Whinlatter (1722ft, 525m), 15th March 2017

It’s been such a long time since we were last out in the fells, in fact this was my first Wainwright of the year, so even though it was just a short easy walk it was so nice to be back! After parking up on the roadside we begin the climb up through the forest, this is nice but obviously the views of the surrounding fells are heavily restricted through the trees. Before long however we emerge onto the open fell-side…

Hobcarton End and Grisedale Pike


Looking back towards Blencathra, Keswick and Derwent Water


Lord’s Seat, Skiddaw and Blencathra


After only an hour we arrive at the summit where there is a small cairn. Back in Wainwright’s time this point on the fell top wasn’t actually regarded as the highest point, and the small dome of Brown How further west was thought to be higher. However more modern measurements have shown that Brown How is actually 25ft smaller than the eastern top. This is looking towards Grisedale Pike (left) and Hopegill Head (centre).


Walking from the eastern top towards Brown How


Arriving on the summit of Brown How with Lorton village and Graystones beyond



In the far distance on the left is Eel Crag. The valley of Hobcarton Gill leads abruptly to the impressive Hobcarton Crag, with Hopegill Head and Ladyside Pike to the right.



Langstrath, 12th March 2017

This was a nice stroll from Stonethwaite village, heading southeast alongside Stonethwaite Beck before following Langstrath Beck as far as Blackmoss Pot.

Galleny Force on Stonethwaite Beck


Looking south along Langstrath Valley


And looking north towards Stonethwaite Fell






Blackmoss Pot



And a couple of photos of waterfalls on Fisherplace Gill near Thirlmere yesterday…



Aurora over the Solway, 1st March 2017

It’s been a poor winter for trying to see the Northern Lights here in Cumbria but last night after a lengthy absence the aurora was once again showing itself in northern Britain. It’s been ages since I’ve been out with the camera so we decided to nip out onto the marsh to see if it was visible here. Unfortunately we weren’t able to spend much time out this evening and all we saw was a green glow – predictably the real action began shortly after we’d left….

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Ribblesdale, 27th & 28th December 2016

Scaleber Force

This morning we had this superb waterfall all to ourselves. It lies just east of Settle and cascades 12 metres down limestone rocks into a small wooded gorge and is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in the Dales. After parking the car and climbing the stile we soon get our first view of the falls across the gorge to our left, wow this is an impressive place. The path leads down to the foot of the falls where the view is even more stunning…

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And just a few metres downstream are another series of smaller falls…

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Winskill Stones

A few miles northeast of Settle lies the small nature reserve of Winskill Stones. It is a very steep and twisty road up to the reserve but once up on the top the views across to Pen-y-Ghent are breathtaking. The area is mainly limestone grassland but there are some excellent patches of limestone pavement including one with an much-photographed lone hawthorn….

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The lone tree and Pen-y-Ghent


Norber Erratics

The Norber Erratics are an amazing collection of sandstone boulders that were carried about a kilometre on a glacier during the last Ice Age 13,000 years ago. As the ice melted they have been deposited lower down Crummackdale on top of the limestone at Norber. They have acted as natural umbrellas and protected the limestone underneath them from rain erosion leaving them perched in sometimes incredible looking positions. There are hundreds of boulders scattered around at Norber, some small and some bigger than cars, I’ve got to say I’ve never seen anything like it and it was definitely my highlight of the trip.

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Robin Proctor’s Scar at Norber


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Ribblehead Viaduct

I’ve travelled over Ribblehead Viaduct dozens of times on the scenic Settle – Carlisle railway but never explored the area on foot. On our first visit the cloud was very uninteresting – overcast, grey and dull, not what I’d been hoping for at all, the image I’d got in my mind was of stormy skies or an amazing sunset. However I think the photos look ok in black and white…

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Ingleborough in the background


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The following day the weather was completely different and the viaduct had a totally different feel…

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Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside


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Swaledale, 19th December 2016

The Yorkshire Dales is an area I’ve never really explored so we decided to head down to Keld where there are a number of interesting waterfalls to enjoy.

Wain Wath Force

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East Gill Force

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East Gill Force has two main falls, the upper fall (pictured above) drops around 6 metres and is particularly attractive.


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The lower fall at East Gill Force cascades into the River Swale


Kisdon Force

Kisdon Force lies on the River Swale deep in a spectacular carboniferous limestone gorge but getting down to the two impressive falls requires a bit of scrambling and careful footing. A handily placed rope tied around a tree is definitely helpful in descending the final part, especially while carrying a camera and tripod – I certainly hadn’t anticipated that I’d be abseiling today! The short track to the falls is signposted off the Pennine Way and winds it’s way through woodland (where I flushed a Woodcock) and passes beneath a limestone scar with this huge detached pinnacle…

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Once safely down by the river I begin to enjoy the sight and sound of the waterfalls and the huge limestone cliffs behind. The setting is just incredible. The two falls drop a combined total of about 10 metres – the upper falls are the smaller of the two and they drop into a huge dark plunge pool. I noticed that some crazy soul had attached a rope swing to an overhanging branch right over the falls, I can only assume that in the warmer months brave youths (nutters!) leap into the pool from the swing…hmm I think I’ll give that a miss today!

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About 50 metres further downstream lies the higher and more impressive lower falls which thunder into another dark and deep plunge pool…

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With so little daylight at this time of year it was all too quickly time to head for home, but at least there was a nice sunset to end the day…

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