Category Archives: History

Days Like This, No 5: Ireland’s Deep Secrets

DAWN breaks over Belfast. A van and a minibus rattle through the city and head down the main road towards Dublin, stopping only at the cross-border road block on the hills above Newry where a British squaddie peers at our … Continue reading

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Posted in Bronze Age, Camping, Caving, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Potholing, Ruins, Vikings, Walking | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Feet of Cley on the Norfolk Coast Path

SHINGLE banks are not the easiest terrain to walk across. And between the north Norfolk village of Cley and the town of Sheringham they stretch for miles. It’s a matter of steer your prow into the wind and start plodding … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Beer, Bronze Age, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Newsquest, Norfolk Broads, Politics, Ranting, Redundancy, Second World War, Walking, Windmills | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Going to California . . . Via Teesdale

HISTORY has not been kind to the Pennine valley of Hudes Hope. On a sunny morning in March its lesser scars can be mistaken for natural wounds and warts on the landscape. But there is no disguising the greater disfigurements … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Quarrying, Ruins, Slate quarries, Teesside, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Blog on the Tyne

A walk down the Tyne to Tynemouth – and back . . . Continue reading

Posted in History, Life, Rivers, Ruins, Tyneside, Walking | Tagged , | 28 Comments

Wild Winds and the Wain Stones

FOR many years I lived under the misguided impression that Ewan MacColl’s iconic mountain song The Manchester Rambler included a mention of the Wain Stones in the Cleveland Hills. Only recently did I discover there is another set of Wain … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Bronze Age, Cleveland Way, Climbing, Cup and ring carvings, Environment, Ewan MacColl, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Legends, Mountains, Teesside, Vikings, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Days Like This, No 1: The Aonach Eagach Ridge

THE Aonach Eagach is one of the most exhilarating high-level walks on the British mainland. The ridge forms the northern wall of Glencoe and stretches in a line of imposing crags from the foot of the glen to the pass … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Camping, Climbing, Environment, Glencoe, Hiking, History, Life, Mountains, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Blue Pie Thinking on Fremington Edge

THERE’S a village in the hills above Reeth that is an absolute pleasure to visit because the only people who go there are the postman, the coalman, and the villagers themselves. Forgive me for sounding sexist. I know there are … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Fray Bentos, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Ruins, Running, Vikings, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Stamford Bridge: A Long Walk to the Last Battle

Walking from York to Stamford Bridge in search of Vikings . . . Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Beer, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Legends, Northern Echo, Railways, The Romans, Vikings, Walking, York | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Arkengarthdale and the Hungry Hushes

IT’S midday and a storm warning has been issued by the Met Office. I’ve just set off across the northern spur of Reeth High Moor and can expect gale-force winds and up to 40mm of rain. The valley fields are … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Knut Hamsun, Life, Mountains, Patrick Kavanagh, Politics, Quarrying, Ranting, Ruins, Unemployment, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Coniston Old Man – Backwards and Forwards

WHEN I was a teenager I made a pledge to climb Coniston Old Man at least once every year because it was the first mountain I climbed and it was special. I also grew up within sight of its familiar … Continue reading

Posted in Allotments, Caving, Childhood, Climbing, Environment, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Newsquest, Northern Echo, Politics, Potholing, Redundancy, The Romans, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

On the Tide Line – But Not Quite Washed Up

THERE’S a special place on the Furness peninsula where people live in huts for much of the year. Some of the huts are made from old boats, others from scraps of wood, door frames and bits of recycled houses; a … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Environment, Hiking, History, Life, Mountains, Newsquest, Northern Echo, Politics, Ranting, Redundancy, Shipping Forecast, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 53 Comments

Untold Stories of High Haciendas

THE mountains are full of places where people lived, raised families and died. Their children and their children’s children have moved on. All that remains are stones and walls and the imagined echoes of humanity . . .

Posted in Archaeology, Death, Environment, Hiking, History, Life, Mountains, Ruins, Spanish Civil War | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments