Category: Hiking

Anniversary

Today M and I have been married for 12 years (together 21 years this year), so to celebrate, we went for a nice walk and bought lots of lovely snacks and treats. Due to the way the world is at the moment we did not want to go to a restaurant or pub for a meal. We were not too sure where to go as we tend to drive for hours to go somewhere different, but again due to COVID there are so many places in Yorkshire and Lancashire that are said to be hotspots, so that was out too, and I love to walk on the moors in the footsteps of the Brontes as it is rugged and wild.

We finally set on Lydiate where I grew up and walked along the old railway lines from where Lydiate station used to be back in Victorian Times. (1884 to 1952) and headed south along the lines, then on to the canal bank back to the car. All told we walked 6km. The dogs loved it and are currently sleeping. Mazikeen must have run (as she does not walk anywhere) about 20km, back and forth.

I took a few photos along the way which are below, including some yarn bombing along the way.

Falled Tree
Farm Bridge – Heys Farm
Maghull Brook
Field drains
Pilon
Yarn Bombing on the canal bench
Red squirrel
Hedgehog
Ladybird/Ladybug
Blue Tit

Hardcastle Crags

I felt the need to get out into the sunshine, now it is here, and get some long needed fresh air. Friday night we decided to head to Yorkshire, namely Hardcastle Crags and Gibson Mill. A beautiful place, part of the National Trusts many properties. The dogs had a great time, especially Mazikeen as she had places to swim, and ultimately get dirty rotten filthy by jumping into the becks which were full of silty runoff from the woods.

One of the things that struck me immediately as we started walking to Gibson Mill was the fields of bluebells. Everywhere we looked, it was blue. Once at the mill we wandered along trails and were struck by the overpowering smell of wild garlic, growing everywhere, and I do mean everywhere.

Fields of Bluebells
Gibson Mill

All in all, it was a five-mile walk, some climbing 345 feet in elevation. The sun was shining and as always I was sun-kissed in the end. We went the Weaving Shed Cafe for a coffee and a slice of cake before the last mile walk to the car. The girls were glad of the rest and their lunch and slept most of the way home.

Delamere Hike…

This weekend I decided to go hiking in Cheshire around Delamere Forest. It is a lovely part of the country, and although it is thought to be flat due to all the wetlands and lakes it is far from it. A beautiful day, the sun was blazing and we had temperatures of 16c, which for February is unheard of. Mazikeen proved she really does have the stamina for hiking. She was off the lead all the way, and I would estimate my 8.5 miles were for her about 20 miles as she was back and forth throughout the walk and just kept running the whole two and a half hours. She has a little limp from time to time today, but I think it was from leaping off very high sand dunes yesterday.

Although this is the main route I followed, I did manage to wander off it quite a bit adding more miles to the original walk, I also parked half a mile from the red tracks. Thank god for GPS as I would have got lost very easily.

Delamere Forest
Black Lake
White Moor Trail

After the hike, we went for lunch at Vale Royal Abbey Arms in Oakmere. I had 10oz gammon with pineapple, fried egg, chunky chips, mushroom, tomato and onion rings. Washed down with a nice pint of bitter shandy. M had a steak baguette with chips, salad, cheese, slaw and onion rings, washed down with a coke. Needless to say, we ate the lot, and the girls did help, but not as much as they wanted to LOL!

Lunch at Vale Royal Abbey Arms

Socks…

Yes, socks. Why is it so hard to get socks to fit. My small feet are due to my father making me keep my shoes perfectly clean so whenever I needed new ones due to growing feet he refused to get them, and I think as a result, they stopped growing. I almost have geisha feet LOL. Some footwear I am 6 others 7. So, I have small feet and in the UK it seems that the new sizing is 6 to 11, that is one sock covering 6 different sizes. I bought two packs of three in the hope that these JCB socks would be perfect for walking. They are 76% cotton, lined, cushioned and nice to look at. But when I got home they were so big it was embarrassing. M now has them as he has size 8/9 so they fit great.

I want socks that I can wear whilst out hiking/walking, so high cotton content or merino socks are the order of the day, they allow the foot to breathe and stop blisters, but, can I find any that fit? Not really. I did find some on Amazon, but at £15 to £30 a pair it is a little over the top. I also hate buying clothing online as a lot of the time the sizes are way off.

I have a 32″ waist but depending where I get them depends if I can get into them as a lot of places only do skinny fit, which quite frankly unless you have an eating disorder or are skeletal in frame, there is no way anyone can get in them. It is like shops have really odd ideas about size. Men’s clothing in the UK is shit, so if you are between the age of 20 and 60 then you have very little pickings. Today I also looked at jeans and they were only skinny fit or something appropriate for an old man, nothing at all that would be suitable for anyone between the aforementioned ages. The shop too has devoted 80% of its space to women’s clothing, 10% to home items and the remaining 10% split into 4 spaces, that being suits, workwear, boys and a small part remaining for men. This seems to be the way in most clothing shops, men just seem to be an afterthought. Yet we all need clothes, and most of the stores are owned/run by men, but they seem to have forgotten this. So Amazon it is with a buy, try and return.

So the hunt for socks is still on. Will I find what I need local, or will I have to succumb to the £30 price tag? Also, will I ever find cargo/walking pants too? Fingers crossed.

In Search Of Heathcliff

Yes, that one…

Today we went to Penistone Hill in Yorkshire to do our Bronte walk. The sun was out, and although it is still winter here it was a glorious day with highs of 13c. I parked 1.4 miles away from the Bronte Parsonage and headed towards Bronte Bridge and Falls. I had not been here for just over 21 years, so it was nice to visit it again, although I have been to Haworth many times in the past 10 years.

Our Route
Heather on the Moorlands
Bronte Bridge Approach
Bronte Bridge
Marker stone after the bridge was rebuilt after being destroyed by floods
This is NOT Top Withens obviously, just an old farmhouse that we passed on the hike.

Wuthering Heights Inn was a lovely pub that we stopped at for lunch. They are dog-friendly which was really nice, they provided us with dog treats, bowls of fresh water and a warm welcome. M had a hot beef and gravy sandwich with thick chips. I decided to have a dirty burger which was a half pounder with cheese, pulled pork and chilli mayo, side of salad with sweet balsamic dressing, fries and onion rings. Needless to say, it was rather delicious and was washed down with a pint of bitter shandy. Mazikee and Harper helped eat the chips.

Our view whilst having lunch
Me and Mazikeen – as usual by my side with a stick.
Me with Harper watching the sheep
Mazikeen now locked on to the sheep. She was doing a very low growl, then howling at them which was very funny to watch.
Looking for Heathcliff
The Reservoir

All in all, it was a lovely day, I am slightly burned from the sun and wind, mostly the wild and windy moor. Alas, we never found Heathcliff or Cathy or managed to get to Top Withens, but will go that way next time. All told I hiked 6.5 miles with the girls. Mazikeen probably did about 12 miles or more as she was off lead and ran about everywhere, leaping into every muddy puddle, stream, and the waterfalls. I kept Harper on her lead as she is a bugger for taking off on her own adventures.

Not too sure where we will hike next Saturday weather permitting that is, but I am looking forward to more adventures.

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