The last (and only time) I had been in Dufton was as part of a flood relief fundraiser walk last year. Actually, we had only glanced the edge of the village before circling back to Appleby. So when I realised that the hostel that friends Ali and Steve had booked was in Dufton (in Westmorland), it was a nice surprise. I’d already decided to be part of the mix of folk staying that weekend and coopted Anita into the trip as she knew a few of them too.
“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far”, so wrote Thomas Jefferson.
That quote appears on the homepage of the South West Coastal Path.
Which I walked some of recently. I say ‘some’, hardly any is more the truth. I would have disappointed the exalting Mr Jefferson, as I only managed short bursts during a recent short holiday in Coverack, Cornwall.
The reason for those short walks: I’ve damaged my left knee meniscus it seems.
It feels a bit odd writing ‘Pendle Hill’, now I know (thanks Wikipedia) that Pendle is a tautological word. A mix of cumbric (Pen) and old english (Hyll), with a modern ‘Hill’ added for good measure.
‘Let’s climb Hill Hill Hill!’. Which feels incantation-like, resonating with the witchery of the early 1600s (and the sad outcomes of that).
I headed up to Appleby last Saturday with ‘Butterley Booters’ walking mates Taru, Jenny and Karl to meet (or not, as it happened) other folks taking part in one of the ‘Grand Day Out’ events in Cumbria taking place that day. The initiative was a volunteer run thing, focussed on a county-wide fundraising day on January 16th. There were various fell walks, runs and other bits and bobs happening. All with the intention of raising funds for the Cumbria Community Foundation Flood Appeal, Mountain Rescue and other voluntary rescue services who were active over the recent winter floods.
Last weekend I walked fourteen of the sixty four miles of the Northumberland Coastal Path with friends Jenny, Karl and Taru. Jenny and Taru both have family holiday connections to the area and love it. So they cooked up the plan to visit for a weekend which would involve a good day’s walking. Taru sorted out the accommodation for us (the very cosy and well equipped Shepherd’s Nook cottage in North Charlton). Our group also included Anita and Bob – both not currently that well to do the walk itself, but thankfully well enough to enjoy the cafes and bookshops in Alnwick 🙂 We also had Brodie and Scout along for the weekend. Eight go mad in Northumberland.
I picked up son Joe from his Manchester flat last Sunday and we then headed up to Ennerdale Water, for a day hike and an overnight stop. I’d booked us a night at the YHA Black Sail hostel (once a shepherd’s bothy) so the walk was to terminate there.
Ennerdale is managed by the Forestry Commission and The National Trust as a wild area (see www.wildennerdale.co.uk for more info). The valley holds Ennerdale Water: a glacial lake considered ‘small’ by the standards of its neighbours at a mere 2.5 miles long.