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, 30 July 2020

Waterfalls I have not visited (2) - Ease Gill and Crag Hill

Wednesday 29th July 2020 - Ease Gill and Crag Hill ( SD 692 832)

Back in November 2018 my friend BC suggested a walk in the Lakes, the objective being to see a couple of waterfalls - that didn't turn out exactly as planned - see the post if you want:

I have a number of unfinished walking projects and more on a vague "to-do" list. In August 2018 I walked up the lower part of Ease Gill from Leck to where I could look down the steep wooded hillside to where the path from Bull Pot Farm joins Ease Gill in a sort of bowl. Much as I was tempted to descend to explore this pothole haven I could see no obvious route and I didn't have time for what would most likely turn into an epic, but a visit there went onto the to-do list along with the ambition to follow Ease Gill back up towards its source.

The drive from Casterton to Bull Pot Farm is on single track road with almost no passing places making for a nail-biting start to the day, but at around 9:00 am I had a clear urn. On the way back I met one car coming the other way just before getting to Casterton and he obligingly reversed for about quarter of a mile - I'm glad it wasn't the other way round.

My walk started from the farm which is the headquarters of the Red Rose Potholing club, a venue steeped in speleological history. I have passed through here on several occasions. The most memorable was on an epic trig point bagging trip when I ended up near Ingleton having run out of daylight with no hope of getting back across country to Bull Pot. Fortunately son and daughter were summoned and I waited in the Wheatsheaf at Ingleton for them to come and drive me back to Bull Pot.

We have had heavy rain recently and I had high hopes of drama picturing myself climbing up the sides of vigorous waterfalls and making dicey crossings of the beck. The track from Bull Pot to Ease Gill was running with water which supported my anticipation.

There was a splendid surprise view down into the bowl of Ease Gill where it turns through almost a right-angle to head north east with Crag Hill overlooking to the north. The descent was steep and needed care.

Initially the path up the gill was away from the water and then when I joined I was surprised to find a dry river bed with a carpet of football sized, and bigger, of boulders. This persisted a long way up the gill and several places where there should have been impressive waterfalls were dry. I dodged from bank to bank where there were faint paths on the grass and some of the time directly up the river bed on the awkward boulders. This being prime potholing country the water obviously runs underground unless here is a deluge to make it flow above and I was surprised not to find that after our recent weather. The gill was not as steeply sided as I had expected but the scenery was dramatic and I would say unique. Eventually the stream came alive with water as the valley sides narrowed. I followed until I could escape to the north onto the slopes of Crag Hill and made the long pathless ascent on rough ground to the trig point. The trig pillar had a strange design sort of stencilled and Googling (only briefly) has revealed no explanation.

The descent straight back to Bull Pot followed a fence line but there were occasions when I had to climb over and there was only a faint intermittent path and much rough reed and tussock hard going. All in all a worthwhile mini expedition and a pretty tough six miles.

Bull Pot Farm front, and below rear view

The wet track to Ease Gill

Lime Kilns

See red lines high on fell side - the single track road in to Bull Pot Fm.

Looking down the steep descent to Ease Gill

Cave and pot hole but no waterfall

The path lead away from the stream here

Dry river bed. Hard going on the boulders
Valley sides getting steeper - still no water

A trickle was coming down here from the bridge above. It went into a deep pool and I suppose continued underground - see below

Just above the previous photos - now there is water flowing

The previous photos of cave and pool and the water coming in from above were taken from that bridge

Now steeper with proper stream. It was not far above here that I branched off left to ascend Crag Hill

Looking back down my route

Crag Hill trig

Anybody know about this on the trig?

Monday, 27 July 2020

TV rant and Katie update

A TV pot-boiler

Just watched a documentary which promised to offer mind blowing revelations of the latest scientific analysis from the remains of the Marie Rose.

After stringing us along they concluded that just one of the skeletons MAY have been of North African origin. Why that was so staggeringly important I don't know. The narrator was telling us that it was assumed the population in Tudor times was one hundred percent white. Much other evidence from other documentaries has informed me over the years that we were trading goods with countries from far afield before the Romans came so it would be almost certain some had stayed around and settled. Now we were told that on the evidence of this one skeleton they were surprised to deduce that the Tudor population may have included black people.

The programme was even more irritating for having that pointless resumé after each set of adverts. Why do we, who have made the serious commitment to watch this programme, have to suffer the mollycoddling of some idle channel hoppers who decide on a whim to come in part way through and be spoon fed like spoilt brats?

Having assumed on some dubious evidence that their single skeleton may have been the ship's carpenter they dredged up a name and set on a professional genealogist to try and trace living relatives down seventeen generations. After the male line ran out she continued down the female line and eventually doubtfully identified two hapless present day sisters and dragged them off to Portsmouth without telling them why on a surprise trip to show them all at the Marie Rose museum. 

The final reveal with the blanket being withdrawn from the reconstructed head based on DNA evidence looked only vaguely African and then further debunked by having the wrong coloured hair, thereby dashing the fervent hopes of the presenter of seeing a totally black African. It was lamely admitted that this person was probably descended from African roots some generations back. I'm still not sure what conclusion this programme thought it had arrived at.


Katie update

After months of Lockdown and only brief encounters with daughter and granddaughter we had an outing together on Sunday and that was most pleasurable.

A few posts back BC hauled me over for missing out on visiting the trig on the little hill above Heversham so we put that right. The view of the Kent estuary from there is one of the three best views I have nominated within my domain.

Daughter Jill found this chap. No beetles were harmed...
Daughter Jill found this. No beetles were harmed...

One of the three best views in my territory - the Kent estuary - distant Humphrey Head

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Posting problems

See my last post. I found I was unable to see Preview from Blogger Dashboard - the problem has now been resolved. 

I  followed my commenter Michael Leddy's instructions:

Go to Safari in Menu bar

Select: "Settings for this website" - make sure the website you have open is the one where you want the pop-ups to work.

Enable: "pop-up windows."



The following reply I made to that commenter may be helpful for others:

I’m not sure what the answer is. I do know that there was a time when if you tried to comment from a smart phone using the phone version of Blogger it might not work but if you scroll down and go to “Web version” at the bottom it may then work. From what source are you trying to make comments? There also seemed to be a difference between selecting the blog title or the post title to post your comment but I'm not sure which way round that was.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Daily Stats

Saturday 25th July 2020

I am trying to write a new post with the new Blogger interface. When I go to Preview a box jumps up bottom left very briefly sayng "Preparing preview" then disappears and  nothing else happens. Anybody else having thst problem?

The pic below is just to see how it displays, but I've had to Publish rather than Preview.

Now see below.

I have now followed my commenter Michael Leddy's instructions:

Go to Safari in Menu bar

Select: "Settings for this website" - make sure the website you have open is the one where you want the pop-ups to work.

Enable: "pop-up windows."


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Roman Milestone

Tuesday 21st July 2020 - Lanes and tracks from the Lune valley - 4 miles

Studying Ordnance Survey maps has taken up a large, but pleasurable amount of time during my life. Identifying some unusal feature often provides an objective for a walk and many posts here have been so inspired.

Today I was excited to see a "Roman milestone" shown in the Lune valley north of Kirkby Lonsdale, an area I have been exploring recently.

I parked just before Rigmaden Bridge which crosses the River Lune, now surprisingly large considering the short distance from its source. I went to have look before setting off in the other direction.

I soon left tarmac onto an old sunken lane which at one point was an active but shallow stream for about fifty yards.

The public footpath passes through Hawking Hall Farm farmyard. A gate barred the way but a farming youth appeared and set about untying the gate fastening made with that awful orange hairy string much favoured by farmers. Once you have tied a knot it is difficult to undo because hairy strands from other parts of the string interfere with the bit you are trying to manipulate and I had a little chuckle to myself as I stood and watched the struggle.

I marched on and for some reason I had now forgotten about the Roman milestone which had sparked my plotting of this route. The milestone was about a hundred yards off the footpath up a steep grassy slope according to Ordnance Survey, but my attention was distracted by The Church of Holy Ghost at Middleton now in view across the field.
I had a mooch round the churchyard but due to Big C the doors were locked. I gleaned the following from the Visit Cumbria website (much edited):

...designed by C.J. Ferguson, and built in 1878. There has been a church on this site from 1634---

... there are a number of beautiful stained glass windows in this tiny church, and one in particular has an odd ‘mistake’ in its design

 ...the second window from the right shows Jesus healing a blind man. If you look closely, the blind man has two left feet!

Perhaps Jesus should have sorted the guy's foot whilst he was on with the blindness?

I walked a couple of hundred yards south up the main road before turning off east onto a minor lane. It was just then that I remembered about the Roman milestone - I was cross with myself for missing this anticipated highlight of the day and debated whether to go back, but it is revealing how laziness can galvanise the mind - I realised I could drive back there at the end of my walk and sort it then. One of the old songs sprang to mind:

"I'm happy again.
I'm laughing at clouds."

Approaching Tossbeck farm the footpath had been diverted and my OS msp was out of date. As I was prevaricating in the farmyard. literally only five yards from the diverted path a guy emerged from an open barn and told me I was trespassing. He was an educated sort and a bit ratty, but behind him in the barn I could see a car without a body. After a word of apology for my trespass I enquired whether this was a Lotus 7. He replied informing me that it was a Formila Ford racing car and when I expressed further interest his whole demeanour changed and I was invited in to look at photos of his racing achievements over the years and and having a good old discussion about motor racing before he gave me detailed instruction to follow the rest of the diverted footpath. I do enjoy reversing these initially controversial encounters especially as this turned out to be of more than casual interest.

The rest of the walk was through pleasant farming countryside nestling up to the limits of cultivation below the Barbon hills above.

I drove back and parked in the handy churchyard and set off back up the road a few hundred yards to branch off on a lane marked on the map which turned out to be just a grass field. The Roman Milestone was sbout two hundred yards on this track on higher ground (according to OS) and I could see a prominent tree which turned out to mark the spot almost exactly.

There was no sign of the Roman Milestone.

I trudged back to the road. Where I had branched off earlier on the minor road there was s bus shelter. I went to look. There were village notices inside. One of them told me that "The Roman milestone is now in the churchyard."

Well I did find it in the end - it was hardly the most exciting thing I've ever seen but such items do fire the imagination of the doings and the scale of the Roman occupation I still had a lingering feeling of self deprecation at my mishandling of this expedition, but honestly, it had been a good little walk.

The river Lune bridge is just behind me.
I set off up the road and traversed the cultivation line below the hills gong off to the right

Leaving the tarmac onto the sunken lane

I think it must have been this farmer's birthday the day before

Middleton Holy Ghost church, and below

Branching off the main road towards the foothills. The bus shelter is just behind me

Ligularia ( according to PlantSnap) - escaped from the garden on the other side I think - also known as Rocket Plant

On the way to the diverted footpath

They knew how to nestle these farms into the landscape below the cultivation line


Monday, 20 July 2020

Lanes from Highwayman (South. of Kirkby Lonsdale)

Sunday 19th July 2020 - Lanes and paths east of Highwayman - 6 miles

There is something I have tried to explain to others but never quite seem to get across. If I have a concept or notion I want to convey I see that as a sort of composite bubble in my head which contains that entity, but with no specific words. It is like the atom before they discovered there were many other components inside. One then has the problem of trying to translate that bubble into words and some are better at it than others - I try my best and often wrestle.

I have a particular personal example: trying to express the contents of the bubble that contains my motivation, enjoyment, feelings, and satisfaction in solving challenges for a multi-day long distance back packing trip. That bubble also includes hopelessly undefinable ambience. I will call that Bubble One. All of that is totally different from the contents of a bubble that contains the components and specific ambience of a linear or circular day walk. I will call that Bubble Two.  The two  are distinctly different in my head.

The above thoughts were initiated during today's walk which for some reason seemed to relate more closely to Bubble One than many recent day walks. I could analyse that to some extent but suspect that I would not end up with something satisfactory and I question myself as to whether it really matters anyway. Perhaps that will keep for another day when I have marshalled my thoughts more clearly.

I parked on the grass verge of the  A683 a few yards south of Burrow Bridge which spans Leck Beck running in lively fashion from Leck Fell with all its nostalgic potholing associations. My car was in full view on the A 683 and I worried about returning to a scene of broken glass, but all was well when I eventually arrived back.

This Sunday morning at 9:00 am the motor cyclists bent on early morning clear roads were tearing past in groups at suicidal speeds - the roads in this region have sweeping bends one after another that have attracted these aficionados for years - each to their own.

I crossed over Leck Beck and was soon onto farm lanes and footpaths following the line of the beck to Cowan Bridge where the Bronte sisters were at school. The walking had been interesting and varied all on good surfaces. A short walk south-east on the A65 and I branched off to cross three fields to gain a left turn over a stile into a lane. The lane was choked waist and head high with trees, grass, brambles, and nettles. I tried for about ten yards and gave up and climbed over the wall into the adjacent field. At the field boundary the wall was high and protected by barbed wire. I turned right and followed the wall to the next boundary and then right again to the next before I could find a place to climb the wall without ripping my clothing then retraced my route to be able to get back onto the original public footpath after it had emerged from the end of the choked lane.

At the farm marked Collingholme on the map I met a couple in the their garden who are the owners of Castleberg Outdoors, a splendid privately owned, old established, outdoor shop in Settle - worth a visit:

Further varied waking and a feeling of liberation and enjoyment had me arrive at Tunstall Church which provided good seating for my midday snack and coffee and use of the timer on my camera. Here was the grave of one Harold Spencer Churchill (1932-1998.) Of course I thought I had discovered some connection to Winston but subsequent Googling failed to produce any reference to this potential imposter.

I came out onto Woodman Lane where I walked with Pete back in July 2018 and noted the following:

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.

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.

Today as I passed there was a large FOR SALE sign on the closed gates.

Woodman Lane emerges at The Highwayman - a favourite good eating pub but sadly closed with a single car on the large carpark.

I had not the slightest feeling of tiredness after six miles of throughly enjoyable walking.

The first farm just off the main road. Much better than the frequent untidy messy farmyards

Barns built to last

A delightful stream (see photo below) crossed the lane here and flowed out to the right underneath the wall halfway down the photo

The stream was flowing speedily through the meadow, sparkling clear  - magical.
It reminded me of people saying these kinds of pure stream are needed for growing watercress

Distant view of the Barbon hills

This is a spritely tributary to Leck Beck with a clapper bridge which I crossed - see next photo

This is my crossing of Leck Beck to turn left into Cowan Bridge. There was a vigorous flow here coming from Leck Fell with all its pot-holing associations

Taken from the A 65 at Cowan Bridge. Three fields lead to the choked lane

Looking back over the wall to the overgrown lane - it was even worse than it looks here

I had crossed that field with the inquisitive cows following me - here they are stumped at my appearance and departure - it would be fascinating to know what they are thinking

Campanula (according to Plant Snap app) in profusion

There was a bridge, just visible in the trees to the left

Tunstall Church

Harold Spencer Churchill. If he wasn't related why did he have those first names?

War memorial in the churchyard. Ordnance survey indicates a "cross" here. I'm not sure if it is this or the one where I am sitting in the photo below with no top snd obviously much older

Ok it's not a tractor but I haven't seen any interesting ones for a while so here is something to be going on with for Alan.

Victorian PO box next door to the Highwayman and only about three hundred yards from my car up the main road.

Note yellow mark indicating impassable lane and my deviations to its left.

My route is the green "circle" near centre.