Pre-Xmas Weekend: Ling Gill and Calf Holes.

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Ling Gill.

The forecast for the Sunday was, if anything, even worse than it had been for the day before. However, some of us were itching to get out, and so, when TBH revealed that she had left her trekking poles behind whilst out on a walk the day before, we decided to go out to look for them. We started by heading up onto the moors of Cam End then turned south on the Pennine Way, heading for the impressive gorge of Ling Gill.

We met a lady walking her dog who told us that she walks that path every day and that we were the first people she had met for months. It’s a very quiet corner of the world!

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Looking across Ling Gill to Ingleborough.

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Calf Holes.

At Calf Holes a stream disappears into a yawning pothole.

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TBH had been here with the boys the day before and this was where she thought she had left her poles. There was no sign of them, but it later transpired that some of our friends had picked them up here later in the day, so she will eventually get them back.

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TBH wasn’t overly concerned about her poles and, whilst Andy and I faffed about taking photos, took the opportunity to tuck in to her pack-up.

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Brow Gill Beck

The stream which pours into Calf Holes emerges downstream at Brow Gill Cave and then flows briefly underground again at God’s Bridge.

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God’s Bridge.

We’d been this same way on our previous outing, but that had been in the dark, this time we managed to get back to the lodge almost before it got completely dark. In the end, the weather had been much kinder than we had been led to expect with hardly any rain and not too much wind – it had been a good decision to get out.

The next day, when we were packing up and leaving, the sky was pure blue, the sun shone and we were too busy to take advantage of it. Not to worry, it had been a highly enjoyable weekend, as always and a great start to our yuletide celebrations.

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Pre-Xmas Weekend: Ling Gill and Calf Holes.

Pre-Xmas Weekend: Pen-y-ghent

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As ever, we got together with a gaggle of old friends for the weekend before Christmas. After several years at Chapel-le-Dale, this year we moved, but only a little way up the road to Gearstones Lodge. Here’s the lodge…

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I’ll take a moment to say that, if you are after simple, comfortable and spacious accommodation in a fantastic location for a largish group at a good price, then this place is going to be very hard to beat.

The first time we booked accommodation for a weekend before Christmas, A was just a baby and spent most of the weekend happily rocking furiously or sleeping in the only warm room at Slaidburn hostel. Now here she is, in the first photo, practically all grown up. It’s not the best photo of either A or Pen-y-ghent, which is hidden in the cloud behind,  but I’ve included because it’s a very typical A pose: she doesn’t want me to take her photo, but is tolerating my antics with a bemused look which tells me just how little she appreciates it.

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Here she is again. We were all hunkered down behind the wall seeking some shelter from the wind and rain. We’d parked in Horton-in-Ribblesdale and were climbing Pen-y-ghent with the intention of continuing back to Gearstones afterwards.

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A and J.

As often happens, somebody had stopped to change a layer or swig some water and somebody else had taken that as a queue for a lunch stop. We have a lot of lunch stops when walking together. I think there may even have been more scoffing underway when I caught up with the rest of the party at the top of Pen-y-ghent, having lagged behind a little, as is my wont. Certainly, an ‘official’ lunch stop was declared in the sheltered hollow…

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Around the opening of Hunt Pot.

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From there we diverted slightly from the most direct route to take a look at the highly impressive Hull Pot…

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Usually, the streambed above the pot is dry, but one compensation of the weather being so wet was the opportunity it afforded to see the falls cascading over the edge of the pot.

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And that’s it for my photos of that day. We still had quite a long way to walk, but it was very overcast at first, then dark for the last hour or so and anyway, I was busy chinwagging.

The ground we covered from Pen-y-ghent back to Gearstones did look very interesting, when we could still see it, and I look forward to going back to have another look in more conducive conditions.

Andy has helpfully included a map of our route in his post and there are more photos too.

And for photos from Pen-y-ghent in better weather, here are two previous posts of my own: here and here.

Back at the hostel, we dried out over cups of tea then enjoyed some top-notch grub and no doubt lots of silly anecdotes.

I’ve finished a number of walks in the dark this winter, which is just how winter walks should finish, and which gives me a handy excuse to include this…

‘It Might Get Dark’ by White Denim, which has something of Marc Bolan about it. I’ve heard White Denim quite a bit since I started listening to Radio 6. They’re touring the UK in February…..

Pre-Xmas Weekend: Pen-y-ghent

Around the Coast Again.

Elmslack – Middlebarrow Plain – Holgates – Far Arnside – Park Point – Arnside Point – White Creek – New Barns – Kent Estuary – Arnside Promenade – Redhills Wood – Arnside Knott Wood – Arnside Tower – Holgates – Middlebarrow Plain – Elmslack.

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Monday had brought clear skies and sunshine, Tuesday strong and chilling winds and dark clouds, Wednesday was more of a mixed bag with some cloud, but some sunshine too. Good walking weather in fact.

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Essentially the same view as the first photo, but this one was taken with my phone rather than my camera. The drama is definitely ramped up a bit here, although the first photo is a closer representation of what I could actually see. Frankly, I can’t decide which one I prefer.

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We were joined for our walk around the coast by our good friends from the village Beaver B and G and their kids.

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I was really enjoying the contrast between the dark clouds and the shafts of sunlight lighting up the waters of the bay. I think Little S was impressed too, he slipped down the cliffs somewhere (I try not to worry too much about the kids little diversions like this, they usually seem to emerge unscathed somehow) and then sat down on the shingle to drink it all in…

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Grange-over-Sands in the sunshine.

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Beaver B on the clifftop path.

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I was very taken by this little memorial by the path, commemorating one Edgar W. Crabtree; presumably he too loved this coastal walk.

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We stopped at the Bob Inn at New Barns for tea and coffee and such like. There’s a children’s playground, but most of our kids are getting a bit too old and sophisticated for that to divert them for too long.

I was impressed by a number of painted slates hanging on the cafe’s exterior walls…

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Here’s the details in case you’re interested…

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Grubbins Wood and the Kent from New Barns.

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Approaching Arnside.

We split into two factions in Arnside, some eating in the Pie Shop, or the Old Bakery as the proprietors seem to prefer, and some at the chippy. I was well prepared and had some soup in a flask. I think it might have been quite late by the time we’d finished our various meals, so we took a fairly direct route home. Around the coast is always a good day out, especially in good company, and this was no exception.

Around the Coast Again.

Crummack Dale from Clapham

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Waterfall in Clapham Beck.

The forecast for the Sunday after our Gummer How stroll was truly dreadful. It did seem that things might improve in the afternoon though. We’d made plans to meet friends at Clapham, but now hastily rearranged them to put back the time of our rendezvous till midday. Even so, as we drove over it was raining cats and dogs and we were having serious doubts about the sanity of the whole idea. B had elected to forgo his usual Sunday ration of rugby and, after spending all morning at home whilst we consumed endless cups of tea and nattered, he must have been wondering about his choice. Fortunately, by the time we had gathered in the car park, the rain had stopped, at least temporarily.

Clapham is an attractive Dales village, but, as is often the case, I neglected to take any photos until we were well underway. The most direct route would have taken us along Clapdale Drive and past Ingleborough Show Cave, but we would have had to pay for that privilege,  so we opted to climb up the western side of the valley and follow the path to…

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…Clapdale Farm, before turning back toward the valley bottom.

Conditions were very damp and murky, but we could see that the sun was shining down in the valley behind us. Perhaps things would clear up after all?

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Thwaite Scars.

From there we climbed up Trow Gill, where again I didn’t take any photos, you can see some from my last visit here (it’s a long post with lots of photos, the Trow Gill ones are near the end and after those there are some of Clapdale Drive and even of Clapham itself).

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Trow Gill.

From the top of Trow Gill we climbed to meet a path which dropped down into the marvellously named Clapham Bottoms, stopping en route for lunch and/or a cup of tea in the rain.

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This group photo was taken at the lowest point before we began to climb again. For Uncle Fester (on the right here with B) this was a low point both figuratively and literally; he wasn’t feeling very well and had already decided to turn back to his car. He seemed convinced that the curry we’d shared the night before to celebrate TJF’s birthday was to blame, but if that was the case, it was odd that nobody else was feeling the same ill effects.

It was a shame that he had to turn back, because from that point on the weather did finally begin to improve.

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Pen-y-ghent almost emerging from the cloud.

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Pen-y-ghent from Sulber Gate – still not quite free of cloud.

I’ve visited this area of limestone edges and pavements above Crummack Dale a few times recently and it has become a firm favourite.

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Looking down to Crummack Dale.

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Beggar’s stile.

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Moughton Scars.

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Moughton Scars pano.

Just after we’d descended below Moughton Scars, the sun made an appearance and gave us some better light for the superb views which Crummack Dale has to offer.

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Moughton Scars.

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Moughton Scars.

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Moughton Scars.

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Moughton Scars.

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Looking across Crummack Dale to Pendle Hill.

We dropped down the valley and then climbed a little, past Nappa Scars and into the Norber area…

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Norber.

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Robin Proctor’s Scar.

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Where we found a spot for another brief stop…

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The path took us under Robin Proctor’s Scar…

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Robin Proctor’s Scar.

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Robin Proctor’s Scar.

And then onto Thwaite Lane which would take us back into Clapham.

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Andy seems to think that nobody else noticed the sudden spell of bright weather which accompanied the final leg of our walk, so here’s two photos to prove otherwise.

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It was an unexpectedly glorious ending to what had begun as a filthy day – typically British weather in fact.

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I’ve nicked Andy’s map of the route; there have to be some perks of being way behind with the blog. Mapmywalk have this as just a little over 10 miles; not bad for a sociable afternoon stroll.

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After that some of the party came back to ours to share the kleftiko which had been slow-roasting in the oven whilst we were out. One of these days I’m going to get to Greece to try the genuine article.

So, a weekend with loads of old friends, two walks, a curry, a birthday to celebrate, and roast lamb. A perfect start to the half-term break!

Crummack Dale from Clapham

Best Little Retread?

Sow How Tarn – Middle Tarn – Heights Cottage – Raven’s Barrow – St. Anthony’s Cartmel Fell – The Mason’s Arms – Whinny Knott – Birch Fell Forest – Gummer’s How.

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Sow How Tarn.

Heading towards the end of October now and it’s the start of our half-term. What better way to begin a holiday than with another visit from Andy and family? They were up to drag TJF out to celebrate his birthday.

On the Saturday afternoon, despite some dodgy weather, Andy was keen to get out to climb Gummer’s How. He assures me that this preceded his relatively newfound obsession with Marilyn bagging. Maybe the prospect of a visit to the nearby Mason’s Arms played a part in his enthusiasm? TBF, TJF and myself were daft enough to join him for a wander in the damp and the drizzle.

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Height’s Cottage – once a Friends’ Meeting House.

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Panorama from Raven’s Barrow.

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Pool Garth.

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We sheltered under these large brollies for lunch at the Mason’s Arms. I had a salad which featured chorizo quite prominently and was very tasty.

Andy is a bit out of focus here…

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…possibly something to do with the Raspberry beer we were both enjoying?

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After our stop at the pub, the climb up Gummer’s How felt quite stiff. At first it seemed we wouldn’t be rewarded with any kind of view.

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But eventually the cloud lifted at least a little.

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Gummer How pano.

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Windermere.

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Windermere and Finsthwaite Fell.

It was a shame about the weather, but I think we made the most of a dreary day. This is a great walk for that purpose, or for a half day in nicer conditions. I did almost exactly this walk, but in reverse, with MM and Dr F a few years ago. Gummer How, Raven’s Barrow and St. Anthony’s have all featured on the blog quite a few times over the years. There’s a search tool hidden away in the top right hand corner if you want to know more.

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This is the map I used for my post back in 2011, which includes a diversion in search of the summit of Birch Fell via an entirely spurious pair of very straight lines; in reality we were slaloming between densely planted conifers. Otherwise, I think that this is reasonably accurate.

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In 2011, MM’s GPS gave this route as 10km. Mapmywalk tells me that it was 11.58km. I prefer to believe the latter, but who knows? Andy’s, far superior, account of the day is here.

Best Little Retread?

Distant Showers

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The tail-end of September and the Sunday of the weekend visit from the Surfnslide crew. The morning was a busy time for us and then we had a house full for lunch, but in the afternoon some of us got out for a wander across the Lots, up Stankelt Road to the Green, through Burtonwell Woods and across Lambert’s Meadow to The Row and finally through Eaves Wood to Castlebarrow, from where all of these photos of big clouds over the bay and Humphrey Head must have been taken.

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The weather was very changeable. In the photo above you can clearly see the two blocks of Heysham Nuclear Power Plant. But here…

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…they’ve disappeared in a rain shower.

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Quite pleasant to watch from a dry vantage point.

Distant Showers

Do You Remember?

Eaves Wood – Middlebarrow Quarry – Black Dyke – Redhills Wood – Arnside Knott – Hollins Farm – Holgates – Cove Road

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On Arnside Knott.

The end of September, and a momentous weekend for the surfnslide crew as they dropped off their first born at university for his first term. Since he’s studying at Lancaster, they could at least drop in on us for the weekend while they were in the area. On the Saturday afternoon, we managed to squeeze in, around our various other commitments, a wander up the Knott.

By Black Dyke, which follows the railway line, we passed a couple of middle-aged camera wielding chaps who had the unmistakable air of trainspotters. I don’t know how long they had been waiting already, but they must have been patient types, because we were enjoying the view from the Knott….

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…by the time that the train they were surely waiting for went across the viaduct…

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It must have been relatively late that we were on the Knott, and the light was gorgeous…

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I’ve taken so many photos of fungi this autumn; sadly, most of them have been rather disappointing, not quite in focus. This one is a bit sharper…

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…and, for once, it’s something which is easy to identify, almost the quintessential toadstool in fact: Fly Agaric.

I don’t know what these are…

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…but I like the patterns the splitting caps have made.

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Crepescular Rays.

I really must endeavour to catch up with the blog, because I can’t for the life of me recall what we ate that evening, whether or not we ordered a curry, as we often do, but I do vaguely remember playing some games and that TJF, who seems to have a knack for these things, was on the winning team for most, if not all, of them.

Now, altogether…

Ba de ya, say that you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day
There was a
Ba de ya, say that you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, golden dreams were shiny days

Do You Remember?