Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!


17th January 2012

In weather terms, 2012 started like a lion in some parts with Scotland getting a particular battering. Before that, the second day of the year saw me crossing hills to pop over to Buxton. That act planted in my mind the prospect of exploring more of Macclesfield’s hills this year. However, the following weekend was a quiet one for me.

The weather may have been offering in other places, but a prior commitment was the cause of my staying close to home and not getting out among hills in parts like Shropshire or even wandering along the streets of somewhere pleasing to the eye like Edinburgh or even Shrewsbury. That’s not to say that I wasn’t doing some more playing with ideas for outdoors outings, though.

Three Brethern, Selkirk, Borders, Scotland

While adjusting albums in the photo gallery, thoughts were drawn to revisiting places where I haven’t been for a while. The online photo albums that attracted my attention were that for the Pennine Way and the Scottish Southern Uplands and Borders. The refresh involved adding photos were added, removing an old one rewriting a few descriptions. The trip ideas that came to mind while adjusting those photos included a stay in Peebles to explore the surrounding hills as well as getting to walk more of the Pennine Way or even the Southern Upland Way. Old and not so old photos act as reminders for me of past glories and lure me back to where I found them before.

Three Shire Heads, Staffordshire, England

Last weekend’s cold frosty sunny weather was enough to draw out among hills again on Saturday. It was a day when any part of Britain’s hill country would have delighted and I did play with a walk around Sedbergh that involved an out and back yomp into and onto the Howgill Fells. Looking a bus timetables caused me to leave it for later in the year. Remembering how stiff I felt after a trot about Church Stretton’s hills before Christmas was a factor too in not deciding to not set my sights too high. Thus, I opted for a hike from the Cat and Fiddle Inn to Buxton that mainly followed the Dane Valley Way with a deliberate diversion or two. After all, the prospect of seeing the Three Shire Heads bridge in full winter lighting was too good to miss; it may have added to the distance covered but proved to be well worth that. If all goes to plan, more will be said about the walk sooner instead of later.

Though our settled spell of weather is leaving us at the time of writing, there are promising signs for the coming weekend too. While my limbs were stiff on Sunday and Monday, I take that as a cue for trying to get out a little more often than last year and January 2012 isn’t over yet. What I am not planning is anything as frenetic as this month last year when I walked successively in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Pacing oneself is no bad thing either and quiet moments are needed for collating more ideas too. A recent catch-up with an article from one of last year’s issues of TGO has me wanting to sit with it and pore over maps while ogling the contained photos of splendid Lake District hill country. Wandering needs forethought at times.

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