and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 7th - 10th Carradale, Kintyre

Part 1 - the journey across

We crossed to Kintyre peninsula by taking the ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick on the Isle of Arran.
Before long the east of the the island was basking in the sun, and we drove a short distance south to a car park with a terrific view of Arran's hills, including the highest, Goatfell.

Back into Brodick for the essential coffee, before crossing the island to Blackwaterfoot, and finding more cloud.

Finally we headed north to Lochranza,  The Sandwich Station provided an excellent lunch before the short ferry crossing to Claonaig, on the eastern side of Kintyre. 

 The drive along the single track road south to Carradale took about forty minutes.

Part 2 - Deer Hill

Monday 7th May, afternoon.

We followed the instructions given on the link above, with variations.
The first time I walked the route in reverse, and although the top (230 Meters high) was clear the views were not as good as promised. It had been a rainy morning and the clouds were low. 

Thursday 10th May
We walked up the hill again on a much clearer day. In fact we walked up it twice, combining this with a walk around the lower part of the country park. This made a very good walk of just over ten miles, with about 1400 feet of climbing.

And we had the views - of Carradale Bay, of Arran, of Ailsa Craig and beyond.
Looking back over Carradale Bay
Arran across the water

Ailsa Craig - the rock on the horizon

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 3rd and 4th - Alston, Cumbria

We stayed in a cottage just outside one of the two towns whose claim to fame is the title of "the highest market town in England." Both sit at about 1000 feet above sea level. Both towns are pleasant places, though very different.  The other one is Buxton, in Derbyshire.

Day 1 - Alston

On our first day we simply followed the Pennine Way south from our base at Harbut Law.  A short walk took us into the town, where we filled in the time drinking coffee, drawing and exploring a little, as well as listening to the odd local resident complaining about the massive road works caused by a water main replacement. The consequences for the tourist trade over two bank holidays could be quite considerable.

Day Two - Natrass Gill
We followed the instructions from a leaflet at Harbut Law. 

The route starts between the Swan's Head pub and the old Methodist chapel, and heads south along a "loaning" or walled walkway.
We head south past the old workhouse and Fairhill Farm, then pass Annat Walls. 

The track becomes a footpath and leads to Nattrass Gill, 

a stream with a waterfall, which flows down into the South Tyne.

We cross the footbridge and walk up and over a stile out of the trees. This area once belonged to an American who bult his dream house at High Nest, and even had a boating lake at one time.

We cross the fields, and have a coffee-pause.

We join the road by a stone stile, and turn left, then right at some sheep pens. Cross Fell can be seen from here. We follow the road all the way to Bleagate, where we turn north and  follow the Pennine Way into Alston, with the South Tyne on our left.
 A stop in lston for some lunch, and to pick up some food for tonight, then we continue along the Pennine Way to Harbut Law.
This second walk was getting on for 8 miles in all.

During our stay at Alston we heard and saw curlews and lapwings, nd also heard our fist cuckoo of the year.