Saturday 7 November 2015

Across Kinder Scout from Edale to Glossop

Sunday 4th October 2015

A walk across the centre of the Kinder plateau, before picking up the Pennine Way and Doctor's Gate

Distance: 23km; Ascent: 550m; Cloudy morning, turning warm and sunny later; Solo

I'd been thinking about crossing the Kinder plateau again for some time, as most of my more recent walks in the area had been around the edges.  I was also intrigued by the words "Kinder Gates" marked on my map, and I wondered what was there.  As I had a opportunity to get out for a walk today, and it had been mainly dry for the last couple of weeks, I decided to head to Edale and wander up Grindsbrook Clough.

In Grindsbrook Clough
I set off walking from Edale station at around ten past ten this morning, and was soon following the path up along the Grinds Brook.  It was grey, overcast but dry this morning, although occasional bits of blue sky looked promising for the rest of the day.  There were a few other walkers around, but it definitely didn't feel particularly busy, and I spent much of the time higher up in the clough without seeing or hearing anyone else.

In Grindsbrook Clough
Around an hour after setting off from the station I reached the plateau at the top of Grindsbrook Clough, with hazy views back down into the valley.  Heading west for a kilometre or so, I soon reached the top of Crowden Clough and headed north alongside the headwaters of Crowden Brook.

Looking back down Grindsbrook Clough
A surprisingly grassy section of the Kinder plateau
As I wandered across the plateau, I was pleasantly surprised as to how grassy it was now in lots of places.  Although the long grass did make it tricky at times to follow the faint boot-worn path towards the River Kinder!  Soon I stumbled across the inevitable peat hags, which I have to admit I am quite fond of!  They add features to what would otherwise be a completely flat plateau.  Although that's easy to say when the ground is so dry underfoot!

In amongst the peat hags
By now the morning cloud had pretty much burnt off and it was warm and sunny :-).  I followed what looked to be the biggest looking grough as it twisted and turned through the peat hags to eventually reach the River Kinder at a prominent cairn.

The River Kinder above Kinder Gates
I followed a reasonable small path downstream alongside the River Kinder, bumping into the first other walkers since leaving the southern edge of the plateau.  Soon I reached Kinder Gates, which consists of some impressive gritstone crags that appear to guard the onward route - presumably that's how they got their name!

The River Kinder at Kinder Gates
After another half a kilometre or so, I reached the western edge of the plateau above Kinder Downfall.  There were hazy views westwards towards Kinder Reservoir from here, and I wandered along the edge for a bit to get a look at the downfall, which had hardly any water flowing over it today.

A hazy view down to Kinder Reservoir from Kinder Downfall
This edge of the plateau was teeming with other walkers out enjoying the lovely October weather today!  Therefore I headed slightly off path to find a pleasant gritstone outcrop on which to sit and enjoy a spot of lunch.  It was now about half-past midday and I decided that I probably wouldn't have enough time to head over Bleaklow and down to Hadfield to catch the train home as originally planned.  Instead I hatched a new plan to head along the Pennine Way and then down Doctor's Gate into Glossop to catch the train from there instead.

Mill Hill from Kinder
Junction with the Snake Path
Therefore I headed NW along the busy Pennine Way path to reach the summit of Mill Hill (Dewey), which is probably the hill I've climbed the most after Mam Tor!  Continuing along the Pennine Way I had another hill in my sights, but this time it was one I hadn't actually climbed before: Featherbed Top.

Slabbed path NE of Mill Hill
After much walking along the slabbed path I reached the featureless summit of Featherbed Top (Dewey) at around 2pm.  I wandered around for a while in an attempt to ensure that I'd visited the highest point of this somewhat flat-topped hill, before descending northwards towards the A57 Snake Pass road.

Summit of Featherbed Top
The A57 was very busy today, and I had to wait a while to be able to cross the road safely!  Continuing northwards along the Pennine Way, I soon turned off onto the Doctor's Gate path.  There were good views down into the Shelf Brook valley and at one point I came across a sign saying that the path for closed for a few metres at one point, with no diversion.  However given that the surrounding land was open access land, this seemed a little bit bizarre!

Looking down Doctor's Gate
A passing group of walkers soon informed me that the closure was due to a missing bridge over the Shelf Brook, but that the river was easy to cross today.  Therefore I continued down along Doctor's Gate towards the river crossing.  After a little over a kilometre I reached the site of the missing bridge and easily crossed the river, although it has been dry for the last couple of weeks.

The missing bridge on the Doctor's Gate path
I continued on a good path on the northern bank of the Shelf Brook, before picking up a vehicle track near to Mossey Lea Farm and following it through fields to the edge of Glossop.  A kilometre or so of road walking then brought me to the station, where I arrived in plenty of time to catch the 16:08 train back into Manchester and then home again.  All in all it had been an excellent walk in the Dark Peak :-)

Looking back up Doctor's Gate
Old Glossop Church

Sunday 23 August 2015

Penrhyn Castle

Sunday 23rd August 2015

On our first day in North Wales we headed to Penrhyn Castle, near Bangor, with the kids. Here are a few photos from a pleasant wander around the grounds and garden this morning before the heavy rain set in! There were good views eastwards towards the Great Orme from the castle ramparts.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday 6 August 2015

A Sunset Walk from Upton to Bude

Thursday 30th July 2015 

A pleasant evening circuit from Bude combining the canal towpath and the coast path 

Distance: 6.5km; Ascent: 150m; Dry, but cool for the time of year; Solo

At around half-past eight I set off walking along the canal towpath heading out of Bude, before cutting up to the coast by way of the road to Upton from Rodd's Bridge.  I arrived at the coast just as the sun was setting, and enjoyed a most pleasant walk north along the coast path at dusk.

The trig point on Efford Beacon beckoned, followed by the tower on Compass Point, before I dropped back down to the canal at the sea locks by the light of a full moon.

A lovely evening coastal walk :-)

Monday 29 June 2015

Rishworth Moor and Blackstone Edge

Saturday 27th June 2015

An evening walk in the South Pennine moors 

Distance: 13km; Ascent: 280m; Dry, mostly overcast with a fresh breeze; Solo

Somehow I'd not yet been out on an evening walk this spring or summer, so I decided to rectify that this evening.  Blackstone Edge was somewhere I'd not been to for a while, and a quick look at a map suggested a possible circular route taking in Rishworth Moor too, so a plan was formed.  So after a quick journey along the M62, I set off walking soon after 7:30pm and followed the track up to Green Withins Reservoir.

Green Withins Reservoir
Drainage ditch near Green Withins Reservoir
A path then led me alongside a drainage ditch, before beginning to ascend up through the bracken, heading for Blackwood Edge.  As this wasn't where I wanted to be heading this evening, I soon left the path and headed across the moor to reach the trigpoint on Dog Hill, the highest part of Rishworth Moor (TuMP).

Trig point on Dog Hill
The ground 50m or so to the east looked to be slightly higher so I headed over there to ensure I visited the highest point.  There was a lot of cotton grass blowing around in the wind up here this evening!

Cotton Grass on Dog Hill
I followed a faint path across the moorland, past Cat Stones and Warm Withins Hill to reach Rishworth Drain and another track.  It was now decision time: I could either turn left along a reasonable track back to the car, or turn right and continue with my planned route up Blackstone Edge.  The weather was reasonable, sunset was still half an hour away and I had two torches with me, so I opted to continue.  Therefore I picked up the Old Packhorse Road, which was quite peaty in places.  This lead me to the Aiggin Stone, where I joined the Pennine Way.

Aiggin Stone Information Sign
The Aiggin Stone at Dusk
Sunset at the Aiggin Stone
After watching sunset from the Aiggin Stone, and using the nearby fenceposts as a support for my camera, I headed south up to the rocky outcrops of Blackstone Edge.  Soon I reached the trigpoint, which I'd last visited back in 2008 when I walked this bit of the Pennine Way.

Trig Point on Blackstone Edge
I'd heard that the trigpoint wasn't actually on the highest point of the hill, so I headed south-east to reach the boulder that marked the summit of Blackstone Edge (HuMP), which had an OS benchmark symbol carved into it.

Blackstone Edge Summit Boulder
By now it was 10pm and the light was fading, so I donned my headtorch and headed south along the Pennine Way towards the traffic noise from the M62.  I crossed the footbridge over the motorway and headed back along the A672 to reach my car shortly before 11pm after a pleasant moorland walk.

The M62 from the Pennine Way Footbridge

Thursday 7 May 2015

TGO Challenge 2014 - Index of Posts

With the 2015 TGO Challenge kicking off tomorrow, I thought it was about time that I actually finished off my blog posts about last year's crossing!  Therefore here is an index of my various 2014 TGO Challenge posts:

Looking across Loch Hourn to Ladhar Bheinn from the west ridge of Beinn Sgritheall

Posts prior to setting off:
Gairich, Sgurr an Fhuarain & Sgurr Mor from the SW slopes of Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

Occasional posts during the challenge:
Carn na Criche, Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine and Carn Toul from Monadh Mor summit

Day by day posts following the challenge, with lots of photos:
  • Day 1 - Glenelg to Glen Arnisdale
  • Day 2 - Glen Arnisdale to Loch Quoich
  • Day 3 - Loch Quoich to Inchlaggan
  • Day 4 - Inchlaggan to Fort Augustus
  • Day 5 - Fort Augustus to Chalybeate Spring
  • Day 6 - Chalybeate Spring to Newtonmore
  • Day 7 - Newtonmore to Ruigh Aiteachain
  • Day 8 - Ruigh Aiteachain to Glen Dee
  • Day 9 - Glen Dee to Braemar
  • Day 10 - Braemar to Gelder Shiel
  • Day 11 - Gelder Shiel to Queen's Well
  • Day 12 - Queen's Well to Tarfside
  • Day 13 - Tarfside to North Water Bridge
  • Day 14 - North Water Bridge to Montrose
Looking up Glen Dee towards the Lairig Ghru
It was an excellent crossing and my fourth challenge after three previous crossings in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  The weather was pretty reasonable much of the time and I had only about 20km overlap with my previous three crossings.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

TGOC 2014 - Day 14: North Water Bridge to Montrose

Thursday 22nd May 2014

A morning walk to Montrose trying to stay off the road as much as possible 

Distance: 15km; Ascent: 120m; Overcast with rain on the coast; Solo

It was forecast to be a wet end to this year's challenge, with rain due to arrive from around 11am.  Therefore I resolved to make an earlier start than usual and set off walking at around quarter past eight this morning, although others had left much earlier than me.

North Water Bridge campsite
Looking up the River North Esk from North Water Bridge
It was grey and overcast as I followed the main road east towards Marykirk.  However, rather than crossing the River North Esk and heading for St Cyrus, I instead picked up a footpath.  I had planned my route from here to the coast to have as little road walking as possible by studying the Angus Council Core Paths Plan.  Using this useful resource, I had plotted a route to Montrose beach along various core paths, with only around 2-3km of road walking from this point onwards.

Signpost for the path to Logie
The River North Esk at Craigo
Path from Craigo to Logie
Path through the fields to Logie
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Core Paths were actually signposted, which made route finding significantly easier.  I had brought printouts of the Core Paths overlaid onto 1:25000 maps from the council website in case I needed them to locate the paths; however these weren't needed in the end.  The path from Craigo to Logie was pleasant enough, with a section through some woodland followed by a bit through some fields.  From Logie I had a bit of road walking to reach the start of my next Core Path of the day.

Signpost for the path to Hillside
The track to Hillside
Entering the Rosemount Estate
In the Rosemount Estate
Good woodland tracks led me to the pleasant Rosemount Estate, after which I emerged onto the road again in Hillside.  Again a few hundred metres of road walking led me onwards to my next Core Path, this time from Hillside to Borrowfield.  This path ended in the middle of a housing estate on the northwestern edge of Montrose, from where I picked up the cycle path that I followed virtually all the way to the sea.

The track from Hillside to Borrowfield
Small lochan on the edge of Montrose
I rejoined the road a short distance from the sea, near to the golf club, at a road junction with a handy signpost for the Seafront Splash play area where I was due to meet Lynsey and the kids.  It was now getting a bit windy in addition to the threatening sky so I continued quickly towards the beach.  On the way there I met Lynsey, Isabel and Olivia and walked to the beach with them :-).

Nearly there!
Montrose beach
Due to storm damaged paths, we were unable to get the pushchair down to the beach itself so I nipped down to the sea to dip my feet in the sea on my own.  It was now shortly after 11am and I'd finished the 2014 TGO Challenge :-).  I then spent an enjoyable half hour playing at the Seafront Splash play area with the kids, before rain stopped play!

We headed into town to get a spot of lunch somewhere indoors, before moving on to the Park Hotel for me to officially finish, which is also where we were staying this evening.  It was good to catch up with John, Ali, Gayle and Mick on control.  I spent a leisurely afternoon in Montrose with the family, before it was time for the enjoyable celebration evening meal in the hotel.  Lynsey joined me after the meal and it was good to catch up with so many other challengers :-).  Although it was sad to think that it was all over for another year.  It would be Lynsey's turn to do the TGOC next year, so it would be 2016 at the earliest before I'm next setting out from the west coast to walk eastwards for two weeks!

Not sure what Andy & Alan are so surprised about!
At the Park Hotel