Can you believe it’s December already? It’s certainly been a unusual/difficult year for most of us, but hopefully you have been able to get outside, maybe exploring local areas a bit more. We’ve recently been to local parkland watching the deer, and I’ve also found a quiet local field that has great visibility. Having visibility is fab for me and my two fearful mutts as they get a bit of off lead running and I can keep an eye out for other “scary” dawgs whilst watching their happy faces as they charge about. It’s certainly better than pavement pounding.
Long summer days mean it’s possible to really make the most of where you are visiting on holiday. After chilling on the beach by the Preaching Cave in Kilpatrick, we drove round the southern edge of the island to Sandbraes, just past Whiting Bay. Parking alongside some playing fields in front of the Whiting Bay and Kildonan Church (postcode KA27 8RE) just off the A841, we bundled out of the car for our second stroll of the day, this time, to Kingscross Point.
In 2018, our honeymoon took us to the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland. We fell in love with the place. So much so, we were back again the following year, this time bringing along my Mum, Dad and sister, Karen. Whilst driving around during our prior visit, I kept noticing a path running alongside a river in the mountainous north of the island. It was so inviting, and it was now time to see where it led.
For eighteen miles between Whitby and Pickering, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs steam and diesel locomotives through the gorgeous North York Moors National Park. But to Rowan, a steam train can only mean one thing – the Hogwarts Express. I was really looking forward to our day out with a difference.
Last summer saw us back in Whitby for a few days. (yep – I am THAT behind on writing things up – good job I have notes and lots of photos!) Previously, we had wanted to take the cliff top walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Boggle Hole, but I had been too poorly. After exploring the town the night before we had woken to glorious sunshine – today would be the day.
I love it when someone goes hill walking for the first time and gets the bug. After walking the Langdale Pikes and the Old Man of Coniston, I was out with Beth again, this time to tackle Bowfell on another hot day. Nigel also joined us as we set off early from Manchester to arrive at the National Trust car park by the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub (LA22 9JY) by about 10 am. After toilet stop and a check to ensure plentiful supplies of suntan lotion, we set off towards Stool End (snigger) farm. Our route would take us along both the valleys we could see, but whilst the tops of Mickleden were clear, clouds shrouded Crinkle Crags at the head of Oxendale.
Time for another castle! We’d had a brilliant day out at Harlech earlier in the year, so while me and the boy were staying with Anma and Grandpa at the caravan, we took the opportunity to pootle round another. Grandpa loves castles too, so he joined us for our day out – this time to Conwy Castle. We parked up at Morfa Bach car park (postcode LL32 8FZ) and paid £4.50 for over four hours parking – Conwy is a big one. And with Rowan all kitted out as a knight, we headed through the pedestrian tunnel towards the imposing walls.
Our first weekend away in Tormund proved to be extremely lucky with the weather. After a brilliant day out exploring Birkhouse Moor and Red Tarnand a surprisingly comfortable night in the van, we woke to warm sunshine and wisps of cloud in the blue sky. We had already decided to take it easy on the Sunday so after a bit of a lie, we started the day with a breakfast of kings in the fresh air.
You may remember from my first Wainwright walk post, Cold Pike and Pike o’Blisco, we used to get around the Lakes in Old Peg, our brilliant old campervan. We’ve missed having a van so last year, after much scrolling through eBay, we bought Tormund the Transit. And our first trip (after the back garden) – the Lake District. Travelling up on Friday night, we stayed at Sykeside Camping Park and after tea in the pub and a wander down the lane at the back of the site, we settled in for the night.