Our standard weekend circuit around Jenny Brown’s Point. Except that, on this occasion, I was on my own for some reason. And, having started across the same field to the Green, with the usual views to the Howgill Fells, I turned right rather than left on Hollins Lane and then walked across Heald Brow rather than down through Fleagarth Wood.
And then, once I’d rounded Jenny Brown’s Point, I decided to walk around via the sands.
When ‘the sands’, turned out to be much wetter, muddier and clingy (TBH would say ‘clarty’) than I had anticipated, I retreated to the rather sketchy path along the cliff top. At least until I arrived at Know Point, just as the sun was setting…
The summer holiday came to an end, as it all too inevitably does, but for my first two days back, the boys were still at home, and therefore not requiring lifts, so I decided to cycle to and from work.
Both mornings were overcast and surprisingly chilly, which probably suited me, as I was cycling to work and didn’t want to arrive all sweaty and red-faced. But both days brightened up, and the afternoons were very pleasant.
On the first afternoon, I cycled along the cycle-way, which shadows the Lune, as far as the former railway station at Halton. Well, across the river from Halton. Then crossed Denny Beck Bridge, which was built with parts of the old Greyhound Bridge, a railway bridge which had crossed the Lune in Lancaster. Denny Beck Bridge was built by the railway company as a toll bridge so that passengers could cross the Lune from Halton to get to the station.
From Halton, it was a steep climb up to Four Lane Ends, where I turned on to Kellet Lane. I knew that the higher ground there would give me good views, although it was quite hazy, and I kept putting off taking a photo, on the basis that the view would probably be better ‘just around the corner’ etc, so that I didn’t actually snap a picture until I’d lost most of the height, was through the village of Nether Kellet, and cycling down Back Lane towards Carnforth.
On the second day I opted for a longer route home, starting by cycling on the cycle-path between Lancaster and Morecambe, then following the prom and the coast road to Hest Bank were I could rejoin my morning route on the canal towpath.
In all, a rather splendid way to start and finish the day. I’m looking forward to doing it again some time, but as a replacement for driving it’s not very practical, what with the dark mornings and afternoons in the winter, and especially considering that I spent at least three hours travelling each day. Still, will definitely do it again sometimes when the weather improves.
At the end of August, my Mum and Dad came to stay for a few days. It was the first time we’d seen them for quite some time, so it was great to have them with us, and also very handy that we had some pretty good weather for their visit.
I think we sat out on our patio quite a bit, but we also managed to get out for a number of walks.
I think Mum and Dad were particularly impressed with our walk on Heysham headlands.
B likes to come to Heysham headlands with his friends to watch the sunset and to swim when the tide is in, and I can see why.
I should mention that we had lunch at Tracy’s Homemade Pies and Cakes cafe, which was amazing value and very tasty. Highly recommended.
We had a day out in Kirkby Lonsdale too, although I don’t seem to have taken any photos. I was shocked by how busy it was; we did well to find car-parking spaces. I knew that it was touristy, but hadn’t expected it to be so thronged.
Looking forward to some more blue sky days, and for infection rates to settle down so Mum and Dad can visit for a few more walks and a postponed Christmas dinner.
The day after my Hawes Water wander. Another attempt to replicate the fun I had in the meadows of the Dordogne. It started, in rather gloomy conditions, in our garden.
When the weather brightened up, I set-off for a short wander, taking in Lambert’s Meadow, my go to spot when I’m hoping to see dragonflies in particular, and a wide selection of insect life in general, and a trip to the Dordogne is not on the cards.
In my post about the meadows around the campsite we stayed on in France, I began with a photo in which I’d caught five different species all in the one shot, which I was delighted by, because it seemed to represent to me the sheer abundance and variety of the wildlife to be seen there.
I’ll confess, I was bit shocked that Lambert’s Meadow could match that tally…
So…what have we got here? I think that the two black and white hoverflies may be Leucozona glaucia. I think the bug closest to the middle could be the sawfly, Rhogogaster Picta. I wondered whether the tiny insect at the bottom might be a sawfly too, but the long antennae and what looks like an even longer ovipositor have persuaded me that it is probably some kind of Ichneumon wasp. But that’s as far as I’ve got (there are apparently approximately 2500 UK species). I think the social wasp at the top is probably Vespula Vulgaris – the Common Wasp.And about the insect on the top left I have no opinions at all – there isn’t much to go on.
I always assume that very pale bees like this are very faded Common Carder bees, but I’m not at all sure that’s correct.
I think this might be a Large Rose Sawfly, although surprisingly it seems like there might be several UK species of insects which have a striking orange abdomen like this. I’m also intrigued by what the funky seedheads are. I suspect that if I’ve written this post back in August, I probably would have had a pretty fair idea because of where they were growing in the meadow.
There’s around 300 species of cranefly in the UK. Me putting names to these is essentially a huge bluff – I have even less idea than usual. I’m reasonably confident that they are at least craneflies and that the first is a male and the second female, but after that I’m pretty much guessing, based on a little bit of internet research.
This is a hoverfly which I often see and which is sufficiently distinctive that I can actually be confident about my identification. Especially since I found this very helpful guide. The common name is apparently Pellucid Fly, which is odd; pellucid means translucent or clear, as in a pellucid stream, or easy to understand, as in pellucid prose. I’m not sure in which sense this fly is pellucid. The females lay their eggs in the nests of social wasps like the Vespula Vulgaris above. The larvae grow up in the nest, from what I can gather, essentially scavenging – so a bit like wasps round a picnic table. Even wasps get harassed!
I am going to have to bite the bullet and shell out for a proper field guide to hoverflies I think. They are so fascinating. Well, to me at least! These two, at first glance both black and yellow, but then so differently shaped and patterned, but I don’t have a clue what species either might belong to.
This, on the other hand, also black and yellow……
…is clearly not a hoverfly. Don’t ask me how I know. Well, go on then: it’s extremely bristly, and it has a chequered abdomen. At least it’s quite distinctive. My ‘Complete British Insects’ describes it as ‘handsome’ which even I can’t quite see. It’s a parasitoid, which is to say that its larvae will grow up inside a caterpillar.
Apparently Eristalis arbustorum “can have quite variable markings on its body and some can be almost totally black”. (Source) Which makes my heart sink a bit – what hope do I have if members of an individual species can vary so much? At least this genuinely is handsome.
A couple more unidentified bees to throw in.
Up to this point I’d been slowly pacing around the meadow, snapping away. I hadn’t walked far at all. As I approached the large area of Guelder Rose in the hedge, my pulse quickened a little, whilst my pace slowed even more. This is an area in which I frequently spot dragonflies. And the area just beyond, of tall figworts and willowherbs, is possibly even more reliable.
There were a few dragonflies patrolling the margin of the field. And a some Common Darters resting on leaves quite high in hedge, making them difficult to photograph from below. But then…result!
Sometimes hawkers visit our garden, but it’s rare that I spot them when they aren’t in motion, hunting.
An absolutely stunning creature.
A little further along…
Our friend P has hives in Hagg Wood, not too far away. Minty honey anyone?
Views from the walk home…
Well, I’ve enjoyed choosing this selection of photos from the hundreds I took that day. I hope you did too. I don’t know why I didn’t spend more time mooching around al Lambert’s Meadow last summer. I’m looking forward to some brighter weather already.
I was missing the flower rich meadows of the Dordogne and the multitude of butterflies and moths and other insects which the abundant flowers attract. So I set out for a short meander around Hawes Water, with my camera with me for once, with the express intent of finding something interesting to photograph.
Some patches of knapweed growing between Challan Hall and Hawes Water gave me just what I was after.
Mainly bees, which by late summer have faded quite a bit and so are even harder to identify than they are earlier in the summer.
Not to worry – I very happily took no end of photos.
I think this is a Green Dock Beetle. Pretty colourful isn’t it? I took lots of photos of this charismatic (or should I say prismatic?) little fella. With hindsight, I think the patterns on the knapweed flowerhead are pretty special too. Apparently, the larvae of these beetles can strip the leaves of a dock plant in no time flat. Likewise the massive leaves of a rhubarb plant. I don’t recall seeing them before, but shall be checking out docks more carefully this summer.
And finally, the hedgerow close to home which was cut down has new fences along each side and there’s plenty growing in that space – whether or not that’s the hawthorns and blackthorns of which the hedge was originally composed remains to be seen.
TBH had missed out on our walk from Cark to Grange via Cartmel and I thought she would enjoy it. X-Ray was keen to meet us for a walk, and perhaps a bite to eat, and I was pretty sure he would enjoy it too. Actually, as I recall, I presented X-Ray with a number of options and this was the one which most appealed. He hopped onto the Northern Fail service at Lancaster and we joined him at Silverdale for the short journey around the bay.
Cark has a pub and a cafe and I made a mental note that an evening repeat of this walk could start with a meal at one or the other. Cark also has Cark Hall, an imposing building which is now three dwellings. It dates from 1580 with a Seventeenth Century wing and alterations. Three hundred year old home improvements! The doorway looked really imposing, from what we could see of it, but good old-fashioned English reticence prevented me from wandering in to the garden to have a proper gander. (Historic England listing)
We bumped into a couple of old-friends and former neighbours in Cartmel who had won (in a raffle?) a meal at L’Enclume, Cartmel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. When we spoke to them later in the week they were highly impressed. Might have to check it out, if I win a booking in a raffle. Or rob a a bank.
Inside the church there was an exhibition of painted masks. They’d been there on my previous visit, but I paid a bit more attention this time. Collectively, they were very striking.
Ironically, the forecast was much better for this walk than it had been a few weeks before. On that occasion, the showers held-off. This time, sod’s-law was in operation and it rained quite a bit as we climbed Hampsfell. On the top we were shrouded in clouds and it was very cold for August.
There’s a small hearth in the Hospice and somebody had laid a fire, it was very tempting to light it while we sheltered inside and made a brew.
We came a slightly different way down in to Grange.
We were hoping to enjoy some lunch in a cafe near to the station which we used to bring the kids to when they were small, but were disappointed to find that they had nothing vegan on the menu for TBH. With a train imminent, and a long wait for the next one, we reluctantly had to abandon our late lunch plans. Maybe next time.
This was the day after the second of our walks from Brockholes. TBH and I had dropped B off there again, and had decided to spend the day in the Lakes before picking him up at the end of his shift. We’d had the bright idea of using the local buses so that we could do a point-to-point walk.
We parked up in Ambleside and then got thoroughly lost in the vast Hayes Garden World complex looking for the loos. Due to a lack of clarity on the bus timetable, and possibly a degree of muppetry on our part, we missed the first bus and ended up playing silly golf in a very busy Ambleside to pass the time until the next bus.
The bus didn’t take the most direct route and I felt both sorry for, and amused by, some of the tourist traffic which met the bus. The driver didn’t take any prisoners, but could squeeze the bus through gaps with only a few millimetres to spare.
From Coniston, we followed the Cumbria Way past Tarn Hows, stopping very early for a brew and a bit of lunch. The minute we stopped, of course, it began to spit with rain. I’d originally had grandiose plans to climb either Holme Fell, or Black Crag, or both, but the time we’d lost and the need to be on time for B, prompted us to abandon those options.
Tarn Hows was predictably busy, but the rest of our route was very quiet. We left the Cumbria Way after Tarn Hows, and bumped into a family of runners who we know from B’s rugby team. Small world!
Our route actually took us most of the way to the top of Black Crag. Once we’d crossed the watershed, the Langdale fells dominated the views for most of the rest of the walk.
There’s no village of Arnside here, but High and Low Arnside farms, High Arnside Tarn, Arnside Intake and Arnside Plantation.
On this long section, with its great views, we saw one other walker, a dutchman on his first visit to the Lakes, who was, he told us, very taken with what he had seen.
Possibly the reason this path is little used is that it deposits you on to the busy road between Ambleside and Coniston. I’d thought we would be able to get back on to the Cumbria Way, but I was mistaken. Fortunately, there is a permission path alongside the road for much of the way.
On the lane up to Skelwith Fold we witnessed some more motoring muppetry, with one car having to reverse around another, the driver of which had admitted defeat, to allow a van to pass. People got out of vehicles, examining bodywork which had at no point been in any danger of being scuffed, and some heated exchanges took place, but only, I think, between two occupants of the car whose driver had been apparently paralysed, like a ‘cragfast’ sheep.
A permission path took us, from the wonderfully named Bog Lane, down to the Brathay and a spot which I’ve earmarked as a fine looking swimming hole for when it’s warmer again.
I may have told TBH that a walk from Coniston to Ambleside would be 6 miles, prompted by a route description I’d found online which said the same. It seemed wise, in the circumstances, to stand in front of this signpost to hide the evidence to the contrary, especially since we still had some way to go.
We very much enjoyed this walk and I can definitely see us using the buses in the Lakes again to enable us to walk similar point-to-point routes.
No map from MapMyWalk showing the route since it had one of its occasional tantrums and refused to work.
One of the things I enjoyed about doing a bit of cycling last summer, was the fact that it took me to places I might otherwise not have visited. This route took me through the village of Hale on a road I’d never used before. Through the hamlets of Farleton and Dalton, which were both new to me, and along several minor lanes, quiet lanes which were delightful and unexplored territory as far as I was concerned.
Puddlemire Lane was particularly good. After a steep climb from Farleton, on a lane so overgrown by it’s high hedges that I was glad not to meet any cars, the road levelled off and the views opened out.
After Hutton Roof village, I joined the Dalton Lane – very familiar since I use it for our frequent rugby-related trips to Kirkby. I stopped at the Park Quarry car-park, to sit at one of the picnic tables there and have a rest and a drink. That may have been the start of my problems, since I rode my bike across the grassy area to the picnic tables.
Whether that was the case or not, as I rode through Dalton, on my way to Burton-in-Kendal, I realised that my back tyre was deflating rapidly. I also soon realised that I had no idea how to remove the back-wheel from the unfamiliar gear-set-up and that there was no chance I could fix the puncture. Fortunately, TBH was able to drive out to rescue me.
Whilst I was sitting in a field gateway, keeping off the road, the local farmer pulled-up, at least, I think that’s who he was. Just for a moment, I wondered whether he was going to to ask me what I was doing sitting in his field, but in fact he offered to stick my bike in his boot and give me a lift to wherever I needed to go. What a nice chap!
It was an excellent route – one I shall have to have another crack at some time. MapMyWalk gives 330m of climbing. Here’s the gradient profile:
The heights are all wrong, too high by some margin, but I think that the relative changes are about right.
I had a go at fixing the flat at home, with the luxury of a full set of tools and access to ‘how to’ videos. It didn’t end well, which is a bit worrying. I’ve had tougher tyres fitted to the bike in an effort to a least reduce the probability of having the same problem again.
Some plants in the garden are fantastic value, not just in themselves, but for the wildlife they attract.
I think these tall yellow daisies are Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. Related to sunflowers, they’ve spread like mad in our garden, giving a long-lasting bright splash of colour in mid to late summer.
This is what the BBC Gardener’s World website has to say about them…
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, birds, butterflies/moths and other pollinators. It nectar-pollen-rich-flowers and has seeds for birds.
The long stems seem to be good places for dragonflies to rest. And they are certainly attractive to pollinators.
Marjoram also seeds itself quite freely around the garden and seems to be particularly attractive to bees. I hope this is a Garden Bumblebee, seems appropriate, but the white-tailed bumblebees are difficult to distinguish between.
And, completely unrelated, TBH booked us all in for a family session of Foot Golf at Casterton golf course. As you can see, the views there aren’t bad at all.
We were all a bit rubbish at the golf, but we had a good giggle.
With a pretty dismal sounding forecast, we couldn’t persuade any of the younger members of the party to join us for walk from Cark to Grange. So it was only Andy, TBF and myself who caught the train from Silverdale to Cark.
I remember the walk from Cark to Cartmel being very pleasant, if perhaps unremarkable, but I don’t seem to have taken any photos until we reached Cartmel…
The Priory Church was built between 1190 and 1220 and was part of an Augustinian monastery, but most of the monastic buildings were destroyed after the dissolution of monasteries.
I haven’t been inside the church for far too long, and was very pleased to have a little nosey on this occasion.
I took lots of photos of the amazing intricate carving in the church, but the light was very low and they didn’t come out too well.
Built in 1835 by George Remington, a former pastor of Cartmel Parish, Hampsfell Hospice has verses on boards around the walls inside, which make a puzzle, and on the roof, accessed by a narrow flight of stone steps, a view indicator.
I think it was pretty windy up there on this occasion. But the forecast showers held off and the views were still quite good.
A terrific walk which packs a lot into its slightly more than six miles.