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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, 31 May 2023

Kingsdale circuit

 Tuesday 30th May 2023 - Kingsdale circuit

Emboldened by my relatively level country canal walk a few days ago I decided on something more strenuous.

I quote from my post from 14th July last year:

"I don't think I have driven up Kingsdale before and I was awed. Kingsdale is a major go-to environ for potholders which one can imagine from this broad dale with ranges of exposed craggy limestone lining the steep valley sides, it is like something from another planet"

Searching my OS map on the computer I found that the above had already prompted me to draw a route. Closer inspection  marked mysteriously at the halfway point "Apron Full of Stone" using capital letters indicating this as an assigned name  - mmm?

My previous visit had fixed in my mind a wild and unfrequented dale and that was what I expected. When I arrived at a previously noted mini lay-by on this narrow road from Ingleton I could only just squeeze in between two other cars.

After a short walk up the road I branched right on a track to climb to the point where a path continued north to skirt Kingsdale below its eastern ridge. The climb was taken very very slowly with minute steps and frequent rests. As I topped out though a boundary gate I thought the effort and my related breathlessness had brought on delusion in the form of a mirage - plonked in the middle of this stony track up which I would have hesitated to drive my old Land Rover was an ice cream van!

I couldn't pass by without taking advantage and spent a pleasant twenty minutes with some satisfaction, sat on a conveniently sized lump of limestone with a cornet and flake looking back across to my car on the other side of the dale.

A continuing short but steep (defined by me because of my affliction) section continued until level and pleasant walking took me to Braida Garth Farm. My OS map showed the public path skirting the top side of the farm which I followed through a complex of gates to arrive in the backyard of the farmhouse where I was greeted by the farmer. He told me the path now ran though the bottom side of the farm, but he was not concerned "you're not the only one" he said. We had some pleasant chat and off I went descending for a short stretch on the road. Kingsdale Beck, which I had crossed by bridge in full flow at the start of my earlier steep ascent was now a ribbon of dry boulders where any connection with water seemed unlikely. Further up the road I could see  Apron Full of Stones. I can hardly say I was excited but off I trod to have a closer look at this figment of the archaeologist's imagination:

"This romantically named site is a large ring cairn of gritstone and sandstone boulders perched on the eastern edge of Kingsdale Beck. It was excavated in 1972 and a cremation burial was found with no grave goods. Two further possible grave pits proved to be empty. The structure of the cairn is simple and of a single period with a boulder kerb.

The stones forming the body of the cairn are graded in size with the larger stones towards the base of the structure. The use of gritstone and sandstone is unusual since the site stands on limestone. Construction of the monument seems to represent clearance of glacial stone deposits scattered over a considerable area, perhaps as part of farming activity. A small collection of flints suggested an early Bronze Age date. The low-lying location has led at least one archaeologist to suggest that it is not a cairn at all, but a small henge. The revetment wall below the cairn was built by the National Park Authority to prevent further stream erosion."

I arrived at a point where I was close enough to satisfy my mild curiosity but continuation was blocked by the boulder strewn dry Kingsdale Beck. Rather than risk wrecking my ankle or worse I took a photo and trudged back to the road to start my ascent to the high level  path back along the western side of the dale.

I passed by Rowten Pot and took a photo. It seems that this could be one of the gateways to a huge caving/potholing Kingsdale complex.

From Wikipedia:

Rowten Pot is one of several entrances into the 27-kilometre (17 mi) long cave system that drains Kingsdale in North YorkshireEngland.[2] Its entrance is a shaft some 27 metres (89 ft) long, 10 metres (33 ft) wide, and at the southern end 72 metres (236 ft) deep.[3]


A stream enters from just below the surface at the northern end. The cave is largely vertical, but at the bottom the stream flows through a short section of passage into the underground West Kingsdale river. This connects downstream with the Kingsdale Master Cave through three short sumps.[1] Upstream, longer sumps may be followed up the valley for over 1 kilometre (3,300 ft), passing below the final pitch of Aquamole Pot.[4]

The cave is usually descended using single rope techniques, and is popular with cavers, being spacious and offering a variety of aerial routes.[5] The three short sumps which connect to the Kingsdale Master Cave can be free-dived.[6]

Further on I then passed Kail Pot which this time had a surrounding fence. Although looking impressive my research indicates that it is of little significance to the potholing fraternity.

From just past Kail Pot OS indicates a dead straight line path back to the road a little down from my car. That path rambled all over with twists and turns and with awkward limestone boulders underfoot. Eventually I followed a path not indicated which joined up with another which led directly back to the my car avoiding the anti-climax of a tarmac finish.

This had been a splendid outing in the best surroundings the Yorkshire Dales can offer. The 6.8 miles with 1035 feet of ascent with my breathlessness had been a challenge taking just over six hours at an average speed of about one mile per hour. But I deliberately took it slowly so that I could enjoy and I did stop for about twenty minutes for the ice cream and also another twenty minutes along the return high level path for my sandwich and coffee.

Memory Map with its Route Properties suggests two and a half hours!?

My car, the white one

General view up Kingsdale. My route crossed the bridge just above the wall bottom right and then climbed

Crossing Kingsdale Beck in full flow to start my climb

The climb to the ice cream van

Looking back from the ice cream van

Approaching Braida Farm

Kingsdale Beck now devoid of water

Apron Full of Stones - at the end of and just to the right of the fence

And as close as I got. Kingadle Beck dry intervening

Rowten Pot

Kail Pot

Start/finish at U shaped feature on route at bottom of map

Route in context

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Gargrave Pennine Way and Leeds iverpool Canal

Wednesday 24th May 2023 - Gargrave

My last walk of any significance was back in September. Since then walking has been local and short with the objective of me monitoring my breathlessness rather than the pleasure of going for a walk in its own right. The fact that I have now ventured on five miles plus away from my home territory is not an indication of miraculous recovery from my breathlessness,  but just rebellion at being restricted. 

This route was carefully selected for its mainly level terrain, and its more or less new territory for me. I did walk the Pennine Way part in 1987 south to north, but I had no recollection whatsoever of this part of the route today  in the opposite direction. I was pleased to note that the paths seem to be quite unspoiled and the PW retains its place for me as the best LDP in England.

Crossing the River Aire in Gargrave a few metres from my car

Leaving Gargrave. Turn off left onto Pennine way just beyond red car

Back to Gargrave church

South towards Skipton

Unspoilt easy walking on the Pennine Way

It wouldn't be ConradWalks without a bit of that orange hairy string.
Many of the stiles are still in situ but with the addition of a modest metal gate - no yellow catches!

Zoom to two guys who had just passed me, as do most these days. Pendle Hill in the distance

Returning now via the Leeds Liverpool Canal

Not going quite that far today

Not sure if this was named after Thelonious Monk - I listened to a lot of jazz in my fomative years, Monk was ahead of his time -  one of the greatest ever jazz piano guys

One ancient tractor and an an ancient-ancient one

If I get back to Photoshop painting this appeals to me as a possible subject.
Note the licence disc top right and see below

A good chat with this proud horse owner. She told me that she was letting here Welsh Cob feed on the lush verge of grass and wild flowers because  they contain many nutrients beneficial for horses. She owned the adjacent farm and was taking Horse back to have a groom and then for her to have a ride.  A pleasant meeting along my way.

One of several locks as I lost height back to Gargrave

Where the towpath switches sides,  a good example of attractive canal architecture. Just afer the photo a farmer appeared on a quad bike and set off down the cobbled path as I followed. He got stuck on the bend and had to manoeuvre with some difficulty using reverse gear and limited steering lock.

Start and finish at Gargrave.  5.4 miles,  34 0ft. of ascent. I was surprised at the measure of ascent. There were two short sections where I had to plod oh so slowly, but the rest of the ascent must have been imperceptibly gradual. 

Even though I still struggle with the breathlessness it was oh so good to be out exploring again and enjoying walking for its own sake.

Sunday, 21 May 2023


 Sunday 21st May 2023

I have been walking my 1.4 miles daily now for several weeks  - breathlessness continues with  slight improvement, and for certain it isn't getting worse.

Last time I saw a GP was on 28th March when I was referred to Cardiology at the hospital.  They have now given me a "Video Consultation Appointment" on 14th June - goodness knows how that will work? I also have a Lung Function Test scheduled with the GP for  22nd. June So I battle on, but I feel I need to rattle some cages. We shall see.

I have it in mind to go for some short walks further afield, perhaps two or three miles on flattish ground, maybe incorporating some canal paths - I hunger for seeing some new scenery, although I do not take for granted the splendid surroundings of my home domain.


My Jeep is completed to go along with my WW2 British Quad Gun Tractor

I have an idea for a diorama incorporating them both.. Note, the diorama will be set in a semi-desert, sandy terrain, hence the extensive weathering on the vehicles.


Musing in a hot bath the other day  a couple of good ideas came to me. It doesn't matter what they were, probably trivial, but significant for me.

I have noticed over the years that such ideas seem to flow like that when taking a bath, and of course one thinks of Archimedes.

Has anybody done any research on the physiological effects of relaxation, raising of body temperature and comfort of a hot bath? Does some of that improve the conductivity of synapses or have some other influence on other parts of the brain's mechanism?

Just a thought!

Sunday, 7 May 2023

Signpost oddity

 Thursday 4th May 2023 - Lindale Fell Road

On my Thursday walks with Pete we have covered the fell road from Lindale going north on several occasions - it is a favourite. Today at the crossroads shown on the map below we took note of the signpost pointing in four directions. I think these generic posts are cast iron and are everywhere in the UK and established at the very least more than fifty years ago.

"Witherslack" is pointing to Lindale

" Lindale" is pointing to Witherslack

""Cartmel" is pointing to High Newton

"High Newton is pointing to Cartmel

This cannot have occurred by turning the sign bodily, which in any case would not be easy as they are  securely embedded. The individual finger signs must just have been placed incorrectly, but when? The sign has been there for years and one would think that if the error had occurred at the time of installation it would have been corrected years ago.

Another of life's great mysteries.



The WW2 British Quad Gun Tractor is now finished, but I hope to make it the main part in a desert terrain diorama so it has been "weathered" appropriately with dust and sand. Thee will also be a Willis Jeep in the scene and that is now under construction.

The Quad kit came with its 25 pounder field  gun which I may make up later.