of the day was grim. Intricate paths round crop fields ploughed out to the edges, constant navigation required and oh so many awkward stiles. At one point the public path through an oil seed rape field  had not been made. I ended zig- zagging tractor paths taking three times the distance and more in time. Progress was so slow for over three hours.

I hAdn’t been unable to secure lodgings or camping near Bosbury and had booked at the Seven Stars in Ludlow. At first they wanted £95 but I got them down to £80. There was no hand soap to use in the bath, only dispensers fixed to the wall out of reach. The WiFi doesn’t work properly and to cap it all the cutlery for my meal had such thin handles they just kept revolving in my hand. The short crust pastry, stand alone steak and ale pie was excellent.

Blogger wants me to sign in for nearly every operation and now it has started asking for security verification sending CD-R’s as texts to my phone then not accepting them - it is just about unusable. I am doing this in the iPhone which is not demanding all that protocol, so sorry, no photos - I think i got a good one for AR.

I do enjoy blogging in the hoof but ir is not easy and by the time I’ve got this far I am too exhausted to revise and make corrections.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Day 5 update

Just got back to my room after the Bedlam background meal. The room key has a large piece of cast iron attached. I dropped it on my toe and whilst it will not affect my walking tomorrow it could have been serious.

The Talbot grow all their own stuff as well as making beer. They also make fruit liqueurs and there is a free sample here in my room so not a bad little nightcap.

Night night.

Day 5

Sunday 28th April

Dunley to Nightwick

At the Dog in Dunley I negotiated breakfast for 8:00 am versus their normal at 8:30. At 8:00 all was locked up. No sign of life. At 8:30, yes I'm very patient, I phoned the pub number as I sat on the stairs outside the locked dining room. Eventually the boss arrived and later a girl not resident arrived and they concocted breakfast for me, so I was not off until 9:15. Local footpaths turned into a nightmare. I ended up in another horsey farm fenced into separate fields with me removing rucksack and squeezing between rails and electric fencing until I was assailed by the niece of the owner. Once out of that lot another footpath ended in inpenetrable hawthorn and bramble shrubbery. I retreated and took s longer route than intended. Once on the  Wodrcestershire Way all was plan sailing and delight but lost time meant I had to hurry.

In recompense when I got the bill at the Dog it was only £58 for dinner B and B - they had missed off a pint and a half of beer and I didn't bother telling them in view of the breakfast debacle.

Oil seed rape is in full pomp in the most enormous fields I have seen anywhere in the UK. Walking kept a lot to ridges, but wooded with only intermittent views. It's all much more hilly now and this was a strenuous day, but the rolling, sparsely populated countryside is stunning.

I am now in th Talbot at Nightwick. It has been eulogised by a couple of people I met on the way proclaiming good food and their own home brewed beer. On arrival the whole place was heaving with people inside and out. It was almost impossible to get to the bar. There were many tables, many with families and one with the most piercing screaming baby I've ever heard. At the bar there were three different groups of males standing swapping tales loudly and endlessly laughing with that pointless laughter. Everybody in the place seems to be shouting. All in all I have endured an inferior fish and chips (only coley) and soggy chips for £16 in the midst of all this cacaphony. I looked at the pudding menu and gib bed at £6 a go, especially as the man course had not given much confidence.  The home brewed beer  was good.

H




Saturday, 27 April 2019

Day 4

Wolverley to Dunley

Wow! The Terra Nova had a real test last night with gale winds and heavy rain. Although I thought she may take off several times all remained intact and I was perfectly dry. This morning I crammed everything except the tent into my rucksack then tzrogged accross to the Camping and Caraven Club spotless, heated and roomy toilet. I then went back and grabbed the tent and packed everything in comfort.

I forgot to mention I had bought a four way charger before departure - I have the iPhone, the iPad and my camera to charge but in error had only brought one Apple lightning lead. I was pessimistic about buying another anywhere but in Bewdley a Teexaco filling station obliged.

Walking today has again be en on good paths and bridleways - the best of country walking. Most of the day I have been following the Worcestershire Way. All these long distance paths have their own logo way markers usually incorporating some kind of arrow so the onward direction csn be indicated. The W way has a silly pear - I suppose the stalk end could be turned to show direction but it never is. But the parts of the WWay i have walked have vindicated that small fault.

As I emerged into the centre of Bewdley I recognised where i had sat on the riverside at a cafė with a guy  walked with for an hour on the Macmillan Way, in glorious sunshine i may add. On the first day I crossed my LEJOG path where the Staffordshire Way crosses the canal. It now seems inevitable that previous routes will be crossed.

Wind  has continued with a vengeance all  day but thankfully no rain . I am now comfortable in The Dog Inn at Dunley - white air and fish pie to come shortly - pretty good.




Friday, 26 April 2019

Day 3

Friday 26th April - Upper Ludstone ro Wolverley.

Happy days - the screen on my oPad Mini has crazed over, probably to end up in pieces. For the moment I can still use it.

Intermittent half hearted Rain all day but best walking so far with no navigation problems. Old bridleways through attractive countryside and varied old woodland. I have been following the Staffordshire Way most of the day.

I am camping again tonight in the Camping and Caravan Cliub site in Wolverley. The Cand CC advertise themselves as The Friendly Club, having a go at the rival Caravan and Motorhome Club who are renowned for snootiness. All that was proven today. As I was putting up the tent a lady from a motorhome thirty or forty yards away came and offered me a cup of tea which was very welcome after my twelve mile walk. I'm sure Mick and Gayle will think I'm making that up but I swear it is true.

I'm now in The Lock pub next to the site people watching.  Tonight tone of voice is the feature.The husband wife sat next to me came to ordering - she said "I'll have the ham egg and chips" but the tone strongly indicated she had chosen the best of a bad job from the menus - resigned.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Day 2 follow up

mainly for Mick and Gayle.

I had contacted The Boycott Arms at Upper Ludstone some time ago and they had agreed to let me camp in their beer garden. When I arrived the landlord was away but staff contacted him and I was shown to the beer garden. Once established I went back to the pub to eat and found the landlord had left instructions for my meal and a drink to be free.

I have just eaten well and was further attended to when the staff found a table next to a plug point so I could charge up my tech..

Day 2

Friday 25th April - Brewood ro upper LudstoneSD 801 953

Off to a good start at 8:00 am. Sunny but fresh wind and odd shows. Got caught in two thunderstorms, once under shelter of trees and then whilst in cafė Pattingham. Much better walking on proper old bridleways and quiet roads in more affluent countryside. Met one farmer who was sort of apologetic for the mass volume of oil seed rape cultivated just to harves the tiny seeds. Arrived at Boycott arms where I had previously obtained permission to camp in their beer garden. Here I am now at 5:30 - there has just Been a three quarter hour rainstorm but the Terra Nova didn't blink an eye. Off to the pub shortly for some grub.
Easy navigation today except for one footpath went through a horsey farm. It was all squared of with twenty or thirty squares bounded by electric fencing. Finding the way through and unhooking the fastenings was tedious and frustrating and time consuming.

Typing on the iPad it is hit and miss if you want to go back and insert or correct with the cursor.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Day 1

24th  April - Arnside to Brewood

Yesterday  I decided to spray waterproof my rucksack. The spray wouldn’t work. I swapped the. nozzle for one on my WD40 then got them mixed up and sprayed my rucksack with the WD40 .After drying out on the line waterproof was then applied. Perhaps my rucksack will just dissolve in a couple of days time?

As is my careful won’t I arrived twenty minutes early for the 5:27 am train at Arnside station. I had chance to make new discoveries: Samaritans notices at the extreme ends of the platform, also a millennium plaque high up on the station building not  previously seen by me nor I guess by many others.

All trains on time. I rang from the train for a taxi from Trlford to Newport. I had immediate acceptance and assurance taxi would be waiting then a text giving me the taxi reg. no. And it's description, and the fare at £11 which was very reasonable. That saved me an hour for this longish day.

I had some good walking and quite a bit of agricultural stuff leading to minor navigation errors and slow going.

Elm Cottage Air B and B is super. Double tea and chocolate brownie on artival. I have a self contained flat in their attractive country residence set in two acres. They have given me a lift to the pub and will pick me up and have offered to make me a special beef sandwich for my onward journey tomorrow - super people - what more would you want?

I am not trying photos tonight - have taken quite a few. I may consider a good slideshow with captions wig
Hen I return.

I am not trying photos tonight but I have taken many. It may be better to do a de-luxe slideshow afterwards. I was caught in a thunderstorm a kilometre from destination and it has turned colder and quite hostile. I'm not so much looking forwards to camping in the pub garden tomorrow night after tonight's molly-coddling.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Murton Pike

Sunday 21st April 2019 - Murton Pike - NY 734 231

Just a quickie for the record before I pack my gear for resumption of Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Cary tomorrow, (Wednesday)

On a social visit in the vicinity of this, one of my remaining trig points in OS sheet 91. I had an enjoyable ascent in perfect weather.

Just for Mick and Gayle : whilst munching a Cornish pasty on the summit and sunshine basking another party arrived, three or four of them. I had my back to them but turned to say hello. A few minutes later a young man from the party approached snd gave me a couple of mini Easter eggs - I hope this is the shape of things to come in my forthcoming trip.

I put the photos on here in Blogger Dashboard on my Mac then typed the rest of this from BD on my iPad. I have tried to put captions on the photos to no avail. There is one for Brother RR. It is one of those painted pebbles looking down at it on the concrete base of the trig pillar.

No time to do more. The next post may say "I'm on the train."




Murton spike from Murton car park










Murton from halfw


























Thursday, 18 April 2019

The path to nowhere

Wednesday 17th April 2019 - Garnett Bridge and out of Long Sleddale

Breakfasting and reading the map I was intrigued by a public footpath on access land ending at a wall in the middle of nowhere. Such things spark my curiosity. Would there be a big hole or a notice saying "there be dragons?"  I have noticed these fascinations elicit no such reaction from others who perhaps question the balance of my mind. I pretty well knew nothing much would be gleaned, but  there was also a tempting little hill just beyond: spot height 429m that promised a decent view.

From Garnett Bridge I followed the familiar footpath on the western side of the characterful River Sprint which gave rise to one of my favourite posts when I was exploring that little river some time ago.

http://conradwalks.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-day-of-good-and-bad-bits-river-sprint.html

If you use the search box on this blog entering "River Sprint" you will find other posts relating to the lower sections of that exploration.

From Docker Nook I was onto new territory climbing all the rest of the way to my little 429m summit. All the gates, and there were many, scored highly for ease of opening (I score each one out of ten.) I think European grants have contributed to gate refurbishment here.

At path's end no big holes or dragons, but at least a gateway through the wall with a smashed up gate lying forlornly - perhaps some previous quirky-map-attributes-addict had been frustrated by a nil nil result.  I was now walking in shirt sleeves only and shorts for the first time this year - what pleasure, and in particular not having to remove gloves every time to consult mapping on the iPhone whilst manipulating walking poles which always end up falling on the ground.  I've attached wrist loops to gloves so that they can just dangle.

The predicted view from 429 delivered. There was a distant sighting of Skeggles Water, almost hidden in the folds of the landscape. I walked a circuit round that little tarn fairly recently. Here again I find this sort of re-visiting from a different location rewarding (almost exciting) which others may not understand, but for me it is part of my motivation and I suppose an inherent desire for exploration.

I was now fired up for a bit more adventure and chose a pathless  descent across rough terrain to eventually meet up with my route of ascent.

Garnett Bridge

Strange path liners 

Bridge End farm

Docker Nook farm. New paths for me from here and the start of the long ascent

Zoom to Skeggles Water from summit 429m

My descent route from 429 - 'twas steeper than it looks here

Looking back to 429

Just before re-joining the ascent route

Click to enlarge

Detail of path to nowhere's ending and summit 429m

Friday, 12 April 2019

Lindale Fell road continuation.

Thursday walk with Pete - 11th April 2019 - Lindale Fell road continuation

We have now walked five miles on this road and it has been consistently attractive all the way. Today we reached the T junction where we will need to decide which way to continue. At that junction we still needed to walk a bit further so we could keep to our schedule which of course ends up with our visit to Café Ambio. The road to the left climbs steeply past Hodge Hill House. Pete said if we went that way it would be downhill on the way back. We were able to see into the garden of the old house and it had been laid out as a sort of sculpture park.

Pete is off to Galloway next week on a hotel break, and I am off again on my Berwick/Castle Carey wslk on the 24th April, so our Thursday walks will be suspended for a while. I reckon we could continue coming back on the higher road to High Newton.

Photos a bit dark - much better if you click the first to enlarge as slideshow


Spannel Beck - SD 417 868 - looking east







Hodge Hill House and some of its sculptures below








Thursday, 11 April 2019

Two Wainwrights


Wednesday 10th April 2019

Sour Howes - NY 427 032 - 483m
Ssllows      -     NY 436 040 - 516m


Another impromptu decision today. As I munch breakfast toast and am informed we will  be subjected to months more of Brexit I switch to Memory Map.  There is a circle of paths on the elevated western flanks of Kentmere, part of which I have not walked before. That sounds like a worthwhile pursuit before hearing more of Brexit with Tom Bradby on ITV News at Ten.

Another day of cloudless blue sky saw me ascending the long minor road north of Ings on the A591. Because of rapid height gain views unfolded in quick succession. As the road levelled out tarmac gave way to a typical Lake District track flanked by winding drystone walls. and wide ranging views of distant fells. A farmer came past on a quad bike with sheep and lambs in a trailer. Further on he was liberating the sheep with their lambs into a field.  Sheep and lambs are taken to these green pastures as soon as the lambs have had a few days to establish themselves in the real world. It must be odd for the first ones, but then becoming more companionable as others arrive . We had a chat about the uncertainties of Brexit - he said the price of sheep at the auction was holding up well at the moment. I mentioned Pete and me frequenting Café Ambio at the livestock auctions which I have posted about several times here - he said "It's not really a farmer's café.'"

As I progressed into the higher uncultivated land above Kentmere I realised there were two beckoning hills forming a horseshoe which could be incorporated in my route My penchant for impromptu decisions was triggered. Off I trogged across initially pathless terrain to ascend Sour Howes. There is no path marked on the map but I found one after a while, and also access points at a couple of boundary walls. The Summit was much further back than I expected, but I have not felt so fit for a long time, and by my standards powered up there in good fashion. There was a grand view looking south down the length of Windermere and  a pleasing ambience of peace and quiet - not a soul to be seen.

 It was so good to be on proper hills again.

The footpath over the col to Sallows was more defined. I soon arrived to find myself looking back across to Sour Howes.

My knees seemed to be coping better than usual  especially on the descent where I had to cross wild terrain to pick up the continuation of the paths that were the original plan for this walk. That was a most enjoyable ten mile round.

Only five minutes up the steep road - too early for a rest

Off the tarmac and onto Lake District track

The farmer on his way again after putting his sheep and lambs into the field

Views of distant hills

My two Wainwrights - Sour Howes left and Sallows right. They look flattened. Summits were further back than seen here

Sour Howes - that pointy bit is nowhere near the summit

Looking south down Windermere from Sour Howes summit

Back across to Sour Howes from Sallows summit

Proper wild daffodils - smaller, but more attractive in my opinion than the cultivated varieties