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!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Thursday, 9 August 2018

Hellifield to Newport slideshow

Here is a Dropbox link to a slideshow with captions of my walk from

 Hellifield, Yorkshire


 Newport, Shropshire.

25th July


 5th August 2018


Click on first thumbnail, then click on two arrows at bottom to see as "full screen" slideshow with black background.

When I tested it seems to show each slide briefly then properly - a bit irritating but can't find a fix


  1. BC - Not by any means. Up to Day 8 when I left the River Weaver halfway through the day the walk had been full of interest and worthwhile, but from thereon it was pretty boring on endless country roads with high hedges, or inferior and difficult to navigate footpaths.

  2. The photos show a nice walk. The Claas forage harvester would cost + £250,000.

  3. Alan R - What about the short wheelbase (so it appears to me) common or garden Ford three photos on from the forager? Or is it just ordinary?

  4. I think you were pretty stubborn to make 13 days with that sort of 'ordeal' ahead for many more days, cooler weather or not.
    Your dismal last AirBnB experience reminds me of Baldwin and the gutter press - want the money without the responsibility.
    I have tried to use the system but never succeeded in actually making a booking. Without high-speed internet, I imagine it must have been trying, to say the least, to make your way.
    Please give me the name and address of the arsenal - need to buy something in time for next year's Horse Fair !

  5. A nice slideshow Conrad, even though I couldn’t access ‘full screen’ using an iPad.

  6. gimmer - no need to be stubborn if you're doing what you want to do, just committed.

    Booking Air b and b is a bit fiddly, but once you get your head round the system it's not too bad. The main thing I wanted to know was if there was an eatery within reasonable walking distance and for most Air b and bs that is not stated and you have to message the host and await a reply. Meantime you are sacrificing time thst could be used booking an alternative, but most hosts do reply quickly. If you travel by car that wouldn't be a problem. Another problem is only being given an approximate location before you book, again not much of a problem with a car, but essential information for walkers. You can un-book immediately without cost. Contrary to what is a popular perception, many of these locations offer a very high standard at correspondingly high prices.


    Phreerunner - Glad you could see the slideshow Martin. By the way, that photo of the flower you took was brilliant.

  7. Could it be that Britain is all played out when it comes to planning multi-stage walks? It may just be a fleeting impression but misanthropy seemed to be a recurrent theme in your posts on this particular tour. It occurred to me that urging you to regard physical and psychological reverses as welcome material, was an incomplete aspiration. The right tone is important. To rail against situations you have imposed on yourself is to suggest (implicitly) that you wished you were doing something else. And to label a post as uninteresting is perilously close to an invitation for your readers to disagree and serve up sympathy.

    One other point. You've been a walker for ages whereas I only took up singing (formally) less than three years ago. It seemed a foolhardy, even risky decision but I continue to be buoyed up by the pleasures of learning. Singing may well see me out although old-age physical deterioration may intervene. Have you seriously tested the levels of pleasure you get from walking in your seventies; might those earlier pleasures have depended heavily on fitness and might that be an unreasonable dependency? It would be sad if unthinking persistence led to disenchantment. Not that I have solutions to offer other than to whisper that an activity which involves intellectual discipline might just be the answer. Sorry to be so Victorian.

  8. RR -You are correct to some extent about routes getting played out. Whatever route I have planned in the last couple of years has nearly always involved coincidence with previous routes at some point. I recognise that there will come a time when I can no longer manage these large scale walks and there are more intellectual pursuits I may follow. On this occasion several factors conspired, not least the heat. Circumstances also dictated that I should walk in the school holidays making booking more difficult. For the first time I almost exclusively used Air b sand b. That is a great cost saving facility, but it takes up much more time and involves some stress. Blogging on the hoof is also time consuming, and the idiosyncrasies of Blogger don't help. I desperately tried to shorten walking distance per day but it rarely worked. In the past I have carried the tent and that was always a fallback enabling me to dictate distance if needed.

    All the above ingredients seemed to leave me short of time at the end of each day which normally is a relaxation period and reward for the efforts of the day. With Air b and b I always had to walk somewhere, often a fair distance, to get a meal, whereas on previous walks meals were more often available at my destination.

    I have said elsewhere that there was much of interest and pleasure on this walk all the way to Winsford where I parted from the River Weaver, and from thereon entered boring and tedious countryside.

    The question of pleasure snd enjoyment has been combed over many times. I am not taking a holiday; this is s kind of personal challenge, similar to, albeit on a smaller scale, to people who do solo voyages round the world and competitors in marathons. Pleasure in the activity is present most of the time, but things don’t always go according to plan, and one has to rise to solve problems. I am sure those kind of people often “wished that they were doing something else,” but the desire to complete the challenge will strive to annul such thoughts. Added pleasure comes afterwards with the sense of achievement, and to be honest, most likely, and hopefully the approbation of one’s peers.

    I may now plan shorter multi-day trips out of school holiday time, perhaps with more pre-planning of accommodation, and selecting for interest rather than large scale ambition, and for the meantime I hope to be able to continue with worthwhile day walks.

    I still have have the BBC complete Shakespeare plays on DVD which I bought a few years ago of which I have so far only only watched five. That could keep me going for a while along with the many unread books, and that may all be interspersed with sessions in the garage messing about with bits of wood and the like - I am only a part-time intellectual, and doubt if I really even qualify for that definition, and despite your ambitions for me, I doubt if I will ever become, like you, full-time.

  9. Forgive the patronising tone of this comment as it applies to many of us: again, you pose the modern paradox: of leisure, satisfaction and 'retirement': doing things to 'fill the time' is, almost by definition, futile, pointless and soon, frustrating - particularly if those things are also done by others to a degree of expertise that can only increase one's frustration, even cause depression, if one cannot reach those heights: perhaps it is better to avoid such frustration and is best to do what one loves, and from which ones gets that deep personal enjoyment and satisfaction that is the 'reward' that RR acknowledges comes from his singing.
    Even if they are difficult, involve suffering and discomfort.
    As you say, it is not a holiday: no one gets a good write-up for excessive holiday taking.
    I think your proposition is the sensible one - carry on walking, select shorter routes in places of likely interest (although I know you have found unexpected interest in the most unlikely of places - populated places are always more likely for this than deserts of whatever hue - one glen can look much like the next) - for objectives, perhaps a historical or cultural pilgrimage - from one hotspot to the next - a bit of such wallowing can easily absorb rest days without admitting it. But rather than passing by, delve: I've often wondered about your passing through places and regions full of 'things to see' but seen only in passing their road ends: as this seems to be exactly what you intend to explore , go!

  10. Lots of interest in those photos Conrad. Re further routes - I know that you have walked extensively in the Uk, so these may be rotten ideas, but: have you considered some of the recognised routes which have dedicated buses? Both the Hadrian's Wall Path and the North Norfolk Coast Path (I think) have buses which regularly run along roads parallel to the route and can be used to connect to accommodation and also back to the route the following morning. The 122 on Hadrian's Wall stops on request. Other routes may have similar arrangements. It allows for a great deal of flexibility in terms of how far you need to walk each day.

  11. gimmer - I can hardly see myself getting "depressed" or "frustrated" at the thought of some other enjoying a sojourn on Richard Branson's Necker Island where celebrities try to "do it" at a higher degree of "expertise" than their associates.

    I know I have often walked past celebrated landmarks, but if it is just to look at the bed Queen Victoria slept in I am not interested and readers of the blog can always find endless material on the Internet about such things. I have often noted more obscure occurrences and find much pleasure in researching them myself afterwards and hopefully uncovering some quirky facts which make for interesting and perhaps humorous reading, and maybe some further discussion in the comments. All that is more or less going along with your suggestions, and I hope I can continue in that vein.

    Mark - From your comment on Day 3 I have now looked more carefully at OS 1:50 which I was studying on the day with sweat running into my eyes, and heart palpitating from the ascent from the valley when I thought the Singing Ringing Tree was at the spot where the car park and viewpoint are indicated. I now see it is up a path ascending nearly half a kilometre from the road. But what is even more frustrating is that I continued up the A646 and then took the B 6238 where s short walk on the minor road to the north-west would have taken me to an even shorter path to see the tree. It is all much more apparent on the 1:25 which I also had access to on my iPhone, but the heat and frustration just defeated me.

    Your suggestions regarding routes are similar to thoughts in my mind at the moment and thank you for the pointers.

  12. i was thinking of arts and crafts, not hedonism

  13. gimmer - yes I know, especially with your parents' endeavours, but when the thought of Branson came to mind I couldn't resist. I wonder if any of the grand masters had that feeling of frustration at the thought of others being better than them - I'm sure they did.'

  14. i was mystified by the RB reference and now, am even more so ! the only other comment is 'why him" !

  15. Igimmer - I am not sure from your declared enlightenment on Big Meanie whether you mesn this puzzle as been solved or not. However:

    You mentioned "filling of time" and "leisure" and I just tried to think of, what for me, might be the worst version of so called leisure I could think of - there could have been many others, but RB and his awful island was the first that sprang to mind. I had not at that stage picked up on your intended meaning of taking up hopefully more constructive pursuits, but with little hope of great success, and then becoming disillusioned.

  16. No, I wasn't recommending you fall back on unread books or the rest of the Shakespeare DVDs. These are familiar accompaniments to your main interests, and would run the risk of being seen as gloomy substitutes for your first love, walking. You could well end up reading A Man Without Qualities resentfully, telling yourself as you turned the pages that this was poor tack compared with discovering the Big Meanie.

    For me singing started off (I think) as a whimsical decision and I was lucky that it turned into a grand enthusiasm. The most desirable solution for you would be to find some new activity (it doesn't have to be "a more intellectual pursuit", whatever that is, it could be sculpture, higher level photography, joining a political party, expanding the scope of your blog, astronomy, yoga, advanced mathematics, DIY brain surgery) which might have the potential to become a passion.

    Impossible, you say. You are too set in your ways. And yes such a reaction would turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy if you were guided by that mindset. However you might also reflect on the sadness of admitting to an avowed incapacity for "the new". In fact your new passion could well be the pursuit of new passions.

    Anything other than becoming "a retired walker", moodily cooking cheese soufflés because they were more demanding recipes and occupied more time (actually less time).

  17. PS: Your sudden reference to Richard Branson was an admirable example of erecting "a straw man".

  18. I think I have suggested, albeit whimsically, that you follow the Route de St Jacques (actually several different starting places but they all merge (more or less) at the Pyrenees) - from what I read, it does not really have to be done on your knees, backwards - and there are lesser or more gruelling ways, some even through the Cantabrian Mountains or along the northern slope of the range along the Biscayan coast.
    I cannot pretend that you would be physically alone (over 300000 'pilgrims' did it in 2017) but, if you have read Therapy (David Lodge), you will know that you will find opportunity for reflection and solitude and hardship, as acutely amongst multitudes, and as gruelling, as alone on a night on a bare mountain, as much as sheer physical endeavour.
    I might join you for the final week !


  19. RR - Thank you for your concern and sort of constructive suggestions. I am thinking about Buddhism. I've always been a fence sitter and The Middle Way has a certain appeal.


    Gimmer - Not my sort of thing with the hordes mixed with religion. And anyway I think I'm through with foreign travel. Stressful airport experiences, penalties on travel insurance for the aged and communal sleeping - remember Refuge Nice?