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.
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.
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.
One of the great things about Arran is just going for a drive and pulling in to different places to see what is there. I suppose that can be the same anywhere really. After a morning spent at Kildonnan looking for seals, we decided to drive round the island, pulling in wherever we fancied. It was getting late when we drove into a picnic area at North Sannox. It was a gorgeous spot. After messing around for a while at the spot where North Sannox Burn enters the sea, we decided we head back to the cottage for some tea. Before we left, I checked the information board and noticed that we could start a walk to Fallen Rocks from here.
After we’d visited Machrie Moor Stone Circle, there was still plenty of time left for more adventure, so we drove the short distance down the road to Torr Righ Beag, a coniferous forest by the sea. From here, we could walk down to the beach to explore the King’s Cave, but not before the customary check of the information board. Here, we found a circular walk which, for no particular reason, we chose to do clockwise. We made our way to a forest track on the left hand side of the car park.
Lying just off the A591 between Ambleside and Grasmere, Loughrigg Fell is one of the Wainwrights I had been looking forward to climbing with Rowan for a long time. It’s a busy little fell though, so we waited till mid-week in a school holiday to make a day trip for a mountain adventure.
After our day out on Cat Bells, we were keen to get back to the Lakes for another walking adventure. This time, Daddy and the dawgs were coming with us which left us with a dilemma – where to take our reactive Rocky on a bank holiday weekend. Ideally we needed a fell that was not too high for little legs, and not too far to travel for a day trip. At 357 metres and just off the A591, High Rigg fit the bill perfectly.
“A family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved.” This is how Alfred Wainwright described Cat Bells, near Keswick and we couldn’t wait to get exploring this little fell.
During the October half term holidays, we had a plan to get up early and head to the Pen-y-Pass car park on Snowdon. We were going to take in the lakes along the Miner’s Track, have a picnic and head back, dependant on how far Rowan’s legs fancied walking. We knew we would have to get up early as the car park fills up quickly, but knowing, 1. How popular a walk Snowdon is and 2. How rubbish we are at getting up super early, we had a plan B. Now there is the option of the Snowdon Sherpa, a bus that can take you from other car parks and villages round the foot of Snowdon to the Pen-y-Pass, but the thought of taking our ruffing furry pair on a bus wasn’t appealing. When we arrived at the car park, nowhere near early enough, plan B – the Watkin Path, was put into action.