A short post based on the few photos I took over this weekend back in September. More in tribute and thanks to Mark and his family for inviting the usual collection of kids young and now getting older and adults already old and trying to be younger, to their home and allowing us to eat their food, untidy their rooms and generally interrupt their busy life. Its a weekend we now always look forward to as a kind of last hurrah before the dark days of winter set in
We did a pretty long on the Saturday. Leighton Moss & Hall and down to Warton (where we met the Yorkshire contingent for a pint and a bowl of chips in a local pub) and then back to Silverdale via Warton Crag. It was an excellent day but as it was a little grey and overcast I took no pictures. It was more a day for catching up and chatting and none the worse for that.
Sunday was day of bright sunny intervals and though there were heavy showers we missed almost all of them on a walk down to Jack Scout and Jenny Brown’s Point. Its one of my favourites and this time took a few snaps to capture the day.
En route we came across a rope swing that the kids had a great time with (and some adults who should know better)
The tide was out and the views across Morecambe Bay, the wet sand reflecting the sun, were very fetching
The kids gathered for a cheery team photo in the very strong and blustery wind, before we went back for yet more food. Eating is a big part of this weekend🙂
We enjoyed one final walk between late afternoon lunch and early tea – yet more food – up through Eaves Wood to the Pepperpot. The views across the village and the bay from here are superb and I’m always jealous of the fact that this view is no more than a 15-20 minute stroll from Mark’s front door.
A fine way to finish another excellent weekend away – big thanks again to the Silverdale crew!
A repeat walk with TJS of a short hike I did last summer on a very similar day. The edges of of the Craig y Cilau escarpment are very fetching in summer when they catch the sun (the are in permanent shadow in winter). The autumn colours were again superb and the views across the Usk valley to the Sugar Loaf are always especially good from up here
Scrambling to the top of the eroded and now grassed over mine remnants is great fun, gives a certain miniature mountain arete sort of vibe
The old tramway beneath the limestone cliffs gives a wonderful level stroll. Despite its majestic appearance it seems to be completely off the radar and we rarely see more than a handful of people up here
I’m especially fond of this grassy (and boggy) meadow with its views back to the escarpment. Its certainly better than trying to tackle the wooded slopes higher up from my last visit
Time for the contrasting second half of the walk. Up above the edges and on to the expansive grassland behind the escarpment
There is a summit of sorts where we paused for a snack before heading into the wilderness
Being Limestone scenery there are a couple of seriously big sink holes up here
We headed over to the lake of Pwll Gwy Rhoc. Last year the area was a little boggy but bearable. This year it was a lake everywhere. Trail shoes were a bad idea. By the time we reached the lake shore my footwear was at maximum saturation point
I had my swimming stuff with me but TJS had a look that said he didn’t want to hang around in a cold breeze in the middle of an expansive bog waiting for his dad to take a dip. We just pressed on through more bog and sat on the edges for a late lunch so I could wring the brown water out of my socks before heading back to the car
Well I had to do something to make these hills sound exciting.
Seriously a very fine stroll indeed when faced with a solo walk. TBF was in London watching the Piano Man himself, TJF was at a friends and TJS too lazy to come out, struggling as the was with his first week of early starts at college.
It was early September (I think!) and the first flush of Autumn colours were out. The forecast was pretty ordinary but it turned out to be a rather splendid day of powerful sunny intervals and dark brooding clouds
My target was Hanter Hill, a small subsidiary top to the north of the main Hergest Ridge massif. Thinking I was being clever, I thought I could traverse around to the col. Anyone who knows my local hills also knows that they are cloaked in the deepest bracken at this time of year. It was tedious wet and slippery and I cursed my way across the slopes for a good half hour on the faintest of paths
Thankfully I survived the jungle and arrived at the col under blue skies and swiftly climbed to the top of Hanter Hill
The views were impressive over the various ranges of heather cloaked hills and green valleys of this little known corner of mid-Wales
I even got an aerial view of the huge Gore quarry that seems to be completely devouring Old Radnor Hill
After a brief rest I headed down and back up over the main summit of Hergest Ridge, joining the many families enjoying some autumnal sunshine
Only a couple of hours but a nice walk if you stay on paths on don’t head off-piste into the wastelands of bracken!
August Bank Holiday and sunshine forecast, who’d have thought! Me and TJS took off for the hills and my classic Black Mountain circuit. I’ve posted this walk many times so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking
Rather than waste time at home we had breakfast a short walk from the car. Bacon sandwiches in the open air is taste much better than in the kitchen
The larger of the two jewelled lakes of this walk, Llyn y Fan Fawr
The high point at Bannau Sir Gaer
And the second lake of Llyn y Fan Fach
We stopped for a second lunch by the tarn. Despite this being a sunny Bank Holiday these hills are always relatively quiet. Dread to think how many people would have been on Pen y Fan
I liked the clouds in this photo
A decent welcome back to the UK
The Last Post. As it were. Bringing our French trip to a conclusion. After our only day of rain in three weeks (other than the drive from the ferry) we headed out late in the day for quick explore of the Mont Lozere area where the Tarn river has its source. The photo below at Mas Camargue is of the infant Tarn a few miles from that source
We’d driven up through some wonderful and peaceful rural landscapes and small hamlets of Villeneuve and L’Hopital along some narrow and rough tracks. The feel is very reminiscent of Dartmoor or Bodmin Moor. Lots of grassland, heather and granite tors and boulders
As the storm was passing and evening rolling in the cloud effects were dramatic. I’m especially proud of this image with dark skies and sunlit buildings
The views from every corner were awesome and we stopped many times to admire, a welcome relief after being stuck in the camper in the rain for most of the day
We took a short stroll down to the pool at Gasbiel. It was dark and gloomy but it did look worth a visit on a sunnier day. Watch this space
The next day was our kayak trip along the gorge but for our last day we decided to pay the area another visit. It was a stunning day of deep blue sky and unbroken sunshine. We first took a walk to see the Cascade des Ruisses. The views from the walk across the upper reaches of the Tarn valley were stunning
The waterfall itself was equally impressive but hard to capture as its sits in deep tree filled ravine
Onward and upward we took a stroll and lunch in the peaceful village Le Pont Montvert, also on the banks of the Tarn
Like most of the valley the village has its own rather splendid collection of natural swimming holes
We opted to revisit the highest part of Mont Lozere again and this time under the deep blue sky it was majestic
We walked down to Gasbiel again to laze away the afternoon. It was transformed under a sunny day into an idyllic spot. A deep green pool backed by huge slabs of warm granite just perfect for sunbathing
It was also quiet with just a handful of families and no-one in the water. I soon worked out why. The water was absolutely freezing! I’d swum comfortably in the river no more than 15 miles downstream the day before. Despite the cold the water was wonderfully clear and refreshing (just not the place for an extended swim). Even at this altitude (around 1300m) the sun was hot and the rocks pleasantly warm.
Surprisingly TBF went in for a swim. She’s smiling in the last photo so she must have enjoyed it
TJS was feeling a little under the weather so was content to simply enjoy some quiet time
I took another swim and explored the other pools. It was another of my favourite spots of the holiday
Me and TBF took a short stroll along the river and across the meadows
This little abandoned dwelling caught my eye and was very photogenic
The smell and colour of heather was everywhere, again reminding me of home, fitting as this was our last day before returning
A wonderful last day finished off with another evening picnic by the river at the campsite.
Happy memories of a fantastic holiday but still tinged with a little sadness that TJS wasn’t with us. Back to the real world now and time to catch up on my activities since we got home. Some pretty good one’s too
Well if you visit the Gorges du Tarn you better spend a day floating down it. Rather than cycling back to the start, this time I took the easy way out and used the bus. Allowed a brief period to enjoy the views at La Malene
We’ve done the down stream stretch from La Malene many times so this time we gave the upstream section a go from St Enemie, itself a very fine medieval village where we had lunch a few days before
This stretch wasn’t as dramatic as the previous trips but it was a good deal quieter.
An early stop for lunch was what was needed – it takes a while to drop off, drive to the far end and bus back
It was warm and sunny but a little breezy, more than enough to deter the rather fickle Funsters from taking a dip. Water this cool and clear has to swum in my opinion so I had to take the waters alone
I let the Funsters loose in the kayak without my guidance and they went round in circles for a few minutes before I took over control and ensured we continued our journey in the right direction
A fine way to spend a sunny day, floating down a dramatic tree lined gorge, watching the world drift by
One of the highlights is the village of St Chely du Tarn, perched on cliffs above the river with its own Tufa-lined waterfall
Predictably I threatened to take the boat under the falls for a refreshing shower but thought better of it
The Cirque de Pougnadoires is the drama highlight of this stretch but less so than Les Detroits and Cirque des Baumes on the lower stretch. Not too shabby though
You have make time for plenty of stops to swim and soak up the sunshine. The Funsters are much better at that!
The Chateau La Caze stands guard over the final long stretch back to La Malene
A brief bit of fun trying to negotiate a very stony weir and a final swim at La Malene ended a superb day messing about in a boat
Another day, another “Accrobranche” afternoon in the trees
This one was by the far the most scenic and relaxed. No bookings taken, just show up, brief lesson and then off into the park. They even let you go around the course as many times as you like. The big draw is the fact that its right by the river Tarn making for all the better views
The usual fun, wobbling about on planks and swinging about on ropes
The big plus for this one was however the fact that the zip lines (of which this course had many) went right over the river which adds a certain exciting twist to things
In fact a small and perfectly formed course. We’ve done tougher and more interesting challenges but this one is my favourite for the views and the very relaxed and friendly atmosphere created by the instructors
Me and TBF went round twice, quite a challenge in the hot weather but it was too much fun not to
The final zip line back over the river was especially long and fast.
TBF seems to have taken the award for the most active of the family on these things and is in her element playing the Tarzan role (she is called Jane after all!)
Great fun in the sun and as you can probably tell by now, a family favourite :)