Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Thursday 5 December 2013

Thursday 5 December 2013 - Top O'Selside

Emergency lighting at 5.30am signified a power cut. Wet and windy outside, it was soon dark again inside the Ghyll Head bungalow. A candle-lit breakfast of fruit salad and hot bread got us under way. 

Sue and I were joined by Roger and Barbara for a thirty minute drive through assorted debris to Nibthwaite car park. We then enjoyed a two hour tramp over Stang Hill, Arnsbarrow Hill and Top O'Selside. It was a little windy. We had to employ a crawling technique to reach the summits, though the rain abated and we enjoyed some winter sunshine. Today's image was gained, with some difficulty, on Stang Hill, with The Old Man of Coniston engulfed in thick cloud behind the summiteers.

We managed to rendezvous with the remaining seven Ghyll Headers, Peter and John having left for home yesterday. The Brown Horse Inn proved a suitable venue. Good food sourced within a three mile radius, and real ale brewed on the premises. 

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Wednesday 4 December 2013 - A Saunter from Sadgill

On a fine, bright day, Sue and I eschewed the attractions of the final stage of East Lancashire LDWA's assault on the Thirlmere Way, in favour of a short walk from Sadgill Bridge. 

The forty minute drive from Ghyll Head passed quickly, and we parked by Sadgill Bridge (pictured) next to a sign that might make anyone thinking of proceeding further by car think twice.

The sun skittered in and out of the cloud all day, resulting in hasty, often futile, grabs for the camera, which on this trip is my waterproof Lumix FT4 as the Canon G12 has broken. Hopefully there will be some pleasant images - to be made available by way of an 'overview' posting about this trip once we get home. (My apologies to complainants about the brevity of this week's postings, but socialising has come first.)

Anyway, Sue and I headed up Longsleddale into an Arctic breeze, meeting a lone dog walker with two delightful puppies near Brownhowe Bottom. We saw nobody else all day, though our route did look well walked.

We were soon on a drier than expected path beside a fence, leading to the 664 metre summit of Tarn Crag on Sleddale Fell. I'd not been there before. There's a large survey tower, and excellent views in all directions, with the track over Gatesgarth Pass to Haweswater dominant in the foreground. 

The path to Harrop Pike wasn't as wet as expected, and the expansive views from that summit were rather better than on my cloudy visit in June last year. Sue is pictured here. 

The onward path to Grey Crag, where we enjoyed lunch, then Great Howe, seemed easier than last time,  perhaps because I wasn't carrying camping gear.

Finishing at Sadgill Bridge was also somewhat easier than continuing to Burneside!

A lovely walk in great weather - 11 km with about 540 metres ascent, in 3.5 hours.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Tuesday 3 December 2013 - Fairfield in Cloud

Whilst others wrestled with the intricacies and rendezvous logistics of the Thirlmere Way, Sue, Barbara and I enjoyed a five hour escapade from Grasmere. 

I don't think I've been up Seat Sandal before. A pleasant hill with a steep finale. It was cloudy on top.

Down and up to Fairfield took us past Grisedale Tarn and some long views to Ullswater.

Lunch was in a cloud on the summit of Fairfield, with a cheeky Raven for company.

Then we enjoyed the easy path over Great Rigg before dropping down a delightful path to Stone Arthur (pictured) and thence back to Grasmere by soon after 3pm. 

An excellent day out - approximately 13 km with 1000 metres ascent. 

Monday 2 December 2013

Monday 2 December 2013 - A Dull Day in the Lake District

It was cloudy on the tops, so nine of our group of fourteen enjoyed a circular walk from Ghyll Head, where we arrived last night, featuring lunch at Wilf's Café in Staveley. 

It was an excellent day out, and very sociable to boot, despite the incessant trading of insults!

Sunday 1 December 2013

Saturday 30 November 2013 – Another Visit to Center Parcs


It’s that time of year.  We join eight friends for a day at Sherwood Forest’s Center Parcs complex.  This year we confused everyone by joining them for the Saturday, rather than our usual Sunday visit. We had to be somewhere else on Sunday.

After an easy drive from Timperley and a leisurely coffee in the village, Sue and I were joined by Louise and Chris at 9.30 for a bit of geocaching.  This is ‘Center Parcs’ geocaching, not the real thing.  It went quite well and we enjoyed a walk around the entire site looking for messages in bird boxes.  Sue even managed to master the use of the Garmin E-trex 10 GPS with which we were issued.  It has to be said we dawdled a bit and came second in the contest.  Possibly it was just as well that only two teams had entered!


Anyway, after a frantic session of American Pool, during which Louise blew away all opposition and was crowned champion of champions, the four geocachers went off to enjoy their second place prize, whilst the others did some strange drum beating exercise activity.  Stuart joined us for the 18 hole golf prize that we’d won, and was allowed to join our prize winning quartet, saving a total of £35 of entrance fees.  It was rather galling for the rest of us when he won.  The golf was simply crazy.

Lunch featured lettuce soup. Delicious.


Most of us then went swimming and played floodlit tennis after that. Some went swimming on bicycles (Aqua-Spinning).  It’s amazing what activities they think up here!

The house had a sauna, which most of us enjoyed, before a lavish barbecued dinner.  Roger was particularly hungry.

  Dinner (1)

Dinner (2)

Thanks go to Robert, Lyn, Jim, Peggy, Stuart, Roger, Chris and Louise for putting up with us yet again for a rather full day, rounded off by our ‘Pyrenean Adventure’ slideshow before we sloped off to Alfreton’s Travelodge.

Thursday 28 November 2013 – Dog Walking with Heather

Heather, Rowan, Millie and Daisy 

It had been a while since my last visit to Long Preston, so it was good to find Heather on good form.

One of her regular duties is the exercising of Millie and Daisy, two very good natured and well behaved spaniels belonging to a neighbour. They get on with Heather’s own dog, Rowan – a bouncy one-year-old.

Today’s 14 km circuit from Long Preston was one that has been described before on these pages. We set off on this occasion from near Long Preston’s church.

Long Preston Church 

The morning passed quickly as we gobbled up the kilometres, pausing occasionally to pass the time with a selection of Heather’s neighbours.  Some stiles had to be negotiated, and my lack of skill in photographing people and animals is demonstrated below.

 Heather and Rowan

Before we knew it, we were back in Long Preston for a late lunch, then it was a swift return to Timperley for me, for dinner in the local students’ excellent Aspire Restaurant, with Sue, Amedea and Scott.

I may add route details later – I’m a bit pressed for time just now.