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.
Time has defeated me since we got back from the States so this will be mostly a picture post. As well as great walk out with an old friend in the Catskills, I had the chance to walk a small part of the various trails in Acadia National Park, up on the North East Coast of Maine. We stayed in Bar Harbor (great seaside location) and used that as a base for the park. In terms of the trails, none are individually that long (typically 2 to 4 miles).
But some have steep ascents (needing iron rungs hammered into the rock face in places) and the heat has an effect on what you want to do distance / exertion-wise. But for the fitter and less time-starved folk you can also daisy chain some together for a longer day out.
Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail First up was a walk on one of the trails that runs around / up to the wonderfully named Cadillac Mountain.
I was over in the states recently (we had an empty-nester road trip, very fine it was too). And as part of that we spent some time with old friends Richard, Gina and kids. Richard knows I like a good walk (he can’t not, based on my endless Facebook updates) and he had kindly planned a trip out for the two of us old mates to catchup, chew the fat (and burgers .. later on) and get some views. He lives in upstate New York and the Catskill Mountains are a short drive away, so off we headed on a sunny morning.
I had limited time this weekend so petitioned my very accommodating ‘Butterley Booters‘ mates, Jenny and Taru, to keep to maybe four hours of hiking somewhere near us. A ramble from Crowden to Laddow Rocks was arranged.
Taru’s suggestion came from the ‘The Pennine Divide’ book that she has. The book comes from the ‘freedom to roam‘ series from the Ramblers (said he, glancing at the cover as he types). This particular book is by Andrew Bibby.
I hadn’t seen the book before and I’ve only had chance to flick through it but the introductory section is nicely written and the walks are really well described.
I headed over to Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon on Saturday with some Marsden mates and my son (also a mate). I knew them all but (stick with me) they didn’t all know each other before the walk. I forget how a big a village / small town Marsden is.
Five of the guys hadn’t walked up Snowdon before so there was a nice sense of excitement. I’ve been on a few ‘Snowdon in the Snow’ trips over the last 4 years, always sociable fun and a good day’s walk. But being in January or early Feb, they had all been susceptible to poor weather. In fact, last year saw four of us battle a blizzard and turn back (sensibly) just before the Clogwyn Coch area.
So this year’s trip, falling as it did in the third week of March, could have brought clear skies and amazing vistas.