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10:04am Thursday 31st May 2012
The grassy mound of Ling Fell, rounded like a pudding, lies at the foot of the Wythrop valley. For walkers it is a delight; easy to ascend, dry underfoot, and has an airy dome-shaped top from where the descent is contoured through heather. From the summit there are wonderful views of the Skiddaw range beyond charming fine Sale Fell, the latter visited on your return.
8:40am Friday 25th May 2012
We have past this small bumpy ridge so often on the way to somewhere else that we decided to make it the aim of our walk. The reward was the superb view, from the top of ridge, of Burnmoor Tarn with the magnificent Scafell range beyond. In the opposite direction we looked down on Miterdale and out to the sea.
12:40pm Friday 18th May 2012
Whatever you want from a Cumbrian walk then Hawkshead has it. There is a delightful little township with lots of pubs, restaurants and cafes plus an excellent information centre. There is a Wordsworth connection in the form of the grammar school he attended as a boarder and there is a large central pay and display car park.
10:10am Friday 11th May 2012
Trying to guess the best time to see the Lake District at its most spectacular is a hit-and-miss business. Last autumn we chose just the right time to take some spectacular pictures of trees that line the shores of Ullswater. We also got it just right to see the daffodils in their glory on our walk to Broughton Mills. Last year we also chose the right time to see a multitude of young lambs at their liveliest. But this week we were too early for the bluebells at Staveley. Leaves and a few buds were visible but no haze of blue or cloud of perfume. But hopefully by time this walk is published it will be just perfect for the lovely flowers.
9:40am Friday 4th May 2012
Once the clocks have gone back there is more daylight and warm sunshine and so longer walks can be enjoyed. This walk is a joy to me because it ends with a boat trip. For this you need to plan your walk to fit in with the boat’s timetable. I chose this walk after finding an old postcard of Lingholme dated 1905. It was here that Beatrix Potter spent her summer holiday between 1885 and 1907. This inspired her to write about the area and I often wonder if she sent this postcard to her friends in London.
1:10pm Friday 27th April 2012
Torver High Common When I did part of this walk in 2005 we had difficulty finding our way over this remote area. Today there are waymarks, stiles, gates, and a footbridge but, alas, the boggy area still remains. Fortunately a path arcs round the worst of the mire. It is a lovely walk where you will most likely have the Common all to yourself. The views are superb with Coniston’s Old Man towering ahead of you for much of the way.
10:10am Friday 20th April 2012
I have enjoyed this walk for more than 40 years because friends of my wife have lived in and around Dent for generations. This is also a walk for all seasons and is a joy in early spring so now is the time to plan the walk.
9:50am Friday 13th April 2012
Energetic walkers on their way to Helvellyn via Striding Edge rarely notice Birkhouse Moor as they climb the slopes. It is a big bulky fell with few outstanding features and yet from its cairn the view is superb. Strangely the cairn is not the highest part of the fell; that is found a little way off and is passed almost without noticing. There are several ways of approach, some more challenging than others. This walk takes you past Keldas and Lanty’s Tarn and then onto famous Hole–in-the-Wall before ascending gently to the cairn.
12:30pm Friday 6th April 2012
When is a castle not a castle? The answer is, because it is, in my view, of modern construction. Wray Castle was constructed in 1840 by Dr James Dawson who was a very rich man who made his fortune as a surgeon in Liverpool. He needed to be because it cost him at £60,000 which was an enormous sum in those days. He intended it to look like a ‘proper’ castle complete with towers, battlements and even arrow slits in the walls. It is impressive from the landward side, but my favourite view of Wray is from the lake. I always begin my walk by taking a trip on one of the ‘steamers,’ which have been popular for more than a century.
8:10am Friday 30th March 2012
The lovely valleys of Kentmere and Longsleddale are partly divided by Brunt Knott and Staveley Fell. This walk leads you first up through the magnificent deciduous woodland of Craggy Plantation. It then continues along quiet narrow lanes before taking to the open fell for a fairly easy climb to the top of Brunt Knott to enjoy its magnificent view.
10:00am Friday 23rd March 2012
I WOULD describe this route as a heritage stroll - but not just any old stroll - but my own. My Grandfather was an iron ore miner. Hodbarrow iron ore mine operated from 1850 to 1968 and has now been flooded and landscaped to produce a super nature reserve. During the Second World War my father was based at RAF Millom, which was actually in Haverigg. This has now been converted to a the prison which became famous for the TV series Porridge.
8:30am Thursday 15th March 2012
This is a quiet walk with good views all the way of the delightful rolling countryside to the west of the A6 just outside Kendal. It passes three old mills reminding one of how much use was made of the River Sprint’s exuberance.
8:00am Saturday 10th March 2012
The winter of 2012 arrived with a vengeance in early February but cold weather walks can be a real joy. This is certainly true of water falls because they so seldom freeze over. Birds know this and move upstream to the falls where they find food in the open water.
6:00pm Friday 17th February 2012
This pleasing walk, starting from Ambleside, takes you through woodland to Jenkyn’s Crag, a wonderful viewpoint looking down on Windermere. It continues over the delightful countryside to Robin Lane and then returns via Skelghyll Lane and through Skelghyll wood.
9:30am Wednesday 8th February 2012
THIS was my last walk for 2011 and I planned it first as I was reading through an old diary which I had written in 1961. I had just been talking to Sam Hannah who was a film maker concentrating on the old country crafts. I had given him one of a collection of old photographs which I had collected. One was of the old Row Boat ferry, which crossed Windermere at the Ferry House Hotel. This building is now the laboratories of the Fresh Water Biological Association. The route of this stroll leads through woodlands, which I can remember was once full of charcoal burners pitsteads and working huts. It is hard to believe these days that the Lake District was then an Industrial area. There were iron furnesses all over and they all used charcoal as fuel. I loved this walk because I really was walking through the middle of Industrial History.
8:10am Saturday 4th February 2012
I have taken the route below from a delightful pamphlet, one of three, produced by the Dry Stone Walling Association, Cumbria Branch. Parts of the route will be known by many walkers; all of it is charming but muddy in parts so be prepared. The leaflets are on sale in most bookshops and are priced very reasonably. They contain the route and also a wealth of detail, illustrated as well, of the wonderful stone work to be enjoyed in this part of the county. I have not added a lot of the detail they give in my walk because the leaflets tell it all. All the examples of the stone work are a joy to look at and finding them is fun.
6:10pm Friday 27th January 2012
8:50am Friday 20th January 2012
THIS walk takes you from Elterwater almost to the head of Great Langdale. The views are superb in both directions. As it is rather long and hard going in short stretches you might prefer to make it into two walks, parking first at Elterwater and returning when you reach the New Hotel and then on your second walk parking opposite the hotel and continuing on up the valley.
9:40am Friday 13th January 2012
Two of those who have influenced my love of strolling in and around Cumbria have been Bert Whalley and Wainwright. It was Bert who first got me interested in photography and his view over Buttermere and Haystacks is spectacular. I once interviewed Wainwright for television and he told me that his favourite mountain was Haystacks.
9:10am Friday 30th December 2011
Cockermouth has always been one of my favourite towns, and like everybody, I was sad to see how it was devastated by the floods. What is good to see is how the Cumbrian spirit has risen above the waves. The more visitors which come, the quicker the town will recover, so go and follow this walk but don’t forget to bring your wallet and spend some brass in the town.
6:00pm Tuesday 20th December 2011
This is a lovely walk to blow away the ‘cobwebs’ and relieve the pressure of writing all those cards, buying and wrapping presents, and worrying if you’ve bought enough food. Much of the walk is dry underfoot and the views are superb. At first I missed the trees, but once becoming accustomed, I enjoyed the open fell slopes. Nature will soon hide the ‘litter’ on parts of the old plantation floor.
8:40am Friday 16th December 2011
For more than 50 years St Bees has been one of my favourite walks because it is so full of history plus wonderful coastal scenery. It was also the first place that I turned to study the natural history of seabirds. I still cherish a photograph taken in the 1950s of cliffs during the days of black and white photography. I still get a sense of nostalgia each time I look at old black and white prints. The 300-feet high cliffs, however, look a treat in the autumn as the sunlight strikes the red sandstone rocks. In the spring and summer the cliffs are full of seabirds including puffins, guillemots, gulls and other species. In the summer and autumn the area is a paradise for botanists.
8:40am Friday 9th December 2011
This is my 500th walk for the Westmorland Gazette; a short and lovely one. This gentle ramble, starts from Elterwater, soon to stroll quiet, almost untrodden, paths over glorious low countryside. Some of the paths are new to me, which is a great pleasure in that the Lake District can still surprise and enchant.
8:20am Friday 2nd December 2011
Finding walks around old abbeys has always fascinated me as I feel I am walking through history. In the last year I have walked around Cartmel Priory, Wetheral Priory and Shap Abbey. This week I have ventured a little further afield and have visited Byland Abbey in North Yorkshire. I did this the day that the clocks changed and so I made an early start.
5:50pm Friday 25th November 2011
The autumn colouring of the beech trees along the shore of Ullswater is unbelievably beautiful. Year after year I try to catch this magic sight on a walk along the water’s edge and generally I am too early or too late. This year I made it – I hope you will too.
8:30am Friday 18th November 2011
9:00am Friday 28th October 2011
12:40pm Friday 21st October 2011
Whatever has happened to the weather of 2011? I enjoyed this stroll on October 1, one of the hottest days on record. I had been planning this walk for some time because this is the time of the year to study the behaviour of the fallow deer, which is typified by the huge palm-shaped antlers of the stags. There is some argument whether the fallow deer was introduced by the Normans who loved their hunting.
10:00am Friday 14th October 2011
Park at Forge Bridge over the River Esk, grid ref 149995, Eskdale. If approaching from the south-west (over Birker Moor or from the coast road) the fairly large parking area lies on the left of the road. Before starting the walk you might wish to take the steps through the wall to see the Esk hurrying under its bridge and on down the valley – the green sward beside it is a lovely place for a picnic.
9:40am Friday 7th October 2011
I first visited Ravenglass on my eleventh birthday in 1947. I became fascinated by the village which had been so important to the Romans and also by the riches of the natural history on the shoreline and around the rivers Mite, Irk and especially the Esk.
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