Kit review Snugpak SJ3 jacket

About Me

* Updated December 2022 *

Hi, I’m Mark and this blog is mostly about hikes in my beautiful corner of the West Yorkshire hills and moors. I live next to the northern Peak District, Marsden Moor and Saddleworth. There are also write-ups of hikes further afield: North Wales, Scotland, Cumbria, The Ridgeway Path, Italy and USA, all to differing degrees.

I got back into longer walks / hikes in 2011/2012 as a way of getting fit and mitigating the hereditary high blood pressure (hypertension) that I had started to develop.

And also to make the most of the hills that I’ve been surrounded by for the last 30 years: the Marsden and Saddleworth moors area of northern England.

My love for the outdoors started as a boy and in a very different type of countryside, the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. We would head out with our two dogs, onto the nearby Ridgeway Long Distance Path, or up into the Chiltern forest or along the Grand Union Canal.

I’m a Grandad now – (note to self: yes, yes you are, you are not 35, accept it) – and I hope to have some walks with our grandaughter Georgina when she is up for that, along the same Grand Union Canal (in this case, through Milton Keynes, where she lives).

My dogs.

Dogs have always been important to me, I tend to zone in on them even when meeting other people and they have a dog with them. The dog gets my attention more often than the person.

Don’t ask me why, it may be linked to having had two dogs as a boy (Mother, Petra and then one of her pups, Theo). Or I’m just a ‘dog person’. Or I’m easily distracted (a late self / online tests diagnosis / crashing realisation in 2021 that I am / have ADHD. In any case, dogs get my instant attention every time and I love being in their company.


As of January 2021, we became guardians/parents/pincushions to my first boy dog: Jasper. Anita had a male dog as a child but I had only ever had girls.

Jasper is a red merle Border Collie (more of him here on Instagram) I’m looking forward to lots of adventures on hikes and camper van trips with him, once he is older and COVID has hopefully become a ‘manageable’ virus for us all. (update: the last sentence is kept in here after 2021 as a historical note: Covid did abate and we could then get out more with the hound).

He didn’t have a great start to life, we knew he was the runt of the litter and smaller than the others but he was soon assessed as having hip dysplasia which needed lots of hydrotherapy.
And then he developed SRMA (steroid-responsive autoimmune meningitis-arteritis) that needed a lot of meds.
He then developed necrotising pancreatitis and spent 5 days in vet ICU (!). In the wars and then some for about a year, poor lad.
Hopefully, (now aged two) that’s all behind him.

Red merle Border Collie Jasper
A photo of Jasper with me in the middle of our village of Marsden, checking out the River Colne – he was aged 12 weeks (Feb 2021)


Red merle Border Collie Jasper
A photo of one of Jasper puppy’s furthest walks: up the hill / moorside behind us. Jasper was was around 14 weeks at the in early March 2021.
Great Ridge peak District Hike blog post image
Jasper aged 22 months or so: we were on the Great Ridge near Castleton.


Brodie was a crossbreed rescue girl who joined us when she was around a year old and lived until she was 16, she died in March 2019.

She was a great family dog as well as a great hiking companion, and we had a lot of rewarding long, off-piste walks all over the moors around us, mooching at fossils and watching birds (me), as well as staring at sheep (her).

Brodie Dog near Pule Hill Marsden
My local hills and moor walks were for many years with our lovely dog, Brodie. She died in March 2019, age 16 and was still mooching about on the hills until quite late on (just not so far from home and at a more leisurely pace). Man, I miss her.
Walker and dog on marsden moor
Moors Walkers: me and my old walking buddy, Brodie – I set the camera on self-timer for this one as we never got to be in the same photo

Bucket-listy challenge-type things.

I’d love to do a high mountain trek but I’ve been a bit ice-and-rock-phobic since I fell down a mountain many years ago. This is a real shame but it was a big fall to be fair, 300 metres / 900 feet of snow, ice and thankfully, not so many rocks. I still vividly recall the toboggan run that was, err, me.

Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you the whole story but in essence, it put me off climbing or hiking high, snowy places.

Fear of high snowy paces aside, it’s on my bucket list to do some alpine treks. And I’d like to complete several (if only time allowed) Long Distance Paths, both UK and abroad. I live next door to the Pennine Way but have only walked two days’ worth of section around this part of the northern peak district.

I have occasionally taken part in challenge/charity day hikes such as the Yorkshire 3 Peaks or on Offa’s Dyke and will likely put my name down for one or more once Jasper dog is mature enough to handle the distance. (and that will be better than I will be able to of course).

Say Hello

If you have a Twitter or Instagram account feel free to follow me and say hi here  and here

6 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. I love this blog, please keep up the good work! I especially enjoy your photos. I’ve enjoyed reading about the Yorkshire countryside in books by James Harriot but I have never had the opportunity to see photos until finding your blog.

    • That’s nice feedback thanks Hettie, it can be pretty bleak with the mist and rain but also really green or at times purple with the heathers in season and some amazing sweeping vistas.
      I may add some more photos of my part of Yorkshire at some point. I had a look at your blog and liked it – bookmarked to read in more depth 🙂

  2. Lovely blog and great photographs. Wold you like to be involved in the South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival – you could give a talk/workshop about blogging? Or you could do something else that you’d like to do?


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