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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


Friday, 3 July 2020

Footpaths east of Killington Lake

Thursday 3rd July 2020 (Day 98 of Lockdown) - Footpaths east of Killington Lake - 4.5 miles.

The forecast was for 50/50 chance of rain, but dire for the next several days. Since achieving my non-stop days of walking target I have eased off and also been foiled by poor weather. I was now needing a walking fix. The gamble was on. I retrieved my Paramo jacket from hibernation.

It rained all the way up the motorway to Jct. 37 but by the time I was parking in the fisherman's car park on the eastern side of Killington Lake the rain had stopped and never returned until I was driving home a few hours later. I questioned myself as to whether fortune favours the brave. That apparently comes from a Latin proverb and could be a dangerous maxim to pursue if you stop to think about it - we only hear of the few successful macho machos.

I had been irritated to find the car park being half a kilometre from where I wanted to start with no alternative. However it was worth it for a rewarding photo of as handsome a cow as I've seen for some time looking over a wall and questioning my wisdom.

An old iron gate took me onto rough heathland following the edge of a pine wood on my left. A narrow one foot-width path was well defined but splodgy after the overnight heavy rain with wet grass and bracken overhanging shedding water to my socks to soak down into my boots. The terrain with mixed heather, bracken, scattered birch and many variations of heathland grasses was all a little reminiscent of Cannock Chase bringing back fond memories of crossing that special landscape on two occasions in opposite directions. My enjoyment of that large open stretch changed abruptly as I arrived at the A684 which was uncommonly busy with cars speeding unusually quickly and I crossed in peril to climb the stile on the other side.

The change of scenery was also abrupt but enjoyable in a different way as I descended sheep-cropped undulating land to a lively stream and a well constructed footbridge. Here I could hear but could not see a vociferous buzzard somewhere up there in the sky.

I climbed up and over to Ghyll Farm. The farmer passed by sitting high in a monster tractor towing a monster muck-spreader and he gave me a friendly wave. Many fellow walkers abhor walking on tarmac but I have no objection if on quiet lanes, but so much the better if there is not too much of it and now I walked steeply downhill on an interesting narrow twisty lane, but for less then a half a kilometre. A footpath sign, to my surprise and pleasure, informed me that I was now in the Yorkshire Dales. Here I passed the strangely named Shack la Bank Farm where I photographed a quirky caravan like vehicle/holiday home fashioned in the shape of a latter day gipsy caravan but made ingeniously from green painted corrugated iron.

As I now sit writing up this post I was sufficiently interested by the farm name to do an Internet search and was rewarded with the discovery that this was the home of Alison O Neill The Shepherdess who I think has featured in the media for her fortitude in running this farm and exploiting wool from her sheep to make tweed clothing and the like - she has a fascinating website that is well worth a look and I give below a taster from her introduction:

"I live in the The Yorkshire Dales and run a small hill farm which overlooks the majestic Howgill Fells in historic Westmorland. I am blessed with a rare freedom, a life lived in nature amongst such natural beauty. I work quietly in the old way, woven to my landscape, betrothed to the life of a shepherdess. I don’t like sheep, I love them and I always have. I care for my flock and in turn they provide for me. I fashion their wool creating beautiful products, offering provenance and heritage as hallmarks for every item I produce. I enjoy sharing my world. I guide walks, hold talks about my life and welcome you to visit me here at the farm on the hill."

For me this sort of discovery is one of the several enjoyments both for the physical discovery and later research that comes from my walking passion.

Halfway on the contouring high level path to Grassrigg farm a welcome lone bench provided the perfect stop for a munch and a drink with magnificent views across the Lune valley to the Howgills, the Barbon hills and further south Cragg Hill heading up another entrance to the Yorkshire Dales.

At Grassrigg I chatted with the farmer (at a distance) - he told me they had completed their sheep shearing and were now busy with farm maintenance. A steep little climb up an old medieval lane brought me back onto the extensive area of the Cannock-Chase-like scenery. A single deer shot off in front of me with his white rump bobbing up and own and covering the ground at an enviable and faultless speed. The circle was completed and the lone fisherman on the edge of Killington Lake I had seen at my start was long gone and my car stood alone in Kent Angling Club's car park. That was a splendid walk taking four and a half hours for four and a half miles, so really a stroll but the more enjoyable for that.

"Are you looking at me?"

Off into my imagined Cannock Chase. I had to park half a kilomtere back down the road from this, my intended starting point.

Some kind of thistle I think

Looking back. You can just see a bit of the head of Killington Lake - click to enlarge

And looking ahead - pine forest on the left

The open heahtland I lkened to Cannock

The strange construction at  Shack la Bank Farm

These colourful flowers were about tweny yards away and the next two photos were closer and then closer zooms

A slightly hazardous stream crossing

Grassgill Farm. My path went up the old medieval lane at the back of the farm

Another happy farmer's wife after he suggested them having a new bath so he could use the old one

Looking back down the old lane to Grassgill

Sorry - forgot to include this when I posted earlier today


  1. I tried this new interface a few weeks ago and found it wanting, so I reverted to the old one, which Google says will still be available.

    I'll be interested to see how you get on; maybe they have improved it since I tried.

    I have the same issue with Photobox (I've just compiled and ordered a photobook covering my first TGO Challenge in 2007), where the newer software loses much of the flexibility of the old software.

    And I still miss Picasa, for which I've not found a replacement. That was a good product, whilst Blogger isn't, especially since the Live Writer software became unusable to non-techies like me.

  2. That area around Killington Lake has been a rich source of walks for you. All new to me so I'm interested to follow them.
    I was just going to say where is your customary map when it suddenly appeared.
    The weather has gone downhill.

  3. Phreerunner - For other readers - I did a temporary post about New Blogger to which Phreerunner responded.

    My brother has come to the conclusion that the New Blogger interface one is invited to try in Blogger Dashboard may make it advisable to start a completely new Blogger blog in case the current one is no longer supported or withdrawn. My interpretation is that they have just introduced a new interface for Blogger Dashboard. I have had a look at that and whilst it differs little from the present one I prefer the old one and intend to stick to it for a while. If anybody else agrees with my brother's prediction or has any thoughts I would be interested to hear.


    BC - I have at least one more route in that area but in the language of Rum Doodle it means "going high" - well not all that high, but I prefer to save it for a good forecast. I just forgot to include the map and suddenly realised whilst watching some boring tv and letting my mind wsnder, so up I jumped and did the neccessary.

  4. Ruth - I replied to your comment on that older post on the post (just in case you haven't gone back to have a look.)

  5. Saw your older comment, thank you, Conrad. Re bike locks: I have a big, heavy D lock for my electric Scooty bike, but even those can get hacked through in Manchester, so I don’t ride the bike locally if I know I will have to leave it outside. Even in Scotland, I tend to hide it out of sight of the main road if I can.

  6. Nice pics Conrad. That orange flower is Devil's Paintbrush. I didn't know that, but my PlantSnap app did 😉.

    I've got a big D-lock for my bike too, and a motorbike chain to go with it, but Ruth's right - in Manchester that'd delay them no more than 20 seconds or so. It's survived without getting nicked in Heysham, Silverdale, Grange-over-Sands, and Ulverston Canal Foot so far, but its next stop will be Barrow-In-Furness which might be a bigger challenge for it 😂

  7. Paul H. - Thanks. I know that flower as Fox and Cubs but it is the same as your Devil's Paintbrush - Latin name: Pilosella aurantiaca.
    I get the odd one growing in my front lawn and whilst many regard them as weeds I mow round them - the colour is stunning.

  8. "The extra 0.5km was worthwhile due to a handsome cow". I've paraphrased slightly, but it struck me as the sort of statement that one doesn't hear very often!

  9. Gayle - Well I try - it's better than "It was a nice day" (I think.)