A wet walk at Kirkby Lonsdale.

Last weekend I was out with Crosby Rambling Club when we visited Kirkby Lonsdale. We started our walk from Devil’s Bridge which on most weekends is crowded with motorcyclists. But today it was quiet, perhaps due to the weather forecast.

Starting from the bridge we headed north passing through a campsite and the estate at Underley Grange to reach Barbon Beck.

2 a. Striding out

The going was fairly easy but with the fine drizzle the views were non existent.

1 a. Kirkby Lonsdale

We passed a fallen tree and if you stopped to stare you could make out faces in the trunk.

3 a


4 a. Fallen tree

We followed Barbon Beck heading east to reach the village of Barbon where we stopped for lunch by the village hall. Being able to sit at a bench and table was a rare luxury even though we were in the rain.

A chance for a group photo.

6 e. The B party at Kirkby Lonsdale

After lunch we headed south along tracks and paths towards the hamlet of Casterton. Conditions underfoot were were slippery and one of our group fell. Of course it had to be me. I fell headlong and as I lay there I was surrounded by women fussing over me. It was so embarrassing. I was OK to carry on but I had jarred my back which slowed me down a bit.

We still had two miles to go and someone kindly offered to carry my rucksack. Although it was flat there were lots of stiles including some very awkward ladder stiles.

7 e. Another ladder stile

Eventually we got back to Devil’s Bridge having walked 9 miles although it seemed like much more.

Local legend tells a story about the bridge

Devil’s bridge, which spans the River Lune was built by the Devil for an old woman who was having difficulty getting her cattle across the river. The devil agreed to build a bridge in exchange for the soul of the first person to cross it. But, the old woman threw a bun for her dog to chase across the bridge so the devil never got the human soul he was hoping for.

We decided to risk it and walked the extra quarter of a mile into the centre of Kirkby Lonsdale where I enjoyed a superb pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord Bitter in the Snooty Fox pub.

It had been an interesting day out although the rain and mist had limited the views.

During the journey home along the M6 by back began to stiffen up and I was glad to get home. I was forced to have a couple of glasses of red wine with my meal. Purely for medicinal purposes !

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Grey skies at Grasmere with Crosby Rambling Club.

Last Sunday I was out with my local rambling club when we visited Grasmere in the Lake District. I decided to do the B party walk. It was listed as challenging, not so much in terms of distance but it was over some rough terrain with almost 2000 feet of ascent. The weather conditions did not help with the rain making it very treacherous underfoot.

01 A. Climbing Silver How

We walked through the village towards Allen Bank and followed  the footpath leading up to Silver How. It was fairly steep at first but the gradient eased as we crossed Wray Gill.

16 E. Crossing Wray Gill

It then got steeper as we approached the summit of Silver How from where there were good views looking down on Grasmere and Rydal Water.

02 A. Summit of Silver How

04 A. Panorama from the summit of Silver How

The rain had stopped and the sun came out briefly. Time for a group photo.

03 A. The B party on the summit of Silver How

We continued along the ridge passing Lang How and Great Castle How before climbing to our highest point near Blea Rigg.

06 A. Heading towards Lang How

07 A

A few of us made the slight diversion to the summit of Lang How to appreciate the view.

08 E. At the summit of Lanf How

09 A. Sheep onb the Fellside

We now began our descent towards Easedale Tarn. It was very steep and the rocks were wet and slippery. We had to take great care.

10 A. The start of our descent

11 A. The descent towards Easedale Tarn

12 A. Descent owards Easedale Tarn

Easedale Tarn is a place where I usually like to linger, but not today. Conditions were quite murky and we were behind schedule. We would have to increase our pace if we wanted time for a drink when we got back to Grasmere.

We followed the main path alongside Sourmilk Gill pausing for a short while to admire the waterfalls.

13 A. Sourmilk Gill

We arrived back in Grasmere with just enough time to enjoy a quick pint of Coniston Old Man before our coach journey home.

It was so good to be back on the hills.

14 E. At Sourmilk Gill

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Win or Lose, what’s in a name ?

Last week my local rambling Club were in the Peak District where they climbed Mam Tor and continued along the Great Ridge to Lose Hill.

But how did it get it’s name.

Local legend tells of a great battle that took place in Hope Valley between the Saxon King Edwin of Mercia and Cicholm, the King of Wessex. Edwin was the victor and led his troops back to what is now known as Win Hill. The vanquished Cicholm retreated to what is now Lose Hill on the opposite side of the valley.

I am not sure if this is totally true but it’s a good story.

Lose Hill is now also known as Wards Piece in memory of G.H. B. Ward, born in 1876. A passionate rambler he fought for the right to roam. A cause for which we are now all grateful.

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Mam Tor and the Great Ridge with Crosby Rambling Club.


Unfortunately I was unable to join my friends from the rambling club on the recent walk to Castleton. A couple of them have sent me photos from the walk and I am very jealous.

So, I have decided to re-blog the post from 2018.


At the weekend I was in Castleton with my local rambling club. I was doing the ‘B’ walk and our aim was to climb up Mam Tor and walk along the Great Ridge.

This walk was voted 10th in Britain’s Favorite Walks last January so we expected to see crowds of people.


We left Castleton and followed a path along the bottom of a hillside towards Speedwell Cavern and on to Treak Cliff Cavern. We then began a steady climb heading for Blue John Cavern and the road at the base of Mam Tor.



We now began the steady climb up the stepped path…

View original post 302 more words

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On a couple of afternoons this week I have been walking through the Hightown Dunes and Meadows. I was searching for the Female Common Blue Butterfly. Last week I had seen several males but only one female and had been unable to get within a few feet of it. This week I had more success.

I have decided that the greatest skill required when taking close up nature photography has nothing to do with the type of camera etc. What you need is lots of patience.

Here are my images.

899 Female Common Blue Butterfly1896 Female Common Blue

                                                      The female Common Blue Butterfly.

By contrast the wings of the male are blue with a black brown border.

769 Male Common Blue Butterfly

I wonder what I will find next week?

Posted in Butterflies, Hightown Dunes and Meadows, Natural History | 1 Comment

Settle with Crosby Rambling Club.

On Sunday I was out walking with Crosby Rambling Club when we visited Settle in Yorkshire. I chose to do the B walk, a steady 9 miles. It was a walk that I have done several times. I call it the caves and Waterfalls walk.

10. Easy walking

We left Settle and headed south-east climbing gently all the time. We then headed north to reach Stockdale Lane. On the way we met a farmer who had got an unexpected Sunday morning job. Part of a wall had fallen down and he had to repair it. He had an interesting audience with his herd of cows.

11 Repairing the wall

We continued along the lane for a short distance before turning left onto the Dales High Way. Here we went wrong and had an unplanned diversion continuing along the Dales High Way instead of following the path below Attermere Scar.

Back on track we strolled on enjoying the typical Yorkshire scenery.


12. Striding out

There were patches of Limestone pavement which i thought looked better in monochrome.

24 Limestone pavement

The scenery below Attermere Scar was impressive and a few of us climbed up to a small cave. A short distance further on we could look up and see Victoria Cave. The mouth of Victoria Cave is about 100 ft wide and 32 ft high and the chamber extends back about 100 ft. When the cave was excavated it yielded bones and artefacts ranging from the interglacial period of 120,000 years ago, through the stone age and the Romano-British period of 2000 years ago.



We continued on towards Jubilee Cave but just before reaching it we turned off and headed towards Catrigg Force where the waters of Stainforth Beck plunge 60 ft down into the gorge.

29 Catrigg Force

                                                                The top falls.

I climbed down the steps to view the falls from the bottom.

High above me some daredevil was walking across on a tightrope. He slipped and fell. We all gasped but he was securely tied on with his safety rope.

33. Catrigg Force35 Tifgtrope walker

We now headed down to Stainforth along the Pennine Bridleway. We had to cross the stepping stones over the River Ribble. I had been across them many times before without any problem, but today I froze on the third stone and needed some assistance to get across.

We followed the Dales High Way back to Settle pausing at Stainforth Force to take photos.

40. Stainforth Force

42. Stainforth Force

At Stackhouse we joined a lane and saw an interesting sign.


Our visit to Settle coincided with the Annual Flower Pot Festival. There were lots of interesting creations but we only had time to see a few of them.



The unplanned diversion had added on a couple of miles making our walk 11 miles. We were behind schedule but still managed a refreshing pint of Theakson’s Bitter before the journey home.

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A wildlife Safari close to home.

My walk this week was through the Hightown Dunes and Meadows situated just north of Crosby Coastguard Station. This small nature reserve stretches from the Hall Road Coastguard Station to the mouth of the River Alt and and within it are sand dunes, a small saltmarsh, freshwater ponds and wildflower meadows.

I wandered there with my camera to see what I could find. In just over a mile I encountered over 25 different species of wild flower. Most were familiar but there were several alien species, possibly garden escapees.

Adding a splash of colour was the Everlasting Pea, the flowers showing shades of pink through to white.


Although they are very attractive they can cause problems as the plant has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen which increases soil fertility. this can be detrimental to other dune species.

Either side of the path leading up to Hightown there was lots of Viper’s Bugloss.

723 Viper's Bugloss722 Viper's Bugloss

The flowers are red when in bud and then turn pink, only turning blue when fully  opened. They are especially popular with bees. The long protruding stamens make this flower resemble a snakes head hence its name.  back in the 17th century it was used as an antidote for snake poison.

Ahead of me I could see what looked like a field of gold.

64 Field of Gold

662 Golden Rod661 Golden Rod

It was Canadian Golden Rod. Probably a garden escapee but why were they concentrated in  this one area ?

I walked back alongside the boundary fence of the West Lancs golf club. I had been hoping to spot some butterflies but the weather was quite cool and very windy along the coast. It was more sheltered here and I might have better luck.

I saw just four Common Blue butterflies,

771 Common Blue,maleIMG_E1779

These two were both males. I only saw one female but she must have been shy because she flew off as I approached.

There were a few Meadow Browns.  They were less active, probably because it was so cool.

761 Meadow Brown Butterfly755 Meadow Brown

I also saw one Gatekeeper butterfly. Although in some ways it looks similar to the female Meadow Brown it can be distinguished by the fact that it has two white spots in the centre of the black eye spot on the upper wing.

792. Gatekeeper Butterfly790 Gatekeeper Butterfly

I had walked just three miles but it had taken me two hours. So much to see.

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A walk up Moel Fammau.

Our walk this week was in Denbighshire, North Wales. We were walking up to the summit of Moel Fammau part of the Clwydian Range. Although only just over 1800 ft in height the view from the summit is fantastic. On a clear day you can see the Snowdonia Mountains, the Isle of man, and much of the North West coast including Blackpool Tower if you are lucky.

We parked at the Forestry Commission car park at Coed Clwyd picnic site and followed the purple markers to complete the Jubilee Tower Circular Trail.

01 Setting off02 Taking a breather

The first section was through the Clwyd Forest heading northwest. Every step was uphill and it was my first climb for two years. I needed to take frequent stops to catch my breath.


Soon we left the forest, ahead was open moorland but it was still uphill.

After a couple of miles we approached the summit of Moel Fammau and the remains of the Jubilee Tower.

04. Approching Jubilee Tower

Looking back we could see our clear route. No wonder my legs ached.

05.  Looking back

The area around the tower was very busy with lots of children but it is good to see that they have made the effort to climb up there.

06 Remains of Jubilee Tower

Jubilee Tower was built to commemorate the 50th year of the reign of George 111 but only the platform remains. The foundation stone was laid on October 25th 1810. The tower was designed in the Egyptian Style and was intended to reach a height of 150 feet. However it was never completed and in 1860 the structure collapsed following heavy storms. An unsuccessful attempt to restore the tower was made in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

We ate our lunch up at the tower taking in the wide ranging views. The weather was perfect for walking but a bit of heat haze restricted visibility.



10a At Jubilee Tower09 Moel Fammau

1110. At the summit

For our return we followed the Offa’s Dyke path. A more gentle incline where we could relax and take in the views towards Snowdonia.

12. Offa's Dyke Path13

The path led us down to the car park at Bwlch Penbarra from where a path led parallel to the road back to our starting point.

Our total walking distance was 4.3 miles with 1320 feet of ascent. A relatively easy day but it was so nice to be out walking again.

Back at the car there was time for refreshments before the journey home. I could relax as I was not driving.

14.Time to relax

Posted in Denbighshire, Wales, Walks | 1 Comment

A circuit of Loughrigg Fell.

At last the Covid restrictions are eased and I could get out to meet my friends from Crosby Rambling Club and enjoy a walk in the Lake District.

Out destination was Ambleside and I did the B walk, a steady 8.5 miles led by Judith.

We left Ambleside and followed the minor road that runs alongside the River Rothay to reach Rothay Park. From here we began a steep climb along lanes, tracks and a rocky path to Miller Brow. We then followed a footpath across the fell to reach the beautiful and secluded Lily Tarn.

18 Lily Tarn

19 The B party at Lily Tarn

After a short rest we continued across open fells with several ups and downs to reach the bridleway that skirts Ivy Crag.


33 it's all uphill

The bridleway led us to Loughrigg Tarn where we stopped for lunch with plenty of time to admire the scenery and the classic view of the Langdale Pikes across the tarn.

26. Loughrigg Tarn

We continued along the bridleway and a lane to contour round the fell reach Loughrigg Terrace. This is a popular track with magnificent views over Grasmere and Rydal Water.

33 Grasmere30 Grasmere

37 Rydal Water

We stopped at the impressive Rydal Cave and then continued back into Ambleside in need of some refreshment.

There could only be one place to go. The Golden Rule Pub on Smithy Brow. With a wide choice of Robinson Beers, No background music or big screen. An ideal place to enjoy a pint and a chat after a walk. We sat in the beer garden and I enjoyed a pint of ‘Wicked’

It must be the best pub in Ambleside.

It had been a super day and my first proper walk for 18 months. I was tired which gave me the perfect excuse to doze on the coach during the journey back along the motorway.

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Walking in a wildflower meadow.

56 Rimrose Valley flower meadow46 Rimrose Valley flower meadow

Today I ventured just a couple of miles from home to visit the wildflower meadow in Rimrose Valley. Over the past couple of years wild flower seeds have been scattered to produce an amazing sight.

There were many different species including poppies, cornflower, corn marigold and chamomile.

Here are a few of my images.

24 poppy49 Cornflower

54 Corn Marigold21

Hard to believe that I was only a mile away from Seaforth Docks whose cranes I could see in the distance.

There are proposals to build a road through the valley to create an easier route between the motorway junction at Switch Island and the docks. How could they consider destroying such a beautiful environment?

!4. Rimrose Valley flower meadow

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