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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


Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Place names

I am not sure I can explain why I have concocted the list of place names below. They are taken from the four separate stages of my walk from Berwick upon Tweed to Castle Cary, The Angles Way, and The Severn Way. Some of the names are just quirky. Some seem to please the tongue and perhaps, at the same time, associating  with something deep in the mind.  Others are there because I derived more than average pleasure when I passed through. There is no particular order -  odd ones became misplaced during my haphazard research. There are obscure villages in amongst  of which I have no picture in my mind, but still I just like the sound. Our English tongue is derived from many other languages and these names are evidence, but in no way has the list been compiled to demonstrate that. I know I have a number of readers from overseas and maybe they will be entertained?

If you scan our Ordnance Survey maps you will find many names much more  peculiar and in some cases, I suppose unintentionally, amusingly vulgar; this list has not attempted to encompass them.  These are my  names which one way or another have an attraction for me. I may now trawl others of my long walks.

My two favourites for which I give no explanation are Shepherd's Patch and Framilode.


  1. Shepherds Patch is a delightful name. Would be a great name for a rural cottage too. I have to confess my favourite place name shows my narcissistic tendencies. It’s Ruthwell, a village near Dumfries. (Although, you can imagine my disappointment to discover it is pronounced Rothel, which rhymes with brothel.)

  2. It is quite scary or predictable that I've walked through many of those place names.
    Maybe we will meet one day.

  3. Ruth - Nothing wrong with a bit of narcissism, it's good for the morale in these troubled times. It is so irritating when one gets pulled up for ignorance of unpredictable pronunciations of place names and there are many. I suggest you use a bit of licence and adopt Rothiemurchos Forest in the Cairngorms. I did have a little chuckle over breakfast when I read your comment this morning.
    BC - What about planning a backpacking route to include them all? I t would be a long one.

  4. On all of our Big Walks there can't have been a day that went by on which I didn't sit and study the map print-outs from that day, either during our lunch break (opportunity to do so depended upon whether the map was being used as a table!) or whilst making our evening meal. The fun was always spotting odd, or just nice sounding, place names. I've just finished a jigsaw of the Harvey's map of the Peak District and the name that jumped out from that was 'Cakes of Bread'.

    As for the place names you list here are some slightly random thoughts associated with some of them:
    1) I narrowly avoided receiving my secondary education at Brewood Convent;
    2) my cousins went to primary school at Enville;
    3) Mick and I spent our wedding night at a hotel in Pattingham;
    4) In Ironbridge, when I was 6 or 7, my father refused to walk on the same side of the street as me as I'd covered myself so comprehensively with mud when out on a walk (oddly, I remember him walking across the road, undoubtedly in jest, and remember how muddy I was, but have no recollection of exactly how I got in such a state);
    5) Where I grew up 'I had to go right round the Wrekin' is the common way of saying you had to go a long way to get to somewhere; and finally,
    6) Kirkwhelpington - where I accosted a man in a garden for some water before we went to camp near some woodland on our way to Winter's Gibbet. The following day we continued on to Elsdon where, to our disappointment, the tea room was closed and we had to make do with brewing up a cup of tea in a sheltered corner outside of the village hall. A year or two later we walked through Kirkwhelpington again, camped in the same spot, and that time found the Elsdon tea room to be open. I believe that some scones were demolished.

  5. Gayle - Splendid. It's a wonder we haven't bumped into each other more often. I am now surprised to see that I missed out Gayle which I did walk through on the Berwick/Cary trip. I would certainly have included it if my record trawling had reminded me of it.