Mallerstang – Hell Gill, Yorkshire Dales

12 August, 2016

This was our first adventure into the Yorkshire Dales. On this hike we would see sculpture, lunch by a waterfall, follow rivers, walk past barns in fields and, of course, be studied by sheep.

The GPS track of our (almost) 6.5 mile walk can be found on my ViewRanger account. We were meeting up with Mike and Karen just south of Outhgill to start our walk along a section of Lady Anne’s Way, following the Penine Bridleway.

 

We start on a gentle incline. The weather was wet – not because it was raining, no – I insisted, it’s just that the clouds happened to be laying quite low on this day.

At the top we reach the Water Cut sculpture, by Mary Bourne, one of the 10 Eden Benchmarks located along the length of the River Eden. Mike and I try to take pictures while keeping our camera equipment dry.

Continue reading “Mallerstang – Hell Gill, Yorkshire Dales”

Win Hill and Crook Hill – Peak District

18 June 2016

We made our way into the High Peak of the District for this walk. Our aim was to summit the two peaks, Win Hill and Crook Hill, which face each other from across the Ladybower Reservoir, and this we did via a 9.7 mile hike. We must be getting fitter as it was not as strenuous as we imagined it would be when we set off, although the Kendal Mint Cake did come in handy at one point!

The GPS track of this walk can be found on our ViewRanger page.

From the car park, we make our way along the reservoir, going past what I can only assume is an overflow system to help protect the local environment from any flooding from the reservoir. In my imagination, however, I believe it to be a cruel Game of Thrones prison for the unfortunate and the innocent. We cross the dam before entering the woods, finding our way through to emerge at the foot of Win Hill.

Enjoy the views for a while – a good excuse to catch your breath before the final push to the summit.

Continue reading “Win Hill and Crook Hill – Peak District”

Lower Withington Circular Trail

15 May 2016

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This is a route that started by the Red Lion pub in Lower Withington and took us across fields and woods, with sights of new and old sand quarries and sneaky-peeks of Jodrell Bank between the trees.

So which way should we go?

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The GPS track can be found here on ViewRanger.

Cows featured heavily on this hike, as they do in most parts of Cheshire. The bulls in the photograph in the lower left image below took a little bit too much interest in our presence. Doing our best to be nonchalant and cool, we moved briskly on.

Amongst the mix of cattle, there are proper black and white cows.

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A proper cow.

Along the way, we were somewhat surprised to see sand quarries. It’s just something that wouldn’t have crossed our minds, but apparently the sand in Cheshire is high quality and well sought after, providing around 25% of the silica used for making windows in the UK. The conveyer belt that moves the sand from the quarry to the loading stations was miles long.

An example of what can happen to these quarries was soon apparent. At least it appears to be a managed process, and something is returned to the countryside.

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Abandoned farm buildings, ploughed fields and quiet country paths.

Another pleasant and unexpected surprise were the bluebells in Colt Hovel Wood.

The one thing missing from this very enjoyable and pleasant walk was a pub in the middle of the route, but at least there was one at the end.

Oh, and the other thing missing was a wallet with money to buy some drinks with. Sigh.

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Kintyre Way – Deer Hill

6th May 2016

 

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On the second day of our visit to Saddell Bay, we ventured out to follow a trail that Mike had picked out for us (out of the many he had stashed away). The trail would take us to the summit of Deer Hill and is a part of the Kintyre Way.

The GPS track of our route can be found here.

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The summit of Deer Hill (or Cnoc nan Gabhar, if you’re feeling up to it) promised us glorious views to eat our sandwiches by, in what was a beautiful day. So off we started.

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I’ve noticed that I always seem to be taking pictures of the backs of people when we’re on hikes and walks. Normally because I’ve fallen behind taking a picture of something else. As if to prove a point, here are some more pictures of people walking away from me, to go with the ones above.

I must have made a subconscious decision to try and get ahead to take some photos of people’s faces.

Maybe I’ll stick to backs ….

As I hope you can see from this selection of images, the views around this part of Argyll & Bute are truly beautiful, especially on a day like we had with the Isle of Arran providing the backdrop.

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We got to the summit after about 2hrs 20mins and just soaked in the views, accompanied by some sandwiches (thanks Mike!) and some tea (thanks Karen!) and some cake (thanks Mila!).

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Saddell Bay

5th May 2016

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We woke up early that morning. On the road by 5am heading to Scotland, to meet and spend a few days with some very good friends of ours. The road to Argyll & Bute passes through some lovely scenery and I regret not stopping to take pictures and absorb the landscape along the way, but we had almost 400 km to cover. We made mental notes along the way of all the places we need to come back to – I’m sure we won’t remember them all, but if we can return to half of them, I’ll be happy.

We got to Saddell Bay just after lunch time. Our friends were still out exploring, so we took a walk along the Bay, recalling memories from 21 years ago when these friends got married, in the cottages at the end of the bay.

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There was a plastic bucket-cum-basket on the beach.

It was orange (…the bucket… not the beach…).

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Stone collecting. The pile of stones shown below now adorns the windowshelf in our conservatory at home.

Walking up and down the beach you can appreciate different views of Saddell House and the cottages on Saddell Bay.

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Looking sinister, and then pleased with herself.

We weren’t the only ones walking on the beach that day.Saddell_011At the southeastern end of the bay, stands the famous east-facing Land sculpture by Anthony Gormley.

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It was a long drive from Cheshire, but certainly worth it.

Holmes Chapel – Swettenham

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This is an enjoyable walk that takes in some wonderful views around the Cheshire countryside, starting off along the Dane Valley Way.

GPS Track on ViewRanger

The route starts by crossing a long field which was quite muddy following the rains of Spring. Cut through a small wood and cross a brook before quickly coming out to open fields once more.

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There is something about a lonesome tree that I just can’t resist to photograph it.

Lonely Tree, Cheshire

The track does pass along some farmland and one of the farmers seemed to be running a hunting/shooting trip that morning. We tried to keep to the official path, but at one point we were prevented from following it due to, well, a bovine blockade. We had to improvise and made our way around (there’s a tell-tale loop on the GPS track).

Shortly afterward, we are reminded that all gates should be closed behind us, under strict penalty if we fail to abide. Not sure if they would accept a credit card for the 40 shillings, we made sure the gate was firmly closed behind us.

Then we enter Swettenham, a nice little village with a nice pub for a pit stop. The Lovell Arboretum is by the Swettenham Arms, but we decide to leave this for another time. Our drinks are gratefully downed, and we continue to the end.

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From the Mana Road

I posted about a trip we took along the Mana Road back in December. When reviewing and reflecting on that day about a couple of months ago, I realised that I wanted to do more with those images.  I finally managed to get a few of those photos together and put them into an eBook of sorts. As well as showing a selection of 11 photos from that trip, I also talk a bit about the experience I felt while on the Mana Road. As you can see by the title, it is not really about the road itself, but what you experience and see from the road that mattered to me.

It was a short trip along the Mana Road that day, perhaps just 5 or 6 miles up from Waimea. And now I’m itching to go back and photograph the landscape seen along the length of the whole road. You can find the little eBook published at issuu.com from the following link (go into full screen mode when you get there):

From the Mana Road.