A local walk

After several weeks of taking my daily walk around the garden and street– I devised a route of about 220 paces and repeated it for 30 minutes or so – we went for a local walk. Our planned route was impassable due to a closed footpath, so we found an alternative one in a different direction. The quiet lane we had chosen was popular with dog-walkers, joggers and cyclists!

I had forgotten to check the week’s challenge topic for #wildflowerhour, so I took lots of photos. (It’s carrots and peas. That’s all right; there were different species of vetch and some possible carrot-family members.) This post is not really about wild flowers, but the views on a very clear day.

The path we intended to take used to be known as Lovers’ Lonning. The one we actually took is now known by that name. We didn’t meet anyone on it.

The busier road back into the village was less popular with non-vehicular traffic than the quiet lane.

The fish garths are constructions in the sea, which were used centuries ago by the monks to trap fish. They are just visible in the low tide photo at the left hand side and are in the centre of the penultimate photo. (Clicking on the images expands them.)

An adventure around a reservoir

On a bright but rather windy day we decided to have a walk in an area we had visited once – more than ten years – before. We set off along a well-made track giving access to Forestry Commission land. Signs warned of work in progress and an area which was off limits. There were not many people about: one or two joggers, a couple with a dog and a worker in waders.

To cut a long story short we managed to walk all the way round the reservoir, but at times the path was almost impassable. The land is boggy (with Moss in the place name, that is to be expected) with standing water in places. Where the path had not been constructed with hard-standing, logs had been laid like rafts and in some places cross-sections of older trees places as stepping stones. Some were wobbly! We were perhaps acting our UK shoe-sizes rather than our ages, but we managed to navigate our way without mishap. The trouble was that the farther we went the less likely we were to turn back…

… At one point hubby announced that the path in front was impassable. We tried an alternative route, which eventually took us in the wrong direction. So we turned back. Hubby climbed a hill to see if he could see a better route. I consulted the map (which was probably too small a scale and too old to have all the paths on) and flagged down a passing jogger. Acting on information he provided we retraced our steps and continued round the reservoir.

In the car park the dog-walkers we had seen earlier advised us of the route they had taken, ‘because the path hasn’t been made yet’.

There was plenty of heather growing in the area, but we didn’t see a single wild flower in bloom.

Selected photos

Photos: top row From the dam towards the end of the walk, a single swan, approaching the reservoir on the track

Middle row: trees in the winter sunshine, the outflow from the reservoir, a view from the well-made track

Bottom row: From the far end of the reservoir, another view from the track, looking across the reservoir

Exploring a local landmark

The only hill in a neighbouring parish, to which I could put a name, was one we had never climbed. Hubby and I decided to put this omission right on a day with a good weather forecast for January. The previous day we consulted a map, one of Alfred Wainwright’s books and a folder of walks we have collected over the years from a local newspaper. After an early lunch we parked in a valley and began our walk. The sun was shining on nearby hills as we climbed. Later some clouds began to blow in from the west. We had decided to travel light, not taking any spare clothes or food and drink. It was an expedition of 2-3 hours duration. I am used to carrying a small backpack with perhaps a pair of over-trousers and a drink plus some breakfast cereal bars. Being unencumbered made the walk easier, but we were fortunate that we did not have cause to regret this decision.

Selected snaps (key below)

From the summit there were views in every direction, although the haze and low afternoon sun obscured the Isle of Man. It was interesting to pick out places we know well. We could see a lake we had visited, local towns and the headland, which has featured frequently on this blog.

We were glad of our waterproof hiking boots. We began and ended on roads. The decision to park low down meant that the end of our route was downhill.

Photos from this walk have also appeared on this blog and on Sue’s Trifles.

The collage top row: near the start, high enough to see a distant fell, trees interrupting the view

2nd row: land cleared by the Forestry Commission allows a view, another view on the way up, a view towards the sea

3rd row in reverse chronological order: the distant headland, two views from near the summit