Monthly Archives: August 2011


Today’s walk was just about as perfect as it gets. Not too long, just 6 miles and with a steady climb of 1570ft. I suppose that for the last day of summer, the weather wasn’t that great but it was ideal for hill walking: dry, no wind and not too warm. I hadn’t done Pen-y-ghent since before I moved to Cambridgeshire some 16 years ago so it was great to be able to revisit it today. My route was a clockwise circuit following the Pennine Way on the ascent and, until I reached the top, I only met one other walker. He was a guy who had been chatting in the café before the walk who was in the middle of a trek from John O’Groats to Lands End – rather him then me! The descent, off the southern end of the hill, was a little hairy with a steep scramble, and had I known before, then I would have done it the opposite way around which is what the 40 or so walkers I met on the way down were doing. (Picture 4 with the couple going up shows the easier part of my descent). Nonetheless, this must rate as one my best walks of the year.




Embsay Moor

My plan today was to do a 9.3 mile circuit of Embsay Moor which forms part of the shooting grounds owned by the Duke of Devonshire. To be fair to the Estate, they have given permissive access to the whole of the moor but at the access point there was a notice from the Yorkshire Dales National Park advising that it was closed until 1 Sep for grouse shooting. Just as I was reading the notice a local came along and advised me that whilst the moor might be closed to walkers, they couldn’t stop access so long as I was on a PROW. Reassured, I continued on a steepish climb up to the moor at around about 1400ft. It was warm work on the climb but there was a very cold wind blowing at the top and I soon put my jacket back on. The weather on the way up was sunny but from the top, I could see rain clouds approaching from the west. I didn’t really fancy a soaking so when an opportunity arose to cut the walk short, I took it. Shortly after, the rains came and I stopped to put on over-trousers. As is often the way, no sooner had I got them on than the rain stopped. Back at the car some 900ft below it had remained completely dry. The curtailed walk turned out to be 5½ miles with 980ft of ascent. It was so cold on the summit of Embsay Moor that I called into Skipton on the way back to buy a small vacuum flask for use on the rest of the holiday.

p.s. Steady rain started to fall at 14:00 so perhaps it was a good idea to cut this walk short.


Hallaton and Medbourne

Today the walk was completed by 9 members and the threat of rain held off with only a light shower.

The unusual terrain for Fenland Group found us walking up steep hills on the road and over 17 stiles. Many were double and we think they were counted separately. There were more at the start and the final?? ones towards the end.

??The route took us through villages , grass tracks and across fields as well as a steep hill by road.

A good walk of seven and a half miles completed by everyone.


Kate’s Baby


Some of the group may remember Aussie Kate and her husband Richard who went back to Melbourne a couple of years ago. Well I’m pleased to announce that they have had a baby, not a kangaroo, but a daughter “Rose” who was born on Monday and weighed in at just 1lb 13oz after a pregnancy of  25 weeks and 2 days. I have passed on the congratulations of all Fenland Ramblers to both Kate & Richard.


I’ve just returned from ten days camping in a field with my Scout Troop in what proved to be windy and rainy weather over Friday and Saturday night with a meal at The Brief Encounters tea rooms at Langwathby on the Settle Carlisle scenic railway line.

During the time I acted as a Sherpa carrying gear up to Red Tarn for our younger Scouts and we all visited The Ribblehead Viaduct as a train crossed.

Before the gale force winds, on Thursday morning we awoke to a still Ullswater Lake ( see photos)


Northern Reflections


Well, I’m home after 3 weeks away in the caravan, divided between Barnard Castle and Berwick-upon-Tweed. The photograph was taken on a sunny morning from my caravan site looking towards Berwick. It wasn’t like this all of the time and the weather during this holiday could best be described as “mixed”. There were some fine sunny days which were offset by days of torrential rain. That said, it can’t have been too bad as I still managed 10 walks and a wedding without really getting soaked.

The walk to Cauldron Snout was the highlight and the Kirk Yetholm walk at the end of the Pennine Way certainly made me think seriously about visiting the area again to further explore the Cheviots. Something for next year, perhaps?


The final walk for this holiday was a 5 mile stroll around Lindisfarne. When we arrived there were relatively few cars in the huge car park. 3 hours later, it was full to overflowing and there were people everywhere. Our route took us through the village and out towards the castle. From here we left the crowds behind as we headed north to Emmanuel Head (the white pyramid) and on to the sandy bay at Keel Head. A walk through the sand dunes followed and we then rejoined the madding crowds. I couldn’t get away quickly enough, leaving Bea, Terry & Amanda to take a closer look at the Priory & Castle.