Monday 13 February 2017. Buying myself a new camera (Panasonic Lumix TZ70) for Christmas has revitalised my interest in photography. To further this interest and to get in some much needed practice, I took myself off to the village of Laxton this afternoon. I remember walking through here with the Thursday Stroller some years ago and seeing a flock or “wake” of Red Kites circling above. I had hoped to get a picture or two but despite there being dozens of Kites today, they were a little too high and moving too quickly for me to get them in the frame and in focus at the same time. I’ll come back for another try.
The other objective of the outing was to get a few sunset shots. I’m pleased to say that I had more success in this regard and I’ve added a few of the better images below. The pdf map link shows a red box from where it is best to park and see the Kites. The red cross, not far away, shows the location of the sunset shots.
Sunday 12 February 2017. Helen was scheduled to lead today’s walk but cried-off with a heavy cold. Given the weather forecast I don’t blame her. Hilary also cried-off and a number of other members had previously advised that they were otherwise engaged this weekend. It was a 65 mile drive for me (each way) and, if it wasn’t for standing in as leader, then I too might have given it a miss.
As it turned out, there was just 4 of us: Moira, Betty, Josephine and me. The weather wasn’t quite as bad as forecast but there was a strong and chilly easterly wind. This was on our backs as we set off towards Stiffkey but we knew that it would be blowing into our faces on the way back. We agreed that we would walk part of the Norfolk Coastal Path first and, if the weather deteriorated, we would then retrace our steps and cut the walk short.
We stopped for coffee after just a mile and a half in a fairly sheltered spot just north of the small lake near White Bridges. I suggested that instead of going through Stiffkey that we should follow the path down the side of the lake and onto the main road for a while before picking up a path through Hang High Plantation and across Cockthorpe Common. I’d walked the road section many years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that there is now a permissive path which runs behind the hedge and provides an effective barrier from the passing traffic. The path across Cockthorpe Common was new to me and was the most pleasant part of the walk.
We made a short detour into Cockthorpe for lunch at the church before heading back towards Morston. There was a ploughed field on our route and rather than getting ankle-deep in mud, we walked along 3 sides of this field to rejoin our route on Love Lane. It was at this point that we had our only few spots of rain but this lasted no more than 5 minutes and really wasn’t a problem. The walk wasn’t much shorter than planned at 6.6 miles with just 300ft of ascent.
Friday 20 January 2017. I drove south today to meet Jacqui at Sizergh Castle before travelling on to start our walk at Arnside. I missed a turn on the drive between Sizergh and Arnside which meant I had to negotiate some narrow winding country roads. Not my favourite pastime.
When I last did this walk in April 2016 I started at the foot of Arnside Knott which meant that I had an uphill slog at the end of the walk. This time, we parked in Arnside on the banks of the River Kent estuary which meant that the 500ft climb to Arnside Knott came much earlier in our walk. Visibility wasn’t great to start with but improved throughout the day as I finally got to see the sun for the first time this week. Photographs from my first walk on this route can be seen here.
This is the only picture that I took today with the sunshine just breaking through as we looked out across Morecambe Bay.
Our route soon took us back down to sea level as we walked on a slightly elevated path which then dropped down to the beach to walk to New Barns. I slightly lost my way in Grubbins Wood and had to back-track to find the path for the last half mile or so back into town. The walk was 7.3 miles with 1,100ft of ascent.
Thursday 19 January 2017. This was Karen’s last walk with me for this week so I decided to be easy on her with what I thought would be a gentle walk. It is many years since I last did this route and whilst I could remember the steep climb up onto High Rigg and the steep descent at the northern end, I’d forgotten about the many undulations in between.
I parked at the LDNP car park at Legburthwaite and as the pay & display machine was out-of-order I saved myself the £7 parking fee. The initial 400ft climb up to Wren Crag was just as steep as I had remembered and a few stops were required along the way. I run an App called “Social Hiking” on my phone and this sends me an email every time I summit one of the peaks listed in their database. The incoming email ring tone on my phone was going at regular intervals today as messages were received on Wren Crag, High Rigg SE Top, High Rigg and High Rigg (Naddle Fell). It was only 2.5 miles across High Rigg but it felt a lot farther. We stopped for lunch in the church at the foot of the northern end of High Rigg.
I wanted to bag Low Rigg and Tewet Tarn as I hadn’t visited either of them before so we made an extra 2 mile loop to take in these landmarks. Back at the church, all that now remained was to walk a couple of miles around the side of High Rigg back to the car.
The walk was 7.25 miles with a total ascent of 1,700ft. For Karen’s benefit the walks over the last 4 days have totalled 27 miles and 7,000ft of ascent.