Posts

Showing posts with the label Photos

Dent Fell: Don't be Fooled by the Name, It's a Hill of Character

Image
Dent Fell. Don't let the name fool you. This isn't some gap-toothed grin in the landscape. It's a proper little fell, a sturdy lad standing proud on the western fringe of the Lake District.  Standing at a mighty 352 metres (or 1,155 feet for those who still cling to the imperial system), Dent Fell might not be the tallest peak in Cumbria, but it packs a punch. It's the first proper hill you encounter on the legendary Coast to Coast walk, a rite of passage for any self-respecting outdoorsman. Think of it as the gateway to the Lakes, a chance to test your legs and admire the view before tackling the bigger boys. Now, some folks call Dent Fell by another name: Long Barrow. Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn't it? Like something out of a Tolkien novel. But fear not, there's no Balrog lurking beneath the surface. The name actually comes from a prehistoric burial mound found on the fell's slopes, a reminder that even these hills have a history. So, why is Dent Fell such

Springs Kinda Sprung: The Birds are Shagging like it's Going Out of Fashion!

Image
Alright, reyt, reyt! Spring's finally decided to show its face, peeking through the clouds like a shy bairn at a school disco. The trees are chucking off their winter woolies, revealing a right green shindig under the sun. You can practically hear the chlorophyll lapping it up like a cat at a milk saucer.  The birds, oh the birds! They're having a right knees-up in the branches, chirping away like they've all won the lottery. Don't be fooled by their sweet melodies, mind. They're actually busy with the bird equivalent of speed dating, shagging like it's going out of fashion. Nests are being built, twigs are being snapped, and there's more flapping and squawking than a Morris dancers' convention. Alright, hold your horses. I know Spring officially starts in March, but we can dream, can't we? I know all too well that this could be a cunning trap. This sun could be a wolf in sheep's clothing, luring us into a false sense of security before unleashin

Sunday: A West Cumbrian Sunrise

Image
For amidst the rolling hills and bleating choruses, there unfolds a sight to behold every Sunday morn - the sunrise. No, not just any sunrise, mind you, but a West Cumbrian sunrise, bursting with enough drama to put Shakespeare to shame. Now, I wouldn't steer you wrong. Sunrises are grand affairs the world over, gloopy yellows and fiery oranges splashed across the canvas of dawn. But here in West Cumbria, there's a certain je ne sais quoi, a sprinkle of the extraordinary. Perhaps it's the cheeky chaffinches, chirping their dawn chorus like operatic cockneys, or the grumpy gurnards gurning disapprovingly from the Irish Sea. Whatever it is, there's a touch of the absurd, a hint of the hilarious, woven into the very fabric of this daily spectacle. Picture this: you stumble out of your home, bleary-eyed and clutching a mug of tea so strong it could curdle milk at twenty paces. The air is crisp, the kind that nips at your nose and makes you wonder if you've forgotten you

Cumbrian Fells: From Winter Wonderland to Soggy Sogfest

Image
Just a couple of days ago, we were all ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the magical transformation of Cumbria into a glistening winter wonderland. Snow-capped peaks, muffled valleys, the kind of scene that makes you want to snuggle up with a mug of cocoa and a good book (preferably featuring an avalanche or two, for maximum coziness). But then, as usual in these parts, the rain lashed down, the wind howled like a homesick badger, and suddenly, our winter wonderland started looking more like... well, like Cumbria on a normal day. The snow, bless its ephemeral heart, started melting faster than a snowman at a rave. The fells are still undeniably beautiful, even if they're a bit on the soggy side. There's something comical about watching waterfalls cascading down normally docile slopes, sheep paddling through what were once pristine drifts, and walkers emerging from their waterproof layers looking like drowned rats (but hopefully happy ones). And let's be honest, the Cumbrian weather is

Clints Quarry: Where Fossils Frolic and History Hides

Image
Greetings, geology geeks and history buffs with a healthy dose of wanderlust! Today, we delve into the fascinating, and slightly bizarre, world of Clints Quarry , nestled near the charmingly-named Woodend, in West Cumbria. Imagine a place where ancient limestone whispers secrets of a bygone sea, wildflowers do the can-can in abandoned quarries, and industrial ghosts high-five bewildered ramblers. That, my friends, is Clints Quarry in all its glory. Now, before you envision Indiana Jones rolling boulders and dodging booby traps, let me assure you, Clints Quarry is more "gentle giant" than "temple of doom." This former limestone quarry, operational since the 1600s, has been chilling out since the 1930s. Nature, ever the opportunist, has transformed the scarred landscape into a haven for wildlife and a geologist's playground. Speaking of geologists, get ready to unleash your inner rock whisperer! The exposed rock faces at Clints Quarry are like a history book writt

After The Rain: Eau de Petrichor

Image
The Great British rain. It's as predictable as a cuppa gone cold. But fear not, fellow soggy souls, for there's a silver lining (or should I say, raindrop) to this grey cloud. I'm talking about that magical moment after the downpour, when the world transforms into a sensory wonderland. First, hit your nostrils with the glorious aroma of Eau de Petrichor . Forget fancy French perfumes, this earthy, slightly musky scent is nature's own olfactory masterpiece. It's like the earth itself has taken a deep breath and exhaled pure, unadulterated joy. Just don't go sniffing lampposts, please. We've all seen "The Office". Next, witness the avian apocalypse! Birds, previously hiding like contestants on a reality TV show, erupt from the bushes in a feathered frenzy. Blackbirds squawk their territorial anthems, robins hop like hyperactive raisins, and pigeons strut around like they own the place (which, let's be honest, they probably do). It's a symphon

Cleator Moor Sheep: Masters of the Munching Mosh Pit

Image
These are no ordinary sheep, oh no. These are the Masters of the Munching Mosh Pit , the Hay-Demolishing Hooligans , the Circular Chowdown Champions . Just picture the scene: a gaggle of woolly white (and black and brown) bodies crammed around a giant circular hay feeder, all vying for the next delicious morsel. It's a frenzy of hooves and snouts, a ballet of bleats and baas.  There's Kevin, the over-enthusiastic one, who always seems to end up with a face full of hay. There's Brenda, the grumpy old matron who guards her patch of hay with the ferocity of a dragon. And then there's Timmy, the little one who always gets trampled underfoot, but somehow emerges with the biggest mouthful of hay of them all. But amidst the chaos, there's a certain beauty to it all. The way the sheep huddle together for warmth, the way their soft fur blends in with the grass, the way they all seem to be in perfect harmony, munching away in their own little world. Baa! 

Keekle Viaduct: Not Your Average Brick Viaduct

Image
Nestled between Cleator Moor and Keekle, lies a structure that could only be described as… well, let's just say it's not exactly the Eiffel Tower. I'm talking, of course, about the Keekle Viaduct. This grand old viaduct, with its seven stone arches, has more history than a gossip magazine and more charm than… well, a brick wall. Now, I know what you're thinking: "A viaduct? Sounds exciting as watching paint dry." But hear me out! This viaduct is more than just a pile of rocks. It's a testament to Victorian engineering, a symbol of a bygone era, and a haven for pigeons with questionable fashion sense (have you seen their waistcoats?). Built in 1879, the Keekle Viaduct was once a vital part of the Furness Railway line. It's age means it's older than your nan's knitting needles. In fact, it's so old, it probably remembers when dinosaurs roamed the earth (well, maybe not dinosaurs, but definitely horses and carts).  Trains chugged over its back

Ennerdale: Where the Wild Things Are

Image
Ennerdale is a hidden gem that's just begging to be explored. With its dramatic landscapes, charming hamlets, and abundance of wildlife, it's the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. But let's be honest, unless you live locally, it's also a bit of a trek to get to. If you're coming from the south, you'll have to take a winding, single-lane road for about 40 miles. And if you're coming from the north, well, let's just say you'd better pack a good book. But once you get there, it's worth it. The scenery is stunning. There are also plenty of sheep, which, as everyone knows, are the funniest animals in the world. (Okay, maybe not the funniest, but they're definitely up there.) So, if you're looking for a wild and beautiful place to escape to, Ennerdale is definitely worth the trip . Just be prepared for a bit of an adventure getting there. But Ennerdale isn't just for nature lovers and

Whitehaven: Where Coal Dust Meets Castle

Image
Welcome, weary travellers, to Whitehaven! Nestled on the Cumbrian coast like a slightly singed kipper, this town offers a potent blend of historical intrigue, salty sea air, and enough coal dust to power a small army of novelty tea kettles. Think of Whitehaven as Downton Abbey's rebellious, soot-covered cousin. Sure, we've got our grand dame, Whitehaven Castle, perched proudly like a disapproving auntie surveying a particularly messy family reunion. But instead of cucumber sandwiches and drawing-room dramas, our history is steeped in the earthy, lung-clogging saga of coal mining. For centuries, Whitehaven was the Beyonce of the British coal scene, strutting its stuff with seams richer than a Kylie Jenner Instagram post. Miners, the town's original rockstars, hacked away at the black gold, emerging from the pits looking like extras from a particularly grimy Peter Pan production. They fuelled the Industrial Revolution, warmed countless Victorian tushies, and left behind a leg