For photos of previous years, please see the Menu on the left.
Cragside is a National Trust Property which was first built by Lord Armstrong, the great Newcastle industrialist, in 1863 and used by him and his wife, Margaret, as a weekend retreat. In the 1870s they extended the house and lived in it all the time. Margaret was a very keen gardener and the house was surrounded by magnificent gardens and grounds. In the morning we rambled onto the moors above Cragside where there was a circular carriage track the Armstrongs used to travel round to look at the extensive views. We did not ramble along the whole track but we did enjoy some of the views. In the afternoon a NT guide took us on a tour of the estate where we saw more wonderful views, and showed the guide how good trampers are on the rougher tracks. We also saw some of the lakes needed to drive Armstrong’s hydraulic machinery and generate hydroelectricity making Cragside one the first house to benefit from electric lighting, heating and household appliances invented by Armstrong. Thanks to the National Trust at Cragside for looking after us so well, and many thanks to Hugh and Jill Williamson for organising and leading this ramble.
Meeting with Kevin, the National Trust Ranger for the Northumbrian Coast, in the delightful fishing village of Craster, we rambled along a broad grass track on the cliff top up to the magnificent ruins of Dunstanburgh castle which sits on an outcrop of the Whin Sill. Enroute Kevin described the landscape and history of this beautiful area. We circled the castle ruins and stopped for coffee to view the 100 foot high Gull Crag Cliffs with their important kittiwake and fulmar colonies while to the north is the crumpled Graymare Tail or “Crocodile Rock”. At this point Kevin had to unlock a gate to allow us to by-pass a small kissing gate; he has promised to look at replacing the padlock with a RADAR key one. Our route now passed alongside the golf course with a welcome stop at their Clubhouse for lunch. Our return took us along along a quiet lane with a WW2 pill-box. After reaching the farm of Dunstan Square our route took us along the west side of “The Heughs”, yet another outcrop of the Whin Sill. Many thanks to Jill & Hugh for organising and running the ramble and to Kevin for providing such interesting background.
From Guisborough Forest Walkway Visitor Centre, we started along the same route as yesterday. Staying in the woods this time, we reached an open area where we had our coffee stop and started to dry out after a sudden heavy shower. On then to the Blue Lake, a small reservoir once used to power the mining of Alum, Jet and Iron from the surrounding hills. Continuing to Highcliff Wood, we had lunch and then most went up the steep stony track to the Nab where we were rewarded with glorious views across the North York Moors. Our return route took us through what was the model village of Hutton, built to house the miners and now and expensive suburb of Guisborough.
We began by following the track-bed of the Guisborough Railway Branch Line but soon left this to climb through the woods then exit onto Roseberry Common. Soon we reach the foot of the distinctive conical Roseberry Topping. After watching walkers clamber up to the summit, we continued to Aireyholme Farm for lunch by the pond. This was the childhood home of Captain Cook. Returning past Roseberry Topping we turned off our outward route to pass Bousdale Farm where a steep descent took us back to the woods and the Visitor Centre café by the car park. Many thanks to Vic & Ian for finding and running this lovely ramble.
The enigmatic remains of Bolton Priory on the lovely River Warfe provided the backdrop for much of the afternoon of this ramble. However, we began by heading upstream to the often-dramatic Strid, a narrowing of the river from 100 yards wide to only a few feet, where the depth is unknown and no one who has entered the water has left it alive. After viewing this innocent looking gorge from a safe distance, we climbed to Strid Wood tea rooms past the view of Barden Tower painted by Turner. We returned to our starting point at the Cavendish Restaurant for lunch then rambled to the remains of Bolton Priory where we watched visitors crossing the now wide-again river on stepping stones. A good day for ice-creams!
A lovely sunny summer's day for this easy ramble around the reservoir. Set in the middle of the delightfully named Appletreewick Moor, the views all around the reservoir are equally delightful. The ramble around the reservoir provides lots of interest as well as great views. There is the cruck barn, which was preserved when the reservoir expanded, Grimwith House, and the remains of Gate Up – a hamlet which was sacrificed for the reservoir. And we got back before the rain started! Many thanks to Rachel Briggs of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Yorkshire Water for making this route possible.
A brief shower cooled us all at the start of another warm day. We started by traveling through the private Foxcote Estate and then onto roads which were being repaired - and so we were treated to an escort vehicle. Descending a nicely rutted trac, we soon arrived at Hidcote where the National Trust staff warmly welcomed us into the gardens for lunch.
Another hot and humid day on this outlier of the Cotswolds. A steep and rutted track gave a good Cat 3+ ramble to a lovely wooded section which then opened out at the summit where we had lunch in the earthworks of the iron-age hill fort. A gentle ride down past farmland was a welcome relief to some and the stream in the village pure bliss to overheated dogs. Thanks Andy for two great rambles.
A very picturesque ramble combining valley, lake and coast. From the outskirts of Helston we travelled along the edge of ‘The Loe’, a land-locked estuary created when a big storm threw up a massive shingle bar and which is now the largest fresh-water lake in Cornwall. On reaching the sea we turned west and followed the coast past Vellin-gluz Rocks before turning inland over fields to enjoy a cup of tea at the NT café. Many thanks Greg for coming with us and adding so much interest to the ramble, what a font of knowledge! It was great having you with us.
We set out from Bissoe Bike Hut and rambled along the Cornish Coast-to-Coast path to the Poldice Valley where we explored the remains of tin 7 copper mining and arsenic production. During our return after lunch, at about 14:15, we heard cries for help coming from the hillside above. Five of our walkers scrambled up loose scree to find out what was happening. A man, Paul Lane, had slipped while out walking his friend’s dog. He was hidden by trees and so took some finding. Paul said that there was the sound of a crack from his leg when he fell. He had tried to crawl to the track but couldn’t make it. We phoned for an ambulance which we directed to the nearest point on the track in the valley. The ambulance people then tried to work out how to get to Paul. One pair set out in their 4×4 to try to reach from above. A member of DR escorted the other pair on foot up the scree to Paul where they diagnosed a fractured leg. The ambulance people had no way of getting Paul from the hillside, 150 metres above the track. No helicopter was available due to fog at their base. Our Rescue Trailer was called for by radio and a steep and rough track was found to bring it to Paul. After transferring Paul to our trailer, the ambulance people descended and left us to bring Paul down the track. We brought Paul right up to the ambulance and they departed. Many thanks to all those helping with the rescue – and to the rest of the group waiting patiently. Paul phoned later to say that he had been released from hospital at about midnight and that it was a severe sprain rather than a break.
9/5/2016. 6 miles, Cat 1. Borough Arms, Dunsford, Bodmin along the Camel Trail to Helland Bridge for lunch on ‘The Island’ next to the C15th Pack-horse Bridge. A lovely spring day; wild flowers in bloom, birds singing, sun in the sky and a great group of ramblers. Shame about the shower on the way back but it dried up before we reached the cars. Many thanks to Alexy Van Kimmenade of the Colquite Estate for allowing access to the island.
Very April weather and a cold wind – but good solid paths and, because the leaves were not fully out, lovely views across the valleys. It was a figure-of-eight route so lunch was back at the café - where it rained. Lots of us sat it out bravely but then discovered afterwards there were tables under shelter behind the building! The best weather was in the afternoon and it got quite warm as we climbed steadily through varied woodland paths. A good start to the rambling year
The planned Ashridge ramble was glorious in summer – but then it rained all winter and the broad woodland paths turned mostly liquid. So after a last minute panic to find new ways through we ended up with a route rather better than the first. Very varied landscapes, spring foliage bursting out everywhere … and just enough mud to make things interesting. We even had the chance to use the tow ropes. It could have been a bit warmer but when the sun came out it was fine. Thanks to all you walkers – very visible in the new DR hi-viz jackets – Thanks for seeing us safely across roads, golf courses and mud baths.