Garburn Pass in the Snow

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A snow hunting trip. The kids wanted to play in the snow; the forecast was quite good, well half reasonable; so why not? We were all intending to go, but TBH discovered a leak near our boiler just before we set-off and stayed to wait for a plumber (who didn’t materialise until my turn to wait for him the following day). So, it was just me and les enfants terribles.

We parked down near Troutbeck and then followed the long steady climb up the Garburn Road, which is actually a track. We hadn’t walked very far when Little S asked me the time. It was just after midday and we all knew what was coming next: “Can we stop for lunch?”

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Given that it was pretty windy, and that behind this wall and below the branches of this tree might be the most sheltered spot we were going to see for a while, that actually wasn’t a bad idea. We made ourselves as comfortable as we could and then watched a buzzard circling above the valley before enduring the first of many snow showers of the day. This wasn’t the gently drifting flakes you might imagine, but wind-driven lumps of ice with more than a passing resemblance to hail.

The kids didn’t really care though and were soon engaged in a snowball fight as we continued toward the pass, oblivious of further showers coming in behind us.

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Troutbeck Valley and the hills around its head.

We reached a point close to the top of the pass and climbed a stile giving access to Sallows (a curious name for a hill), but only because we thought we’d spotted a slope with sufficient snow to allow the kids to use the small sledges they’d carried up with them.

The weather was pretty changeable…

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…this is Yoke in the sunshine.

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And this is the same ‘view’ moments later.

And again…

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Once again, the kids weren’t bothered. They sledged…

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Then built walls…

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When I took this photo we had both sunshine and snowfall at the same time.

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B helped the other two with their walls, then decided to build one of his own. He didn’t seem deterred by its modest size.

The wall building was a precursor to a spirited snowball fight. I took photos, a good excuse, I thought, for not getting involved this time, but sadly they didn’t come out too well as the weather had deteriorated once again.

Eventually I persuaded the kids that we ought to start heading back to the car.

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The clouds had come in, and the mountains, and then even the valley sides, disappeared behind us. The light was nice ahead though.

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This is a common sight on one of our family walks – the boys deep in conversation, probably about a computer game.

“Aren’t they cute when they chat like that,” was A’s observation. It’s true, but I’m not sure they’ll thank me for saying so.

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Garburn Pass in the Snow

Middlebarrow in Every Kind of Weather.

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“The forecast for tomorrow shows every kind of weather, what a cop out.”

This was A, on Saturday evening; she knows how much this symbol winds me up on a long range forecast, suggesting, as it does, some straddling of the fence from the meteorologists. Of course, it could also imply that the weather is destined to be very mixed. That’s exactly how Sunday turned out.

No ‘Listed Lancaster’ posts from last week, not because I didn’t get out for any lunchtime strolls – although I was restricted a little, it was a busy week – but because when I did get out the weather was always gloomy and not really ideal for photographs. I particularly enjoyed my walk on Wednesday, when we had snow, but even the photos I took then are  rather grim and monotone.

Saturday too was very wet, but it did finally brighten a little late on, and I abandoned the second half of Ireland’s cakewalk against Italy to make the most of it. Not much to show for it in terms of photos of views or leaves or sunsets etc, but every walk seems to throw up something, in this case a wet poster…

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Long-suffering readers will know that I have become quite interested in Thomas Mawson and his gardens, which have featured on this blog a number of times. I’m hoping that I will be free on the evening of this lecture. If not, there were plenty of other things to choose from: a talk on ‘Bees in Your Garden’, another on ‘Sweet Peas’ and a third on ‘An Underwater Safari in Morecambe Bay’, music at the regular ‘Bits and Pieces’ event at the Silverdale Hotel, the John Verity Band appearing soon at the same venue, and, at The Instititute, Lancaster Band The Meter Men, who play Hammond Organ infused funk and are, in my opinion, superb. And that’s just a small selection of the entertainment on offer, seen through the filter of my own interests. Silverdale it seems, like Stacy’s Mom, ‘has got it going on’.

Anyway, back to Sunday: I set off, as I often do, without a clear idea of where I was going. Initially though, I chose to climb to the Pepper Pot on Castlebarrow, to take a look at the clouds racing past. I went via the Coronation path because I knew that would take me past the Snowdrops which featured at the top of the post.

From time to time, new paths seem to appear in Eaves Wood, a reflection, I suppose, of how many people regularly walk there. Whenever I walk past one, I wonder where it goes and resolve that, next time I’m out, I’ll find out. On Saturday I finally acted on that impulse. The first path I followed cut a corner between two paths which I know well. Even so, I felt very pleased to have taken it and I’ve been back and walked it again since.

From Castlebarrow I followed the path along the northern edge of Eaves Wood, beside the wall which marks the boundary between Lancashire and Cumbria. I met a couple walking their dog, who emerged from the trees at the side of the path. Looking back from where they’d come I thought I could detect the thinnest of thin trods, a hint of a path. Naturally, I followed it and it brought me to a drystone wall, in a spot where an old ants’ nest against the wall made it easy to scramble over. It was evident that people had climbed the wall here. I could see that just beyond the wall was the rim of Middlebarrow Quarry…

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Silverdale Moss, Scout Hill and Farleton Fell from Middlebarrow.

The quarry is huge, but is well concealed from most directions. Again, I thought I could see a path heading along the edge of the quarry. In all the years I’ve been here I’ve never walked around it. It is private land, but it’s not a working quarry anymore and I can’t see what harm could be done by wandering around. So I did.

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Middlebarrow pano. Click on it to see enlarged version.

The path turned out to be a bit sketchy in places. And it was easy to lose where there was limestone pavement…

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Some of the pavements were coated in moss, others had grass growing over them, which made it hard to see the grykes.

True to form, the weather threw everything at me: rain, sleet, hail, but odd moments of sunshine too.

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There’s a ninety metre contour somewhere around the rim of the quarry, making it the highest point on the limestone hill on which Eaves Wood sits. It’s certainly a good view point for Silverdale Moss and I shall be back here again.

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Whitbarrow catching the sun.

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I took this photo in an attempt to show the heavy snow which was falling. You’ll have to take my word for it.

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And this one to show the state of many of the paths after the wet weather we’ve endured.

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By the time I was leaving the woods, the snow had stopped again.

I timed my walk to arrive back to watch England squeak past Wales in the rugby by the finest of margins.

Then I was out again. Since it was still cloudy, and I knew I was too late for the sunset, I only took my ‘new’ phone with me and not my camera.

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I never learn!

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The colours were subtle, pastel shades, but very pleasant none-the-less.

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Always good to finish a day (and a post) with a colourful sunset, if you can.

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Middlebarrow in Every Kind of Weather.

Hutton Roof Crags from Holme

Not ‘Hutton Roof Crags from Home’ which is a post which I shall one day get around to, just as soon as I’ve found time to fit in a walk of that description, but rather an ascent of Hutton Roof from the village of Holme. I’ve added not one, but two maps at the bottom of the post to show my route, but it was, in brief: an overly long wander through Holme (thanks to a daft choice of parking spot); through Curwen Woods and past a house with, I’ve since discovered, gardens designed by Thomas Mawson; through the tiny hamlet of Clawthorpe; up through Lancelot Clark Storth to the top: down across Uberash Plain to pick up the path which skirts the north side of Holme Park Quarry; and finally a road walk in the dark back to the car.

Since this was an afternoon walk, after a Rugby match in the morning, I didn’t set-off until around two-thirty and initially was in no mood to stop to take photos. Until three signs on the one gate had me chuckling…

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…there was no Bull in the field (there rarely seems to be when there’s a sign), nor…

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…any sheep, nor…

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…any horses. Plenty of signs though.

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Slape Lane.

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Every time I climb Hutton Roof via Lancelot Clark Storth I seem to follow a different route. This time was no exception.

When I first spotted this…

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…from below, I thought that it was quite tall, perhaps some sort of tower, but it seemed to shrink as I approached. I assume that it’s a charcoal burners’ kiln.

It’s quite easy to get lost on Hutton Roof and I was glad to spot a series of small signs marking the route of an Audio Trail which I shall have to try some time.

The signs led me to this bench…

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…which, despite many visits, I’ve never encountered before.

What with the sunshine, and the flask of hot water and makings of a brew in my rucksack, I could hardly resist such an invitation to stop. Especially since the views had opened out behind me…

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The distant, snowy hills of the Lake District.

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Humphrey Head, Arnside Knott, Eaves Wood.

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From a little higher up – the Lakeland Fells again, but also Farleton Fell on the right.

Just short of the top, there’s a small enclosure of solar panels.

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Does the fence stop them escaping?

Given that this is a nature reserve I can’t imagine that any kind of large scale commercial operation is envisaged, so I wonder what is going on here?

The summit of Hutton Roof Crags has expansive views, despite it’s modest height. On this occasion, the Bowland hills were smothered by very black looking clouds, which looked a bit ominous. Ingleborough was also hidden by clouds. I thought maybe it was raining in that direction…

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The Middleton Fells.

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Howgills.

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Lakeland Hills and Whitbarrow Scar.

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Warton Crag and Morecambe Bay.

The path down towards the Clawthorpe Road dipped into hollows and between stands of shrubs and dense thickets of Gorse. I kept losing my view of the Bay and the sinking sun and rushed between each vantage point, taking photos at every opportunity.

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More impressive than the sunset itself was the way the underside of the clouds over the Lake District took on a warm orange glow…

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There’s room for quite a few cars to park around the top of the Clawthorpe Road and many of those spaces were still occupied. I was quite surprised, but then realised that there were a few other people out photographing the sunset. Some had come better prepared than me, with tripods.

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Heading down the hill, I was thinking that there’s still a lot of this ridge – Hutton Roof and Farleton Fell – that I haven’t explored. So plenty of excuse to come back.

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The paths had generally been wet and muddy, but the last section of track, with a barbed wire fence on either side, had vast puddles stretching right across it. I had little choice but to splash through them and my feet got a little damp, but it was a small price to pay.

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Slightly under 8 miles with 240m of ascent. Not bad after a late start on a short winter afternoon.

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Hutton Roof Crags from Holme

Sunday Triptych: St. Mary’s

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More views from a short wander from Underley Park into Kirkby Lonsdale, before heading back to watch a S play against a team from Millom. The church looked grand in the sunshine. I was struck by the decoration over the doorways.

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This porch is a relatively recent addition apparently, but the doorway within is very old…

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And this doorway, at the base of the west tower, is an original Norman feature from the twelfth century.

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You can see from the date stone above the door that the rest of the tower was rebuilt in 1705.

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There are more Norman features inside, but it seemed inappropriate to pop in to take pictures during a service.

Sunday Triptych: St. Mary’s

Sunday Triptych: Ruskin’s View.

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I know that I posted photos of this view only recently, but I thought you might like to see what it looks like when the sun shines and with an added dusting of distant snow.

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Ruskin’s view panorama. Click to see larger image.

The snow-capped hills are at the southern end of the Middleton Fells – Castle Knott and Calf Top. The prominent hill on the right of the first photo is Brownthwaite Pike, which is a bit of an oddity, because when you’re on it, it doesn’t seem very prominent at all: there’s higher ground just behind and then the ridge curls to the east and much higher tops. Still, it’s a great view point and a good place for a picnic on a summer’s evening. I’m intrigued by the Kirfit Hall in the middle distance, which looks to have some sort of tower incorporated into the building.

 

 

Sunday Triptych: Ruskin’s View.

Sunday Triptych: an Early Outing.

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Saturday was another grey and damp day. I was taken in by the hype and watched the Six Nations opener, Scotland versus Wales, expecting a close match. Then was out for a late walk in the rain and the gloom and eventually dark.

When I woke up early on the Sunday and looked out to see completely clear skies, it was too good to resist and set off for a circuit of Hawes Water before the usual Underley Rugby trip.

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When I set off the moon was still high in the sky, although it wasn’t as dark as this photo suggests, since I’d switched the camera to black and white mode and dialled the exposure down to minimum, which seems to give best results.

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From Eaves Wood I could see mist rising off the land and the sky lightening in the East.

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Near Hawes Water, out of the trees, there had clearly been a sharp frost.

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Roe Deer Buck.

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Cormorants.

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This ruin in the trees by the lake has long been surrounded by a high fence and Rhododendrons. Both have now been removed, although to what end I don’t know.

I was aware that the sun had come up, although I couldn’t see it, or feel its warmth, because it was painting the trees on the slope above me in a golden light.

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Hawes Water.

Back to the house, quick cup of tea, off to rugby.

 

Sunday Triptych: an Early Outing.

Listed Lancaster: The Music Room

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Hidden away on Sun Square, I think I worked in the town for quite a few years without really being aware that this curio was here.

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This is what the Wikipedia page on listed buildings has to say:

“This originated as a summer house, it was restored in the 1970s, and then used as a shop and a flat. It is in sandstone with a slate roof, and has three storeys, three bays, and a balustraded parapet. The bays are divided by pilasters, fluted Ionic on the ground floor, fluted Corinthian in the middle floor, and panelled in the top floor. In the ground floor is a central round-headed archway, now glazed, flanked by doorways with architraves. The windows are sashes, the window above the archway having a swan-neck pediment and a central urn. Inside is richly decorated plasterwork.”

Some summerhouse!

I’ve never been inside to see the plasterwork, but now I’d like to. Good to see hardy customers enjoying the sunshine and sitting outside on the first day in February.

Listed Lancaster: The Music Room