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


Saturday, 28 September 2019

Angles Way slideshow with captions

Here is a Dropbox link to the slideshow for my recent walking of The Angles Way:

Pleas click on the first thumbnail photo then on the two diagonal arrow symbols at the bottom (Full Screen) - you will then see the slideshow in Full Screen with black background


This is just a taster

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Angles Way Day 7

Sunday 22nd. September 2019. Out on Broad to Great Yarmouth - 17 miles

The Wolf Inn didn't do breakfast but the Wherry across the road did, and from 7:00 am.

My original plan was to walk 12.5miles to North of Belton and get a taxi to Great Yarmouth where I was booked into Weatherspoons then get a taxi back next morning to walk the last bit to the finish st Great Yarmouth.. I mulled this over in bed and reckoned if I could get sn early start I could do the whole 17 mile distance in one hit.

So I was marching off briskly at 7:20 am. The morning light on the Broads with cloudless blue sky is special and reminiscent of Cornwall and my walk down the east coast from Lowestoft.

Again  I had varied walking With shortish sections which maintains interest. I was anticipating possible refreshment at Somerleyton marina but it proved to be a bit run down but there were boats in use moored there and I happened on a couple, the gent sat by his cruiser fishing and wife watching on. I asked if there was a café. "No" she said "but I'll make you a cup of tea if you want." So I spent a pleasant quarter of an hour with my tea and comparing notes with Mrs. about our respective knee replacement surgeries - hers hadn't gone well. At least my reputation for getting refreshment handouts and the like has been shakily restored with only the one on this trip, but I have hardly seen any body during the whole six days walking.

I marched on through Belton and then  had high hopes for another marina north of Belton. There was a bar and I asked for a pot of tea but they could only do cups. My cup of tea was more or less thrown at me with floating tea bag and two of those awful little plastic tubs of something the producers have the audacity to call milk, and all that for  £2. I have taken to drinking tea neat on this trip if those revolting milks are the only option.

Just north of here was the junction where Plan A would have had me ordering a taxi and there was a signpost stating Gt. Yarmouth 4.5 miles. That seemed to pass quickly as I now followed the good path along  the edge of the now very wide Breydon Water. At the halfway mark I noticed, amongst other occasional litter a Costa coffee cup. Now I'be no idea how far it would be to the nearest outlet go buy that, but the only way you could get to that location is by walking at least two miles. I have had several disasters with lids coming off  or the cardboard getting squashed just getting from the counter to a table or out to my car, but to think of carrying one for two miles is mind boggling ( to me st least.)

Including stops for taking photos and twenty minutes for munchies it took me nine hours to do that 17 miles but I have saved a day having completed the Angles Way in six days walking. I am now booked in at Weatherspoons, but the snag is I bought fixed time split rail tickets for the journey home tomorrow and I csn't leave until 14:17 tomorrow. It has been a grand walk and it would be ideal to introduce somebody to long distance walking.

Early light

Costa coffe cup

Weatherspoons couple interrupted

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Angles Way - Day 6

Saturday 21st September 2019. Be clues to Oulton Broad. 9 miles

Eggs Benedict and tea for breakfast for less than a fiver at Witherspoons this morning, and they serve from 7:00 am. The atmosphere was quiet and civilised contrasting with the cacophony during my earlier evening meal, but you know what you are going to get snd in a way it's quite invigorating hearing a lot of people enjoying themselves - from the noise they are not all glued to their phones.

The first sight of all the boats at Becvles  was welcome early this morning and for a short while i had splendid views of the River Waveney which leads to Oulton Broad, but then i hardly saw the river for the next eight mile trudge on a lumpy grass banking with reeds and trees obscuring the view - it was a bit disappointing because i thought i was going to be reacquainted with things Arthu Ransom but it was not so. much more relevant was his grave at Rudland church in the Lakes which I posted about on 5th April 2014. See the photo below that shows the long monotonous embankment trudge. I will be doing a proper slideshow with captions when I get back home . Putting photos on here presents similar difficulties I understand for amateurs making proper custard or baking soufflés - the success rate is low

Oulton Broad was busy, sunny and hot. I walked out through the park and had a fine view of an eclectic mix of yachts obviously in a handicap race. Two fireballs rounded a buoy close together - exciting. It brought back memories of the two years I spent racing our Metlin Rocket at Hollingworth Lake many years ago and a sadness at brother Nick's recent passing. I watched the road bridge being raised and two decent sized yachts came through to enter the lock. There were many onlookers, but from those memories of sailing with Nick I knew what was going on with obvious tensions of
squeezing the two boats in without causing damage as I watched the crews snd shore staff all scurrying snd worrying.

I am now in the Wolf Inn within a couple of hundred yards of aforementioned road bridge and lock.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Angles Way - Day 5

Friday 20th. September 2019. Bungay to Beccles

Last night in the Castle Hotel the ambience and furnishings were to a high standard. Food was excellent - seared loin of cod on a bed of artichoke hears and other secret ingredients with a subtle sauce and sauté potatoes, not to mention the starter and pud. BUT once in bed there was a noise from outside that sounded like the base beat of a distant disco. The low frequency was such as to have me conscious of my ear drums bring disturbed. It was impossible to sleep and more than that torture - it went on all night and I never slept. I complained in the morning and was told it was the equipment to keep the cellars cool - I thought cellars were cool more or less by definition? I was only speaking to the breakfast lady and nothing was achieved.

I felt quite sprightly after a good breakfast and trogged through varied scenery, now more pretty country walking than agricultural fields.

There are many kinds of stiles and gates encountered whilst walking. One that can be irritating is the swing gate in a triangular enclosure where often the apex of the triangle is too small to get through with a rucksack. One has to climb with both feet onto the opposing bottom rails to gain height and freedom for the rucksack. Full marks to one of that ilk encountered today, I could have walked through backpacking a walk-in-fridge.

Turnip fields no longer appear; turnips must be fussy about their locale. Ploughed fields were now the most evident. These fields really are massive and often like a crown green bowling green so you can't even see the other sides. They (not sure which They) inform me that modern tractors have GPS and I'm not surprised. I reckon if  Farmer Jones is out in the middle it will be like bring lost in the Sahara, and God forbid ( or whoever else is in control) that Farmer Jones breaks down out there- one can hardly call for Green Flag.

I watched two of these monster tractors at work, harrowing I think, but despite their size it was going to take them a long time to cover the huge field. They were trailing behind clouds of dust the terrain out here in Norfolk are very dry.

I am now at Weatherspoons in Beccles and from my memory of the Arthur Ransome books this is the first place that gets a mention; I think it is regarded as The Gateway to the Broads so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. This ha Benin a great walk so far.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Angles Way - Day 4

Thursday 19th September 2019. Mendham to Bungay - 13 miles

Another breakfast at 7:00 so bit chilly at the start of walking but still only wearing a shirt on top.

The terrain has become more undulating and it is strange when one has been walking on the level for two days the slightest rise is felt out of allproprtio.

Where the Way leaves the road out of Mendsm the OS  1:50 is not precise enough and I trogged across a ploughed field and back again before finding the exit from the road. I should have known because all such points have been well marked so far.

There were many crop field edges but paths were still good. The fields are I me see and often growing turnips. Who needs all those turnips. I wondered how many it would risk to fill an "Olympic sized swimming pool" a vague means of volume measurement often used by lazy writers. Anyway how do you calculate its volume? They usually have sloping bottoms, often shelved. You would need. volume based trigonometry and those dreadful tables with minute print we used st school - the likliehood of error  reading and transferring the long numbers was enough to cause failure in O Levrl maths as was the case with me. I bet not one in s million has had recourse to using those tables since leaving school.Then I wondered if you could get all the turnips in one field in particular into one of those pools snd came to the conclusion "no." I wonder what effect Brexit will have on the turnip market, and as another aside the contractors who install Olympic sized swimming pools?

Towards the end of the day's walk the Way lead across flat fields for quarter of a mile  passing through four new galvanised footpath gates with new footpath signs attached leading to a double bridge arrangement over two unfordsble rivers. The bridges were boarded up with a notice from Norfolk CC saying unsafe. I climbed round onto the first one but the second was broken in half lying in the water and totally beyond any gung ho intentions I may have had. Why on earth didn't they put up a notice earlier? I had to retrace my steps and find a private road through a farm to get onto the main road snd walk the long way round into Bungay.

I was early snd found a café. They had one fruit scone left and only served tea in mugs. I had the last scone - I think it had been the last of a batch made a few days ago. I could hardly bite through the outer crust. After eating part of it I surreptitiously wrapped the rest in a paper serviette and put it in my rucksack.

I am now very comfortable, st great expense, in The Castle Hotrl at Bungay. I took s photo and now see that it was previously called the Whit Lion - I wonder what the poor old lion did to become  disinherited?

I have now found I can't scroll back to the top so earlier typos will have to remain now I'm going to brave trying some photos. One will show a grassy path through fields which characterised quite a bit of the walking.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Angles Way - Day 3

wednseday 18 th September 2019. Diss to Mendham -  14.3 miles

A rare 7:00 am breakfast. The Park Hotel was pretty good - professional.

Photos below show the mere at Diss and Diss centre.

Again all paths well trimmed giving easy and pleasant walking - full sun all day. Even  crop field edges , my bête noir, have good paths and not ploughed out to the edges.

Off my path to the right a good clean wide track lead down to a picturesque ford. Somebody had dumped a black dog poo bag in the middle of the path making a sickening contrast with the light colour of the track. Have these people heard some myth that there are roaming collectors who come and pick these things up?

Until I got to Harleston today, only three kms. from my destination I have walked for one and three quarter days without passing anywhere that I may have bought something. I have met about half a dozen dog walkers and one walking group, and this on one of our recognised nstionsl long distance paths.

I  am booked in at the Sir Alfred Munnjngs Hotel. I think he came from these parts. There are many prints of his horses but the reply was in the negative when I added if they had any originals.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Angles Way - day 2

Tuesday 17th September 2019

Thankfully the taxi arrived at 7:40 am and took me to the start. I started walking at precisely 8:00 am. It was still a bit chilly but a cloudless blue sky bode well.

As expected all the walking is flat with one or two gentle exceptions. All the paths are well tended with friendly surfaces - not a tractor track or horse and cattle plugging to be seen. I don't ever remember walking a whole day on good paths.

At one point I could hear dogs and thought I must be nearing kennels, but then the howling and screaming went up to fever pitch then silence. Then in the distance I saw something bright red in the wood at the edge of a field a few hundred yards away. There was a female on a horse with the full hunting pink jacket - I'm nor sure why they say pink when it is bright red. There were three or four foxhounds  with her and they were scouring the surroundings. My conclusion was that this lady was out on her own private hunt and the noises I heard were undoubtedly the result of something being killed - ugh!

A bit further on I met a dog walker who had done quite a lot of serious walking in the UK and the Alps. I mentioned the hunting lady and he said we should have a new sport of hunting and shooting the hunting pink brigade.

The walking has been varied through woods, tracks and paths in short sections which maintains interest and creates the illusion of progress.

I am now in The Park Hotel at Diss having walked a most enjoyable 14.5miles.

I will try one again to show some photos but do not intend to try adding captions.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Angles WAy - Day 1a

Photos for Day 11and test to post from iPad.

I've just lost all my typing and I can't scroll down below first photo to add captions. This second attempt. Will now send as is.

Photos for Day 1 and a test to send post from iPad.

Well it works but it took about five minutes to upload the three photos from thi iPad.

Now I find I can't scroll down below first photo to add captions.

Arnside station - 9:00 am

Angles Way - Norfolk - 1 - Monday

Monday 16rh September 2019

I’m following my train journey on Memory Map with my iPhone and thanks to Ordnance Survey marking it I just had a quick glance at Chesterfield’s crooked spire. The first of many exciting firsts?6

ETA Thetford 15:39 where I am booked into the Travelodge so I can start this walk tomorrow. I have booked all the accommodation in advance so I am hoping this will be pleasant stroll. I think there is only about 500ft. of ascent in seventy odd miles.

More later.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Ladhar Bheinn (1984)

Following my trawling of the past in my last post I also unearthed this little adventure from 13/15th July 1984 just a month or two after that Carlin Gill saga.

I mentioned in a reply to comments on that post that I would advise youngsters setting out in life to keep records. They will much appreciate that in later life.


Verbatim from my records:

Thursday/Friday/Saturday - July 13/14/15th 1984

This plan was formulated the year before with Tom on our Sgurr- na- Ciche trip.

Ladhar Bheinn in Knoydart is a remote peak requiring a long march from any direction.

The original plan was to take the ferry from Mallaig to Inverie, but it transpired that there was no reliable return journey during the weekend.

It then occurred to me that I had the Mirror dinghy, and with an outboard motor we may be able to approach by boat.

After some thought there were two possibilities. The first was from the North, launching at Corran, but although a short distance it seemed to involve a more open sea crossing not suited to the Mirror Dinghy, and the second plan was to launch at Kinlochourn which we settled on.

We set off from Tom's parents at Grange-over-Sands at 6:00 p.m. with the Mirror dinghy on the roof of my Ford Sierra. and a newly acquired Yamaha 2 h.p. outboard engine in the boot. We arrived at Kinlochourn in the dark at about midnight and tried to get some sleep in the car - this is never a satisfactory business.

After a quick breakfast we launched and packed the boat and we were away by about 8:00 a.m. on the high tide. About halfway we put into a small island to refuel and unfortunately struck a sharp rock fracturing the plywood hull of the boat - this was not too serious, but it meant we had to keep bailing as we motored on. We saw seals popping up to have a look at us, and we saw a salmon or sea-trout leap about two feet clear of the water.

Our intention was to land at Barrisdale Bay, but on the falling tide we ran aground on a shoal  about half a mile out and it was apparent that entry to the bay was not possible without knowledge of the exact location of the channel. We eventually landed at Inbhir Dhorrcail to the North West. The weather had been fine and was improving. By 1:00 p.m. we had pitched the tent and were ready for off after a quick lunch.

We ascended by Creag Bheithe - long and steep all the way - a great ridge with magnificent views into Glen Barrisdale and Loch Hourn. Eventually the way was barred by the daunting steepness of Stob-a-Chearcaill which rises sheer for 500 feet or so in a series of grass ledges divided by almost vertical rock walls. There seemed to be no alternative to climbing this so up we went - it was not difficult but certainly demanded care and concentration with one or two small scrambling sections where moves had to be made. At the top we were in some mist and worked out a compass bearing to prevent us from getting down the North East ridge of Choire Chorrcaill which we had noticed on the ascent. All went well and we progressed  up the magnificent summit ridge with the mist clearing, giving us superb views accross to Skye and Rhum.

We reached the summit and  visited the separate trig point and then ate, and dealt with a miniature of Glenmorangie that my daughter Jill had given me at Christmas, which I had been keeping for a suitable occasion.

We descended by the unrelenting Stob a Choire Odhair which is the North East arrete of Ladhair Bheinn leading directly and steeply down to our camp site for 3000 feet or so. We saw a number of deer on the way. At the bottom we were crossing a grass meadow and my legs buckled underneath me and they were just like jelly - I couldn't have been very fit, but it was a very demanding descent, and no it wasn't the whisky!

We were back at the tent about 8:00 p.m. and proceeded to make repairs to the outside of the boat's hull with Elastoplast daubed with Nickwax, and this enabled us to make our return trip to Kinlochourn without much bailing the following morning. From Kinlochourn we drove straight home. 

I had done a round trip of 720 miles and got back in time to see Jill win an important swimming race we had been anticipating for some time.   

Departure from Preston

Breakfast at Kinlochhourn. Tom has a degree in chemistry with a resultant attention to detail in food and other preperations


Note the hair style

Towards the sea

Refuelling and...

...a bit later attention to damage

Boat repairs - Tom's attention to detail shining through again in this study
Elastoplast and Nickwax save the day

The old Blacks Good Companions Major (with A poles and sewn in groundsheet!)

From well up on Ladhar Beinn

Very steep grass ledges to come

Tom on the summit

I see from this Tom was carrying his ice axe

As is so often clouds cleared as we descended

Spot the tent

Approximate only depiction of route 

General location for followers from abroad who may not be familiar with UK geography

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

"...for whenever men are right they are not young" - e.e. cummings

In my last post (Carling Gill) I mentioned my previous visits to the Howgills but it seems my memory has not just dimmed but been completely extinguished - I have no recollection of the epic account I wrote below but I found my handwritten record whilst having a purge of my books today.

I cannot believe that I set off so late in the afternoon on such am ambitious walk and that we included the ascent of Black Force which on this last  Saturday I commented:

"We eyed the impressive gash of Black Force. I had read about a party having a scary time on that ascent - it looked as though it would need drier weather or commitment verging on the foolhardy..."

Dan was my neighbour and is a friend and a fellow outdoory but with a main interest in sailing. From my memory I know he was not too confident on exposed terrain and to think he made that ascent is another matter of surprise to me.

It is sobering to note how age has altered my perspective and at the same time I'm glad that I am still here despite my contempt for self preservation in those days. 

I was a young 45 at the time.


As written in my journal - it would have been tweeked more today.

Sat. 5th May 1984

My first trip ever to the Howgills.

Set off from home at 4:15pm with Dan. To Tebay turn off, then down to Carlin Gill.

Started walking about 5:30pm. Slight drizzle but clearing - dead cow on side of stream - fearful stench. Drizzle stopped as we entered the steeper sided part of the gill. - this is very impressive scenery, much more rocky than I expected. Minor scrambling up the stream, and the scene becomes more dramatic all the way. 

We arrived at the branching gill on the right of Black Force - both main gill and  Black Force looked equally interesting, and the decision  which to follow was not easy - we opted for Black Force.

High in the sky above the top of Black Force we saw what Dan identified as  a peregrine falcon. The gill steepened considerably and we were now on mixed rock and very steep grass. Dan climbed out onto the side, but I stayed in the gill and pressed on. A grey wagtail rose from its nest and on the wall of the gill I found its nest with four or five eggs. The bird was vividly yellow as it flew from me, and impressed a memorable image on my mind. Next I found two different bird rings - looked like pigeons - victims of the peregrine? I have since sent the rings to the RSPB.

The gill now steepened again and  the way was blocked by a waterfall which I tried to climb direct, but eventually turned by the rib on its left. Dan was waiting at the top and we spent a fair amount of time watching a pair of ravens on the opposite side of the gill - they were obviously guarding a nest the site of which we could see on the opposite side of the gill.

We pressed on to the top of Field Head - 2045ft. finding two skylarks nests with eggs on the way. From Fell Head we could see the route ahead  to The Calf 2220ft. With some compulsory loss of height in between. I think we both knew that we would probably end up coming off in the dark if we went to the Calf but we kidded ourselves and pressed on. We made a slight detour to visit the large patches of snow on the summit slope of the Calf. Here we took some photographs and  kicked steps in this old snow which was in fine condition. We found two more nests with eggs on the way.

Suddenly on the top of the Calf it was much cooler. We got below the summit and ate sandwiches looking across to Killington Lake and the M6 (Ryvita paté  sandwiches - very good.)

We returned by Bush Howe and under the steep sides of Wind Scarth to Weathercalf Moss. Here we saw four or five wild ponies with long shaggy manes - they moved slightly in a codescending manner to let us pass, but they were not affraid. We then turned west and eventually picked up the top of Carlin Gill and tried to follow the stream bed back down again, but eventually our path was  stopped by an apparently overhanging waterfall with steep rock on both sides. It was now starting to get dark. The Waterfall looked to drop away for 50ft. or so, and certainly demanded a return visit to see if it could be climbed from the bottom, but tonight we gave it best and climbed out up very steep grass onto the northern side of the gill and over Uldale Head and back down to the car. It was now about 10:30pm and quite dark as it had been for the last three quarters of an hour.

This was a fine and eventful walk and an impressive introduction to the Howgills which are certainly worth visiting again.

It was interesting to note that this was bank holiday weekend, and we did not see anybody on the whole walk.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - The route is just short of 8 miles. I have drawn it as near as I can from my description

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Carlin Gill

Saturday 7th September 2019 - Carlin Gill

There is something I can't define about my avoidance of walking in the Howgills. I vaguely remember an excursion with Gimmer many years ago - the details have dimmed but my remembered perception is not favourable, although not one of epic drama. I hope Gimmer may elaborate.

I climbed Green Bell and Middleton only because they were part of a trig point campaign. 

Years ago I climbed Grains Gill in full winter conditions cutting steps out of the steep exit, and also had a scary time on the adjoining Weasel Gill on rocks near the top on a trip with my old neighbour Dan which was his suggestion.

When I walked The Dales High Way it followed the splendid ridge  across the  middle of the Howgills from Sedbergh to  the A65, so again the prime motivation was not from attraction to these hills, and those are my total visits in what one may say is a lifetime.

When Bowland Climber phoned me to suggest a walk in The Howgills I suggested Carlin Gill. I had read somewhere that this was a worthwhile objective. 

The first mile followed the lively beck with ever steepening and enclosing hills on either side and an increasingly rocky path; the surroundings were majestic and a delight. The sides steepened and the path now on the northern side rose high above the beck with an almost vertical drop down to the right and more and more care was needed. We eyed the impressive gash of Black Force. I had read about a party having a scary time on that ascent - it looked as though it would need drier weather or commitment verging on the foolhardy - my photo below does not convey the steepness.

Carlin Gill ends with a dramatic waterfall and there is no defined exit from this cul-de-sac. BC had Wainwright's guide and his suggestion were vague. From everything I have read about Wainwright he tended to faint heart on airy and exposed situations; I am surprised that he managed to climb out of this place. It took us some time to weigh up the options before I set off first on the northern side. Within twenty feet I found myself on very steep grass mingled with moss which turned into a slimy slippery mess when footholds were attempted and I got myself to a point of gibbering no-return. By then BC had arrived, and with his assistance and encouragement I managed to reverse and follow him up less mossy very steep grass (I don't often use the word very but it applied here.) For me that was a pretty scary ascent - halfway I strapped my poles to my rucksack so that I could dig into the grass with both hands until we arrived at patches of heather which provide much better handholds. We traversed off to the right and fortuitously arrive on the exact contour to pick up the path leading to the col between Docker Knott and Over Sale involving a long and arduous ascent, but with ever increasing extensive views on this perfect sunny day.

One might have thought that once onto the ridge it would be easy going, but there were still less than trifling ups and downs taking us over Breaks Head and Fell Head then a long descent with several steep sections back to the car.

Our route only measured 5.4 miles, but it was more strenuous than anything I have done recently and coupled with the nervous energy expended on the ascent out of Carlin Gill I felt as though the distance had been a lot more, but what a fabulous and memorable day.

Definitely worth clicking first photo for slideshow

Preparing for the off

Approaching Black Force

Black Force - much steeper than it looks here

Approaching The Spout - terminus of Carlin Gill

End of the road - how do you get out? Camera has found its match for exposure 

Our escape - about twenty yards to the left of BC in the last photo

Zoom to the Scafells

Zoom to Arnside Knott - my house is somewhere in the middle of that photo

BC decides to convert to shorts

Steep sided valleys everywhere limiting route options in these unique hills

Zoom back to our exit from the gill