Thursday 28 February 2013

Clifton & Lowther Park Walk

This weeks Wednesday walk started at the village of Clifton in Cumbria. We started just close to this Pele Tower called Clifton Hall which is a 16th Century building maintained by English Heritage. John, Peter, and Tom could not decide which door to use to gain entrance. The weather was absoultely glorious and during the course of the 4 hour walk we all peeled off several layers of clothing as the temperature rose.

This is Low Gardens Bridge in the Lowther Estate. The bridge is now closed to all but walkers and a new bridge has been built a few yards downstream.

At the half way mark on the walk we stopped at Brougham Hall which is a 13th century fortified manor house, founded by Gilbert de Broham. A range of craft workshops, a tea room and a gift shop have been established within the impressive outer walls. When we arrived there was no other visitors as it was of course out of season but the cafe was open and we decided it was such a lovely day an ice cream would be most acceptable. It is a beautiful place and well worth a visit.
This is the outer wall of Brougham Hall

Cross Fell in the distance and the highest point on the Pennine Way. Our walk passed through several fields and a couple of them were being ploughed by a contractor who was making fast progress. When we stopped for a chat he explained that 2 weeks ago many of these fields would not have been able to take his heavy machinery as they were so wet but the last couple of weeks have been perfect and they are now able to get on with the work.

This Oak tree has one of the largest girths of any I have seen.
This is Hugh's Crag Viaduct which we passed under on our way through the Lowther Estate. watching the West Coast Trains speeding over it is quite spectacular as 2 of them passed over while we were sitting below it enjoying our picnic lunch.

At the end of our walk we reached St. Cuthbert's Church and it is well worth a quick look round.
It had been one of the nicest walks we have done recently in superb weather and in excellent company.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Melrose Walk

What a difference a week makes. Last Wednesday we had loads of snow and our visit to Melrose was cancelled and we made do with a local 5 mile walk in the snow. We have now had a few good sunny dry days and although it was not sunny today it was dry and good walking weather. The ground is still very wet and for half of today's walk we had to plough through a load of mud.

On the Chain Bridge accross the River Tweed.

The finest Rugby ground in Scotland and maybe one of the most scenic in the world. It is of course the Greenyards at Melrose the home of the oldest 7s Tournament in the world.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

A Walk in the Snow

We had planned to do an 8 mile walk at Melrose but this has been postponed until next week. However not to be done out of a walk we decided to walk round Broomholmshields in the snow. Tom, Peter, John, and myself set off at 11.00am after coffee at No 63 and after a debate about postponing for another couple of hours but John and I won the debate so we headed off into the snow.

Near the Round House on the path from Broomholmshiels.

The Tarras road at Broomholm and we doubt if any traffic will use it at all today as the snow is quite deep in places and no sign of a snowplough.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

A Walk Round Thirlmere

Another Wednesday and another good walk, this time in the Lake District with a walk round Thirlmere. This was opened in 1894 to provide water for Manchester and these Victorian engineers were really clever as it heads downhill to Manchester by force of gravity so no pumping is required. The water takes 24 hours to reach Manchester and provides them with superb water.

Tom and Peter on the Dam at the head of the Lake. Notice Tom's footwear as he was adamant that he would need his snow spikes and the more Peter and I told him he would not need them the more he insisted he would.

Close up of Tom's fancy footwear. It is worth noting we saw neither snow or ice on our walk, except of course the snow on the mountains, but Tom wore them for 10 miles.

Looking down the Lake from the Southern end.

 A view of the Lake from the Forestry road. Very little of the walk was on decent tracks and as a result of this by the time I had walked about 8 miles my hips were playing up and very sore so I decided to wait at a car park about two miles from the finish until Peter and Tom came back for me. After they left me I should have walked along the main road to the car as I became very cold once I had cooled down from walking. I was so pleased to see them an hour later and it was only when we got close to Langholm that I began to feel quite warm again.

Lovely clear, cold water.

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