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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


Monday, 17 August 2020

Lune Valley Ramble 1

Sunday 16th August 2020 - Part of Lune Valley Ramble.

Crook of Lune to Aughton and back - 7 miles

I've never noticed this long-distance-path before. I happened upon it whilst browsing the OS map.  It is only 17 miles in total from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale. I have previously walked from Lancaster to Caton (Crook of Lune) in bits and pieces many times so today I  took off from Crook of Lune.

From my parking I walked down the road to Crook of Lune failing to notice a walled path which would have been safer.

I was off at 9:00 am, The river bank provided perfect sheep cropped turf and nobody about, not even at the popular car park. The river bank path was blighted every so often by black rectangular burnt patches where folks who usually go to Costa del Spain to mindlessly misbehave had set up their barbecues. Litter was surprisingly absent - the litter pickers must have been before me?

The path entered steep sided woods and here I met two tough Lancashire guys coming the other way. One noticed, much to my surprise, my favourite item of outdoor kit. I bought this Pertex windproof jacket over twenty years ago from Mardale Clothing who manufacture and sell from a unit in an old Industrial Revolution red brick building off Strand road in Preston. The material is incredibly light and sports a hood and two pockets. When you set off in the morning and there is a nippy wind but not enough to justify anything heavy this garment is ideal - you can scrunch it up into a ball not much bigger than a fistful. Years later I went back to Mardale to try and get a  replacement but they no longer make it and looking at their current website they seem to have changed their whole profile. The chap who recognised this treasure obviously regarded it as highly as I do having had one himself but no longer, and suggested I should pass it on to him if and when I had finished with it. That was quite a jolt for me to have somebody recognise this gem from so many years ago. Outdoor gear manufacturers have a habit of making something classic, then messing about and spoiling it or discontinuing. 

Beyond the woods the 1906 Waterworks Bridge appeared which serves Manchester from Haweswater reservoir in the Lake District.  It is worth noting that this provides a rare footpath crossing of the River Lune.

Beyond the river takes a massive loop to the south which the Lune Valley Ramble follows. A tributary stream has to be crossed here and that would normally necessitate walking further up to find a crossing, but a rough descent from the path to its bank and a squelchy traverse leads to some stepping stones and a handy shortcut.

As I approached Aughton I had a spell of drizzly rain for about half an hour. Aughton was eerily silent apart from a lone white delivery van  - I see them everywhere nowadays and I suppose remote areas have had vehicle volumes increase with the advent of more on-line shopping.

The road out of Aughton is incredibly steep and inadvertently walking thirty yards beyond the footpath turn off seemed more irritating than it should have. The return journey at a higher altitude over undulating fields gave splendid views of the Lune valley below.

Worth clicking photos to enlarge

Down onto the Lune banking from the car park

The Waterorks Bridge. Supplying Manchester from the Lake District - n.b. footpath over the river if you want

View from the bridge ( with apologies to Arthur Miller)

River looping south. Tributary enters below bushes where shortcut over stepping stones is found - see below

Stepping stones. Route going right round the isthmus created by the river loop

Over Lune Barn as marked on OS map - out on its own in the middle of nowhere

Inside the barn. I suppose the roof and walls will fall soon

Aughton. Apparently deserted but the white vans are now everywhere

Bench mark, originates from the chiseled horizontal marksthat surveyors made in stone structures, into which an angle-iron could be placed to form a "bench" for a leveling rod, thus ensuring that a leveling rod could be accurately repositioned in the same place in the future.
Thanks to Wikipedia

Not rare I suppose but a bit old

Middle High Field

Across the Lune to Caton with Clougha Pike looming above

My route: red outllne north of Caton



  1. I'll have to remember to wear my Mardale top next time we are out. I might have been tempted to sell mine to the highest bidder of the two passers-by.
    That made a good circular walk, well plotted. How far was it?
    I seem to recall cutting straight across the neck of that isthmus as a shorter way.

  2. BC - As the marked route follows the isthmus I felt obliged to follow apart from being curious. As it turned out it was the most boring and squelchy part of the walk. As shown in my heading the distance was 7 miles. Have you actually got one of those jackets and if so do you rate it as I do?

  3. I think it was flooded when I cut across.
    Yes I used to visit the Mardale mill often to purchase his wears.

  4. I recall doing this stretch of the river in 2016 and enjoyed it very much. There are some lovely bridges over the Lune. You were correct about the tractor. No rarety value. There are loads of them about. They built them in Huddersfield between 1961 and 1980.

  5. That's a nice little route, Conrad. You have an endless supply of them!

  6. As Martin says, you have lots of interesting routes quite near you Conrad which give rise to equally interesting posts. As for manufacturers discontinuing or redesigning perfectly good jackets etc, this renewal does provide opportunities for those 'blurr moments' you, and I suspect many of us, really quite enjoy now and then.

  7. Alan R - I think I was grasping at straws not having seen any notweworthy tractors recently. The search goes on.

    Phreerunner - You do pretty well in your locale.


    Afoot - I have just had a monster blurr moment. A new 21.5 inch iMac is on order. My old one (late2009) is no longer supported and is still running on Sierra. Part of the disk was partitioned running Windows 7 (which again was no longer supported) on Parallels which I have just updated to Windows 10. I'm not looking forward to the transfer from old to new.

  8. Computers, phones.... I get our local computer shop to do any transfers, and Carphone do phone upgrade transfers. I just about manage to set up email on the phone, but that's about the limit of my technical ability (or lack of it).
    I'm still wrestling with an Anquet mapping software upgrade from several years ago.
    Good luck, Conrad

  9. Hi Conrad. Sent 2 emails recently without reply. Just wondering if you received them?

  10. Phreerunner - Apple say they will do it for you (remotely). They have been much better with their support of late, but I am still a bit apprehensive - we will see.

    Alan R. - replied by email.

  11. Sir Hugh - I suspect I’ll have a blurr moment next year when the new iPhone 12 Pro Max is released. My current iPhone’s battery will only charge to max 81% and very occasionally the phone will shutdown during use. Your iMac did well lasting 11 years. Ours is 2 years old so a bit to go. I found the transition from Windows to Mac very easy though I’ve resisted upgrading from High Sierra to Catalina which no doubt will be installed on your new shiny iMac. Lucky you.

  12. afoot - I guess your new iPhone won't be much less in cost than my new iMac. I have an iPhone 6 Plus that is till going strong. I bought it outright when I found I would have paid for it within just over twelve months of a three year contract. I suppose it wont be long before I have to bite the bullet again.

  13. My laptop, which (if my memory serves me) has just turned 10 this week, started severely misbehaving last week and I feared that I was going to have to bite the bullet and replace it. Fortunately, before I did so my sister happened to mention that hers had developed the same symptoms on the same day, which was too much of a coincidence for it not to be a software update issue. I thus put off making a new purchase and happily this week the problem has gone away. I know at 10 years old it's living on borrowed time, but the longer I can postpone having to transfer everything to a new laptop, the better!

  14. Gayle - I presume you haven't got as far as Windows 10? I have it now on my Parallels partitioned part of my iMac and although there is nothing inherently wrong with it I am finding it difficult. They seem to want you, by default, to off-load lots of stuff into The Cloud and they use icons instead of real words. I'm glad that my main computer usage is with Apple, although, as I have said before, I am not stupidly starry eyed about the big A. Their word processor, Psges for instance is woefully inferior to Microsoft Word.

    1. No, I'm still on Windows 7, which I like. Mick's on Windows 10, so I have used it a bit and I suppose I'll have to get used to it (or it's successor if my laptop lives long enough).

  15. Gsyle - The problem is thst W7 is no longer supported. I had problems trying to use a spreadsheet with an older version of Windows Excel and sharing it with my daughter. The indications were that things were going to get evermore clunky.