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, 19 May 2022

Jeffrey's Mount and Borrowdale

 Wednesday 18th May 2022 

Walk 10 "Jefferey's Mount and Borrowdale" from: The Lune Valley and Howgills, Dennis and Jan Kelsall, Cicerone Press.

A large part of my attraction for walking comes from exploring new ground. But today I had no reservations about including part of the M6/A6 Borrowdale.  I discovered this Borrowdale years ago and fondly imagined it as my own secret valley and so it became one of my all-time favourite locations.

Amongst many visits over the years I have walked the southern ridge of this horseshoe but not the northern and I was pleased to find the secret to its access to Jeffrey's Mount from the north.

It is noticeable the change in scenery between the Howgills to the east and the now Lake District hills to the west separated by the M6. The Howgills for me have a kind of lonely sameness overall whereas back in Borrowdale and beyond we are in the true friendly and incomparable Lake District territory..

After parking at Lune Bridge a bit of tarmac leads to the climb up to Jeffrey's Mount which proved to be relatively easy, the sun was shining and I felt fit. However  as I climbed the wind increased.  The undulating ridge from that first summit was perfect walking on a broad grassy track but the wind was ceaseless the whole way and very strong. I was tempted to continue to the end of the ridge where Borrowdale arrives at the A6  Shap road but decided to leave that for another day and I reluctantly descended to  Low Borrowdale Farm As I passed through a gate just before arriving at the farm I was greeted by two friendly horses who were pleased to have a tickle and a scratch. It is good to see two together like that, I often feel sorry when I see them alone in a field especially when the weather is less than perfect. These two had enormous feet which seemed to give them an endearing quality,.

Now walking back down my enchanted Borrowdale the wind had dropped.  the sun was warm, asd all was delight. I walked slowly and kept stopping to look up at the steep  sides of the valley and the blue sky above the line of the ridge. I dallied to prolong this part of the walk.

Just past the farm  a tent had been erected by the Fell Runners Association for a forthcoming or past event. I tall looked a bit messy and out of character for these guys who I much respect and  who usually do everything to a high standard. 

Where the track crosses onto the other side of Borrow Beck  a lone guy was repairing the bridge but he was not very communicative and we didn't get past  comments about the weather. Where the track emerges onto the Lune Bridge/Tebay road  the route went straight across on tarmac to Salterwath Bridge, From here a path heads north through old woods and then pasture following the River Lune which rattles and flows in lively fashion down this Lune gorge where Lune, railway and M6 are crammed side by side. That sounds a bit grim but I have found it a surprisingly attractive locale. Bird life was abundant and seemed undisturbed by the occasional high speed train passing through.

That was a good walk with individually defined sections giving variety and interest all the way. 

Please click photos to enlarge

Leaving the tarmac from Lune Bridge and the immediate start of the climb to Jeffrey's Mount

Jeffrey's Mount summit lies behind the hill on the horizon

Getting closer and...

...looking back north up the M6 and...

...Jeffrey's Mount summit and my onward path along the ridge

Perfect walking

Zoom. Looking south down the M6 and the Lune gorge

On my descent to Upper Borrowdale Farm - looking up the rest of Borrowdale to where it eventually crosses the A6

My two friendly horses. Note the big clompy feet.

Upper Borrowdale Farm

Taken because of the quirky VW badge

The farm from the front

The lively Borrow Beck and bridge with its lone repair man

After crossing the Tebay road where Borrowdale emerges it's under the M6 and under the railway and onwards to cross the Lune at  Salterwath bridge
The path north on the eastern side of the Lune immediately after crossing Salterwath bridge


Latest from Katie - A Koala bear watercolour

Click to enlarge.

Friday, 13 May 2022


6th. May 2022

This iconic Japanese fighter attracted me with its design and colour scheme, an interesting change from the camouflage of the British RAF planes I have modelled so far.

I hope to place a fairly detailed record of this one model of my efforts in a series of posts to show those  interested more idea of what is involved. This will be mainly  pictorial description.

Box art on most kits is exemplary contrasting with the stark reality of grey plastic sprues inside the box.

There are other bits and pieces but the main construction comes from cutting these parts from the sprue, glueing them together and painting. Some parts have already been removed here.

Modules are built as far as one can go before painting. There are about half a dozen parts here forming the cockpit floor. The whole cockpit interior is built up as a free standing unit.

The visible part of the interior fuselage painted on each half and detailed equipment added snd painted.

Pilot's seat. There are six separate pieces here

All the parts to complete the cockpit have been painted using my air brush. Details are then picked out by hand-painting over the base colour. The parts are held down on Blue Tack to stop them being blasted into oblivion by the sir brush.

The completed cockpit module and below with the machine guns added. The bare grey plastic will not be seen inside the fuselage. Also not much of this detail will be visible although I do intend to model with the canopy open so that one will be able to see some of the detail. I made the seat belts from 1mm. masking tape thus voiding the tedious use of photoetch parts included in the kit (photoetch is a subject all on its own and too involved to explain here, for the moment.)

Seeing this enlarged photo I realised the ends of the gun barrels needed trimming - 'tis now done.

To be continued.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Bowderdale, Howgills, and The Calf

 Wednesday 11th May 2022

Bowderdale and The Calf, Howgills.

Walk 4 from: The Lune Valley and Howgills, Dennis and Jan Kelsall, Cicerone Press.

The authors say in their introduction  "If you only do one walk in the Howgills, this should be it."

My Met Office forecast app shows a row of shining suns for the day so off I go.

Over recent years these forecasts have been highly accurate. So when I park up at the cul-de-sac road end in Bowderdale I am not concerned at the  heavy rolling cloud cover varying from light greys to brooding darkness. I watch swallows darting through the car window as I sup coffee from my flask confidently believing that a clearance would be forced by the strong wind. But, perhaps a shred of doubt sets in as I find myself employing delay tactics for my departure.

On the stroke of 8:00 am I am away. The last bit of tarmac leads onto a good farm track but littered with puddles from the heavy overnight rain. 

At a wall-end I branch left leaving the track to continue its way up the ridge that I will be returning by. 

I am now on a narrow but  well defined walker's footpath which has been skilfully engineered to  follow a contour with hardly any loss or gain in height for around five kilometres to the head of the valley. The rounded but impressive peak of Yarlside dominates at the end of the valley. The Calf is hidden round the corner to the right.

The cloud cover of variegated greys has not cleared and halfway up the valley rain arrives and the wind increases and this continues for the rest of the walk

At the head of the valley the path demonstrates again the skill of its designer by taking a slanting climb across the fellside. The angle chosen allows (me at least) to walk at a steady plod without the need for frequent stops to catch breath, a remarkable achievement for a path that needs to gain  height in a short distance. As I swing to the south-west I get views down to the A683 with a rare patch of sunlight illuminating the starting point for the normal ascent of The Calf via Cautley Spout.

As the path pulls out onto the plateau there is a tiny tarn. The wind is now ferocious driving intermittent spells of rain. I am battling into that and meet two guys walking The Dales High Way and we have a brief chat. They warn me to be careful in view of the high wind. I must look like a vulnerable old codger who should know better than to be up here in these conditions. So much for the Met Office  forecast. At the Calf trig I take a quick snap with no consideration for composition. I then remove my rucksack and delve to get a pair of gloves out of the pocket of the hollowfill jacket therein. With the wind tearing at everything this is a more onerous task than one might imagine - the wind catches a handkerchief which I must retrieve but I am stood there with the jacket being torn about by the wind as I stuff it back and then scamper to reclaim the handkerchief. I depart the summit in haste.

I now have that wind behind me and trot along with more ease. The Dales high Way ridge from here back down to Bowderdale must be one of the best ridges in England - I backpacked this LDP in 2016.  Even in today's conditions it is a delight with enticing views into the steep sided  valleys and distant vistas in all directions. I am pleased to remember to branch off at the little tarn from the well defined path by which I ascended.  The Dales High Way path is not obvious where it leads off from the tarn and it would be easy to blindly follow the more well defined path that leads back down into Bowderdale, but I reckon you would soon realise the mistake. 

At eleven miles ( including 2069 feet of ascent) that is the longest I have walked for a long time and I'm pleased to note that I am in no way fatigued as I devour my packed lunch back at the car - there had been nowhere whatever to stop for that on the route especially in those conditions.


Interesting stats: Memory Map gives me 2069ft. of ascent and then 2070ft. of descent; what happened to the other foot?

The Bowderdale road ends a sort distance beyond this. 8:00 am and I'm off

The farm track littered with puddles. 

First views looking up upper Bowderdale. My path swings to the left a bit further on to pick up the contouring path.

Note the well defined path, the clouds, and Yarlside dominating at the head of the valley

The path clinging obediently to its contour

Looking back down Bowderdale

A glimpse back down to the Sedbergh road and the more conventional starting point for the ascent of The Calf

The Calf - (676m. - 2217ft.)

The Dales High Way path from The Calf summit. It soon becomes more of a  boggy trek but nowhere enough to be a real nuisance. Note the ridge extending forever in the distance.

The route on the right is that of my Blease Fell walk posted here a few days ago

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Randygill Top and Green Bell (Howgills)

Saturday 7th May 2022 

Walk No. 1 from: The Lune Valley and Howgills, Dennis and Jan Kelsall. Cicerone Press.

A tough little walk for me, eight miles and 1695ft. of ascent, but it was oh so good to get back on some hills again.

"Twas easy walking as far as Weasedale but then out onto the uncultivated grassy upland and a relentless five kilometre climb much of it on steep ground. I say relentless but from the spot height at 586m, just as one thinks Randygill Top is only now a short distance away one drops very steeply about 100m. to Leathgill Bridge (actually a natural land feature) followed by its corresponding climb out on the other side to gain Randygill summit. If I had looked carefully at the map contours I would have been prepared for this sting in the tail.

From that spot height I thought I could see figures on Randygill summit and I took a zoom shot. When I arrived there was a small orange tent, a radio aerial and a guy with a large, even for its breed, Alsatian dog. The dog saw me and started to bark with savagery but happily for me the guy had hold. However that dog was obviously very strong and its owner was struggling to retain it and I could see a  possibility of him loosing control. If that had happened I believe seriously that I would now be dead. I couldn't go to the summit cairn snd turned to pick up the track to Green Bell taking a quick zoom shot back to the summit, the dog, and its owner.

Further down the path a runner came up behind. I had noticed little blue flags marking the path. I was informed that I was on the route used by the SAS as a selection tool for applicants to weed out wanna-bees that would not be up to the mark. 

I gleaned more from the marshal on Green Bell. The course is a strenuous fifteen mile trek over these Howgills with a full Bergen rucksack. The guy on Randygill was marshalling a checkpoint. TToday was the annual event open to all,  some training to do the selection course for real, and any members of the public who want to have a go either running or walking unencumbered with the rucksack.   Today there were fifty entries and they kept passing me from time to time until I veered from their route well down the other side of Green Bell.

A bonus for the walk described in the book was a short diversion to view the source of the River Lune. I have previously been disappointed on similar searches finding nothing much to pinpoint the exact location amongst a mush of peaty ground, but this one didn't disappoint with its well defined spring and a half decent trickle of water and a well defined streamlet leading off to turn west alongside the A 685 and now named River Lune.The first section is named on the map as Dale Gill and this leads into Greenside Beck, but it is quite obvious the these two form the proper origination for the River Lune. I gained a sort of smug satisfaction from this little visit. 

That was a good round and would provide an excellent introduction for anybody to the Howgills

Randygill in the clouds on the right and the summit well back. Green Bell to the left. The clouds cleared and I had good sunny weather for most of the walk

Yet another old farmhouse in the process of renovation. Why do they make such a mess or is it me that is just OCPD?

On the way to Randygill

Red dots - looking back to my route all the way to the A685

Zoom to strangers on Randygill summit

Just a taste of Howgills scenery

The loss of height and the required climb out from Leathgill Bridge. It was MUCH steeper on descent and ascent than the photo indicates.

The savage Alsatian on Randygill summit. This was a zoom back I took after putting some distance between me and them

On the way to Green Bell

A  more friendly marshal on Green Bell who told me all bout the SAS selection course and today's event

Source of the River Lune and... it goes to join the Lune gaining its proper name as it swings west to follow the A685. One would expect this river to flow out north to the Solway but after travelling west to Tebay it swings sharp left and goes south to eventually reach the sea beyond Lancaster.

Anti-clockwise from Wath on the A685