Archive for the ‘Pepperpot’ Tag

Weekend With Long Lost Friends and Offspring   9 comments

Another visit to the very friendly accommodating Hotel de Silverdale an excuse to catch up with our errant son now living the high life up at Lancaster University. As always a splendid weekend of locals walks, banter and great food.

We took several outings the first of which was a wander to Trowbarrow Quarry. Its another of those places that I’m sure Mark must have taken me before, probably many times but I was insistent I’ve never visited.

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A route through Eaves Wood and down to Hawes Water, now being remodelled with new boardwalks to protect the local flora and fauna.

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This local fauna sadly will only be protected to the point where it becomes sausages.

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Trowbarrow Quarry was rather fine. Lots of people rock climbing and the DBs took time showing me all the Mountain Bike routes.

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Rather foolishly I seem to have made a commitment to bring my bike on the next visit so they can take me biking in the quarry. Likely to end in amusement for them and injury for me.

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We stopped off at Leighton Moss on the way back and took a trip up their observation tower where the views were exceedingly fine.

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And then back across the golf course and the fields for lunch of homemade mushroom soup – also exceedingly fine.

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We went out for another brief stroll to the Pepper Pot in Eaves Wood hoping to see the sunset but the clouds had descended and it was a pretty murky. I tried a couple of black and white images to see how they came out.

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The evening was characterised by a takeaway curry and the arrival of Mark’s brother and his two kids. I’ve not seen him since his stag do – pushing 20 years so it was great to catch up and swap some old and new stories.

A morning walk around Jenny Brown’s Point and Jack Scout. Still gloomy and grey but its a fine walk.

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The weather and plenty of chatter meant only a couple of photos.

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Despite a gloomy forecast the afternoon was glorious and sunny and a final walk was in order. It wouldn’t be a Silverdale weekend without a trip up Arnside Knott. and the late afternoon sunshine was very welcome.

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Mark had found a new path to the summit – a very steep way as it happens but we timed our arrival with some stunning light conditions.

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The Lakes were still under the gloom proving that sometimes small and local is best.

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We reckoned if we pushed on at a brisk pace we could reach the Pepper Pot in time for what we hoped would be a better sunset.

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Our route took us past Arnside Tower which looked magnificent lit up by the setting sun.

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It seems rather sad that no-one seems to be looking after it and slowly it seems to falling down and will likely crumble at some point. A sad reflection that this beautiful historic building may not be around forever.

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We reached the Pepper Pot a matter of seconds before the sun went down and whilst not exactly fire in the sky it was a wonderful and peaceful way to finish a cracking weekend

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Thanks as always to Mark and the Family for letting us stay and making us welcome and great to catch up with old friends and enjoy the delights of this wonderful and unspoilt part of the world.

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And Then There Were Three   21 comments

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A couple of weekends back and a big change for the family. TJS having worked hard for his A-Level results was now about to start on his own way in the world. With full car and empty wallet we dropped him off and helped him settle in to his new life at Lancaster University. Four years of hard work and new experiences await him as he starts his Masters Physics course. He’s taken everything completely in his stride and seemed totally at ease with settling into life away from home. In fact they had set up all kinds of events for his welcome day and was eager for us to go! In truth the fact that he seemed so ready to go made the prospect much easier for me and TBF as parents.

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Its a new life for us to get used to as well. Luckily we have our good friends Mark and his family who live nearby and offered to put us up for the weekend. That also helped to soften the blow of the changed circumstances. We managed to fit in a series of fine walks over the weekend around our commitments with Danny and their weekend plans.

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After dropping Danny off in Lancaster we had time for an afternoon walk. As you know from my many previous visits to their home, there is a huge range of wonderful interesting walks that go straight from the door. First one, we followed Mark as he took us a tour that included Arnside Knott.

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After cutting through Eaves Wood we passed by Middlebarrow Quarry. (I’m sure Mark will correct me if I have any of the locations or maps incorrect – there are so many paths around there, not all marked on the map, that its impossible to be 100% sure where I am. Not that it matters, its all wonderful). Its huge but you’d never know it was there unless you went looking for it

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Across a huge open pasture with views to Arnside Knott and Arnside Tower. The railway line was close by and there a few people clearly waiting for a train to pass through. More on that later.

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As we emerged onto the upper slopes of Arnside Knott the colours told us Autumn was on its way and the views, as they always are from up here, were superb

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Here is the stream train crossing the Arnside viaduct over the Kent that the spotters must have been waiting for

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One of the finest of the UK’s small hills in my view. Me and Mark played the game of which one we thought was best between Carn Fadryn and Arnside Knott. I think it was an honourable draw. 🙂

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In the late afternoon sunshine the changing colours of the trees was spellbinding.

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Throw in the sunlight behind the clouds and it was all rather splendid.

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TBF looking cold

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Fungus-mongous!

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A view down over Silverdale village

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And the setting sun.

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A respectable 6 miles for a late afternoon walk

Arnside Knott

Next morning one of the DBs was being confirmed at a local church so me and TBF went for a short stroll down to Jenny Brown’s Point and Jack Scout

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It was a pretty dull morning and very cold and windy. However even though I was without my local guides I managed not get lost!

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A view across Morecambe Bay towards Lancaster

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A view towards Grange over Sands from  Jack Scout

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Another 5 miles to the total

Jack Scout

After a fine buffet lunch we were out again. Back across The Lots (one of my favourite spots around here). The weather had changed to bright sunny intervals and heavy showers

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I don’t mind those sorts of days. Its wothn putting up with the odd soaking when you get clear spells and dark brooding skies like these

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We wandered back through the edge of the village and along The Row (dodging another shower) and then up into Eaves Wood. The light in the trees was sublime

 

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Emerging on to the top near the Pepper Pot the storms were still tracking across the horizon, missing us fortunately.

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A storm completely covering Heysham and its power station – it was clearly visible a minute or two earlier

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And the Pepper Pot itself.

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Another 4 miles in the bank and almost 15 miles over the weekend. Not bad for a few strolls

Eaves Wood

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So a contrasting weekend of emotions. A mix of pride and sadness that TJS has now left home to follow his own path and seems to coping so well, and a great weekend spent with good friends. Huge thanks to Mark, TBH and the family for helping us through the weekend, putting us up and feeding us amazingly well as they always do! 🙂

The Annual Silverdale Gathering 2014   7 comments

Every year, in early autumn,Mark and his family take the very foolish decision to invite us and our kids to overrun his house, make a mess and eat all their food. Its become something of a tradition now and everyone looks forward to it. Let the record show that they are the most gracious and generous of hosts and it’s always a most enjoyable weekend. Only downside (outsize) is my waistline. We barely have time to venture outside such is the volume of food on offer. Massive cooked breakfasts are the order of the day together with smorgasbord of lunch items and monster curry from the village take away. I never need to eat for a week after a weekend up here. Still I like to eat to it’s a win-win situation. Whatever, the hospitality is hereby recognised.

It was a long time ago but my memory of the weekend was one of average weather but then I looked at the photos and realised that it was pretty splendid. The various families turned up at various points through the Saturday so it was a collection of shorter classic walks around the village to fill the day. Firstly up to the Pepperpot, as fine a viewpoint as there is with woods to explore, a profusion of wildlife and flora and trees to climb

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

Even though we are very settled and happy in Herefordshire my idle mind often wanders to thoughts of where else I might choose to live. Being the outdoor mountain and water-borne enthusiast that I am the obvious thought would be to live in the hills or by the west coast. Notwithstanding the need for work (not much IT work in such places) I’m not sure I could live in such remoteness. I do like some of life’s creature comforts. Scotland with its glorious scenery would be a draw surely. But let’s be realistic it has some pretty nasty weather and as soon as summer arrives so do midges. The only thing that I crave is somewhere I can go for a walk through pleasant and interesting surroundings from my front door. I have some glorious mountains between 30 minutes and 2 hours from home but immediate surrounds are rather bland arable farming fields. Silverdale is blessed with some wonderful scenery and interesting walks with great views. It’s the only other place I know that I would live other than where I am now. I always enjoy my time spent here and I’m always grateful to Mark and his family for showing off their locale which they are always pleased to do

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

After lunch with a few more people in tow it was another favourite with the stroll down to Jenny Browns Point. I love this stretch with the expansive views across Morecambe Bay, the fossils in the rocks by the Lime Kilns and the bird life

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

With everyone in tow on the Sunday we took a longer walk heading for Beetham Fell and the Fairy Steps. Mark assures me he’s taken me here before but I don’t remember. It was a very pleasant warm morning and after some tomfoolery involving toilet stops and lost adults and kids we finally made some progress past Haweswater and over the limestone enclosed fields beyond

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

I suspect the plan was to lunch at Beetham Fell but we fell short, considerably short of that objective. We passed through a sunny meadow with a small wood alongside and almost as one flopped onto the grass. The adults to laze, drink tea, chat, talk nonsense, the kids to do what all kids should do, build dens in the wood. And a very fine job they did too. No finer way to spend the time

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After that it was over the fields again to Beetham Fell.

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

This is the old coffin route from Arnside to Beetham when Arnside didn’t have a cemetery. There is an initial taster with a narrow passage cut through the rock before the main event.

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A narrow passage through the rocks. Very narrow. It’s said that if you can reach the top without touching the sides you are granted a wish. Fat chance of me achieving that 🙂

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

At the top the views had gone a little grey (perhaps the reason for my grey memory of the weekend). It was still a fine spot to linger before the long walk home, more food and a long drive home.

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

silverdale, eaves wood, pepperpot, morecambe bay, jenny browns point, hawes water, beetham fell, fairy steps

Another great weekend of fine strolling and great company. You can read Mark’s account of the weekend here

The Annual Silverdale Gathering – Year 2   6 comments

Last year my mate Mark and his family, bless them, invited all of us, kids and all to his place for an autumn weekend. The weather was appalling, all low cloud and rain but we had a great time anyway. They were kind (or mad) enough to make the same offer again this year so I diligently asked if they could arrange for some better weather this time. Despite a spell of crappy weather that preceded (and followed) the agreed weekend they pulled out all the stops and the weather was glorious, warm and wonderfully sunny.

Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay

Their eldest A is now well into her maps and walking and was the nominated hike leader. The plan was a local classic, a wander around the coast to Arnside, returning to Silverdale via Arnside Knott.

7.8 miles, 1,000 feet of ascent

A had very thoughtfully included 4 play areas en-route to keep the younger ones entertained and the first of these was a few hundred yards from the house.

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Small boys (and girls) in the park….

It was a stunning morning. The play area had a zip wire and we spent a good 30 minutes dragging and throwing the kids around at high speed and seeing how many could hang on at one time.

I think the kids would have stayed all day but the adults had seen enough. We pressed on through Holgates caravan site (and another play area!) and set out across the fields towards Far Arnside.

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Strolling towards Far Arnside

Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay

The meadows here are some of the finest I know and the views across Morecambe Bay were breathtaking. We hit the coast at a wide pebbly beach of white limestone that was dazzling in the autumn sunlight.

Silverdale, Far Arnside

Beach near Far Arnside

The kids were soon off playing in the rockpools and mud, searching for life. Me and Mark were looking at the fossils on the recently exposed rocks some of which were pretty decent in size.

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Fossils

It was far too nice a spot in the warm sun to ignore so despite the fact we’d only walked a mile or so it was time for a lunch stop and a cuppa, some us engaged in the usual banter, others taking the time to catch 40 winks.

Silverdale, Far Arnside

More Fossils

We watched as a large group of cross-bay walkers made the dangerous (but well-guided) walk across the Kent estuary. You can read about Mark’s experience on this walk here

The walk around the headland past the various coves towards Arnside is splendid and the views across the Kent to the low wooded hills of the south Lakes were marvellous.

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Coastal walk to Arnside

As the tide was out we dropped onto the sands and continued on the estuary. The flat expanse away from the cliffs gives a totally different perspective and the kids had limitless space to run around.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

On the Kent Estuary Sands

Arnside, Kent Estuary

ED & EWO

As we approached Arnside the sand turned to mud and we got a little taste of the cross-bay hazards as kids and adults alike, slipped and sank into the oozing silt. Funny and frustrating in equal measure and with little surprise that B and S managed to get muddier than everyone else put together.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

“We should be over there”

We paused in Arnside for a well-earned ice-cream and watched the Kent Bore as it surged under the railway bridge.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

Arnside Railway Bridge

D was pressing us to continue, a little frustrated at the general slow pace of the walk and keen to get back to house for some “Golden Time” whatever the hell that was. It was getting late so we started the climb through the town towards Arnside Knott (via the third play-area of the day). We reached the top to a truly superb view across the Kent to the Lake District Mountains and even as far as Snowdonia.

Arnside Knott

Lake District from Arnside Knott

The Knott is another to add to my list of “small hills with disproportionately good views” or “hills with a high reward to effort ratio”. The golden autumn colours contrasting against the deep blue sky were stunning. The adults played “name that peak” while the kids played in the trees.

Arnside Knott

Proper fun

Arnside Knott, Kent Estuary

Across the Kent Estuary from Arnside Knott

Arnside Knott, Kent Estuary

Rogues Gallery

The sun was starting to set so we continued home via Arnside Tower and the final play-area of the day at Holgates.

Arnside Knott, Kent Estuary, Morecambe Bay

Setting sun over Morecambe Bay

Arnside Knott, Arnside Tower

Arnside Tower

On a whim Mark asked if a few stragglers wanted to walk back via the Pepper Pot, a local obelisk and view point. An inspired decision as the view across the bay as the sun set was truly magnificent.

Morecambe Bay

Sunset over Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay

Sunset over EWO

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The Pepperpot

A fine finish to an awesome day with just one final piece of the jigsaw left. A stonking curry from the local takeaway, including the hottest Dhansak I’ve ever eaten. Life doesn’t get much better than this. You can read Marks version of events here

The next day started promisingly but it was colder and windier. We took a short stroll around the village starting at the cove. The kids played on the rocks and explored a somewhat dank and smelly cave.

Silverdale, The Cove

Cave at The Cove

Silverdale, Kent Estuary, The Cove

Across the Kent Estuary

We wandered across the local meadows and lanes and paths around the village but it was clear the weather was on the turn as the skies turned grey.

Silverdale, The Lots

The Lots

Silverdale, Woodwell

The cliff path at Woodwell

We took a look in the library window at the details of the hoard of treasure found by a local man. You can read some of the details in Mark’s post here.

After an enormous buffet lunch back at the house we took the kids out for a game of cricket in the park. It was a close and intense affair between the adults and the kids. Fortunes ebbed and flowed but it came down to the last ball. The scores were tied and all the Hard-man had to do was run a single. He buckled under the pressure and holed out to one of the kids. Still honours even and pride intact but he will forever rue the day he bottled it 🙂

A truly magnificent weekend to lighten up the onset of autumn and winter. Both kids and adults had a great time and a massive thanks to Mark and his family for hospitality and generosity

For the kids   4 comments

Seeing as the adults had enjoyed a meet up at Grasmere it seemed appropriate to allow the kids a chance to meet. Trouble is October is a bit late in the year to be camping with kids and we’d blown the holiday budget on our own little extravagant weekend. Fortunately, generously and at risk to his own sanity, ED kindly offered  a few of us and our rowdy kids to stay at his place in Silverdale for the weekend so we were all sorted.

Apart from the weather that is. We had some grand plans to take the kids walking on some the top-notch lower fells that surround the Silverdale area. The weather on the Saturday was damp and miserable and even worse on Sunday. However seeing as EWO was with us we did manage to convince/threaten the kids to go out for a walk on both days although unsurprisingly I don’t have too many photos.

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The gangs all here

On the Saturday we ambled up to the Pepperpot in Eaves Wood. On better days the views across Morecambe Bay are superb but today it was shrouded in drizzle and mist.

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The Pepperpot

The kids still enjoyed themselves, clambering in the trees and pottering about.

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I remember when I could climb trees

We continued on to Hawes Water (not the big Lake District one) where ED told us about the day only a few weeks before when the whole area was running with lizards. You can read about his encounter on his blog here. It just sums up the fickleness of the British weather that within a matter of weeks you move from lizard-basking warmth to cold rain.

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EWO Babysitting Services Limited

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Hawes Water

We’d actually been out for a good part of the day but when we got back EWO (as he ALWAYS does) convinced us to go out for a further walk. The scale of the kids total lack of interest in this add-on won’t be hard to imagine so it was just me, ED, EWO and Hard Man Brian (HMB) who ventured out. Normally this has us cursing our own poor judgement but on this occasion he was right and we were out for what turned out to be the best spell of the weekend. As you can see from the photos it still wasn’t great but it did stop raining.

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Morecambe Bay

We took a short walk down by the sea along the slithery rocks. Only a short time ago there was a broad plateau of grassy foreshore that I think ED said was used for turf. Now it’s all mostly gone and all that remains are a few small patches.

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Looking across the bay towards the Lake District

We spent a very pleasant evening eating take-away curry and playing parlour games with sticks and things until the small hours. Great fun

The Sunday was just like the day before only colder and with more rain. The kids were remarkably cheerful all things considered as we dragged them up the local eminence of Arnside Knott. The views from up here are magnificent on clear day. Today at the giddying height of 159m we were in the cloud and the views were a trifle disappointing

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"....and over on the left is the Old Man of Coniston"

Satisfied that we’d had least had some fresh air we returned to the warmth of chez ED and took full advantage or his bounteous generosity, drank his tea and ate his food. The walking round these part is some of my favourite in the UK with limitless treasures of forests, nature reserves, small hills, rocky outcrops and coastline. I’ve had some cracking days out here with ED and our extended family of friends as it’s perfect for the kids to explore. I love my adopted home in Herefordshire but if I did ever feel like moving this is one of the few areas I would move to. It was a real shame that the weather was so poor but we all had a really terrific weekend regardless. Sometimes just watching the kids play together and enjoying good company is it’s own reward. A real big thank-you has to go ED, his lovely wife and kids for letting us invade his home for the weekend and making us all so welcome. If you do want to find out more about the area then I suggest you look through some of the many posts on ED’s blog, Beating the Bounds. A great read from a blog veteran. You can read his version of events here

A micro slide show below – hope you like the little bluegrass ditty

Posted November 8, 2011 by surfnslide in Family Trips, Walking

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