Hiking

Castle Hill nature reserve, South Downs National Park

A preserved fragment of the South Downs. Parts of Castle Hill nature reserve have never been ploughed, so maintain something like the original character of this Sussex downland before modern farming took over. The bank on the right is Hawthorne scrub with a wide mixture of grasses and flowering plants. Now, under the protection of the National Park, the grassland is grazed to promote a variety of wildlife including birds and butterflies. A quiet place to enjoy my picnic lunch in the winter sunshine, open to the skies but secluded from roads.

 BSGS group at Madeira, Ponte da São Lourenço

Bay at Madeira, Ponte da São Lourenço

 The extreme east of Madeira, Ponte da São Lourenço

 The BSGS field trip group in the volcanic landscape near Caniço, at the extreme east of the island of Madeira. The superficial resemblance to the familiar granite cliffs of Lands End or maybe parts of the limestone cliffs of the Dorset Jurassic coast is because all are shaped primarily by water erosion: these spectacular cliffs in mid-Atlantic are the results of relatively recent volcanism.

Windermere and Orrest Head

Snow on the Langdale Pikes, the Old Man of Coniston and other Lakeland peaks around Lake Windermere. A November hike from seeing the luminous dawn mist over the water from Bowness-on-Windermere via a circular route up to the classic viewpoint of Orrest Head (238 m.). for a view of the dark clouds further north and the coming sunset down the valley towards the sea at Morecombe Bay.

Montado do Paredão, Madeira

JH on the Verdeda do Areeiro, Madeira

Hike with the BSGS in to the clouds on the PR1 path.down from the Pico do Areeiro (1818 m.). Madeira is a volcanic island but this area is described as resulting from water erosion, it is not thought to be a volcanic caldera. We'd hoped to see from above the huge Paredão valley systems that we had viewed earlier from the Miradouro da Eira do Serrado (1095 m.) but the clouds had intensified. Nonetheless, we hiked down nearly 300 m. altitude to cross a narrow ridge path not much wider than Striding Edge on Helvellyn or Crib Goch on Snowdon.

Ennerdale, Western Lake District

View of Ennerdale and Ennerdale Water from Anglers' Crag, known locally as Iron Crag on account of the veins of iron ore in the sides of the crag facing the lake. This was our halt for lunchtime picnic in the autumn sunshine. We enjoyed a fine hike round the lake, it's a level path on the north-west side but quite a bit of boulder-hopping on the south-west side. Plenty of granite around as well as Borrowdale Volcanics Group rocks. And here's a postcard showing more of our hike:

Hike around Ennerdale Water, West Cumbria