Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Coombe Heights

So we had a proper walk planned and the forecast was looking good. But it was wrong. We got up to a very rainy Cumbrian morning. Absolutely no point on going onto the fells, there would be nothing to see but cloud. So instead, I settled down to tax returns and Husband started to work his way through his list of indoor jobs.
Jay had intended to come with us today, so in the end, we decided to do a regular local dog walk once the rain had passed. So here we go!

One of our most regular spots, often walked, much less often photographed! We were heading up to the mine workings (this is looking back) 

If you look on the horizon immediately above Breeze's head you will see a dot. That's Lingy Hut and that is where we are heading

'We' consists of Breeze and I, Molly and Jay. Husband has some concrete to break up at home, so he has stayed behind to do that

It's quite warm and airless as we climb (we are not very fell fit at the moment, so maybe it's just us!). Breeze takes the opportunity to cool down

Looking back down Mosedale as we reach Lingy Hut - Breeze can just be seen heading back towards us. She's just done another ten mile or so while we've been catching our breath!

Taking five in Lingy Hut

The Hut with Mosedale beyond. Maggie tells me it is being taken over by the Mountain Bothies Association who plan to make improvements in the autumn. We will be interested to see what happens!

Making our way through the peat hags on Coombe Heights

Looking west as we aim towards Cocklakes

The infant River Caldew can be seen in the valley ahead of us - we will be walking down to that and then turning left along the Cumbria Way

Back on the Cumbria Way - I can't believe how clean she looks, she must have just had a swim at this point

Fording the unfordable ford

Nearly back at the car

But still plenty of chance to charge through the bracken
About 4.5 miles on extremely familiar territory, but this is an area neither Breeze nor I ever tire of. This was not what we had planned at all today, but as it turned out, it was a really lovely afternoon to be out on the local fells - and to make it even better we only came across one guy just after we left the car!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Catching up with John and Carol

We had a trip down south today. Starting with coffee and scones and Burton in Kendal and then a guided tour around Kendal itself. We are not town folk , so although we have lived here for getting on for eight years, we still haven't visited metropolis like this! The only shopping we did was a sandwich in a lovely lunch deli, to set us up for a picnic later. Then we made our way through the back lanes to Silverdale where we had a short but very interesting walk

We are heading to Jenny Brown's point

Chimney at Brown's

Breeze is loving the beach - although as the tide has only just gone out it is a strange kind of muddy sand

Time for our picnic

A lovely little walk in a totally new area for us and after a coffee at a local gallery, it was back to John and Carol's for supper. What a nice way to spend the day!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Wythburn and Steel Fell

There has been very little fell walking in our household recently and just lately we seem to have been away more than we have been at home. Having finally caught up with the pressing things that need to be done, we actually manage a bit of a walk today.
Parking up at Steel End we walk across some meadows 

She can see a stride at full speed that Dog, should have been a racehorse for definite

Beautiful Bog Asphodel, I don't think I've ever seen so much

Beautiful Breeze!

We crossed Wyth Burn at the bridge you can see below

And then followed it up

To Wythburn Head

Climbing up onto the ridge where we stop for a bite to eat

Hazy Views towards Grasmere. It's hot and humid although the haze is keeping the temperature lower. There is a bit of breeze on the tops too which helps

Steel Fell

We had a spot of sheep worrying as we headed across Steel Fell. This little lamb was convinced Breeze was Mam, and kept chasing her - she was a little worried to say the least!

Herdie Tups

King of all he surveys

We start to descend towards Steel End

The haze is clearing now but it's getting horribly hot as we drop down


Looking back up Wythburn as we reach the road back to the car.
So good to be back on the fells, even if it was a short one! About 5 miles, but I think it would have been foolish to stay out any longer - too hot for a lunatic Spaniel by the time we got back to the car!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Shetland - Day 8

It's our last day on Shetland and just to prove that it isn't always warm and dry, it's wet and cold this morning! Alison had planned a walk, but instead we have a drive. Part way up the highest hill on Shetland

As per the forecast the sun gets out at lunchtime, so we head for one last walk, to give Breeze some exercise as we have a long ferry journey tonight. We visit Hillswick. This is where the wildlife sanctuary that Richard and Alison volunterr for is based (and also where the wildlife sanctuary filming is done for the TV series 'Shetland' - they are currently filming another series

This is somewhere else that I have visited before. Back in 1971 we came here with another family from the village we lived in. This photo was taken on Hillswick beach, showing (from left to right) Me, Alison (my sister) and Richard (the son of the other couple who were on holiday with us)

So just to remind everyone who used to work with Richard and I what idiots we can be (and to prove that Alison and Richard are very well matched) here is the 2017 version with (from left to right) Me, Alison (who spookily has the same maiden name as my sister and I) and Richard!

After all that excitement we walk just a bit further along the coast. Richard is ahead and spots an otter but it see's him and swims away. We sit for a while in the hope that it will reappear but sadly it is not to be this time!

So that's it, the end of a perfect holiday. Just the short drive down to Lerwick and one last little walk for Breeze before we board the overnight ferry back to Aberdeen. Thank you so much Richard and Alison, we have had an amazing time. We know exactly why you moved to Shetland.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Shetland - Day 7

We are really enjoying our time on Shetland. It is a stunning place with an abundance of wildlife and it is great to be spending time with Richard and Alison. We are also very lucky that they have similar interests to us and they know the Islands well and know where to take us to have a chance of seeing something interesting. One thing that has eluded us so far is Sea Otters. It's not for the want of trying either. Today we go for a walk around Lunna Ness. There is a hope we may find and otter along this bit of coastline and there is another reason to visit this area as well. All will be revealed! I make no apologies for the number of photos on this entry :-)

 The Shetland Sphinx apparently. I can vaguely make out the face, but a Lion's body?

Yes, she is with us as usual!

As we reach the coast we spot a seal watching us

It is becoming clear that the whole of Shetland is beautiful. We are on the East side of Mainland now, so we have pretty much covered every corner and more

As we stop for some lunch we watch some Terns fishing

It's been a week of sensory overload for one little dog. She is getting tired. Hmm, look forward to drinking out of that bottle later!

Another seal appears, very conveniently in the bluest part of the ocean

There is something very appealing about seals and they are so curious

Gradually more seals come into view

A large rock just out to sea seems to have a few on it - it is difficult to count them from where we are but there appears to be a large Dog seal at the front

With a group of at least three, possibly females behind

Conveniently there is a bit of a voe which means we are walking around this rock with a good view of the seals and they seem quite happy to let us watch them. More terns are fishing on the shoreline as we walk round

A group of Eider ducks swim past the seals rock - I think there are at least six seals on there when viewed from this direction and a few more in the water

There is little doubt Richard and Alison enjoy their Island life.We are nearing the end of our coastal walk for today. We pause before walking on and in the silence Alison hears a tiny high pitched squeek - she's obviously well tuned cause neither of us heard anything. It alerts her to the fact that there must be an otter nearby. Then movement in the water. We all sit down quietly (Breeze was such a good girl!) and watch a pair of otters as they come onto land. We sat and watched (and took photos!) for about 15 minutes while they fished and ate. Richard and Alison thought these were possibly a pair of last years young.

If you are still reading after all those photos - well done! After our walk, we stopped off on our way back to the house to visit Lunna House. This place has an amazing history - Following the invasion of Norway in 1940, it also became the original headquarters of what came to be known as “The Shetland Bus” Norwegian Resistance Movement.  From here Leif Andreas “Shetlands” Larsen and his colleagues lived and worked in between raids and clandestine visits to the west coast of German-occupied Norway.  At that time around 30-40 agents stayed in the house and the outbuildings were used for the storage of ammunition, radios etc, which were smuggled from here by converted fishing boat into Western Norway.  Lunna House was also the first safe landing place for refugees who were aided in their escape from the Nazis by the Norwegian Resistance.  Legend also has it that King Haakon of Norway stayed in the house for a few days at some point during the Second World War.- more of it can be read by folllowing this link  Lunna House 

But there is another part of it's history which is particularly relevant today. I have been to Shetland before. It was in 1971 and I was 3 years old. For part of our visit we stayed here, it was then a B&B

We also pay a visit to the Kirk

Before heading back to have a delicious meal of locally sourced Mussels and Scallops at Frankies!