A Bank Holiday walk on the Moors

The May Day Bank Holiday Monday was forecast to be a scorcher so it seemed like it would be a good idea to get out on to the Moors. I drove over to White Coppice mid-morning to find that lots of other people had had a similar idea as there were cars parked everywhere in the small hamlet, but I managed to find myself a space.

Donning my boots, I set off initially walking alongside the Goyt towards Brinscall,

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after a while cutting through the woods of Wheelton Plantation and starting to climb up the hill.

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Soon I was on the open moor land and followed the path that would take me to Great Hill

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Passing the ruined farm at Drinkwaters.

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I reached the summit and stopped a little while to take in the view and grab a bit to eat and take in the view on a fine day

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I took the path that took me down the south side of the summit and then followed it along past the ruins of Great Hill farm and towards Dean Black Brook.

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I followed the path which runs roughly parallel to the brook – it was rather wet and boggy underfoot in places.

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Descending down towards White Coppice I passed a number of people picnicking beside the brook or heading in the opposite direction to myself. Many of them day trippers out enjoying the warm sunshine but not necessarily well equipped for the boggy, rough terrain underfoot. One young lady was wearing flip flops and struggling through the bogs.

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Eventually I arrived back at White Coppice. The Cricket Pavilion café was open so I bought myself a cup of tea and stopped for a while, looking over the cricket pitch

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Then it was back to the car, passing the Lodge (small reservoir that used to serve the former mill, now long gone.

P5073100.JPG It had been an enjoyable walk through varied scenery. One I’ve done many, many times. And it was a good taster for what was to come during the next few days.

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A walk along the Helsinki shore

 

Thursday evening after work during my stay in Finland I decided to take a walk along the sea shore. I headed down towards Eira, a wealthy district  which, according to Wikipedia “has some of the most expensive and sought-after old apartments in Helsinki”, many of them built in the Jugendstil style.

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This building with the tall tower and metal spire, is the Mikael Agricola Church, which was designed by Lars Sonck, well known for his Jugenstil buildings, including the Kallio church I’d been to look at a couple of days before.

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I felt that it had a very modern look, despite being designed in the early 1930’s. If I’d have guessed I’d have said it was probably built considerably later towards the end of the 20th Century. Its relatively plain appearance (at least from the outside) is very different from Sonck’s Kallio church.

Reaching the sea I followed the shore, passing a number of islands just off-shore.

 

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Further along, I could see the fortress island of Suomenlinna, which I planned to visit the next day

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I passed this statue

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The Statue of Peace by Essi Renvall. According to the artist

the statue’s female figure is the spirit of peace returning after a war with a new, peaceful heart.

Up on the Observatory hill, overlooking the bay, was this sculpture, The Shipwrecked by Robert Stigell,

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which

depicts a shipwrecked family. The father, the central figure in the group, holds a small child in his arms and is calling for help. He is waving a scarf and looking towards their rescuers. Another child, a small boy, is stuck in what remains of the ship. The mother has collapsed and is lying on the raft. The work does not depict a particular shipwreck nor is it historical; Stigell was merely interested in exploring the sculptural dynamics of the subject.

Carrying on along the quay side, I soon reached Esplanade and I was able to take a look at one of Helsinki’s most famous public monuments, Havis Amanda by Ville Vallgren

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A naked female figure in the centre of a fountain – according to the artist

the central female figure, who has risen from the sea, symbolises Helsinki and the birth of the City. Upon her unveiling the Swedish language newspapers in Helsinki and the sculptor himself started to call the sculpture ‘Havis Amanda’.

There are several other sculptures in the Esplanade gardens, including two by Viktor Jansson , the father of Tove Jansson, the author of the Moomin books

Tove Jansson modelled for her father for the mermaid.

Diverting off Esplanade I spotted this modern sculpture I in Kasarmitori, a rectangular square where the Finnish Defence Ministry is located in a former Neo-Classical Barracks designed by Carl Ludwig Engel.

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The modern sculpture by Pekka Kauhanen stands in front of the ministry and is The National Memorial to the Winter War  and was only installed in November 2016.

I made my way back to Esplanade park. This sculpture is  located at the end of the park, close to the Swedish Theatre

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Fact and Fable, memorial to Topelius by Gunnar Finne

consists of two allegorical female figures: ‘Fact’ with the flame of truth on her palm, and ‘Fable’ with the crown-headed bird of fable resting on her fingers. The figures face opposite directions: ‘Fact’ looks down the Esplanadi park while ‘Fable’s’ gaze is turned to the sidewalk off Pohjoisesplanadi’.

Reaching the end of Esplanade it was only a short walk back to my hotel. I’d walked a fair distance and it was time to find a café for a drink and a bite to eat.

Stratford-upon-Avon. A walk along the river

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A couple of weeks ago I was in Stratford-upon-Avon for the annual conference of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) conference. The conference started on the Tuesday but as I was running a professional development course the day before, I’d travelled over on Sunday afternoon. Although it turned hot and sunny in the middle of the week, Sunday afternoon was rather grey and showery but it brightened up later in the day, so after my evening meal I decided to get out for a stroll. Stratford is only a small, albeit pleasant, town and the obvious place for a walk was along the River Avon.

I crossed the river over to the “left bank”

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and then passed the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the opposite side of the river.  Built in 1932 it was designed by the then 29-year-old Elisabeth Whitworth Scott, it was the first
public building to be designed by a female architect.  There was a major renovation of the theatre at the beginning of the 21st Century. While the facade was retained the inside was gutted and completely rebuilt and there were additions, including the viewing tower and new roof top restaurant

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There were plenty of swans swimming on the river

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A little further downstream I passed the Holy Trinity church on the opposite bank.

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Further on there was a footbridge and I crossed over to the right bank, now following the river upstream.

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I passed the Holy Trinity Church, getting a closer view of the church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried.

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It won’t have looked like this when Shakespeare was around, mind. Although some older stonework was visible it has the look of a Victorian neo-Gothic building, due to its restoration in 1836-7 and 1839-41.  I only found out later that Shakespeare is buried here, so, sadly, although I walked through the graveyard I didn’t visit his grave.

Carrying on I walked through the RSC gardens where there was a pavilion which had images of actors from performances at the theatre.

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A little further along I reached the back of the RSC building, with a view of the Swan Theatre

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Walking along the river side to the front of  the building I could see the bridge I’d crossed at the start of my walk. The sun was starting to set and the light was fading, but it was a pleasant evening and I felt like walking further, so I turned around and re-traced my steps, circumnavigating the river in the opposite direction.

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A walk over Loughrigg

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After our most excellent walk near Ullswater just over a week ago I was keen to get back up on the fells. A couple of Rugby League matches and some inclement weather meant we didn’t get out over the Easter weekend, but I decided to take an extra day off and risk the weather to go go up to the Lakes.  It was raining heavily during the morning as we drove up the motorway but we’d decided to visit Abbot Hall Gallery in Kendal and then see whether, as promised by the Met Office, conditions would improve during the afternoon. It did, so after looking round the latest exhibitions and walking into the town centre for a bite to eat and a mooch, we got back in the car and drove over to Rydal, parking up in the White Moss car park.

We crossed over the river and set off to walk along Loughrigg Terrace, climb to the summit, walk across the broad top, down through Fox Ghyll, along the Rothay and then the shore of Rydal water back to the car.

Being the Easter holidays, there were quite a few people out and about.

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It wasn’t a great day for photos being mainly grey and overcast but it was an enjoyable walk and it was great to get back out in the countryside,

Looking down to Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace

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It was busy when we reached the summit, and very windy.

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Looking back towards Grasmere

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Over to Langdale with some snow still visible on Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

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Wetherlam and the Coniston fells with Elterwater in the foreground

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Windermere in the distance

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and over to the Fairfield Horseshoe

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We headed south over the fell. There’s a spider’s web of footpaths and it would be very easy to get lost, particularly in mist. But no problem today.

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Starting to descend we got a good view of the mountains of the Fairfield Horseshoe

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Descending down to the valley we followed the River Rothay towards Rydal. After the recent rain and snow it was in full flow

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Along the shore of Rydal Water

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Looking back towards Rydal Water, nearing the end of our walk

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By the time we reached the car it was almost 7 o’clock. We wouldn’t have got home before 8:30 so decided to stop off for a bite to eat at the Eagle and Child in Staveley.

 

 

Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

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After the return of the “beast from the east” a couple of weekend’s ago we had to abandon our plans to spend a couple of days up by Ullswater. Last Saturday, though the weather looked much more promising so we decided to chance a day trip up to the lake for our first proper walk of the year. It turned out to be a good decision.

It’s about an an hour and a half’s drive up to Ullswater and although we left a little later than planned we arrived around midday and managed to park up in the National Trust carpark close to Aira Force. A post by Mark of Beating the Bounds had give me the idea of a walk to have a look at the water fall which was sure to be looking good after all the rain and snow the previous weekend. A popular walking route goes up past the waterfalls then over and around Gowbarrow fell. Nothing too ambitious given that our walking legs were rather rusty!

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Setting off from the car park we followed the course of the river and soon came to Aira Force, the first of a series of waterfalls. As expected it was quite a sight, which the photographs cannot give justice to.

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A little further up the river – High Force

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After about a kilometre walking along the river, we turned right following the path that would take us up on to the fell.

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Great views across to the lake and the high mountains soon opened up behind us.

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It was a relatively modest climb to the summit at Airy Crag.

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This is the view over to Blencathra and Skiddaw

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and over towards Ullswater with the Pennines in the distance, still capped with snow.

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After a short break to admire the view, we resumed the walk which would take us west and then south parallel to the lake but high up on the side of the fell.

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Part way round we got “picked up” by this lady

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who seemed unwilling to return to her owner.

We reached the viewpoint at Yew Crag

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More good views

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There’s the steamer sailing towards Glenridding

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Coming towards the end of the walk, as we started to descend, we passed Lyulph’s Tower. It looked like one of the fortified farmhouses which are common in this area close to the Scottish border. However, although there used to be a Pele Tower on the site at one time the current building was constructed in the 1780s by Charles Howard, the 11th Duke of Norfolk, as a hunting lodge.

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Returning to the car park, we decided it was too nice to head straight back home so we drove the short distance to Glennridding to take an easy stroll along the Lake by the steamer jetty

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The view to the head of the lake

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Driving back along the lake, the evening light was fantastic so I pulled up to take a few snaps

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ON a fine day, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than the Lake District.

A Scenic Walk in Manly

On our final day in Sydney we took the ferry from Circular Quay across the Harbour to the seaside resort of Manly. On one of the headlands at the entrance to Sydney harbour it has beaches facing both the Harbour and the open sea.

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The ferry journey takes about half an hour and gives a great view of Sydney from the water

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Arriving in Manly, our plan wasn’t to spend time lounging on the beach, but to follow part of the Manly Scenic Walkway up on to the North Head, one of the headlands that form the 2 km wide entrance to Sydney Harbour

We set off along Manly Beach where groups of schoolchildren were taking surfing lessonsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a strong offshore wind and the sea was quite rough. The lifeguards were broadcasting stern warnings for bathers to stay within the flags or the beach would be closed.

We followed the coastal pathOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApassing artworksOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand local wildlifePC012643.JPGalong to Shelley beach, a more secluded inlet with calmer watersPC012647.JPGWe than began the climb up into the wilder country on the on North HeadIMG_4059.jpg

 

 

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Although only a short distance from “civilisation” it felt as if we were going up into the “bush”

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Due to it’s strategic position overlooking the entrance to Sydney Harbour, there had been military installations on the North Head for a good part of the 20th Century. We soon cam across evidence of this – abandoned gun emplacements.

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We carried on following the path through the bush

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A little further on we reached the Modernist style former army barracks

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Our route took us straight across the parade ground

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Today, the buildings are occupied by a private school and various small businesses, including an art foundry

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We stopped for a while to look at some of the art works on display.

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Carrying on through more bush

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views of Sydney opened up

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A short distance further on and we reached some more former military buildings where the North Head Visitor Centre is located as well as a café, so we stopped for a brew overlooking Sydney Harbour

Rejuvinated, we continued on with our walk, the route taking us along Australia’s Memorial Walk, a paved pathway with five monuments to remember the major military conflict periods in Australia’s history.

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Carrying on through the bush towards Fairfax Lookout at the end of the headland and looking out over the Harbour and open sea

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Having reached our objective it was time to head back. We could have followed the loop and walked back down to Manly, but we cheated. There’s a road up the North Head and there’s a regular bus service, so feeling hot and a little tired, we waited a short while and hopped on the next bus that took us back to Manly and the ferry back to Circular Quay.

 

A walk through the Plantations

 

IMG_5002.jpgYesterday much of Wales, the Midlands and Southern England were struggling to cope with heavy snow. In Wigan it was a bright, sunny, if cold winter’s day. After being stuck inside for a few days I decided to get out for a walk through the Plantations and Haigh Country Park.

We’re lucky to have this amenity on our doorstep. I only have to walk to the bottom of our street to start a pleasant walk along the river and through woodlands.

Haigh Plantations are an area of woodland bisected by the Leeds Liverpool canal covering about 250 acres. They were laid out in the 1860s over land damaged by mining activity by local cotton workers who were put out of work due to the Lancashire cotton famine caused by the American Civil War. Today they’re part of Haigh Woodland Park.

Starting off walking along the River Douglas and past the flood relief dam at the bottom of Coppul Lane

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Up through the woods to the Lower Plantations

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The bridge over the Leeds Liverpool Canal

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Up through the Middle Plantations

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Past the Lodge by the gate on Hall Lane

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Carrying on through the woods past the Swan lake

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and then the Lilly Pond with it’s fountain

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Leaving the park, a short walk along the metalled road by the main car park, looking over towards the West Lancashire Moors

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Then cutting down Sennicar Lane

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Then back over the canal

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Looking over the fields towards Standish

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Past the old house on Wingates Lane

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and the old foundry

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I walked up Leyland Mill Lane and then down the main road past the hospital down towards Wigan town centre before heading home.