Tag Archives: Walking

A local walk from the doorstep

It’s great to see so many ‘new’ local faces but they do get in the way!  Trying to keep that social distancing close to home is so tricky at times, especially when others aren’t quite so respectful.  

For anyone that knows me and Tim or who has read my blog will know that we take getting out and exploring fairly seriously  – it’s our hobby and our life.  How far could we get with a drink and snack in our pack from the doorstep? We picked a nice day to try.

I will try and keep my comments brief and let the photos do the talking.

Heading west out of the village

Saturday 9th May 2020

I love this time of the year.  The leaves have just about appeared on the trees and the hedgerows and verges are full of new growth.  Mind you I seem to be affected by pollen this year (for the first time ever) no streaming eyes, just a dry cough.  A small price to pay for being outside.

Following the lane shown in the photo above a view of Ormesby Broad (or the waterway leading to the broad) can be see from the side of a cottage.  Note the treehouse being built on the left.

What a view

At the farm we turned onto meadows. Oh and just incase you missed the sign – keep dog on lead!

As we approached our neighbouring village we met some cattle.

Tim filming cows with calves and bull

I swiftly headed for the gate when I spotted the bull while Tim took his time!  The kissing gate is small and awkward and I wasn’t going to hang about – its survival of the fittest in some circumstances!  One of theses signs, on the other side of the bigger (locked) gate, mentions the ‘big bull’ but there wasn’t anything at the other end of this footpath.  Hmmm

The view from the otherside of the gate….

Onward we bypassed Hemsby village via a field.  After crossing the main road we continued north but taking smaller roads now as there are no footpaths at this point.

Thanks for (not) visiting Hemsby

We had a crazy idea to carry a bit of weight in our packs to feel like we usually do when we are away in the hills and mountains.  Here we are passing the sign of East Somerton and approaching the high point of the day – Blood Hills (about 70 feet above sea level).  So called because it was supposed to have been the place where Vikings and Saxons fought and the land turned blood red.

More recently it’s been used to place wind turbines.

The only car to pass us on the road over Blood Hills.

Over the top we followed farm tracks around Burnley Hall and out to the Staithe at West Somerton.  

The road here leads out to Horsey Mill but we followed a footpath just inland alongside the waterway at first then skirting the marsh.  The sound of birds in the reeds was constant.

Almost at the mill – this is a view I couldn’t resist taking a photo of.

Horsey Mill looking majestic

We did pause here for a drink and quick bite to eat.  We are not allowed to stop for long at this time – but we can have a little something just to keep us going.

At this point we turned east towards the dunes and sea.  It’s about a mile from here to the sea and inbetween there are meadows with lots of small waterways breaking up the land.  It’s really fragile as its so close to the sea and only really protected by sandy dunes.

Here is the coast path.  We headed straight through the gap in the sea wall to the sea.

Crossing the coast path

Thinking about my mum & dad and family – wish you were here

On the beach we had the biggest surprise.  Hundreds and hundreds of seals – all basking on the shore.  We’ve seen this before but there were many more this time – many more.  Tim did his best wildlife filming – I just stared in awe.

Oh and I took a few photos.

Seals heading for the water

So far, during the whole walk, we had only passed two people.

As we marched on the low tide sand we passed another couple.  Wow – it’s so quiet.

Marching along – heading south

We approached and passed the beach at Winterton.  The cafe is still hanging in there….only just.

The beach at Winterton

Further along we come to Hemsby beach.  We headed through a gap in the dunes to take the firmer walking in the area called ‘The Valley’.  

Through the gap into The Valley

Here we tipped the sand from our shoes.  This walking route is a sheltered alternative  to the sea/beach side and it felt very warm.

Hemsby is a village and holiday resort near the beach. Today the chalets and caravans are standing empty and amusements and cafes quiet.  Will it survive this I wondered.

Further along we reached Scratby.  Here we took our last look at the sea before turning inland to home.

 It’s a mile from the sea to our home.  We are so lucky – we can get to it on foot.  By pushing ourselves a bit we could get to our neighbouring villages too.

Weekend Challenge – Walkabout

 

Signs of life under a white cloudy sky : 2020

‘Look at all that.   Looks like someone has dumped a load of rubbish next to the footpath?  That’s terrible’  I said.

Approaching the rubbish just off the path in Winterton Dunes

We got closer and then a small group of people appeared, all lounging on the ground amongst the heather below a few small trees.  They were drinking tea from flasks and dressed in scruffy clothes.  Scattered about them were colourful crates and sacks and heavy duty garden tools.

‘Hello, we thought we’d seen a whole pile of rubbish but now we can see you are actually people!’ Tim said.  Thankfully they seemed to find that amusing.

‘Have you seen any Rhodededrums?’ someone asked.  ‘Er, no I don’t think we have’, I said, looking back and hoping that was the right answer.  ‘That’s good – that’s what we are clearing….’ came a reply.

After a short (now we understand) pause we smiled, it seemed like we could all be friends!  Then, because we couldn’t think of anything else to say, we gave them a cheery goodbye and we carried on walking.

‘Didnt know Rhodededrums were a problem’ Tim said.  Neither did I.

You learn something every day.

Sunday 5th January 2020

Walking is how Tim and I got together.  Loving the outdoors, wherever we are, on foot.  It’s true that connecting with nature helps when other things in life are tough.

A walk we do often is a short drive from home and is the first walk we ever did together.  It’s about 5 miles long and can be enjoyed year round.  For blowing the Christmas and New Year cobwebs away this is perfect.  It’s a circular which usually starts at the small coastal village of Winterton.  Winterton is popular at weekends, especially with dog owners, so be warned….the parking can be tricky to say the least.

We parked outside of the village and walked a track through the Burnley Hall estate.  It’s easy, dry underfoot and very very quiet.  Eventually the concrete runs out and small footpaths are followed to the beach.  I noticed catkins appearing in the hedgerows. In mid winter, with some berries still in the shrubs, this might sound a bit crazy but I feel like this is the first sign of Spring.

There’s a small enclosure with two small lean two barns at either end protecting the animals from the weather where cattle are kept during the winter months.  These are beautiful beasts with short legs and brown or black coats – I have no idea what breed they are.  They were busy feeding but didn’t mind having their photo taken.  They are, as all cattle seem to be, very nosy.

Cattle eating

Cattle being nosy

On we went to the dunes and sea.

Track to the dunes

We stopped to have a bite to eat and drink and watched the seals on the beach.  Seal pup births have again been very high this year.  There were fewer today than a few weeks before Christmas.  Looking up the beach however we could see a huge mass of people on the beach at Winterton.  Out for a quiet stroll?

View along the coast to Winterton. Church just visible.

We took one of the many dune paths to the village and this is where we found our ‘rubbish’ people.  I have since found out that this group were volunteers working for the Norfolk Conservation Corps.  Doing some good work each weekend in some really special places in the Norfolk countryside.

Further along I photographed the path – here you can see small oaks and birch trees that skirt the dunes.

Through the village we passed through the church ground, past the allotments and onto a very muddy ‘low road’.

Winterton Church

Through the church yard

Allotments vegetables

Muddy path!

Though the village was busy we didnt see anyone along this bit!

Nearly back at the car the owners of these converted barns are in a wonderful spot with views out onto open countryside and a ten minute walk from the beach.  Not a bad spot.

Happy New Year.  Hoping for good walks, good health and good times.

 

 

Word/Photo Challenge White

Getting close to cattle on footpaths

Just saying Good Morning

Once upon a time one of the biggest fears Tim and I had when out and about walking was meeting cattle.  We would scramble across stiles and edge our way around fields.

So many stories of walkers being chased or worse, trampled, when crossing fields played on our minds.

However, over the many years of walking, we have only once been really scared.  That was up in the Lake District when we had no where to go and a herd was heading along the same path as us.  We escaped up a steep rocky bank and they passed by.  Mooing loudly as they went!

Be careful if you have a dog and be respectful if they have young and you shouldn’t really have any problems.

Here are a few photos which show how brave we have managed to get.

Cattle – always curious. We admired this one more than most.

Some have lovely fluffy hair styles

Regular milking stock

Best of all are the Highland cattle.  Surprisingly at home in Norfolk and Cornwall.

Quite fearsome but just like teddy bears

Up close but friendly

Quite at home on the coast

Photo Challenge Close

 

March madness? The Lake District revisited

I’m sure I could hear a helicopter and it was close. That thud thud thud of rotor blades. I was puffing a bit and Tim had just disappeared over the snow cornice just below the summit, out of sight.  Deep breaths. ‘Are you ok?’  I shouted. No reply. ‘Are you ok?’ I shouted again.  “Yes, use the holes for your hands and feet, I’ve kicked them to make them bigger” came Tims voice. It was at this time that I realised that it was my heart that I had heard and not a helicopter. Now that it was all quiet I better get going.

March 2019 – The Lake District

Sometimes it’s good to go back to your favourite holiday haunts. A week at the end of March in Cumbria seemed like a great plan so off we went.

Tim and I have enjoyed so much walking in this area I need to write a book.  For this posting, however, I’ll share a couple of days that took our breath away.  Let’s take a look at Striding Edge and Jacks Rake.

1.  Striding Edge, ridge to Helvellyn

I’ve talked about this ridge in a previous post – the link below takes you to it if you want to see a few more photos.

On the edge of something big

Getting up high in the mountains is generally an easy thing in clear weather.  Find a route, follow a path, take your time, take a map.  Striding Edge is best done on a calm day, set off early and turn back if the weather turns nasty.

Leaving Glenridding early in the morning we gradually left the houses behind.  Once off the Tarmac our route followed close to a Beck (mountain stream).

In the photo below our route is on the far left of the peak, slightly shadowed.

On a sunny day it’s a pleasure.

Once you reach the brow the mountain scene really opens up and it’s time to decide what you’d like to do and where you’d like to eat your packed lunch.  Our choice was take the ridge on the left, scramble along it for a couple of hours then get onto the summit of Helvellyn.

Helvellyn (with snow on top in the photo below) is the third highest peak in the lakes there are several routes up, most of them far easier!  Tim, in this photo, is making his way up onto the ridge itself.

Photography – we love it.  However we’ve found that recording our adventure on film is quite a bit of fun too.  So, as we crossed the ridge we filmed the whole event on a GoPro action camera.  Film making takes time though and our stomachs needed a snack so we stopped for a few minutes.

It is possible to walk along the crest in most places but there’s also small pathways on either side. You need both hands if you want to scramble about  – as this photo shows.

We eventually found ourselves at the remains of a cornice.  This is a snowy lip on the edge of mountains.  You can see it here as we got closer.

This is how I started this post – with my helicopter heart rate.  I pulled myself together and climbed up, following in Tims footsteps up onto the flat summit, my crawling/staggering steps being filmed as I came into view.

Phew – it was quite a morning.  After enjoying our lunch near the top we made our way down, basking in the surprisingly warm sunshine as we went.

2.  Jacks Rake – route up to Pavey Ark

Sometimes I really wonder how we ever got into these high places.  Our parents didn’t take us, we didn’t visit on school trips or took guided holidays.  But here we are, in our middle years and now fairly experienced walkers in these wild areas.

One place that is somewhere special is The Langdale Valley.  Here you can enjoy the mountains of the Lake District in a variety of ways from simply gazing up while having a pint or scrambling along a rock face.

We have enjoyed both.  Today though we would take on Jacks Rake – a route that quite honestly can look terrifying.  The red line shows the route in the picture below.

Its a grade 1 scramble which means using hands as well as feet (sometimes elbows and knees) to climb but if you are fit and healthy and wear good walking shoes or boots and appropriate clothing anyone can do this.

I won’t describe the whole route taken to reach the foot of this climb but it is really enjoyable following Stickle Ghyll, which is crossed twice to reach Stickle Tarn.  If you find yourselves in the Langdales, and only want a short walk, park at the New Dungeon Ghyll car park and take the path behind the buildings here.

All this is merely a warm up if you plan to climb the rake or go up any of the mountains that all come into full view.

A rocky path is followed around the tarn to a faint path with large boulders the size of small cars and scree.  Up we go then.

The photo above shows Tim almost at the start of the rake.

At the rock face itself we packed away our jackets and sticks got the action camera out and started the climb.  The terrain is, well, it’s rocky but as you can see there is a groove or channel that makes you feel slightly more secure than you might imagine.

We were doing this on a Sunday and even though we had set off early we were joined by other intrepid scramblers, most of them in small groups of twos or threes.  Most of them quicker than us so we let them pass where there was room.  I like to think that we are not slow, we just like to stay safe and enjoy the day. You can see some people who passed us in the shot below.

As you can see there are a few flat sections or are they ledges that allow you to walk along like a normal human being! And then some sections that don’t.

As long as you keep going up the view gets more and more impressive.  I’m actually filming and photographing Tim at the same time here and even though he was smiling I don’t think Tim could quite believe his eyes…..

Anyway, here we are almost at the top. Stickle Tarn below us and beyond that the Langdale Valley.  You can’t actually see the path that runs alongside Stickle Ghyll or the car park from here.

We did stop a couple of times to admire the view or discuss Boulder negotiating.  Here is Tim almost at the top.

And then there is one last clamber before its all over and you find yourself with masses of space and feeling exhilarated.  Now to find somewhere to eat our sandwiches!

I would urge you to add this to your bucket list. Go, just go.

 

Thanks Sue & GC – I think this fits into your latest photo challenge of Comfort    in my case out of our comfort zone…..

Photo Challenge Comfort

 

 

New Year : A year of walking (approx 700 miles)

A quick look back over the last twelve months and that has meant checking through lots and lots of photos of us – almost all of them with our walking boots on, striding out and ticking off the miles.  Phew we’ve really have done quite a lot.  With the weather having been so grey over the last few weeks it’s been a treat to see so many ‘sunny’ photos.

Inspired by a photographic challenge with the word ‘Walking’ here’s a quick review of our year with a single photo for each season.  Thanks Sue and GC, this was an easy one for me to take part in!

Winter (in the Lake District, Cumbria)

Spring (Devon)

Summer (Norfolk, oh my goodness it was so warm)

Autumn (Norfolk – see it’s not all flat ground in our home county!)

Happy New Year everyone.  Sorry I’m so late.  Hope it’s a happy and healthy one.

Photo Challenge Walking

 

WordPress Challenge : Out of this world

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The summit of Skiddaw at 3,054 feet : felt like being on the moon

A week in the Lake District – February 2018

This week we have been set a challenge by WordPress to share a familiar scene — a place you frequent, a face you know well, an activity you engage in regularly and make it look out of this world.

Anyone who knows me and Tim well will know that we have spent a good deal of our time (holidays) in the Lake District.  Boring people with our little adventures or maybe inspiring people to visit this beautiful place.

We have walked up, across and down all of the fells and it has shaped us. Learning about the land, the rock, reading maps and walking uphill!  Walking in the mountains in our fifties is actually easier than it was in our thirties which is incredible but true.

So, for this challenge I share more than the one photo I have added at the top which really felt ‘out of this world’.

For us it is a place we know well but on this latest trip it looked a little more snowy and magical than on previous visits.   We climbed high every day.

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Ullock Pike – a ridge walk on the way up to Skiddaw

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On Skiddaw summit – it’s a popular place

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Grisedale Pike summit : time for lunch.  Looking to the western fells.

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Skiddaw range, with the Pennines in the far distance

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Near Haystacks summit

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The town of Keswick way below and Helvellyn range to the right

The river at Grange after snowfall

Thinking about a trip to the Lake District?  I am happy to help with any questions, it’s like our second home.

Footnote

Now over the last few days at home we have been visited by some truly Siberian conditions, as has most of the country, so snowy scenes are currently very familar.  But back in early February, on holiday, we were loving it!

Out of This World

Padstow to Clovelly (Part 2) – Walking the South West Coastal Path

September is always special – the last days of summer.  It’s special for us as Tim celebrates his birthday mid-way through the month and we time our holidays around it – always keeping our fingers crossed for good weather for the actual day.

So here we were on this particular day pulling on our walking boots and packing our sandwich lunch into our backpacks once again for another trek. 

This post describes a section of the South West Coastal Path from our trip down to the West Country a few months ago.  If you’d like to read Part One click the link just below these words …

https://itslovelyout.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/padstow-to-clovelly-part-1-walking-the-south-west-coastal-path/

Tuesday 19th September 2017 : Polzeath to Port Isaac (Cornwall), 9 miles

We got on the early morning bus at Port Isaac with four others and (almost as if we were all on the same trip) all got off next to the car park at Polzeath. The car park being right on the beach at Polzeath.

Polzeath is a popular surfing resort with several small surfing schools, a few shops and cafes.  There were lots of people walking about in wet suits either coming from or going to the surf.  I suppose parking on the sand makes it all nice and close for surfers and other beach visitors but we didn’t fancy the idea of parking our car on the actual sand….not all day anyway.

There is a big broad open expanse of beach here.

Polzeath Beach at high tide.

Following the coastal path we soon left the town behind and headed to Pentire Point.   Along the way a colourful crowd of older (senior) walkers were coming towards us and we met them at a kissing gate.  Kissing gates usually only allow one person at a time through it and, as long as they are made properly, don’t allow animals to cross from one field to another.

So, because it was ‘one at a time’ we exchanged greetings, smiles, hellos and good mornings.  They had American accents and tagged with labels which included the curious words ‘Road Scholar’.  A quick Google search and I found this to be a walking holiday organisation.  It must be a requirement to wear the label which saves anyone getting lost I suppose!

Passing a big crowd of American walkers

A look back (into the sun) to Polzeath shows the whole bay.  It’s a wide bay.

Ahead of us now and out of sight from Polzeath was a impressive area with a less impressive name ‘The Rumps’.

Sideways on the bit of land that sticks out actually looks like the back of a slumbering dragon or dinosaur.  Can you see what I mean?

The Rumps

We got closer and rounded the headland. Paths could take you out onto the back of the ‘dinosaur’, as several people were doing, but we had to save that for another day/another holiday.

It was good to see so many people on the path and out and about today on foot but some had chosen to do their sight seeing by boat.  With such calm waters it was the perfect day for it.  It reminded me of boat trips we’ve had around the Spanish islands of Ibiza and Majorca.

Cruising around the coast in perfect conditions

We stopped for a quick snack and admired the view ourselves.

Further along we found that we had lost the crowds.  Looking at the map we could see that most people were doing a small circular walk from/to Polzeath – that explains it….

Next stop lunch, Lundy Beach.

Lundy Beach just in view

Before we stopped for lunch we passed Lundy Hole – a collapsed sea cave. Quite a sight but what was that buzzing sound?  Hedge trimming?  As we looked into Lundy Hole itself we could see a drone. We love drones so we gave it a friendly wave as its blinking red eye turned to ‘look’ at us.  The pilot obviously didn’t like what he/she saw as it flew away, super quick!  How rude!

Lundy Hole minus the drone

Around the corner we found more walkers all lounging about enjoying their picnic lunches in the sun. The tide was in and it was a bit of a scramble to get down to the sand so we found an elevated spot just next to the path and did some lounging about ourselves.

Our lunchtime view

We could have lingered here for the rest of the afternoon watching the strollers out for a picnic and those out for a swim (mad fools), but we had a few more miles to go.  So, we circled the bay, and the next smaller bay, and up onto a fairly level path heading towards Port Quin.

Along the way we passed a folly at Doyden Point which I thought was a castle. You could forgive me as it’s actually called Doyden Castle. I love a castle so it was a bit disappointing to see that firstly it wasn’t and secondly the national trust use it as a holiday home….good grief.  I didn’t bother photographing it.

We didn’t know what to expect at Port Quin.  We were hoping for a small bay with a scattering of houses and a cup of tea.  We got all three.

Approaching Port Quin

 

The ‘tea lady’ was quietly sat reading a book in the sun so we took a photo of her cafe (the Citroen van) before ordering our drinks.  Fionas cafe was parked at the back of the national trust car park – we almost missed it.

The cafe at Port Quin

We felt a bit awkward disturbing her from her reading but we really wanted our afternoon tea.  While making our drinks she told us the van was up for sale then promptly gave us the wrong change (five pounds too little change) Something was clearly on her mind.

We sat down with our drinks.  Then, rather oddly, the lady went around the van with a can of something and proceeded to spray underneath it. Tim, sat in full view this, sat with mouth open and a puzzled look. I took a sneaky ‘half selfie’ so that I could see what was going on.  Weird.

What on earth is going on? Very odd behaviour….

Anyway, drinks drunk we continued on our way, passing a few national trust properties all done up for holiday rentals.  Not a bad spot so spend a week or two – and you can make your own tea whenever you like!

Our next section of walk came as a bit of a surprise.  A narrow path up and away from Port Quin reached a turning point which we couldn’t see at first.  After hugging the cliff top we turned slightly inland where the way ahead twisted and turned and, with the ups and downs, it was impossible to pick up the pace. We passed a few couples coming the other way – all hot and shiny faced.

Then we had quite a steep climb up a stone stairway with a metal rail on one side.  The metal rail was the only thing between the path and a long  fall from the cliff face into the sea!  The photo I took really doesn’t do it justice.

Tim and the metal rail

From the top it we could almost see Port Isaac.  A level section then we said hello to this impressive beast.  Looked like he was wearing a mask and posed nicely for a photograph.

Cattle – always curious. We admired this one more than most.

So, we thought our ups  and downs had finished for the day but oh no.  Look at those steps.

Just a few more steps….

Then at last – Port Isaac.

The TV programme Doc Martin (Doc Martin played  by Martin Clunes) has just finished filming series eight, all on location in and around Port Isaac.  It’s all about the life of a grumpy, abrasive and rude General Practitoner who somehow manages to be well respected by the villagers.  Tim and I have watched at least the first four series so we were quite keen to see the place in the flesh so to speak.

We had no idea how popular this programme was until we made our way down from the position I took the above photo to ‘Doc Martins Surgery/House’.  Crowds of people with cameras from all over the world come along to check it out.

We couldn’t resist doing the same – an Australian lady kindly took our photo.   Apparently this was her second visit !!

Outside Doc Martins house like propert tourists!

And so we finished our walk for the day.  Strolling amongst the crowds.  Unable to get into the pub we stopped for an ice cream before taking the steep slope up out of the village and back to the car.

A cracking walk.