Sunday, 13 August 2017

Slitt Mine, Westgate in Weardale

I've had this walk on my radar for many years, although short it's packed with interest for anyone interested in mines/industrial archaeology. We were blessed with the weather,  I should make a note that we risked life and limb by defying the warning that the path wasn't passable at the moment!
Here's a few photos of our walk...

Having parked in Westgate the path enters Slitt Wood near High Mill.
There are several small falls in the beck, nicely lit today with the sunlight through the canopy.

As you leave the wood behind (and the perils of the collapsed path) the first indication that the mine is just round the corner is this row of Bouseteams

This is the main site of Slitt mine and the next image gives an impression of how things would have looked over 130 years ago.
We had lunch here, whilst reading the information boards. It gave us time to contemplate how the tranquil air was so different to the times when the mine was in operation. 

One of the excellent information boards above the Main Shaft 177m deep (thankfully capped by a concrete slab) Imagine descending that on rudimentary wooden ladders by candlelight before you actually start work! Health and Safety....Pahh!

Continuing up the valley on what appears to be the trackbed of an old tramway we arrived at the remains of the washing floors at Middlehope Sheild.

Leaving the valley behind we made the short climb to the West to visit the West Slitt Reservoir.
 The mines would require lots of water, so many reservoirs were built throughout the North Pennines. This one is very impressive and must have required a huge amount of labour.
We walked back to Westgate and the car via field paths enjoying the views across Weardale.
Excellent, and well worth the wait.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Overnight Camp on the Summit of Coniston Old Man

Truthfully I suppose we camped approx 25m away from the summit! Ian ( @ianwood2011 ) let me know a couple of days ago that he was thinking of this trip and asked if I'd like to come along...I was thankful of the invite as motivation for a camp has been seriously lacking! We only decided to go  at 4pm, so I quickly packed and met Ian up at the moor carpark at 6pm.
It was a superb evening as we set off up the track past "The Bell"...and into the shade...


As we gained height up the "Tourist" path the views started to open up, its very familiar ground but remains a favourite.

The path passes through several areas of slate quarrying, workplaces of some of my Great uncles and Uncles.

Having stopped at Low Water to fill our bladders/bottles we were soon on the summit. Greeted by a chilly North wind we were quick to get the shelters up.

We found a couple of good pitches, although getting pegs in was a challenge! But we expected that!

Ian getting to grips with his Gatewood Tarp, it was interesting to compare it with my Deschutes.

Watching the sunset, we could just make out the Galloway coastline.

All the pictures in this post were taken with my Sony phone....And this is rather grainy!
Looking East towards Windermere, and a just past full moon

After a decent nights sleep, with barely a breeze the sunrise was nothing special. The lakes all had a blanket of mist over them.

The early sun starting to light up my tarp as I packed up. Ian was to be at work for 9am so we had to get going.


We descended over easy ground to Bursting Stone quarry (I've always known it as "Brossan Stane")
Once below the quarry the old road made for easy progress down to the Walna Scar Road and then back to the cars.

Reflections of the Old Man in the huge car park puddle.
It had been a good overnight trip, probably the best time to be on the Lakes hills at this time of year

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Little Asby Scar & Potts Valley

It isn't the first time we've done this walk (or a Variation of it). This is a very quiet area, indeed we didn't meet anyone. Another baking hot day, which neither of us are that fond of! Hard to please some folk!! It's notoriously difficult to take pictures which look any good at all round about midday at this time of year....and everything is so green!

Having parked in the village of Little Asby we set off up onto Little Asby Scar. Much of the way is pathless although limestone country usually makes for easy going.
Well away from the road there is still a lot of limestone left...closer to the roads much of it has been taken to be used in gardens etc. :-(  

We dropped down into Potts Valley, home to a wonderful clear stream.

Down the valley we went, stopping for our lunch as we went.

Then it was up out of the valley and back to the car through recently "dropped" meadows...the sun was drying the grass quickly. I would guess it will be picked up tomorrow, and stored ready for winter.
Not that far today, but lots to see. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Wild Boar Fell

Out with Bill today, his suggestion was to go up Wild Boar Fell. It's a while since I'd been on Wild Boar.....infact last time was with Ian for a wild camp at Sand Tarn. Middle of the morning saw us parked near Pendragon Castle...the sun was beating down!

Pendragon Castle with Wild Boar in the far distance.

Having a breather on Little Fell a bump on the North ridge of Wild Boar Fell

A large party (30at least!!) caught up with us as we lingered taking in the view. Not being the most sociable person when out on the hill, I dropped down to look at these cairns overlooking the Mallerstang valley

Looking down on the North ridge from "The Nab"

It was a damp walk across the plateau to the Trig, the Three Peaks visible beyond

Damper still! as we crossed the plateau again to the Eastern escarpment.
This small dub of water took my eye tho.

Bill looking down Yoadcomb Scar into Mallerstang

The stone men above High White Scar, again the Three Peaks in the distance.

Retracing our steps over "The Nab" we descended to the valley floor and made our way back to Pendragon along little used paths and what seemed like a thousand stiles and gates!!
A great day, although it was very hot.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Whiteside to Grisedale Pike

Thunder (and of course Lightning) was forecast today, it didn't turn up thank goodness but it was incredibly humid.
Again I haven't been up on this ridge for probably 15 years....I've kept away from the the "Wainwrights" in the main having felt like I'd done them to death over the previous 25 years. But today it felt good in spite of the humidity!
 It really wasn't a very good day for taking photos, but here are a couple of the only ones worth posting

Looking towards Whiteside...

...and the other way towards Hopegill Head

This was as good as the visibility got! Here at my lunch spot on Hopegill Head looking across to Sand Hill.
It did at least stay dry until I was walking round Keswick later :-)

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A Wander Round the Great Moss, Upper Eskdale

Ages since I've been here. Its less than 35 miles from home, but so many folk can't drive on narrow roads....it drives me mad going over Wrynose and Hardknott! I halved the hassle today by parking near Cockley Beck and walking up Mosedale...hellfire its wet!! Just a couple of images, with no captions!
 If you've been there you won't need them, if you haven't you should go!





Thursday, 29 June 2017

Brackenber Moor aka Appleby Golf Course!! Whattt!!

Don't worry folks I've not taken up golf! Appleby-in-Westmorland's golf club is on Brackenber Moor, and has lots of paths criss-crossing it. It also has a number of Tumuli and other antiquities.
Neither of us felt very energetic and this would be new ground to both of us. We parked at Brackenber Gate and headed across the golf course to George Gill. There is an ancient earthwork above the gill, quite evident on the ground but didn't photograph well....enough rambling, on with the photos....

Unusual sandstone formations adjacent to.....

....This cave. quite large, marked on the 1:25000 map.. It's large enough to shelter several folk, although occupied today by a decaying dead sheep :-(

Appleby Golf Club clubhouse, Roman Fell behind. Beyond that the Warcop Range, today the army were very busy knocking hell out of something!!
We made our way back to the car on several paths/bridleways as I mentioned earlier they cross the course a number of times. As the "rough" is largely left alone except for the sheep there was lots of bird life which is excellent.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Chillout Day on the Motorbike

After my week of walking, (and getting "Cooked" yesterday I planned an easy day. Out on the motorbike...at least I could make my own breeze! I wended my way over to Blanchland and back. Unfortunately it was even too hot on the bike!
Here's a few random pictures from today.....


Kirkcarrion seen beyond a typical Teesdale hay meadow.

Newbiggin Methodist Chapel, the oldest in continued use anywhere in the world! Sadly now for sale....although not religious myself I suppose it's a sign of the times?

Shildon Engine House, near Blanchland. It used to house a large beam engine...the mine was never very successful apparently.

I came back over Hartside...it would be rude not to!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

A Cogra Moss Circuit

Being a weekend I was looking for a quieter area in the Lakes. The smaller hills between Ennerdale Lake and Loweswater fitted that brief. I only saw 1 person to speak to and 2 more in the distance. The downside is the early start required to get through the lakes before the "swivelheads" appear!
It was very hot, a bit damp underfoot tho!...as is usual some pics from the day.....

Cogra Moss reservoir, Blake Fell is the high point in this photo

Having walked up through the shade of the plantation, I chose not to go over Blake Fell but took this contouring path which I'd never been on before.

Probably just me, but when I looked back at this view, it reminded me of the Pyrenees?

I was making good time so took a walk over to Gavel Fell. There was a great view of Grasmoor and Whiteside over Melbreak.

Floutern Tarn under the North face of Great Borne, I think the hill in the far distance is Pillar.

The last "nail" in my (very) irregular horseshoe Knock Murton. It has a very well constructed shelter as you can see.

I dropped down to the road via the broad West ridge passing these old iron mine workings.
A good day, a bit warm for me truth be told....I was glad to get back to the car have a clothing change and put the aircon on!