Eyemouth to Burnmouth, Scottish Borders

13 March 2017

The day after Mike’s birthday, it was time to return home, but first a short (almost) 4-mile walk along the coastline between Eyemouth and Burnmouth. Buoyed as I was following the double-gold medal winning performance in the quiz the previous night (yes, I accept that it’s a team game!), we set off from the harbour at Eyemouth. The seals were out to give their congratulations.

Eye2Burn-1

The coastline is rugged in places, and we walked quite close the edge, but it just seems to be beautiful and eye-catching throughout.

Eye2Burn-3

Karen was multi-tasking – flying a kite and taking a phone call.

Eye2Burn-4

Open fields and a rugged coastline, and then sight of Burnmouth Bay with its village nestled within.

Eye2Burn-5

Boats in the harbour, and a sculpture, called Widows and Bairns, commemorating the widows and children who lost husbands and fathers in a fishing disaster, 135 years ago.

Eye2Burn-6

St Abb’s Head, Scottish Borders

12 March 2017

It was Mike’s birthday and we joined him up in the Scottish borders for a great weekend of walking, merriment and gold medals (you had to be there!). I make it sound like we were small in number, but the group was maybe 30 people strong! A good turn out for the big 5-oh.

StAbbs-1

We met at St Abb’s Head for a walk around the headland with wonderful views of the coastline.

StAbbs-2

Continue reading “St Abb’s Head, Scottish Borders”

Oxton Loop, Scottish Borders

28 January 2017

Back in January I had the opportunity to combine a work trip to Edinburgh with a weekend visit with our good friends who live in the Borders. M & K had confidently organised a nice coastal walk, a confidence that came from the fact that, as seasoned walkers and hikers, they had checked the weather forecast. And we checked again on our devices after dinner that Friday evening. OK, it was going to be a bit windy and maybe it would rain for a bit, and we’d be lucky to see the sun through the think grey cloud. But nothing to sidetrack our plans.

Woke up the next morning and the landscape had turned white.

Oxton-1

Give the weather forecasters a break – two out of three isn’t bad. It was (kind of) wet, and we certainly couldn’t see the Sun through the grey cloud (and fog). Wear an extra layer, a thermos for tea and, of course, cake. Ready and prepared – off we went.

Oxton-2

Continue reading “Oxton Loop, Scottish Borders”

Monsal Trail, Peak District

24 September 2016

Boy, I have been falling behind on my blogging! There are a few reasons but I won’t go into them here. Needless to say, and not just on my walks, I have to pick up the pace.

This was a walk in the Autumn when Adeline and Jason came to visit. We decided to follow the Monsal Trail and the track of our 10.6 mile walk can be seen on my ViewRanger page.

FIshing on the River Wye, Peak District

Not sure whether this fisherman was having a good time with the fish, but I managed to catch him just about right!

The Monsal Trail was once part of a railway that connected Manchester to London, finally closed in 1968 and restored with a public path in 2011. The tunnels along the trail are a testament to its railway past.

The Litton Cotton Mill (above to the right) was barely profitable during its time and perhaps due to its struggles became “notorious during the Industrial Revolution due to its unsavoury employment practices“, for which we read child labour.


Continue reading “Monsal Trail, Peak District”

Mam Tor to Castleton, Peak District

17 September 2016

(click on images in grids for larger versions)

We had seen Mam Tor from some our previous walks in the Peak District, most noticeably from the summit and slopes of Win Hill.

The GPS route of our walk can be seen on our ViewRanger page.

Looking at Winnats Pass from Mam Tor, Peak District
Winnats Pass from summit of Mam Tor.

We’ve yet to summit a hill or peak in the Peak District and be disappointed by the views. The anticipation of those views is always palpable as you start the climb. I didn’t expect Mam Tor to be as busy with people as it was on this day. There were dog walkers, strollers, hikers, paragliders and hangliders. Yes, I got those last two right. This peak is especially popular with hang- and paragliders, mostly launching themselves into the air from Lords Seat, a hill just along the east from Mam Tor.

Continue reading “Mam Tor to Castleton, Peak District”

Visit to the Jansky Very Large Array

(click on images within grids for a bigger image)

When you’re building the world’s largest radio telescope, then you need to go and see how other observatories have done the same and learn what lessons you can – which are the good operational practices and what are the mistakes you should try to avoid.

Early in September, we went to visit the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, in New Mexico, USA. The JVLA is an iconic radio telescope with its distinctive ‘Y’ shaped configuration and featuring in various film and TV shows, most notably perhaps in the movie Contact.

At the time of our visit, the 25-metre dishes were being moved out to their very widest configuration where the furthest distance between two individual dishes reaches over 22.6 miles. They are moved, individually, by a transporter along the train tracks you can see in many of the images here.

Continue reading “Visit to the Jansky Very Large Array”

Chrome Hill, Peak District

21 August, 2016

(click on images in grids for larger versions)

It was later than usual for us when we decided to go for a walk, so we decided to go for one that was relatively short, but also to go into a region of the Peak District that we hadn’t gone to before. So a quick hunt around using ViewRanger and we came across this walk just south of Buxton, starting from the village of Hollinsclough. We didn’t know it at the time, but Chrome Hill and its neighbour, Parkhouse Hill, are quite iconic amongst walkers of the Peak District.

The GPS route of our 4-mile walk can be seen on our ViewRanger page.

Our walk started in the village of Hollinsclough and headed straight into muddy fields before finding a track. Impressive views of Chrome Hill from the start. Apt that it also known as The Dragon’s Back.

You first come up to Hollins Hill and it tried to tempt us to climb it. It did look like a gentle climb! But we ignored that temptation and kept on our track.

There was another couple that clearly could not ignore that temptation. The views from the top of Hollins Hill must be spectacular, and feeling only a little bit envious of them, we vowed that we would return and do that climb. This would not be the last vow we would make that day.

Continue reading “Chrome Hill, Peak District”