View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday 13th in Cheshire

What could possibly go wrong?

One of Sue & Martin’s walks. We met at Lindow Common (famous for Lindow Man) and wandered along bits of the Bollin Valley Way, over to Styal Woods and then to Quarry Bank Mill (NT) for a fast coffee before returning to Lindow Common.

I was in good company: we were five TGO Challengers: Sue & Martin, John B and Graham B….plus me of course.


Sue leads (!!) Graham through more slutch and clartyness

The weather promised to be a bit variable, and so it was: grey, wet, very wet and really very wet.

In between chatting with my fellow walkers, my thoughts drifted to what I should make for my tea, the possibility of fresh Rat-au-Van presented itself but was quickly discarded:




Martin, our glorious leader, leading from the rear


River Bollin in Styal Woods



Photos of the same bit of oak tree taken with my Lumix TZ70. The photo on the left was taken with maximum optical zoom, the photo on the right was taken with maximum optical zoom + (maybe) maximum electronic zoom.


Sue, being the ever-vigilant sort that she is, spotted this fungi


We’re Challengers after all….



Time was getting on, Sue & Martin had a lunch appointment in nearby Hale so the last mile or so of the route was coverered smartishly.

Where we went (clockwise):


7.5 miles with 700’ of up and downery…according to Viewranger.

A nice little walk in very agreeable company – just what was needed on a soggy Friday morning, thanks to Martin & Sue for inviting me along. And for the cake. And for the coffee.

You can read what REALLY went on here.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Mersey Run, Sunday 8th October 2017

Around 6 miles of river bank flatness

A nice post-wedding run along the banks of the River Mersey towards Stockort. I didn’t record the route….’cos I forgot to switch the damned GPS on when I started. It was a flat run in lovely conditions: cool and dry – ideal for running.

Just a few photos from the run:


River Mersey near Heaton Mersey


Autumn colours


Remains of the bridge that once carried a branch of the Cheshire Line 


Remains of the bridge that once carried Manchester Central to Buxton trains


On approach to Ringway


B5095 road bridge

This was just the job for the much-needed brain reset. Weddings are stressful!

The photographs were taken using my old Samsung S3 Mini. The reason for taking it with me wasn’t for photographic purposes but to use the Viewranger app & GPS….which I didn’t use after all.

It’s an age thing….

Friday, 29 September 2017

Roundabout Ringheye Recce, Tues 26th Sept 2017

I’m due to lead a walk for the good folk of the East Lancs LDWA in October, and as with all such things a couple of pre-emptive recces are deemed important.

The route I plan to take isn’t original although there are a few tweeks and alterations chucked in to confuse the innocent and unwary, so here goes…


Sunrise from my bedroom window

I had foresaken my early morning run which was a shame because it was a lovely start to the day – but a 4.5 mile run followed by a 17 – 18 mile walk probably wouldn’t have been a good idea.

The actual walk will start in Hale, close to the River Bollin, but as friends Andy & Lynn had kindly offered to join me on the recce I drove to their home in Knutsford to start the circular route from there.

We set out around 10.30am and walked through the town, famous for Cranford, Knutsford Royal May Day…


….Penny Farthing races…..


…..the shortest river in England…


……and King Canute

Leaving the town we had to resort to tarmac for a mile or so but we were soon back on the wet, grassy field footpaths. My feet, inside NorthFace ‘Waterproof’ walking shoes, were soon wet through. I’ve had two pairs of these shoes now, they’re very comfortable but completely useless as waterproof footware


We walked NE out of Knutsford to skirt around the northern edge of Mobberley, there was a gloriously autumnal feel to the day.


We left the environs of Mobberley to continue NE alongside Manchester Airport’s main runway and then picked up the Bollin Valley Way which routed us under the runway via the River Bollin culvert – that never fails to impress me:


Our lunch stop at the southern end of the runway was a bit noisy but we had great views of aircraft taking off and landing:



Andy & Lynn at the high point of the route…a whole 60m metric metres ASL

It must have been a climb although we didn’t notice it….perhaps we’re just very hill fit. Although maybe not in my case.


Invasive species around the River Bollin, Himalayan Balsam abounds

Hale is the home to many large and expensive houses - particularly those that back on to the Bollin Valley. Not all blend in to the pleasant surroundings:



By early afternoon my feet had eventually dried out – perhaps my shoes are only waterproof one way: water can get in but it can’t get out.


More Bollin Valley invasive species: Giant Hogweed reaching for the skies


Not invasive

We head south past Rostherne, along a permissive path that’s not marked on the OS map. There are nice views over the mere, the autumn colours are glorious:




Rostherne Church…and a coffee & knee tablet stop


The next leg took us to Home Farm on the Tatton Estate. It’s a dead-straight ‘church path’ – well it should have been, but a large field was being ploughed and seed was being spread so we followed the field edge.


Home Farm amongst the trees


Hand-powered fuel pump at Home Farm


Andy posing with the piglets…and Mummy Pig


More autumn colours


Melchett Mere, Tatton Park


Tatton Mere


Not Very Nice Algae in Tatton Mere


One of Tatton’s residents, just chillin’


The one was more interested in pigging-out on acorns, he just wouldn’t pose.

We walked through Tatton Park towards Knutsford, keeping to the west side of Tatton Mere, exiting the park at it’s southern road gate. From there it was just a few hundred yards back to Andy’s house and my car.

‘Twas a good day out and a nice little stretch. I’ll be back next week to tweek the route a little further but in the meantime I’m fairly happy with the route as it stands.

If anyone fancies coming along on The Big Day, details are here

Where we went: Around 17 miles and a bit – it will be nearer 18 miles on the day. There’s some ascent but not a lot.


Note that the ‘proper’ walk doesn’t start in Knutsford, but in Hale at SJ773858 at 9am sharp on Sunday 15th October.

All the photographs were taken using my Lumix TZ70, any photo editing was with Photofiltre.

The route was recorded using my old Samsung S3 Mini with Viewranger installed. It has a far clearer display that my crappy SatMap 10 and battery life is similar if not better.

Thanks to Andy & Lynn for their company and very helpful suggestions on route tweeks. And the tea. They make very nice cups of tea!


It’s the old name for Ringway, the site of Manchester Airport.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Camping in Keld with Knackered Knee Knipe….

….and Dawn. And LTD too. Just to add some sobriety and sensibility to the trip.

That Dawn had organised a static camping visit to Keld, famous for not having a Youth Hostel anymore so that Pennine Way and Coast to Coast walkers would have to struggle to find budget accommodation in the area. Clever or what?



The last time I was in Keld was when No2 son and I did the Coast-to-Coast. He was 8 and I was just a bit older than him. We stayed at the Youth Hostel and very pleasant it was too. The loss of yet another hostel in a remote-ish area is grievous to say the least.

Anyroadup, Mike & Dawn had arrived at Rukin’s Campsite before me and had gone for a wander and a swim. This left me to set about fighting (single-handed) Keld’s famous ferocious midges whilst putting up my tent. My chosen tent for this little adventure was my Sil Hex Peak V4 – a nice and spacious shelter.


What the well-equipped Ultra-Light Backpacker carries this season

By the time KKK and Dawn had returned, the midge attack had subsided. But this wasn’t a retreat, the cunning buggers had merely regrouped and called in reinforcements to launch an even more determined attack.. Little sods. Anyway, all was not lost: they hadn’t reckoned with Dawn’s very effective joss-sticks, a good dollop of Deet, and a very smoky fire. And then we had a beer to calm our nerves.


Our Midge Repellent Machine (Pat Pending) & the KKK shelter


A dog and his dad

Mike had arranged a slightly huge stew-type thing for tea, it was a bit good but there was rather a lot of it. This was where Lucky stepped in to help out, there was no way that we 3 mere mortals could eat all that lovely grub.

Then it started to rain.

So me and KKK had another beer, a good chat to put the world to rights and a not particularly early night. During the night it rained noisily and heavily.

The following morning, and after all that energetic nocturnal snoring, we surfaced with an enormous appetite for bacon butties – fortunately I’d packed the necessary.

The rain had stopped, the sun was sort of shining and most of the midges seemed to have vanished – drowned probably.

A great packing up of the tents followed which in turn was followed by a wander Swaledale to a rather pretty waterfall where neither KKK, LTD or Dawn would swim.


River Swale waterfall: Wain Wath Force….probably.

Two children were having a ball in the water, the young lad was having a great time leaping into the water:




I’m still learning how to use my Lumix TZ70 and hadn’t got to grips with the ‘Burst Mode’ setting – hence I only managed to take these 3 sequential shots. A shame, the camera is capable of taking more….I now know for next time.


Free Range Egg’s

A couple for Alan R:



A decision was taken by someone to go and annoy the delightful Amanda Owen, famous for being a shepherdess and having lots of children. Her family live just 3-4 miles from the Tan Hill Inn – where we didn’t go.



A sometimes quite muddy path led us to Ravenseat, the Owen family’s farm.


Amanda & family live what appears to be an idillic life, miles away from anywhere (if you exclude the Tan Hill Inn) and a wonderful playground for the children. In reality I suspect

that life in that remote spot must be quite hard at times. For all that, they make excellent scones (with cream and raspberry jam they’re REALLY yummy) and brew a fine pot of tea.



Swaledale Field Barn




River Swale (Currack Force?)

The return route to Keld avoided the muddy horribleness of the outward leg and we were soon back in Keld and back at the car park….and then it was time to go home. I couldn’t be mithered cooking so a visit to the Timperley Fish Bar, my favourite fish & chip shop, was called for. I ate too much. Again.

Thanks to Lucky, KKK and Dawn for inviting me along – it was good, in spite of the midges…..and my own knackered knees.