Friday, November 28, 2008

Elvis, my German Shorthaired Pointer

Elvis is now 4.5 years old, and has been on every walk with me over the last 3 years, covering some 2,500 miles of footpaths. Elvis must walk twice as far as I do, and never gets tired!

He particularly likes steep grassy hillsides that he can run up and down, as well as sandy tracks across heather moorland.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Glenridding, Grizedale, Dollywagon Pike, Helvellyn, Keppell Cove

Helvellyn Walk - 22 November 2008
11-mile walk that took me 6 hours, taking in Glenridding, Grizedale, Dollywagon Pike, Helvellyn, Lower Man, Raise, Keppel Cove zig-zags and Greenside. A beautiful clear day, but incredibly cold. In fact, it was so cold that when I stopped for a drink on the summit of Helvellyn my Sigg water bottle was completely frozen!

The views were incredible with Scotland and North Wales visible, and there was a slight dusting of snow on the tops.

Rounded off the walk with a pint at the Travellers Rest, Glenridding - a great walkers' pub.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Barbon, Calf Top, Dent & Great Coum

Walking Weekend, Barbon Inn - 7th to 9th November 2008

Twice a year (May and November) a group of us go away for a weekend of walking, drinking and catching up. We've been doing this for 5 years, and this weekend we went to the Barbon Inn (in the village of Barbon) on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales. I highly recommend this pub - cosy bar with cast-iron range, comfortable rooms and great food.
On Saturday we did a great walk - 16 miles and over 1,000 metres of ascent. The route started from Barbon and took in Calf Top (609 m), Dent village (lunch at the Sun Inn), Flinter Gill, Great Coum (687 m), Crag Hill, Bullpot Farm and back to Barbon. It took us 9.5 hours and was quite a challenge with strong winds, driving rain and steep slopes. The last 2 hours of the walk was done in the dark, which added to the experience. And we didn't meet another person all day... the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Three walks in the Lake District

Three Walks in the Lake District - late October 2008

Three days walking in the Lake District, staying at the Sun Inn at Coniston. Lovely old pub, great beer, roaring fire in cast-iron range but the food was very poor. I had a steak and ale pie, which was microwaved steak in gravy that tasted too salty and overcooked, with a 'puff pastry' lid that was cold and stale. The chips had been re-fryed and the veg portions were minimal. Very disappointing after my 6 hour walk up the Old Man of Coniston. Still, the beer was good... The next night I ate at the New Dungeon Ghyll (after my walk up Bowfell). The food was better - fresh and tasty - but was not outstanding. The problem with a many of these pubs is that their menus are just too extensive. How can 20 or 30 dishes be prepared freshly? Anyway, enough of my moan. The best beer in Coniston? A pint of Old Man at the Black Bull (where they brew the stuff).

Coniston, Tourist Route, Low Water, Old Man summit, Brim Fell, Levers Hawse, Swirl How, Prison Band, Levers Water and Coppermines Valley. This is a classic walk, with spectacular views. The wind was so strong on the summit ridge that it blew me off my feet twice!

Great Langdale, Mickleden, Rossett Gill, Esk Hause, Esk Pike, Bowfell, Three Tarns and The Band. Spectacular mountain walk, with steep climb up Rossett Gill and long, steady climb up onto Bowfell. Caught in a brief snowstorm on the summit. Very cold, but the wind had dropped.

Leisurely walk - Coniston, Tarn Hows, Yew Tree Farm. Great tea and homemade scones at this farmhouse (which featured in the film 'Miss Potter').