The Eskdale Escapade

I really should have been on the Cambrian Way, but I just didn’t fancy it. For once I wanted to do something I wanted to do. It’s been 6 years since a truly memorable trip to Eskdale, and a couple of years since a less successful one – I was itching to retread some of those paths, re-see some of those views and above all to immerse myself more deeply into the valley by spending some nights camping out there. So I did. Continue reading “The Eskdale Escapade”

On My Tod


Looking to the North Western Fells #sh
Dawn looking over to the North Western fells

Dirty cloud obscured the rising sun, with just a small distant patch of orange beyond Great Mell Fell and some reflected colour to the west to betray the start of a new day.  A cacophony of barking, baying and yelping accompanied the start of my climb above the kennels at Gategill, and I could still hear them some time later from hundreds of feet above. Continue reading “On My Tod”

Fog, fences and forests

I woke knowing I had a little head start on the day’s walk, by virtue of my camp at High Nook Tarn. I was a bit slow packing up and it was nearly a quarter to nine before I was away. But it didn’t matter – it was likely to be quiet being midweek and away from the big sexy Continue reading “Fog, fences and forests”

Finishing off the Northern Fells – Part 2: Blencathra & Friends


The forecast for the weekend was poor, maybe even bordering on lunacy, and was the main reason why we’d decided not to camp this time out, preferring instead the security of hostels and especially the chances they afforded to get dry and warm after a day out on the fells dicing with the conditions.

Today we could expect 40-65 mph winds and negligible visibility on the summits themselves. And today we’d be burdened with all of our stuff at a time when the plan said we’d have to get over the highest point on the whole trip. No pressure then. Continue reading “Finishing off the Northern Fells – Part 2: Blencathra & Friends”

Autumn in the Lakes: Nature’s Palette

All is dark when I finally arrive in Windermere, after some nail-biting moments on the train journey up, wondering if I would make my connections at Preston and Oxenholme. Not wanting to wait for the bus, when there’s a taxi right here, I hop in the car and minutes later am at Ambleside youth hostel, timing my arrival for a mini-flood of people waiting to check in. Continue reading “Autumn in the Lakes: Nature’s Palette”

Finishing off the Eastern Fells – Part 1

Four years ago the family had one of those holiday weeks where everybody got to do what they wanted, achieved by us all having separate holidays – my son went off to Scout camp, my wife and daughter headed for Paris, and I had the luxury of a whole week in the Lakes. The usual guilt complex at swanning off to the hills leaving everyone else at home, being conspicuously absent on that occasion. It didn’t work out quite as neatly this time, but with my daughter off to Scout Camp, similar plans were made for a substantial getaway to the Lakes. Continue reading “Finishing off the Eastern Fells – Part 1”

Snowy Learnings of Cumbria for Make Benefit Glorious Walk of Cambrian Way

Hopefully you can see where I’m going with the title of this one… Continue reading “Snowy Learnings of Cumbria for Make Benefit Glorious Walk of Cambrian Way”

A Snowy Saunter around the Southern Fells

I lay in my sleeping bag nervously watching the tent flexing and straining under the force of the icy wind blowing down from the head of Eskdale, hoping it would hold as it was now too dark to shift camp to somewhere more sheltered. Memories of a past windy camp came back to both haunt me and at the same time boost my confidence that my tent would hold… Next morning I emerged to the new snowfall, pulling on my outer layers in the biting cold and tunneling my way out through the snowdrift surrounding Monica to inspect her sorry and bedraggled state after a night standing up to the Lake District winter…

Continue reading “A Snowy Saunter around the Southern Fells”

Caldera Cone in action in the field

A Far Eastern Odyssey – Part 4: Bad Weather ? Bad Gear ? Bad Decisions ?

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.

Or so goes the proverb.  But it’s a load of sanctimonious bollocks… Continue reading “A Far Eastern Odyssey – Part 4: Bad Weather ? Bad Gear ? Bad Decisions ?”

Descending down to Howtown from Beda Fell

A Far Eastern Odyssey – Part 3: Whiffs of Vanilla and Echoes of Thriller

Faint strains of cuckoo song broke through the assortment of snoring and farting noises as the new day dawned.

Continue reading “A Far Eastern Odyssey – Part 3: Whiffs of Vanilla and Echoes of Thriller”