Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Tuesday 9 January 2024 - A Danebridge Circuit

Our first proper walk of the year. A familiar circuit from Danebridge in glaring sunshine and a frosty easterly. Sue and I gave Paul, Jeanette and Rufus a lift, and Graeme swelled the numbers to five plus a dog. Yesterday's email to 'Short Walkers' was worthwhile. For the moment there is no walks programme, but we will try to take advantage of good weather and notify folk accordingly, as in this case.

Anyway, heavy traffic for us kept Graeme waiting and delayed our start to around 10:30.

Sue soon delayed us further by pausing for a photo shoot of some Jelly Ear fungi.

We emerged from the woods to bright sunshine and a view to our first objective, Hanging Stone, discernible in the picture below, above the standing stone.

There are a couple of plaques in memory of soldiers and dogs on this giant tooth.

Sunny views across fields and moorland to the distinctive hump of Shutlingsloe.

Looking into the cold wind and the sun, a view to Tittesworth Reservoir, beyond the Roaches, near Leek.

In the other direction, a view towards the Cat & Fiddle and Shining Tor.

After the slog along the Back Forest path to Roach End, where in summer an ice cream van is often in attendance, we descended into the Dane Valley and welcome elevenses in a more sheltered spot.

We soon reached Lud's Church, by two directions through the woods, and as usual we admired this remarkable chasm. New boards have thankfully provided respite from the knee deep mud that we encountered on our last visit.

I've written about Lud's Church before - the link is here. Or more specifically here.

A zigzag path then took us to the Dane Valley for a few km, all the way back to Danebridge, leaving the river to continue its convoluted path towards the Weaver Navigation at Northwich.

Out of the woods, a sunny spot for lunch before the final 2 km back to the cars.

Here's the view from the bridge.

And here's our route - 10.7 km, with 250 metres ascent, taking 3.5 hours including a couple of breaks.

Thanks for your company, everyone, that was a most pleasurable outing.

Sunday 7 January 2024

2 to 5 January 2024 - A Visit to Center Parcs Whinfell

This was a four day visit to Center Parcs near Penrith. Sue and I were invited to join Kate, Jessica, Jacob, and Jacob's friend Seb, in a house for six people that Kate had booked for a very reasonable price. (Click on any image for a slideshow.)


After fun in a squash court, and some swimming, our first evening was taken up with a spag bol supper and the completion of a 1000 piece 'Book Covers' jigsaw. Once we got over the fact that the edge pieces were a uniform brown colour, this was a delight to complete and it held everyone's attention for the evening, not to mention putting the coffee table out of action for the duration. The jigsaw just fitted onto the table so long as you ignored the long edge pieces.


Short tennis.

Table tennis.

A view to the swimming pool.

Happy mum; happy child. On their way home to a lasagne dinner.


Setting off from 28 Beechwood.

The lake (closed for the winter) and another view to the pool.

This Christmas decoration was taken down minutes later.

The moorhens and mallard ducks were very tame.

More table tennis.

Then a caving adventure for Jessica, Jacob and Seb.

Back home in the dark for a pizza dinner.


An aerial adventure, last minute booking, for Kate and Jessica, and Jacob and Seb.

Before we go, leaving Sue to thrash grandad at ping pong, a happy family with ice creams.

A lovely trip. Thanks go to Kate for organising it.

NB There were lots of other activities, I've just shown those recorded 'on film'.