Shapes and shadows on Skiddaw (931m.) in the Lake District National Park. This was hiking the steep route up from Millbeck to Carl Side at 746 m. The tarn at the saddle before the last push to Skiddaw was almost dry and the view pretty misty. Then a quick excursion to Ullock Pike.
I started after breakfast but saw only one other hiker until 1130 or so. The wind was a bit gusty plus I was adequately knackered so I enjoyed my picnic at the mound on Longside Edge (734 m.), then came back down. Training in my gym at home has limited the damage of the lockdowns but is not the same as a hiking a big hill.
ROC Post Threlkeld must be in one of the most scenic locations of all the 1563 Observer Corps observation posts all over the UK which were established or repurposed from wartime use in 1956.
It’s an underground concrete bunker designed to resist nuclear attack, a “Protected Post”. The floor is about 5 m. below the access hatch and is reached by a vertical ladder. There’s a ventilator at the other end of the underground chamber, the dimensions are about 5 m. x 2 m. x 2 m. There’s a telephone line but no mains electricity or water. An observation platform was also required, ROC Keswick/Threlkeld has a small tower built of local stone for this purpose.
The South Downs National Park has been fully open throughout the lockdowns, unlike many other National Parks in England. Its rolling downs and valleys are accessible on foot from many homes, giving a welcome relief from the mundane and banal tedium of life in lockdown. The grassy ramparts of Hollingbury Fort/Castle/Camp (178 m.) are the vestiges of an Iron Age hill fort which dominates the area, overseeing the City of Brighton, with panoramic views out to the English Channel, the Isle of Wight, Seaford Head, the Sussex Weald and the North Downs. Although much of the topographic feature is now a golf course owned and run by Brighton City Council, several Dew Ponds and some low forest remain in the surrounding area, unlike much of the rest of the South Downs which have been stripped to grassland for grazing. Then back to Preston Park via Surrenden Road in time to see a chilly sunset over Hove.
Taking advantage of a sunny interval in a “Four seasons” day for a walk from my new front door to halfway up the local mountain, Skiddaw (931 m.). Sunshine, snow, fog, gales and heavy rain all on this one day in late March.
With only a very limited number of other hikers on this usually populous route (because the #stayathome legal lockdown was still in force), it was possible to sit and enjoy the views without having to stray too far from the path. With an apple and a couple of locally baked hot cross buns.
The guy in rugby shorts carrying a well-trimmed log told me he was doing it to make his day “more interesting”. He was last seen on the skyline on the path at about 650 m., still going upwards.
The rain came in while my Coq au Vin du Vaucluse was cooking but my work of the past weeks meant I could enjoy it in relative comfort.