Winter wonder walks, night 2

Photograph of Christmas lights in someone's top window on Hawshead Street.
And this is a pretty desperate photo on a night of awful weather and not much content.
Photograph of a Christmas tree in a residential home.
A tastefully decorated tree.

Rain, rain, go away..oh okay you’re not listening to me then.

Very little content for these pages tonight. What was available was washed out by the haze of rain. So, as far as slim pickings go… this was their night! Here’s hoping that future nights will deliver better visibility and an increase in opportunities!




And the winner on the night, mainly because the building is so damn cute:

Photograph of Christmas lights in a hairdresser's.
Photo taken on 25th November, 2019 on Mount Street,

Winter wonder walks

Winter wonder walks, night 1

Same as last year, one nightly walk, take some photos of people’s Christmas decorations and decide which was the nicest…or the most outstanding!

Tonight I had just a short two and a half miles walk and to be honest, I didn’t see that many decorated houses, well it is still November. This left hardly any scope, the competitors to the gawdy image below were at best subtle and my Iphon decided it was going to take truly awful photos with the flash set to auto and ‘on’ as witnessed at either side of this text <<< >>>




Photograph of the gawdy house on Norwood Ave, Southport

2019 The walking year that never was

The more observant of you (two) will hardly have failed to noticed that I have not really done much walking this year. There are many contributing factors:

  1. Work, I do the odd open day or Welcome Sunday and I get overtime, difficult to turn this down to be honest.
  2. Bad weather, this has been the first year that I can remember when at times it’s just been too damn hot as well as the normal – too damn wet!
  3. Families / Birthdays / bloody Bomfire Night!
  4. Laziness, there are times that I could have got out and about…I mustn’t have wanted to do so badly enough.

So essentially I am writing off 2019 the walking year. It was lovely to do Blencathra with Sue and Karl, it was fantastic to return to Pendle and yes I am embittered to have not gone more often. I loved the walk I did over Anglezarke Moor and the Southport ambles…but there just were not that many walks. I normally average around twenty ‘boots on’ walks but this year….hmmm!

Right, so, plans for next year:

  1. As I have previously posted on Facebook I have signed up to do the 17 (used to be sixteen) mile version of the Anglezarke Amble in February.
  2. In preperation of the next item, I do fancy giving the full 21 miles Sefton Coastal path a go in April.
  3. And then in June…it’s back off to do…the Yorkshire Three Peaks. This should be a surprise to nobody. And this (next) year I do plan on finishing the thing, ‘though it’s likely I’ll be doing it on my own.

Of course there should be others, but we have a major event (hopefully) happening some time in the first three months of the year which has to take precedent over everything (even the Amble!). If I could have my dream walking year then I would do the following in addition to the ones listed above:

  1. Snowdon, via the Ranger path – it looks stunning, quieter than the Llanberris path and not as steep as the Watkins path.
  2. Scafell Pike – any way, I honestly wouldn’t care but if Great End could somehow be factored in then all the better.
  3. Skiddaw, again any route would be lovely but there is just something amazingly airy about going via the Ullock Pike ridge.
  4. The full Pendle featuring Stang Top Moor, Big End and then Fell Wood and Saddlers Height.  I struggle to believe that I haven’t already done this one.
  5. Likewise, the full Seven Peak traverse of Winter Hill and Anglezarke Moor encompassing Redmonds Edge, Spitlers Edge, Will Narr, Winter Hill, Crooked Edge Hill, Rivington Pike and Great Hill. I’ve got very close to completing this but…!
  6. Helvellyn, not via Striding or Swirrel Edge but just any route up this monster of a mountain would be great.
  7. Pillar, it’s been on my to-do list for too long now, time to get it bagged.
  8. Any circular walk featuring Catbells, but if it factors in Maiden Moor and High Spy then all the better!

Of course there should be more, but I don’t want to get all excited about talking about these walks without doing them!

So, only time will tell, wish me luck folks!



Meandering over the Moss

The walk of Sunday the first of September, 2019.

I had planned on doing another mamoth walk home from work the preceeding Friday but ultimately this never happened owing to a lack of drive on the day. As such I was practically chomping at the bit on Sunday to get out and about for a walk. The weather was looking decidedly inclement with regards to the West Pennines but the outlook for Southport was sunny spells and breeze. This would suffice so by 09:50 I was out the house and en route to the Moss, Churchtown Moss.

I decided to go through Hesketh Park, there would be virtually no other high points to the route which I had thought out so it made sense to summit the Astronomy hill and its neighbouring peak early on in the day. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a large hill…it’s not even fifty feet in altitude, but it can be a little shock to the system if one has not done any walking for some time.

The summits conquered I now had around three miles of totally urban dominated plodding to do as I meandered through one district, across invisible boundaries and into another. This did make for easy progress with the streets being dry and as always I was afforded the opportunity to peep into other people’s gardens, an activity of which I doubt I shall ever tyre! In time I successfully located the one of the illusive gateways that would transport me from urbanisation and onto the North Marshside Coastal path. Although the very nature of the terrain would notably reduce my speed, the pay-off is the dramatic change in scenary and environment as the Irish sea makes the odd appearance on the far left hand side and a couple of golf courses a bit nearer but also on the left and occasionally on the right – they do like a round of golf in these parts.

After some time, the Marshside section of the Coastal path is considerably longer than what I tend to recall, I crossed the road in order to take on the Fiddlers Ferry / Banks stretch of pathway, which is not a part of the greater Sefton Coastal path. This is less exposed and more green and certainly gets one nearer to the neigbours as you are practically in their back garden! This pathway can go on for some distance but I turned off after half a mile to pick up Banks Road, I now had over a mile of pavement walking ahead of me as I ambled through the tiny and quaint village of Banks. I called in at the Co-op shop in order to get some drinks as I am a bit prone to dehydrating and, well, it’s never fun and gives me a horrible headache.  I saw my partner’s mother in there and we had the briefest of all chats, before she could invite me back for a bacon butty!

I next made my way towards the gigantic bypass which is the A565, the plan being to safely cross this monster and head down Gravel Lane. Crossing this hi-speed road, it’s only a 50mph road but with an average speed checker setup, this makes for some sporadic driving and adrenallin-fuelled traversals. After the insanity of the 565 crossing it was with relief that I was to say farewell to traffic for the next few miles. I was now heading for another stretch of Southport’s “The Moss”. Personally, moss was a plant when I lived in Bolton, however, it transpires that in many parts of this fair country it actually refers to an area of near-deserted farmland…or just a vast patch of wetland as in the Lake District’s various “Mosses”. Whatever, if you are looking for a nice stretch of piece and quiet then head off for your nearest ‘moss’.

Until now the weather had hinted that it could rain. About a mile into the walk across the moss, it did but only for around a minute or so. Further down the road, about two miles I would estimate, the rain came back with a vengence . I put the hood of my coat up…and then decided that the world was a better and more beautiful place with it down again…plus everything sounds rubbish when you have your hood up! By the time I had finally made it to a real road “Moss Lane” which in time would lead me back to Churchtown proper. I felt no need to enter The Spar for refreshments, although by this time a sit down for five minutes would have been great and I have to say, well-deserved! The gaping hole in the surface of the road however, was making traffic back-up and after so long in the fresh air, it was a bit of a let-down, so I simply carried on.

I opted not to do an oft-repeated plod down Roe Lane and thought that I had down enough miles without adding more on by detouring over to Cambridge Road / Preston New Road and instead took a turning own Chester Road, crossed Wennington Road then down Chester Ave. I hopped across Norwood Ave and then down Norwood Cresent before taking the footpath onto the Grange Road estate and before long I had landed on Row Lane once again. then I passed the church and made my way down my home street.  Some five (ish) hours after leaving it.

All things considered this was a really enjoyable and much needed walk in some varied terrains. I only stopped to speak to one person (Chris’s mum) and managed to eat nothing calorific…in fact I ate nothing at all and only had a 250 calorie milkshake at the Co-op. The song I had stuck in my head was: Stereo Love by Edward Maya, Vika Jigulina. 

To be honest this was probably the nicest walk I’ve done in a very lazy year!