Author Archives: McEff

About McEff

Alen McFadzean. Journalist. Recently made redundant from The Northern Echo when my job was transferred to Wales to be done by people on lower wages. Former shipyard electrician. Former quarryman and tunneller. Climb mountains and run long distances to make life harder. Gravitate to the left in politics just to make life harder still.

A Fosdyke Saga

HERE’S an interesting fact. Fosdyke Wash, which is a beach at the mouth of the River Welland, in Lincolnshire, is the nearest strip of coast to the most inland point of Great Britain. In other words, there is a place … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Drove roads, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, Rivers, The Romans, Walking, Weather | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Washed up at Gibraltar

DRIVING down the Lincolnshire coast I spot a promontory called Gibraltar Point. It has a national nature reserve with marshlands stretching out into the Wash. I reckon it will be a perfect place to stretch the legs for a couple … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, Life, Rivers, Second World War, Shipping Forecast, Walking, Weather, Wildlife | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Days Like This, No 16: Blue Skies, White Hills, Red Screes

A winter’s walk up Red Screes . . . Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather, Writing | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Days Like This, No 15: Walking From Penrith to Ravenglass

Backpacking through the Lakes on Vesta Beef Curry in 1978 . . . Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Camping, Climbing, English language, Environment, Food, Hiking, History, Life, Mountains, Politics, Ranting, The Romans, Traditions, Walking, Weather, William Wordsworth | Tagged , , , , , | 61 Comments

Arkengarthdale Moor and the Death of Sods Law

SOMETIMES when you walk through wild and lonely countryside you experience a creeping realisation that things haven’t always been the way they seem. The heathery moors to the west of Reeth, in the northern Pennines, are empty places except for … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mining, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, horse gins, Hunting, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Pennine Way, Railways, Ranting, Ruins, Tan Hill Inn, Traditions, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 39 Comments

Done on Great Dun Fell

THERE are certain things in this world on which you should never depend and one of them is the weather forecast. I’ll think of a few more before I’m through, but the weather forecast will suffice for now. The outlook … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Pennine Way, Ruins, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Days Like This, No 14: Travellers and the Cluanie Ridge

THE roaring of stags is an unearthly sound that sends shivers across skin. It echoes from the rock walls of corries like the groans of the tortured. People passing along the A87 are unaware that a few hundred feet above … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Life, Mountains, Recycling, Weather | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments