Blast from the past 1: the White Cliffs of Dover

When: Saturday 9 March 2019
Who: Just me
Distance: About 8 miles
Time: About 3 hours, including breaks
Weather: Clear, cold and pretty windy
Post walk drink: Chardonnay
Post walk watering hole: A pub near the station in Dover which I can’t remember the name of
Mishaps: The MWIS weather forecast (for Cumbria, not for Dover)

Saturday 9th March 2019: Kent was not where I was supposed to be. This weekend had been intended to be the first Wainwright bagging trip of the year with 2 nights booked in Ambleside. Plans had been hatched of various degrees of ambition depending on the weather and I was definitely looking forward to getting back into the hills. Then I looked at the weather forecast!

Oh dear. The long range forecast about 5 days out looked horrendous and over the next couple of days it proceeded to get worse. Now I know there is a school of thought that a ‘proper hill walker’ should go out no matter what the weather but I am not one of the people that subscribes to this school of thought! There is a point at which it becomes just plain unpleasant and a point beyond that where it is not just unpleasant but dangerous and a forecast of very strong wind and possible blizzard conditions, plus anticipated disruption to rail travel, seemed to me to be getting in to dangerous territory. There didn’t seem a lot of point in going up on the off chance and potentially not being able to do anything much and/or getting stuck, so after a call to my hotel to see if I could rearrange the booking for a later date (which they said was fine) that seemed the sensible option. Yes I have the gear to cope with winter weather but despite the adage ‘There is no such thing as bad weather just inadequate clothing’ there is no clothing I am aware of that can prevent white-out or being blown off a hillside. The hills would be there another day. Continue reading

Cornish coastal wanderings – and a hill with an amusing name

Hills: Brown Willy
Marilyns: Ditto
County Tops: Ditto
When: Wednesday 10th October
Who: Me and the mountaineering minion
Weather: Good, but very windy at times
Bog factor: Dried out (yay!)
Post walk drink: St Austell Proper Job
Post walk watering hole: Our cottage (does that count?)

It has been a very long time since I have put pen to paper, or should that be hands to keyboard, to write anything on this blog. In part, that has been down to sheer lack of anything remotely resembling walking, but has also been in part due to some health issues which I’m not going to go into on here but which have resulted in me having very little energy for quite some time. Things however seemed to be on the up, and we had a week booked in a cottage in Cornwall, so walking of some sort was a distinct possibility.

Are there hills in Cornwall? Well, it isn’t known for them – the best walking in the area is probably on the coast path and for the first few days of the holiday that’s what I did, as well as get plenty of rest. I saw some cracking coastal scenery on the Tuesday 9th in particular, when I walked from Land’s End on the coast path towards a bay called Mill Bay, with cracking scenery all round. I was pretty lucky with the weather which obviously didn’t hurt, although it was pretty windy. Continue reading

Last walk of 2015:the spectacular Sandwood Bay

Who: Self, Stuart
When: 26 December 2015
Weather: overcast and windy
Why: why not?
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 3 hours in total, including about half an hour on the beach

Christmas 2015 was a bit different for us. Instead of spending it at home in Bromley or with family, we had hatched a plan to spend it in the far North of Scotland, specifically in the cottage in Ullapool that we had stayed in before, which boasted glorious views of Loch Broom. Although we packed the winter walking gear, we had no real expectation of doing any serious hill walking given a pretty rubbish weather forecast not to mention the seriously short hours of daylight. Plus, we were both knackered after a very busy time at work and quite frankly needed a rest. Continue reading