Postcard of my photos of our hike on Caldbeck Fells to High Pike & Roughton Gill, November 2011

Postcard of my photos of our hike on Caldbeck Fells to High Pike (658m) & Roughton Gill; the dawn was a bit late but the day gave us fine weather, even in November!

Roughton Gill tumbles through some disused iron and lead mines and runs down to feed in to the River Caldew, which passes through Carlisle..

There are some quaint local names nearby on Uldale Fells above the village of Longlands, which the short November day didn't allow us to visit: Willy Knott, Great Cockup (536m) and its neighbour Little Cockup. The names have more to do with local dialect of the Old English language than failures in mining project management.

Language niceties aside, this is where the bleak topography of the northern Lakes fells melds in to the Scottish Borders, with Carlisle, Hadrian's Wall and the Solway Firth marking the border.

Roughton Gill was also laid out for Cumberland County Motor Cycle Club Memorial Trial at Fellside, 2011. No time on this trip either to come back on the Sunday to watch the bikes running through the Gill. There's a link to their club site on my motorbiking links page

Greta Gorge postcard - Keswick Railway Footpath

Autumn colours on the footpath along the track bed of the former Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway through the gorge of the River Greta, just upstream of Keswick, Cumbria. Just a four mile walk for a Sunday morning but I was very happy to spot an Osprey and a pair of otters.

Postcard of the Pont du Gard from the GR4

My first visit to the Pont du Gard was an Easter trip in cold weather: the airline had mislaid our bags and neither the heating nor the hot water were working in the hotel which faces the Roman aqueduct. But we didn’t realise at the time how privileged we were to stay in that hotel and to eat our meals in the dining room with large picture windows showing and framing the ancient stones. Now there is a car park (of course you must pay) and the main route to the site is through an explanatory information centre with displays and educational videos. No longer the thrill of happening upon the monument almost as if by chance as in an eighteenth century painting recording a noble’s Grand Tour: the Site du Pont du Gard is now a World Heritage Site. Quite right too and of course that protects and preserves this impressive monument. But the naivety of the encounter is lost.

Read more: Pont du Gard

Postcard from Boscale Fell, Cumbria

Lots of people out on the Lake District fells for the last weekend of the Indian summer. Fine colours as the bracken and grass turn.

We headed up from Mungrisedale to Bowscale Fell via Bannerdale Crags and back down past Boscale Tarn and the valley of the River Caldew.

We’ve been hiking parts of the GR4 around the Grand Canyon of the Verdon in the Low Alps (Alpes de Haut Provence). The weather has just changed from spring storms to early summer sunshine; that’s clear blue skies first thing, then clouds increasing towards lunchtime building to maybe a very slight sprinkle of rain late afternoon. Then clearing again for the evening. All local weather and not at all as shown on the forecasts!

Read more: Grand Canyon of the Verdon - June 2011