25 January 2015

Misty and murky Leighton Moss

It was a misty and murky start to Sunday and had the weather been kinder we'd be back up a big hill but it wasnt the day for trudging up the side of a mountain so we took ourselves off to Leighton Moss.  The hope that it wasnt going to be too foggy by the coast and if the rain stayed off then we might see a wee birdy or 2.

Not much in the way of special birdies but as we walked round to the furthest away hide we were lucky enough to arrive when 3 otters were frolicking around in the water right in front of us.  So special to watch them fish and play.  I did try to get a pic but they really were too far to get a clear shot.
Ducks were in abundance as were the little finches, crows, pheasant and of course robins.  An all round good day in the reedbeds and we'll be back when its a little warmer and less drissly.

Sadly no kingfishers today but hopfully we'll catch one or 2 when we go back. 

24 January 2015

Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell

After a disastrous January where the weather halted any plans for getting up a hill we were finally on our way, early morning, before light, to our beloved lakes.  As always with our dark starts we keep our eyes peeled on the sky as the dawn breaks to see if the weather forecasters were right.  It seemed like this morning we were going to be lucky.

Arriving at Keswick we headed through the town and out the other side and parked at the side of Derwent Water right next to the path where the start of our walk was.  A muddy start, surprise, surprise, and then it was a nice path up through a wooded area beside a few gushing waterfalls.  What a lovely start to a walk and I do like when there's a forestry bit involved.

Out of the forest and we were greeted with some spectacular views opening up behind us looking over towards Causy Pike (eeek eek eek!) one of my fav little hills.
The next part of the path was stepped and very well maintained and only a few tricky bits where the ice of the morning hadnt melted and made things very slippery but we managed well through it and found ourselves up on a wider, less steep path, that would take us up and round to the top of Walla Crag.

One of the most spectacular things we saw, apart from the beautiful sights around us was a large bird, circling on the thermals getting higher and higher almost right above us.  Too far away to get a decent pic but I managed to snap this and the jury is out on what it was but we can rule out buzzard as its just not the right shape but thinking towards Goshawk ...... we'll never know for sure but nevertheless it was stunning.

Up onto the summit it was windy and cold so we didnt hang around long.  Just long enough for Chris to have a small "map - off" with a local girl on the local hills we could see, funny moment!

So off we went down the path that would take us over to Bleaberry Fell.  Again it was a well maintained path with only a few snow patches to contend with.  The views were stunning both there and back and the light hitting different hills in patches made some wonderful patterns.

We got the best of the weather of the weekend today.  Sunshine, a little breezy in patches, cold but not unbearable and all round a jolly good walk.  Coming back down to meet the path we went up on I was pleased to find the sun, forcing its way though a hole in the cloud onto Derwent Water.  Absolutely beautiful and a fitting end to a great walk.

04 January 2015

Ingleborough and Simons Fell

First walk of 2015 and we didnt venture far.  The beauty of living in Lancashire is that there are so many options practically on your doorstep.  A couple of good leg stretchers mins away in the shape of Pendle & Boulsworth Hills a little bit of a drive takes you into the Yorkshire dales and then a bit further and your in the glorious Lake District.

Today however it was Ingleborough that was our leg stretcher of choice.  The weather was set to fair with a cold frost to start the day and there was no rain forecast so that was a bonus.  Parking at Clapham we set of up the track that would take us past Gaping Gill and then onwards to Simons Fell.  On the first path we encountered this little chap.  I've not seen as many robins this year as I usually do but perhaps that's because over the past 6 weeks we've not been out as much as we'd like, never the less this little chap gladly waited to have his photo snapped.
 Lisa and Damian joined us on the walk today and Lisa was trying out her new walking boots.  Chris and Lisa are like 2 peas in a pod in this picture all decked out in RAB........Rabtastic !
 The path takes you up through a pass where the ground is rocky but luckily due to the frost the ground was hard and we had no major boggy bits to contend with. 
 Through the pass then on the path past Gaping Gill where a group of ramblers had stopped for their morning coffee.  Hoards of them all huddled around the Gill with their knapsacks and walking sticks out enjoying the countryside as them rambly type folks do.  Are we ramblers?  I tend to think not but then again who knows!
 Our first stop was Simons Fell as it was such a nice day and a pity not to wander over there as Lisa and Damian hadn't been there before.  The views were amazing and although there wasn't much of a sky for pictures it was still bright enough to get a few shots.  The top of Simons Fell is pretty boring, not much to speak of but a pile of stones but we had a drink and a snack and then headed off for the main attraction, that chiseled looking devil, Ingleborough.
 The views were getting slightly better and I couldn't resist this shot of Pendle Hill.  The trek up Ingleborough was uneventful and was a bit blowy on top.  Obligatory visits to the trig and then a huddle in the shelter for a moment and it was onwards back down to the car.

 The light was fading fast and even at 3pm the suns rays were dwindling.  There are several paths off Ingleborough and due to too much chatting we headed off on the wrong one, oops!   It meant a slight detour once we'd got down a bit but nothing too drastic as to dampen a somewhat lovely day.
Ingleborough never fails to make me smile and today was no exception.  Its a lovely hill and even moreso when its not accompanied by hail, snow, rain, wind and the likes as it seems to have done on previous visits.

First walk of 2015 done, bring on next weekend and hopefully calmer weather and the glorious lakes.