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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


Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Lune Valley Ramble 3

Tuesday 29th December 2020

Aughton to Loyn Bridge 

Many circumstances have prevented me from walking for weeks. Any leisure time has been filled with my model making. The De Havilland Mosquito was finished and I am now embarked on a Mk1 Spitfire, but at last a decent weather forecast coincided with a blank calendar and the opportunity to leave WW2 and The Battle of Britain for a while.

On 19th August I walked the second part of The Lune Valley Ramble. Since then I bought an E-bike at vast expense with the idea of using it to combine car and bike for linear sections of such walks. I have never really had my heart in cycling, although its benefits were much enjoyed when I was using a mountain bike for Munro bagging. After a couple of outings locally on the bike it languished in the garage until I was honest enough with myself to ignore the cost. which kind of forces one to  pretend it was a good idea, and admit that I just didn't enjoy its company. Particularly on busy roads I was apprehensive and nervy. A couple of weeks before Christmas the bike was advertised and I was thankful to get back £100 less than I had paid for it.

Linear multi-day walks will now have to be tackled using circular routes only with half the distance contributing to the main objective. I have now realised that this is of no consequence: a walk is a walk  and a being in its own right and if half happens to be part of an objective that is a bonus.

The car was iced up. I started up and adopted the security risk of leaving it running with all the defrosting heater thing blasting away. The last time I did this I went back inside and left the keys there only to find when I arrived at my destination to meet BC for a day's walk I could not re-start the car without the keys and I was brought back home by Green Flag on the back of their recovery vehicle hoping that the neighbours would not be looking. Great care was taken today to avoid a repeat.

I was able to use a car park opposite the church in upper Aughton. A steep road descent into the lower part of the village needed care with patches of non-visible black Ice here and there. There is a cottage and outbuildings down by the river where I finished last time and I looked with mixed thoughts at the open ended barn I had earmarked as a good place to conceal a bike when I next resumed, and here I was now with the revised plan.

Although there was a heavy frost fields were still gloopy and hard going. It took perhaps quarter of a mile to get back to the river - it really is a big beast at this stage and the views upstream exemplified the  now spectacular scale.

I was soon into wooded sections with steep rough muddy mini switchback paths,  often intimidatingly above the river and with treacherous tree routes and numerous crossings of deeply gouged tributary streams - all generally arduous going. Hardly a pleasant "Lune Valley Ramble." This continued with odd sections of muddy fields. At one point there is a little cottage called The Snab. I had of course to Google this back home but although it is mentioned by other walkers  derivation is not mentioned. Googling "snab" alone came up with:

Sellers-Nuffield Advanced Biology (SNAB) is an advanced level Biology course. The course uses real life contexts as a starting point to introduce relevant knowledge and understanding of biological principles.

I don't think I'll be signing up for that anytime soon even though it may be more palatable using "real life concepts."

My "furthest north" was the familiar Loyn Bridge passed on our Wainwright's Way with BC and on many other occasions but not from this direction. I italicised being reminded of what I thought was a fantastic bargain - a grand first edition of "Nearest the Pole" by Peary (1907) found in a secondhand bookshop for thirty shillings. Gloating on this coup I examined further back at home -  looking at the list of illustrations I noted: "Frontispiece, colour, Peary planting the US flag at the "the furthest north." Excited I realised that this must have been a very rare colour photo at the time thus potentially increasing the value of my find - the frontispiece had been removed.

The return by roads and paths was enjoyable climbing back to  higher ground with extensive views of the Lune valley. I think I will need two more of these circular trips to finish off this project; return paths are not so evident but I have not yet planned properly.

Worth clicking photos to enlarge

The  exciting centre of Lower Aughton

Picking up from my last finishing point. The river is rejoined near the distant trees. Note the metal gate on the right of the stile then my next photo

Not sure if this old gate was supposed to be that shape or if it somehow got that way. The top bent bar appears to be a re-used scaffolding bar

Rough going perilously above the river

The Snab

They were several hundred yards away down below. I thought they were up to no good and took this long zoom but when I was closer I could see they were fishing. At least I was on the move keeping warm, they must have been frozen, but they seemed to be well clad

The river Wenning joining the Lune

Loyn Bridge "furthest north"
Flights of fancy?


  1. Sorry to hear the bike has gone, but it sounds as though it was going to be more trouble than it was worth.
    That muddy stretch through the woods looked arduous. I've given up on mud for a while.
    You did well to be superstitious of those three characters, since when do you need camouflage clothing for fishing? Was there any evidence that they had canoed up the Lune under the cover of darkness for a rendezvous with Mr Y.

  2. BC - Yes, the bike goes under that heading of "It seemed like as good idea at the time."

    I just had a look at the cast list for Cockleshell - what a dose of nostalgia with all those well used character actors. I can't believe it was 1955 - that is 65 years ago!

    Perhaps you were right and the fishing tackle was just cover for some nefarious activity. There is a tenuous thread here - Broccoli directed Cockleshell and went on to do early Bond films. Looking at the white covering this morning today they would have been better clad in the outfits used for The Heroes of Telemark.

  3. I think the bike was a wise decision Conrad. Shame about the frontispiece though. Happy New Year btw.

  4. Yay! for a good weather window coinciding with a clear diary.

    Whilst a circular walk is always preferable if you need to return to the start point, I'm not averse to just turning around and retracing my steps. There are always different things to be seen when going in the opposite direction.

    Re: preheating the car and the associated security risk, we realised last week that a happy side effect of having a diesel heater fitted in the back of our car is that, if we're organised enough, we can set that running to both heat the interior and defrost the windows before a journey. It was pleasing to see that the snow on the roof didn't melt at the same time; we must have done a good job with the insulation.

  5. Alan R - I think it was partly to do with Lockdown with the bike. Casting round for something to do.


    Gayle - Retracing steps is something I have come to terms with over the last year or two especially when walking with my friend Pete. On this occasion I had no desire whatsoever to go back over that awkward path through the woods above the river. Good to hear how well your insulation performed - from what I saw of your construction I would have no doubts, better than most professional installations I think.