Bradgate Country Park

Sunday 15 October 2017. Just Linda and I made the journey for this walk on which we were joined by Mark & Rachael from Leicester. There were just 3 members on Karen’s walk last week and this must now bring into question where it is worthwhile putting on out-of-area walks if they continue to be so poorly attended. Perhaps we need to stick to shorter and more local walks? I’ll raise the issue at the AGM to try to gauge members feeling on the subject.

Back to yesterday’s walk. Linda and I went for a pre-walk coffee and on returning to the car I found that I had missed a call on my mobile from Mark & Rachael who were trying to find us. A quick call back and we agreed to rendezvous at the tea room as neither of us knew what the other looked like and we were in a very large car park. United, we set off for a circuit of the Country Park. Although we had walked here before some of our route was new to us all. We walked out towards Cropston Reservoir and then uphill towards Old John Tower, stopping on the way for lunch.

Old John Tower isn’t really that high at just 700ft but still gave distant views through the steadily clearing early morning mist. From the tower we gradually descended back to the car park before heading off on the second part of this figure of eight walk. A short walk through the village of Newton Linford saw us heading north through woods to pick up the Leicestershire Round which eventually brought us back into the village for post-walk refreshments: ice cream for me and tea for Linda. The walk turned out to be a little longer than planned at 8.9 miles with a total ascent of 960ft.

Aerial View

Bradgate Park -walk route

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Ings to Bowness

Thursday 12 October 2017. For once, the weather forecast for yesterday proved to be correct. It started to rain through the night and didn’t stop until 3pm leaving great lakes of water across my caravan site. Fortunately the pitch that I’m on is slightly elevated and wasn’t waterlogged. The same can’t be said for the caravan site at Keswick which had to be evacuated because of the risk of flooding. That was my first choice site for this holiday but I couldn’t get on as it was full.

Back to today, I parked the car at Ings with the idea of walking to Bowness and back. I hadn’t measured the route so I was a little surprised to find that I’d walked 5.25 miles with 650ft of ascent by the time that I got to Bowness. It had been a pleasant enough walk on narrow traffic-free country roads before picking up the final 3 miles of the Dales way. At Borthwick Fold I came across what appeared to be two very contented cats sat on a bench outside the farmhouse.

Bowness was its usual busy self packed with Japanese tourists taking in the sights. I decided that I’d done enough walking for today and paid ¬£3.90 for the bus ride back to Ings where I called in to The Watermill Inn for lunch. The Met Office has already issued a weather warning for more rain tomorrow so it looks like another day in the caravan before driving home on Saturday.

Aerial View

Ings to Bowness – walk route

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Gummer’s How

Tuesday 10 October 2017. I wasn’t feeling very motivated today but still set out for a walk up Gummer’s How. The car park is almost at the top of the hill so this was an easy out and back 1.6 mile walk with just over 500ft of ascent. It was cool and breezy at the top so I stayed just long enough to take a few pictures of Windermere, Lakeside and Newby Bridge some 900ft below.

I was soon back at the car and had to decide whether to extend my walk through the nearby woods or to visit Kendal. The latter won out followed by lunch at Wilf’s cafe in Staveley.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is dire with rain all day so I’ve prepared for a day in the caravan and might even do the Ramblers annual financial return.

Aerial View

Gummer’s How – walk route

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Ticks

Monday 9 October 2017. I had a Facebook message yesterday from Bev Spriggs. She was a regular walker with our group until about 3 years ago when she was bitten by a Tick, since when her health has steadily declined. I’ve added a couple of links below so that you can read up on the subject.

Bev asked me to raise awareness as someone was recently bitten by a Tick whilst walking at Sandringham and has contracted Lyme disease with serious health consequences. Thankfully, I’ve never been bitten by a Tick but at least I know how to recognise this and when to seek medical help.

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Thirlmere

Monday 9 October 2017. A quick update on my fall yesterday. There’s an expression “he didn’t know if he was on his arse or his elbow”. Please excuse the language but I landed on both. The former has more padding and no damage was done, however, my elbow was rather painful and swollen following the fall. A liberal application of Arnica cream and a few Ibuprofen seem to have done the trick and I’m much better today.

Now to the walk which I found on the “Andrew’s Walks” website. He takes some great photographs of the Lake District. I’ve never walked beside Thirlmere so it was a good¬† opportunity to try something new and to later go on to Keswick to have a look around the shops. I parked at Legburthwaite. When I was here in January with Karen to walk High Rigg the payment machine was out-of-order. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it still hasn’t been fixed so parking was free. The path on the eastern shore of Thirlmere is a permissive route, a little muddy in places but enjoyable nonetheless. It came to an end at the newly built underpass beneath the A591. I guess that this was put in place when they repaired the road following the 2015 floods.

On the other side of the road is the Swirls car park where the payment machine was also broken. I stopped here briefly for coffee before heading back towards Legburthwaite on a sketchy path running parallel with the A591. It was only a couple of miles but progress was painfully slow. Whilst the walk was okay, I doubt that I’d do it again. It was just 5 miles but still had 1,000ft of ascent.

Aerial View

Thirlmere – walk route

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Moulton, Gazeley and Dalham

Sunday 8 October 2017. It was a beautiful sunny day, but only a very select little group – Josephine, Michael, and Lisa from Thetford – joined me on this lovely walk on the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border, also known as the ‘Moulton Three Churches’ walk.
There was a lot going on in the village today; an event at the village hall, a football match, a cycling event – and us!
However, we soon left them all behind and came to the first church, climbed a hill behind it from where we could see Ely Cathedral on the horizon.
This was a varied walk with lots to see within it’s 7 miles. We took a path through a stud farm, eventually arriving at the second church in Gazeley for coffee. We walked around to the front and decided to see whether it was open first.
As I reached for the heavy iron ring to turn it, my hand about 6 inches from it, it turned of it’s own accord scaring the living daylights out of me!
A little face appeared asking us if we could be quiet please, as there was a service going on. Phew!
From there we passed fields and the lovely path through Bluebutton Wood, reaching the third church at Dalham with undulating views and an avenue of chestnut trees where we stopped for lunch.
We made our way down into Dalham, and as it was such a lovely day, we stopped for a drink at the thatched pub,The Affleck Arms, sitting outside next to the River Kennett – only there was no water; it had completely dried up.
A lovely 7 mile walk, it’s a pity that there were only 4 of us.

 

Arnside

Sunday 8 October 2017. It was a lovely autumn day, sunny and quite warm out of the light breeze. This is the 3rd time that I’ve done this 6 mile walk with just over 1,000ft of ascent and I think that it now qualifies for entry into my Top 10 walks.

I took a slightly different route to the top of Arnside Knott but it was still a climb of 500ft. Enough to get me warmed up and to provide great views across to the Lake District fells. A steady descent took me past Arnside Tower and out towards the coast. I had thought that I might be able to walk on the sands but whilst the tide was out, there was still too much water about so I stuck to the footpath about 30ft higher up. I would normally have walked on the sands around Blackstone Point but took the inland route to New Barns and the Bob-in Cafe for a pot of tea and a bacon butty.

The last mile back to the car was partly on a slippery shore-side path and through the woods. I was within sight of the end of the walk when I had to cross a concrete slipway. It had a stream of water running down it beneath which was a bed of slime. I’d already safely negotiated this on my way out but decided to cross a little lower down on my return. This was a mistake. My first footstep confirmed the slimeyness and should have been a warning which I ignored. The next thing that I knew was that my feet were sliding away from me and I was falling backwards. I went down with a bump. Most of the weight was taken by my backpack but I hit my right elbow hard and it is now swollen and sore. My trousers and fleece were soaked and worse was the embarrassment as a group of walkers coming towards me witnessed my fall. I’m sure that they wouldn’t repeat my stupidity and I advised them to cross at the point that I’d used earlier in the day. Whilst I could have well done without the fall, it didn’t really spoil what had been a most enjoyable walk.

Aerial View

Arnside – walk route

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