I knew it was going to be a nice morning as soon as I stepped outside, just before sunrise, and saw the planet Venus glimmering brightly in the heavens. And sure enough, as Molly and I set out for our morning walk, the sky was clear, the dew was shimmering and the Sun was radiating for all it was worth.
I was in Lancaster for work a couple of weeks ago and, knowing that I was going to have an afternoon free, decided I’d drive the few extra miles northwards and go for a nice walk in the Lake District. I’d only been to the Lakes once before, and that was only for about half an hour, and I was keen to go again. And so it was that I found myself at the foot of Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in England, looking up. Continue reading
It was already gone seven o’clock when Molly and I went out for our walk this morning, but the crescent moon was still bright in the heavens and even the planet Jupiter was visible in the dawn sky. As we sauntered along in the curious early morning mix of weak sunlight and fading moonlight, it struck me that the dark days of winter do sometimes have their advantages.
At the weekend, Natalie, Molly and I took a hike out to Crook Peak, perched on the end of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. Molly and I had been before, but this was Natalie’s first visit, so we were keen to have an enjoyable day out. And with some hills, a packed lunch and an overenthusiastic Labrador, who could possibly fail to enjoy themselves…?
It’s the autumnal equinox tomorrow, that time of year when the night becomes longer than the day and winter starts to set in. And as Molly and I sauntered out of the house first thing this morning, it looked like the planet was trying to get a head start. The sky was still dark, the crescent moon glowed gently above the horizon and the brightest stars still shone through the early dawn. Continue reading
A while ago, a fellow dog walker recommended that Natalie, Molly and I take a day trip to Saunton Sands in North Devon. She described it as some kind of dog heaven: miles and miles of sandy beach and, more importantly, no restrictions on our canine friends. I filed this information away somewhere in the deeper recesses of my brain and thought nothing more about it. Until one particularly sunny day last month, though, when we decided to leap in the car and give it a try.* Continue reading
In the summer of 2010, poet Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way from Kirk Yetholm, just north of the border between England and Scotland, to Edale in Derbyshire. His 256-mile route would take in the wilds of the Northumberland National Park, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District, as well as the many highways and by-ways in between. The result is ‘Walking Home’. Continue reading
Last Saturday, with the weather being remarkably good for this time of this year (i.e. it wasn’t raining that much), Molly (my Labrador) and I decided to take a walk up Goblin Combe (pronounced ‘coom’, meaning ‘valley’), which is an area of woodland on the other side of the valley we live in. We’d wandered along some of the lower tracks before, but I thought it would be fun to explore the upper reaches of the hillside, too. Continue reading