Friday, 31 May 2013

#32 & #33 Twinwoods and Manton Lane.

#32 & #33 Twinwoods and Manton Lane.

7.52 Miles
125 Metres

I am trying to get out and about more often, so using a few local walks seemed a no brainer.  This walk is mainly around arable fields and whilst I would never describe it as amazing, it is nice enough, and more importantly it's outside!

Yellow is so on fashion this season...

The paths on the whole are good and the field margins wide.  On a good day you do get decent views across Bedford with the twin hangers of Cardington clearly standing out.  Twinwoods itself is an old RAF base, and it's most notable claim to flame is that it's where Glenn Miller took off from before disappearing.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Keen Targhee II

Now Boots and shoes can be a tricky subject on forums and blogs.  It's a subject which seems to elicit strong views and opinions, shoes? boots? Leather? Gore-Tex? etc.  Any opinion on this subject should come with a clear health warning and disclaimer - My feet are personal, what works for me might be torture for you.

Now I love (and hate, but it's loving first) my Keen Targhee II's.  They fit my feet (Size 8 to 8.5 feet, usual shoe/boot size 9, wide fitting) quite perfectly.  I can wear them out of the box and do a good (8 miles +) walk without any issues.  No breaking in, no hassles.  I have worn them on the SWCP where the year before my boots caused me multiple blisters on the same section.

I like them immensely.  They just work for me. Just.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

#31 Snowdon

#31 Snowdon

8.51 Miles
1923 Metres

I had planned this trip for weeks, so had been watching the weather forecasts intently.  Up to a few days before, I was going to cancel.  Forecasts of heavy rain and snow on a mountain I had never been to, was not an inviting idea.  But thanks to the Mountain Weather Forecast at the Met office it became apparent that we might have a window of opportunity.  It would mean an early start but we should get up and down before any rain hit.  Still had high winds mind you!
Parking at Pan Y Pass (£10!!!) we had planned to walk up the PYG track and back down Miners’ track, however as the car park was nearly empty (8am) we had parked next to the gate to the Miners, so thought why not, there can’t be that much difference!  The first 2 miles or so was along good quality tracks and fairly flat, so a relaxed start.

Monday, 13 May 2013

#30 Watergrove

#30 Watergrove

Distance - 7.21 miles
Ascent - 455 metres

A late start to today, the weather was pretty ropey in the morning, so when a gap in the cloud was spotted I was off out.  I had a big walk the next day, so I wanted to do something fairly easy, but at the same time I wanted to try a few different places.

Pennine Bridleway

Going up the Rake I followed the same track as the other days.  The views over Manchester showed how close to a drenching I was.  Black skies blocked the views towards Saddleworth and made a sharp contrast to the blue skies above my head!  Again the wind was strong, battering the ears. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

#29 Ramsden Road

#29 Ramsden Road

Distance - 5.43 miles
Ascent - 387 metres

Today was a short (ish) walk on the other side of the Whitworth Valley from yesterdays.  Walking up the Rake gets the blood going and also gets you on the tops pretty quickly.  In the sun it was quite warm, but as soon as you got on the open ground the strong cold wind kicked in.  On the way up the wind was behind me, battering my ears.  So hood up and onwards!

Whitworth Valley

Joining the Pennine Bridleway the path flattens out round the bottom of Brown Wardle, so a quite an easy coast along.   The path drops into Higher Slack Brook, along an old track way which looks so completely out of place.  The trackway would of crossed the brook to join up with Ramsden Road.  This old road joined a number of farmsteads before they were cleared when Watergrove Reservoir was built and the lower valley flooded.

 I only had 2 hours to get the walk in so I ended up turning round soon after.  It was a nice day and this walk opens up a number of future routes.

Friday, 10 May 2013

#28 Cowpe Moss and Rooley Moor

#28 Cowpe Moss and Rooley Moor

Distance - 9.07 miles
Ascent - 534 metres

Whilst up north for a few days I decided to take the dog for a wander on the moors above Rochdale.  Heading up the old pack horse trail of Rooley moor Road you soon leave the suburbs behind.  While at the same time you never quite leave behind the modern world with the Scout Moor wind farm in prominence and occasional views all the way across Manchester (I say occasional, as it depends on the rain clouds!).
Scout Moor

Rooley Moor road is a cobbled/packhorse track that was rebuilt in the 1800’s.  Not sure why these trails go straight up and over the moors whilst all other roads take to the valleys.   However they do give quick firm access to the moors (some people abuse this by fly tipping…) and now form part of the Mary Townley loop and Pennine bridleway.  The cobbles will give a quick descent on a bike but I’m guessing the bone shaking cobbles will remain in the memory of many!

Friday, 3 May 2013

#27 Barton Le Clay

#27 Barton Le Clay

Distance - 10.0 miles
Ascent - 217 metres

Two walks in two days?  I'm getting extravagate! Todays walk was a planned 8.5 mile wander around Barton Le Clay and the edge of the Chilterns.  The weather again was pretty perfect and warm enough for short sleeves and sunblock!  Nick was visiting from the South so I dragged him along.

The Chilterns

Heading North/east out of Barton Le Clay along the John Bunyan trail the path is wide, flat and easy walking.  The views are across open pleasant farmland with 'big' horizons.  The scarp slope of the Chilterns is obvious to one side and contrasts sharply with the flat farm land we was walking through. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

#26 Great Barford and Roxton the Sequel.

#26 Great Barford and Roxton

Distance - 7.19 miles
Ascent - 28 metres

Earlier in the week I did a 5 mile walk along the Ouse with a loop round Roxton.  I thought I'd come back and do the full Great Barford/Tempsford loop, mainly before the nettles get much higher (they are growing and growing!).  The weather was perfect, I arrived with plenty of time, I was in no rush, what could go wrong?

The Ouse

The section between Great Barford and Roxton is fairly well known to me now.  It's a flat walk along the river, it's quite nice and easy to follow.  As I mentioned last time the rubbish in the trees does detract a little but it is/was offset by the wildlife on show, swans, ducks, birds (I'm such a twitcher...) and butterflies.  The river is very slow (artificially so due to the weirs and locks) and you would be hard pressed to work out which direction it flows in for most of the walk.