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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


Sunday, 13 March 2022

From Heversham

Saturday 12th March 2022 - 4 mile circuit from Heversham 

There has been much disruption and bad weather recently and I have not walked much during the last three months and have put on weight and lost fitness, so intend to walk more locally on a regular basis. Such walks hardly qualify for a post here but yesterday I drove a little further afield, albeit only about five miles to Heversham. 

I have dithered for ages about my mapping. For years I have had Memory Mp running on Windows 10 which is partitioned on my iMac desktop using Parallels software (Memory Map for Mac has a bad reputation. and therefore avoided by me.) I hate Windows 10 and the whole operation of Memory Map has been clunky especially if I close windows and then re-boot.

I pessimistically anticipated a mammoth struggle installing an alternative. Ages ago I did a trial with Anquet but found it hopelessly user unfriendly. So, on Friday I  bought the Ordnance Survey Premium package for s modest annual £23 for the whole of GB on 1:25 and 1:50. That downloaded seamlessly and similarly onto my iPhone with the app. I still have Memory Map there as well if I want to use it. Today's little four miler was partly to test out the OS mapping and also to explore some paths close to home which, as far as I can remember I haven't walked before. The OS mapping proves to be excellent. I can download  my existing GPX route files, and plot routes altering line thickness, colour and transparency along with many other easy to use attributes with convenient interaction with the app on the iPhone. In my opinion this is a superior product in all departments, especially when we presumably have the continually updated versions of OS mapping.

I parked up close to Heversham church and followed previously walked paths through the churchyard and up the hill skirting the trig on Heversham Head to arrive at the road above Greenside. From then onwards I was on new territory. Both myself snd fellow bloggers have recently noticed yellow paint on the latches of the newly installed swing gates, but I now came across a gate with no suitable latch to daub but it had  the now customary, but inexplicable dash of yellow on its top bar. I didn't climb all the way to the trig, but for others, if they visit here the view is one of the top three in my local area.

Fellow blogger BC has just posted about walking in Yorkshire Dales limestone country, a region with which I have a close affinity, and although not Yorkshire Dales I was in similar terrain with bright green, sheep-cropped pasture dotted with outcrops of whitish limestone combined with the blue of the sky - 'tis all a tonic to the soul.

After a short stretch of country road I was climbing on sheep pasture to pass by Hincaster Hall, a sixteenth century Grade 2 listed farmhouse.  This atmospheric edifice nestles in a mysterious hollow surrounded by gloomy trees awaiting the re-plumage of Spring. I could imagine melodrama - perhaps a prisoner held in upper rooms, or tales of smuggling, or skirmishes between Roundheads and Cavaliers or whatever. Half a mile further on the old farmhouse of High Barns had a contrastingly more congenial setting which I was pleased to capture to my satisfaction in the second of two photos below.

A few hundred yards on a walkway on the A6 gave me the opportunity to photograph and view in more leisurely fashion my favourite local tree. I must have driven past it hundreds of times. 

As I turned off on the track to Mabbin Hall I noticed a plaque never seen before detailing the site of an historic milestone, snd once again there was something new to discover from walking along oft driven roads.

Higher up that sunken lane my way was barred by a huge fallen tree. At first I thought I could get through crawling under the fallen trunk, but having done so found that even larger trunks and foliage made progress impossible. I was able to climb out up the banking and fortunately the tree had demolished part of the barbed wire fencing allowing easy access into the field. I followed on with the lane on my right separated by an endless impenetrable hedge. There is always tension in these circumstances hoping for a gate back into the lane or facing the dread of imprisonment or exit into another field, and so on... Escape only occurred when I reached the end of the lane leading onto the minor road for my descent back to Heversham.

Quite a rewarding local outing.

Heversham church - my path went through and out the back

I know we have discussed this strange new practice and I've already forgotten what conclusions  we came to as to the purpose, but I still wonder who these people are that dream up such schemes. I wonder how much they get paid?

The sun shining on Whitbarrow, another of my favourite limestone venues

Limestone sheep-cropped pasture

Hincaster Hall - all on its own in the middle of nowhere. Food for the imagination

High Barns, and below - a happier location

My favourite tree. It is only about eighty yards off the A6 and I have driven past hundreds of times

I crawled under, only to find...

...this. I climbed out on the left and carried on up the field

Start/finish: Heversham. Anti-clockwise. Map and route plotting courtesy of OS


  1. What a lovely engaging post Conrad.

  2. afoot - it is rewarding when one can find a number of commentable items and thoughts in a short walk like this. Discovering new things close to home where I have covered the ground more than most over the last twenty years is a little bonus.

  3. Very satisfying in so many ways.
    I'm relieved that you have found the OS mapping operational after my going on about it for years.
    I think I know that tree.
    Time I wrote a post again about my favourite tree, simple pleasures.

  4. BC - Yes, thanks to you for the push to OS mapping. Now, when YOU look at my screen you will be able to enlarge or reduce using the easier pinching method instead of being frustrated by Memory Map's clunky alternative.

  5. I always messed up YOUR screen - sorry.

  6. OS is really good value, isn’t it, although I always worry about my phone dying, so tend to buy paper maps instead. Glad you found a way to continue despite the fallen trees. What is the significance of the yellow marker on the gate?

  7. Ruth - I have a rechargeable battery pack that can be plugged into my phone. It will recharge my iPhone quite easily up to 60% or more. If the phone is well down it can be used with the device plugged albeit it becomes a little cumbersome. The one I have bears the name Macnally. There are plenty on the market if you search on the internet
    As for the yellow markers I don't know. There is a Government requirement for footpaths (walker's rights of way) to be marked with a yellow arrow on a black background but daubing gate latches with yellow is something that has started within the last 12 months or so. I can only offer the following which was culled from I know not where:

    "Note, below, the yellow latch on a kissing gate. Under the initiative of Michael Gove, supervised by Dominic Cummings, the Tory government would appear to have required each Local Authority to appoint a 'latchperson' to paint all gate and stile latches yellow so that their voters, now released into the UK countryside instead of being allowed to stumble around the crowded beaches of Spain, can find their way from yellow latch to yellow latch across the countryside of their homeland where they've never previously set foot ..."

    There is more about this and a photo of one of the painted latches on my friend Preerunner's blog:

  8. That is a mighty fine tree Conrad! The weather looks like it's turning (jinxed it now) so hopefully plenty more outings like this. I've booked 5 days walking the south Dumfrieshire coast in May, so hopefully the weather will hold!

  9. Hi Paul - I hope you will blog post your Dumfrieshire trip. I have considered that myself - I think it should be interesting. May is usually a good month, especially in more northern Scotland when you have a good chance of avoiding the midges.

  10. I wonder how many people have a favourite tree? I remember, when I worked in Derby, referring to a particular tree near Willington as my favourite (I assume it's still there, and I'm yet to find another tree that appeals to me more), only for my colleague to respond equally enthusiastically about the very same tree. It was the highlight of my drive to work each day.

  11. Gayle - It's much more important to have a favourite tree than to invade your neighbour for no logical reason.

  12. I trust you have sent that message to the 'gentleman in the east' - the reply will probably say - yes i have, but nothing beats the deep thrill of committing . . . (add whatever terms - note the plural - come to mind).

  13. gimmer - have you got his email address?