Tuesday was forecast to be the wettest day and so a fairly low level walk was called for, no point in having expensive rain proof gear if not used!
The “Navigator”had to amend his original plan as parking in this area is hard to find. However we found a village hall in Far Sawrey with an honesty box where we did pay the suggested fee of £2.00 a bargain in the Lakes.
It started out dry but we soon donned the gore tex and headed down to the lakeside for a cup of coffee.
There lots of other nutters out for a walk.
At Belle Grange we took the path signposted for Hawkshead a steep and slippery ascent. Our objective was Latterbarrow but this was to be tackled after a very wet lunch stop.
Our route to the hill could have been better as we battled our way through the mess left when trees have been felled.However we found the right track and were rewarded with good views from the summit.
From here we walked south passing a number of tarns until we arrived back at the car.
A warning here if you are considering visiting Hawkshead with the hope of finding food supplies, DON’T. It’s full of shops all trying to extract the tourist pound.
Food was found in Ambleside.
The forecast was not the best but the decision was to visit Swirl How via Little Carrs, Great Carrs, Swirl How and then Grey Friars.
At our age we use the car to gain height and so the old Toyota wheezed its way up the Wrynose Pass with sections of 25% incline until we parked not far from The Three Shire Stones.
We dressed in full wet weather gear as it was raining and a stiff breeze blowing. The tops were cloud covered but we are eternal optimists!
The path up has been engineered for a good section of the route and made for easy walking.
There were occasional views down Tilberthwaite but the wind kept us from wandering too near the edges.
At Great Carrs there was a memorial to a second world war plane crash which made for sad reading. Two of the Canadian training crew were only 19.
There were more gaps in the cloud when we reached the summit of Swirl How and we had a lunch break in a sheltered spot. My camera died here.
Grey Friars was our next objective before the downward route back to the car.
Day 2 of our tour was supposed to be flat day but overall we climbed 2300 plus feet!
We started from base and our first objectives were Skelwith Force and then Colwith Force before heading south west to High Tilberthwaite. From here we headed north into Little Langdale and back to base via Elterwater.
In Tilberthwaite we came across a school party who were being instructed in the art of ghyll scrambling. Andy and I suggested to the “Navigator” that instruction on outdoors skills should form part of each trip. We may have to wait a long time!
This was day one of “the boys” week away in the lake District, Cumbria. We were based near Skelwith Bridge.
The “Navigator” and I travelled to Chester to pick up Andy and then onto the lake District. As usual we stopped for a short walk on the way to our base and the stop this time was in the village of Staveley.
The weather was good and we were soon down to shirt sleeves. The floods of earlier this year were still in evidence as there was a bridge closed in the village and another bridge washed away on our planned route.
As “The Navigator” had to visit a shed maker in near Pembroke the proposed walk was also to be in Pembrokeshire near Stacpole.
We parked in a small car park in Castle Dock Wood and set off uphill on a minor road and had a coffee break in the churchyard of St Twynnells.
From there we continued westwards hoping to cut south down to the coast at Stack Rocks but it became obvious from the explosions that Castlemartin range was in full use and as we approached the range we could see moving tanks in the distance.
At the viewing area there was a leaflet about a dedicated path which skirts the range, with worrying markers in the shape of a tank!
Our route was now south easterly into the village of Bosherton. We came across a worked out quarry where we had an afternoon cuppa. I was sure that I had taught canoeing in the lake here but today there was little water.
From the village of Bosherton we headed north along side the Lily Ponds back to the car.
As we walked along there were a number of sightings of herons who seemed to take little interest in us.
The Navigator’s choice today was for a fairly local walk based on Llandybie and Carmel Woods National Nature Reserve
We would also be seeing a particular site which was the only one in Britain and it was a turlough – click on link for further information.
We parked by one of the entrances to the Nature Reserve and set off heading for Llandybie.
.Through the wonder of Wikipedia I find that it was in Llandybie the mineral Brammallite was found, I still do not know what it is!
At spot height 204 was a viewing point with a rustic shelter which even gave its grid reference. A lovely woodland path took us into the village of Llandybie passing an old public house.
We then followed a small tributary of the Afon Lougher where we found a spot for a coffee break and then headed south and west passing an old tip which was being reworked. Near Blaenau the route took us north up a steep lane towards Garn where we entered Carmel Nature Reserve and then to view the huge disused quarry and of course the turlough which of course looks like a small lake,before returning to our car.
The walk took place on 5th October but we were in warm sunshine all day.
This walk utilised our bus passes and we caught a bus from Pontardulais to Gorseinon. Clearly the bus company had not heard of the phrase “as the crow flies” as it wandered like a drunken fly!
We did reach Gorseinon ans set off in a northerly direction following for a good way The Gower Way.
The “navigator ” had recently bought a new map of the area and this showed a disused railway was now a shared path nicely tarmacadamed which eventually led to a rough footpath/small river. Oh by the way the forecast of cloudy meant rain all day!
We walked under the M4 and turned east and then north west back to Pontardulais.
My brother in law, Andy and I were due for our boys week and we started with a two day back pack on Mynydd Du and Afon Twrch and then climbing onto Cribarth and back to base.
The idea for the walk came from “Backpacking in Wales” published by Cicerone. This book is now out of print and there are no plans to update it, which is a shame.
We parked in Dan yr Ogof where we left the car for £3.00 per day which you have to say is a bargain. After a little faff we started up hill and along Fan Hir with great views opening up.
We stopped for lunch in the cairn on Fan Brycheiniog looking down onto Llyn y Fan Fawr.
From here we continued around the escarpment to Bannau Sir Gar to look down onto Llyn y fan Fach and then on a compass bearing headed south west to the limestone ridge of Carreg Las. here there were some amazing formations.
At Blaenllynfell we climbed steadily onto Foel Fraith and then south east to Carn Fadog before heading to our overnight camp alongside the Afon Twrch.
We had seen only one walker all day and were somewhat surprised to find as we reached the valley side of the Afon Twrch two tents where we expected to camp. We could also see the occupants skinny dipping in the river, clearly escaped nutters!
We had no choice but to descend and hope there was another spot for us. The descent was a nightmare through head high bracken and very uneven ground with no sign of any path.
As we reached the “camp site” one of the lads suggested there may be some spots further down stream BUT across the river. It was getting late now and with little energy left to explore for a narrow crossing we found a shallow area and just waded in. There is a theory that your gaiters are always an inch short of the depth of water being crossed and so it proved!
It was now 2000 hours and all we wanted was to erect our tents, eat and crash out.
The next day we broke camp and put on our wet boots and headed out of the valley. As we left we saw the other campers, towels in hand heading down stream for another swim. We lost sight of them but their screams indicated the water was a little fresh!
Our route was south and then east on good paths until we found a non existent path through a bog fest and woodland area. With trust in GPS and compass bearings we found our way to the marked picnic site at the junction of the Afon Giedd and Afon Cyw where we had a welcome lunch.
From here we were again on good paths which led through open land and up onto Cribarth and back to base.