Tag Archives: walking

The Strid

Friday 1st January 2021, 1.15pm (day 3,417)

The Strid, 1/1/21

2021 has limped into existence, and whatever else it brings, it will see the 10th anniversary of this blog (on 26th August). I make no predictions for the year, but I have made some resolutions, mainly that I will continue to live my life in the way that I need to in order to sustain my physical and mental health, whatever obstacles are placed in the way. That’s what it’s about isn’t it? Health? So we are being told, anyway.

This is the Strid, near Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire; one of the north of England’s natural wonders although the reason for this is not immediately apparent on this shot. The river is the Wharfe, and it’s fairly sizeable at this point, where it flows through a band of limestone. Above and below this gorge it is over 10 metres wide. So how does it squeeze itself through this defile, so narrow one could almost cross it with a stride — hence the name? The answer lies below: concealed by the water is a fearful chasm, undercut with potholes and very deep. Fall in here and I wouldn’t fancy your chances.

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You’re more interesting than him

Wednesday 9th December 2020, 10.10am (day 3,394)

Climbing Penn Hill, 9/12/20

The reason I came to Bath was to bag another of my County Top walks (see my other blog), the morbidly-named Hanging Hill. That was duly collected a few miles after taking this shot, from the ascent of Penn Hill, a slope of mud with a decent view of the city. During this climb I passed this dog walker, and his companion who seemed for some time to have decided that he was ditching his owner in favour of this new and more interesting person. You can’t just tell them you prefer cats, can you?

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Out in the open

Saturday 5th December 2020, 12 noon (day 3,390)

Duddon valley, 5/12/20

The River Duddon starts at Wrynose Pass and carves out a very fine course for itself, both with its valley and its spectacular estuary (which has featured in its own right on this blog, more than once). It’s just the kind of place that we need ever more in the modern world. The five cyclists you see here know this, I know this. This is the true measure of ‘public health’.

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Taking the air, again

Wednesday 25th November 2020, 11.10am (day 3,380)

Clumber Park, 25/11/20

No, I won’t do it. I won’t stay cowering at home, plugged into the Matrix and denied the world outside. My physical and mental health — the things we’re supposed to care about, right? — these are too important. And most of the woods and parks that I am frequenting are pretty busy with other people, suggesting that these souls, at least, have taken the same decision. It is not for the gaggle of failed journalists and lobbyists for the tobacco industry who got themselves elected about a year ago to tell us what is healthy and what is not.

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Ether Knott

Thursday 15th October 2020, 1.15pm (day 3,339)

Ether Knott, 15/10/20

The start of teaching has been delayed four weeks this year, but the summer can’t last forever. This is basically my last three-day gap of freedom before it all kicks in. And in weather like today, I made the most of it — as did the other walker just visible on this shot, below the summit of Ether Knott, a minor protuberance above Borrowdale. Behind, Skiddaw, one of the Lake District (and England’s) 3,000-footers. Boosting one’s immune system is very much the way to go, whatever the lockdowners think.

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Barf, from Lord’s Seat

Friday 2nd October 2020, 10.55am (day 3,326)

The Lake District mountain that is Barf has a very silly name, but it is a rugged little beast and has a great view. Its summit has featured before, as some eight and a half years ago I was up there with the couple who’d brought their grandson’s Action Man along for the ride. With a weather forecast that is significantly deteriorating, I made the most of a chance to rebag it (and its two neighbours, Lord’s Seat and Whinlatter) today as part of my ongoing second Wainwright round. I’ll work some other day…. OK? Wouldn’t you?

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Loch Skeen

Friday 18th September 2020, 10.30am (day 3,312)

Loch Skeen, 18/9/20

The weather forecast today was such that it made one think — ‘Hmmm, better get out into the open air, before some pencil-pushing parasite with a job to make seem relevant decides I can no longer be trusted to do so.’  So I went out.  To Scotland, in fact: making this only the second non-English shot since the beginning of February.  It was worth the drive. This is Loch Skeen, near Moffat.

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Hedge tunnel

Wednesday 9th September 2020, 11.10am (day 3,303)

Hedge tunnel, 9/9/20

What would have been the best photograph of my day was never actually taken. At one point on my walk through the hills of the Medway valley, I came round a corner and a grass snake and I startled each other — the first snake I have ever seen live in the wild, even including other countries. But my camera was in its bag and it was far too keen to leave my vicinity for me to be able to bag it.  Never mind. Instead, I present this mildly sinister hedge tunnel: I can quite imagine some goblins coming along to surprise me in the other direction.

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In the Hope Valley

Saturday 22nd August 2020, 3.25pm (day 3,285)

Hope Valley, 22/8/20

I see little prospect of my leaving the UK for the rest of 2020, to be honest.  But luckily, this is a diverse and beautiful island, and there are plenty of bits of it that I have not seen yet.  Up until today, that included the Hope Valley, which heads into the Pennines west of Sheffield, and can be reached on a train from there or Manchester.  I rectified this omission today, and had a grief-free and pleasant day out there, and a dry one, despite the showers which seemed to be affecting everywhere else in the north today.  I hope the couple pictured here enjoyed it too.

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The Wrekin in mist

Tuesday 18th August 2020, 5.10pm (day 3,281)

The Wrekin, 18/8/20

This would be a nicer photo without the bushes in front, but I took it from a car, stopped in the middle of a road, in order to capture the sight of this hill wreathed in mist.  This is the Wrekin, a well-known protuberance in Shropshire, and one that Clare and I had just hauled ourselves up in weather much like this — on occasion there was mist and cloud, in other parts, clear skies. Another County Top done, anyway.

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