Category Archives: Industrial archaeology

Black Combe – On the Edge of a Circle

LIFE flows in curves that turn into circles. Even things that should be permanent are part of a cycle. Today I’m walking along the shores of the Duddon estuary with a dog and a granddaughter. I’ve been here before in … Continue reading

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Posted in Childhood, Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Rivers, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Old Roads, a Fallen Lady, St Jude and Thoughts for the Day

A walk through the lead mines of the North Pennines . . . Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Death, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Religion, Rivers, Ruins, Teesdale, Teesside, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Scaud Hill and Beyond – At My Leisure

An angry walk between Teesdale and Weardale . . . Continue reading

Posted in Caving, Childhood, Environment, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Newsquest, Northern Echo, Politics, Ranting, Redundancy, Ruins, Second World War, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

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

Posted in Bronze Age, Camping, Caving, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Potholing, Ruins, Vikings, Walking | Tagged , , , | 24 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

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

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

The Long Surrender: Brandy Bottle Incline

THIS is an account of a short walk in the hills above Arkengarthdale – but it has a back story that begins in the early 1980s and involves a group of mine explorers and an elusive portal into the underworld … Continue reading

Posted in Allotments, Archaeology, Caving, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Potholing, Railway goods wagons, Recycling, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Blaenavon – How Serene is My Valley

TODAY unfolds back to front. It begins with ancient history, progresses to sausages, peas and chips with gravy, and terminates in a breezy walk in the mist. That isn’t how it was planned. The original intention was an exhilarating ramble … Continue reading

Posted in Belfast sinks, Environment, Food, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Offa's Dyke, Politics, Railway goods wagons, Railways, Ranting, Recycling, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Coniston Fells: Highways, Byways, Narrow Ways

A day tramping over the Coniston fells . . . Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Quarrying, Ranting, Slate quarries, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Green Remembered Woods

WANDERING through hay meadows. See twisted hawthorn trunks and rusted metal gates hanging from stone stoops; fields swooping down towards an estuary and distant Lakeland fells. Smell hay and damp fields after rain, the rich aroma of cattle and clover. … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Environment, Footpaths, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Vikings, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments