Category Archives: Footpaths

Autumn and Unfound Paths

THAT feeling has returned – the yearning that has its roots in the depths of the stomach and rises in a flood of warmth and expectation. All I did was raise my eyes towards the hills and behold streams of … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Cycling, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Ruins, Walking | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Forgive Them Their Trespasses?

IT’S a perfect spring morning in 1982. Arkengarthdale slumbers green and shadowy beneath a blue sky as we sit in damp grass and drink tea from tartan Thermos flasks. Nothing moves except the wind in the heather and the birds … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Caving, Climbing, Country Land and Business Association, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Environment, Footpaths, Highland Clearances, Hiking, History, Hunting, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Politics, Potholing, Ranting, Rivers, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Days like This, No 22: An August Bank Holiday Secret

I HAVE resolved to leave my hiking boots in the back of the Mini Estate this August Bank Holiday and avoid the Lake District fells. The reason is simple. The roads will be crammed with Vauxhall Vivas, Morris 1300s, and … Continue reading

Posted in Butterflies, Childhood, Climbing, English language, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Life, Mountains, Traditions, Walking, Weather, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Days Like This, No 21: Eternity in Borrowdale

THE closest thing to eternity is a cold night in a tent. Hope dies while hours limp slowly past. Supernovae fade and constellations shift as time distorts and clocks refuse to tick. Body heat is sucked into the ungrateful ground. … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Quarrying, Ruins, Slate quarries, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

Days Like This, No 20: Glimpses on Gable

EARLY morning on the South Traverse. The southern crags of Great Gable soak up sunlight. Rocks are warm to the touch beneath their volcanic tuff roughness and crumbly lichen. In the air, the bleat of a distant ewe and the … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, Life, Mountains, Napes Needle, Tarns, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

On a Whim to William Gill

WILLIAM GILL is an offshoot of Arkengarthdale in the northern Pennines and is the shallow valley leading to the source of Arkle Beck. It’s a place only the lonely visit because it’s right in the middle of one of those … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Coal mining, English language, Environment, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Pennine Way, Rivers, Ruins, Tan Hill Inn, Walking | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

Days Like This, No 19: Pillar and the Rock

HOT sun on the back of the legs. Dust inside socks. Warm breeze drifting from the Irish Sea and stirring dry grasses. The magnificence of Pillar rising from the green of Mosedale into a flawless sky. Days like this were … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Music, Poetry, Tarns, Walking, Weather, William Wordsworth | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Gibbet Hill and Carlin Gill – That’s Entertainment

GIBBET Hill has history. Little more than a slope in the Tebay Gorge – which separates the Howgill Fells from the Lake District – it was the site where, in 1684, local villain William Smurthwaite’s body was left to rot … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Death, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Legends, Mountains, Rivers, Running, The Romans, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 29 Comments

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 , | 30 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

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 , , , , | 45 Comments

Days Like This, No 13: Suddenly Night on A’ Ghlas-bheinn

THE ground is white with frost and a sharp wind cuts along the glen from Loch Duich. Heavy clouds roll in from somewhere unknown. The weather forecast is far from encouraging. My wife drops me off at the head of … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments