Monthly Archives: September 2011

Christmas Recce

Although our group doesn’t have a walk planned over the Christmas period, it has become something of a tradition for me to lead a more adventurous walk at this time. In recent years, we’ve been to the Peak District; but I thought that we should head south for a change. Many years ago I organised an away weekend in the Chilterns and I thought that it would be a good idea to revisit this area. The walk I’ll be doing at 10:30 on Tuesday 27th December is 7 miles with 1,300ft of ascent starting from the Bridgewater Monument on the National Trust Ashridge Estate. This is about 90 miles from Wisbech and quite close to Dunstable (HP4 1LX). I’ll produce a hand-out and post more details on the “Special Event” page of our main website.

As the hot weather continues (27 degrees) I thought that I’d take myself off to do a recce. It was a 70 mile drive for me (not much further than Cromer) and only took me about 90 minutes each way. Well worth the effort, I think, as the photos prove.

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Exton Recce

John Buck is unable to lead the scheduled walk at Exton on 23 Oct so I’ve volunteered to take over from him. Although I’ve done the walk 4 or 5 times before, I thought that I would make the most of the late summer sunshine and go and recce it today. Just for a change, I decided to do it the opposite way around as it provided an opportunity for stop at both Fort Henry (the odd looking building across the lake) and at Greetham where there are 3 pubs. I resisted the temptation and made do with an apple!  I hope that the weather is equally as good when I do it again with the group on 23 Oct.

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Sawtry

The walk today started at the car park in Sawtry and the Fenland Ramblers were joined by other members from near by rambler groups.  Our number today was twenty, a good sized group who tackled the walk at a good pace for today’s 7 mile walk.

The weather was good with a warm wind blowing as the walk took us beside ploughed fields and woodland paths. Lunch was taken by the church and the retreat house.

A quick stop by a wheel barrow was made to select a few apples (suitable for eating) at a house where there was a variety of windfalls. The paths throughout were good and very dry with a few steep slopes to walk.

An enjoyable walk and good conversation including a mention of the Whittlesey Straw Bear festival ( to be held on January 14th 2012 ) as we drove through the town on our way to Sawtry.

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Castle Rising Anniversary Walk

The warm weather saw 21 members start from Castle Rising. The route took us by the ruined castle and out on to the road heading towards the Knights Hill roundabout. Turning towards Kings Lynn we walked along the main road to the footpath on our right,

With such large numbers, crossing the road took time.From here most of the walk was amongst wooded trees, bracken and through the golf course ( not many golfers about yet) although we did see a grey squirrel here. We also went via “Onion Corner” on the old route to Hunstanton before the bypass was made. The onions ( wild garlic) can be seen and smelled in the springtime when the bluebells are out.

After this we returned to the starting point for lunch at The Black Horse pub  for our pre-ordered anniversary meal.

Thanks were made to Judy our leader for all the support to the group since it started and gifts were presented on behalf of the group by Hilary.

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Malham

My son Oliver and I travelled to Malham youth hostel on Friday 2nd September to meet up with my daughter Amanda for a " family get together " for the team going to Nepal in November for research at high altitude www.himalayan.org.uk/research

Although we arrived on Friday to dry and sunny weather we awoke on Saturday to light rain. There was a selection of walks available but most opted for Malham Cove via Janet's Cave and Gordale Scar. The group setting off was about 20 or so but some did not tackle Gordale Scar and went the easier route to the Tarn.

Those of us who tackled the scramble were helped by the team to guide us on foot holds and hand holds after we had waited for a family to haul up on harness and rope a spaniel who did not want to try but was happy once at the top.

The rain persisted on and off for most of the walk making negotiating the limestone pavement tricky with driving drizzle and slippery surfaces especially those of us wearing glasses.

The walk did take 6 hours but we did make stops for food breaks and to allow every one to catch up.

Wayne and I did part of the walk last year but did not tackle the scramble and it was a warm dry day

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Threshfield Moor

Today’s walk was 5?? miles with 730ft of ascent. It was a circuit of Threshfield Moor which was undertaken directly from the caravan site. I set off to do this walk yesterday but I’d hardly started before it began to rain so it was a quick retreat to the caravan to watch the rain falling for the next 3 hours. It rained again in the afternoon and more heavily through the night. Thankfully, this morning was better with warm sunshine although the rainclouds could still be seen clearing the hills to the east. Although it was only 2 hours, I really enjoyed this walk. The weather for the week ahead looks to be unsettled to say the least with gale force winds and rain forecast for Tuesday so, for the second time this year, I’ve decided to leave Grassington earlier than planned. It’s a shame as I’m missing out on some great walks but saving ??52 on 4 nights pitch fees.

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Buckden Pike

Today’s walk was a good illustration of how different the weather can be in the valley bottom compared to that on the tops. In Buckden village (780ft) it was breezy but not too cold; at Buckden Pike (2,300ft) it was blowing a gale and must have been 10 degrees colder. The walk was only 6 miles but totalled 2,000ft of ascent, the first 1,500ft of which were in the first 1?? miles and it certainly was a slog. This was compensated for to some extent by the attractiveness of the route alongside Buckden Beck which included numerous waterfalls and a couple of interesting scrambles. The last 600ft of the climb to the Pike was on open fellside and it was here that the wind and cold could be felt to full effect. So much so that I had every piece of clothing on that I had in my bag; jackets zipped to the collar, hood up and gloves on. Needless to say, I didn’t hang around at the top, just time for a couple of quick photos and I was on my way. There then followed a steady descent to just above Starbotton where I then turned north along the upper reaches of the Wharfe valley and back to Buckden.

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