Showing posts from July, 2014

Blencathra (Lake District)

Blencathra stands like a gatekeeper to the Northern Lake District.  At 2,847 feet (868 metres) it's the first mountain you encounter when driving towards Keswick from Penrith.  I can't properly explain why, but the first sight of this mountain always brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.  There's just something about being surrounded by mountains that feels like "home" to me, and no matter how long it has been since my last visit, as I drive along the A66, Blencathra seems to be calling out to me... "Welcome Home". This was partly why, at the start of a week's holiday in Keswick, I decided that our first climb would be Blencathra.  Also, I now feel as if I have just a hint of a vested interest in this beautiful mountain.  Earlier in the year the current owner of Blencathra, Lord Lonsdale, announced that he was putting the mountain up for sale to raise funds towards a large tax bill for death duties.  Almost immediately the Friends of Ble

Captain Cook's Monument & Roseberry Topping (North York Moors)

It was the morning after Midsummer's Day, the weather was fair and I awoke very early feeling eager to go for a nice long walk.  A quick look at my list entitled "Walks I would like to do" and I instantly knew which one I favoured.  This was to be a 12 mile circuit over high moorland at the very northernmost edge of the North York Moors, visiting a couple of well-known landmarks along the way. It was still quite early and the roads were quiet as we drove out to the little Cleveland market town of Guisborough.  This being a Sunday, parking was free and unlimited along the main street where we left our car.  Before we could get up onto the higher ground, however, we first of all had to navigate our way out of the town centre.  After a couple of wrong turns we eventually found ourselves on a dismantled railway line which skirted the southern edge of the town.  This was the line of the former Middlesbrough and Guisborough railway which closed in 1964 and is now known as the

Bilsdale and Bransdale (North York Moors)

A week before setting off to walk the Yorkshire Wolds Way we paid another visit to beautiful Bilsdale in the North York Moors National Park.  A lack of time prevented me from blogging about this prior to our Wolds Way walk, and so what follows is a short step back in time to a weekend in mid May.  Our base for the weekend was the Buck Inn at Chop Gate, which is rapidly becoming a firm favourite.  Aware of the fact that we needed a "Wolds Way Warm-up", I planned two consecutive days of walking around 12 miles each day.    I've decided only to write about the first day's walk because, to be honest, the second day contained little of interest.  It was basically a day of following a large circuit over open moorland which, apart from the occasional grouse butt, was featureless.  Day one, however, was a different matter. Leaving our car in the pub's car park, we set off along the main road northwards, as far as the hamlet of Seave Green where we turned to cross a stre