My late night arrival was rather mysterious.  Ennerdale youth hostel is up a one-way forest track, so this looked right.

Track approaching Ennerdale YHA

Saturday morning and the weather was as forecast.  But still better visibility than in the dark.  It’s a lovely hostel; small, out of the way…although we did have some early morning callers after tea bags…

Ennerdale YHA Pillar from Ennerdale YHA


We walked along the track towards Black Sail YHA; great spot, I remember camping near here twenty years ago on a Duke of Ed expedition.  Almost a bothy.  Then it was up Scarth Gap Pass and on to Hay Stacks.

Pillar from Ennerdale Fly Agaric Black Sail Hut Tea break heading up to Scarth Gap Pass Heading up to Scarth Gap Pass Tea break heading up to Scarth Gap Pass Scarth Gap Pass


Fast moving clouds meant that the rain and the views came and went (the rain mostly the former, the views the latter).  It was windy and wet on top, so we had a very quick lunch before heading back down via a couple of tarns, one of them Wainwright’s ‘Innominate’.

Hay Stacks Outdoor Lads on Hay Stacks Buttermere from Hay stacks Heading towards the Innominate Tarn on Hay Stacks Innominate Tarn on Hay Stacks

Strong winds drove the rain straight into our eyes, and new streams appeared on the hillsides as the water found its own way down.  The ground levelled out as we approached Black Sail.  We walked amongst the drumlins that had appeared as little lumps earlier, but now they were significant mounds and seemed rather mystical.

Eventually there was a very welcome drying room, tea, showers, dinner, and fireworks.  The wind and rain were worse on Sunday, so after cleaning the hostel we headed home.

Sparkler and wine Ennerdale YHA Haystacks beer



Route of walk to Hay Stacks, Ennerdale

9.5 miles, 1750 ft/533 m climbed

Hay Stacks; Dewey, Wainwright, 597 m/1959 ft

North York Moors



ODL weekend at Helmsley Youth Hostel.

Arrived on Friday evening, got a top bunk next to a window so woken by a tawny owl in the night.  Saturday’s walk was initially wet, up along Rye Dale then increasingly foggy and windy as we crossed Scrawton Moor.  After pre-lunch pub stop in Wass the cloud lifted and it dried up.  Then along to Ampleforth and back via Sproxton.  Fast paced, led by an ex-Royal Marine.

North York Moors North York Moors Crisp packet North York Moors walk route 24/10/15


Less pleasant nocturnal disruptions on Saturday night included an unwell room-mate, followed by the loud entry of a very drunk one.  A more sedate walk on Sunday up Ash Dale and back down Beck Dale.

North York Moors North York Moors North York Moors North York Moors North York Moors walk route 25/10/15

23/08/15 Kinder Scout

A mission to find the highest point, and a bit of map and compass exercise.  We were lucky with the weather, it was clear enough to see that we might actually be at the top (marginally higher than the surrounding moor; perhaps not worth it unless you are a bagger) and the rain held off until we were on the home strait.

Kinder Scout Kinder Scout Kinder Scout Kinder Scout Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout Kinder Scout Kinder Scout

10 miles

Kinder Scout: 636 m, Marilyn, Hewitt, County Top



View of Snowdon on the way there by car Tent at campsite near Snowdon

We started the walk through some woods among Llyn Gwynant, then up the Watkin path.  The weather was better than expected, the night before started clear and cold (this is the earliest I had camped and it was quite nippy sitting around outside in the evening), then there was some rain but it had cleared by morning.  We had a few showers but they were short, and in-between was sunny and very clear.  The mountains are craggy, spiky and covered in scree, grey slate with bands of white quartz.  A few small patches of snow were clinging on above Glaslyn.  The Watkin path follows Afon Cwm Llan up a gentle slope then turns more steeply to reach the path which goes over the ridge.

Path up Snowdon near Gladstone rock Looking down the Watkin path on the way up Snowdon Glaslyn from Snowdon

We turned left and had a view of the return route.  The summit was mostly visible but became briefly hidden by cloud at this point.  After lunch we headed on up the steep scramble until the route joins the Rhyd-Ddu path.  The summit cafe was only visible when we were nearly at the top.  Busy, sunny and windy.  Stopped for coffee and flapjack.  A train arrived as we left, our route following the rack initially then heading east for the Miner’s track.

View from the top of Snowdon The author at the top of Snowdon View from the top of Snowdon looking south east Looking towards Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw on the descent of Snowdon

Some steep descending to the edge of the tarns Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw.  There are the remains of some quite substantial buildings here, it must have been hard work bringing materials up.  Followed the path to meet the road and the Pen-y-pass youth hostel.  The final stretch involved a bit more descending and then levelled out, my knees were quite sore by this point and it seemed to drag.

A Llyn near Snowdon Map of Snowdon walk

Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa: Furth, Hewitt, Marilyn; 1085 m

12.3 miles

Start/finish Llyn Gwynant campsite

Malverns 2


Another visit in a different season, similar route but opposite direction.  Straight up to Worcestershire Beacon in fog/low cloud.

Toposcope on the top of Worcestershire Beacon
Spot the Geordie.

Trig point on the top of Worcestershire Beacon

Walking south along the top of the hills the cloud started to lift, and we stopped for lunch just before Herefordshire Beacon.  After getting to the top the cloud came back down again, and we returned to the station by the lower paths.

Clouds lifting looking west from the Malvern Hills Clouds lifting looking west from the Malvern Hills Looking east from Jubilee Hill, Malverns Looking north from Herefordshire Beacon, Malvern Hills Looking north from Herefordshire Beacon, Malvern Hills

Worcestershire Beacon: Marilyn, County top; 425 m

Herefordshire Beacon: HuMP; 338 m

Yorkshire Dales

Skipton ― Kettlewell ― Malham ― Skipton

A short Landrover ride out of Skipton and then a walk to Kettlewell. I’m sure we missed a lot of the views but the mist was very atmospheric. It’s a long time since I was in a Youth Hostel, but I was really impressed with the one in Kettlewell where we stayed tonight. I know a lot of them have closed down, but I hope this is a sign of a resurgence.

Kettlewell, Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Dales Kettlewell Youth Hostel, Yorkshire Dales

A really good walk on day two, over to the Youth Hostel in Malham.

Yorkshire Dales Footpath sign on the Yorkshire Dales Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales Malham, Yorkshire Dales Limestone pavement, Malham, Yorkshire Dales Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales


The final day was a shortish walk back to wherever we had started from!

Water course in the Yorkshire Dales Sign on the Pennine Way in the Yorkshire Dales Barn in a field, Yorkshire Dales