About Christopher

So I jacked in my job, and I am off travelling - don't know where, don't know for how long. Follow my footsteps, check out where I am...

A weekend of walking

A dead tree on Ashdown Forest Firle Tower and the view north from Firle Beacon

With friends visiting for the weekend it was great the weather was far better than anyone’s expectations. Saturday was spent walking over Ashdown Forest and visiting Pooh Sticks Bridge, and Sunday we headed to the South Downs and walked from Firle to Alfriston.

Páramo – a great suit of armour against the elements

paramojacket.jpg paramotrousers.jpg Páramo make some excellent kit to protect you against the elements, and all that the weather can throw at you. They are exceedingly comfortable and thankfully don’t rustle when you wear them.

It being nearly midsummer in the UK I am looking out my waterproof jacket and trousers for a weekend of walking in Sussex – the forecast is lousy again.

I have an Alta II Jacket and Cascada Trousers.  They both make use of Nikwax Analogy Waterproof technology, with a liner that is said to mimic the action of animal fur – pushing liquid water outwards to protect you from rain.

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Yorkshire Parkin

Yorkshire Parkin Cake Yorkshire Parkin Cake

While walking the Pennine Way I was in need of sustenance to keep me going through the day. While I found some good biscuits, cake is less prone to disintegrating (or at least more easily squished back together). Having spent quite a while wandering along the route through Yorkshire I was pleased to find a supply of Parkin, a cake with strong local connections.

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Yorkshire Tea Biscuits

Yorkshire Tea Biscuits Yorkshire Tea Biscuits, if only the T shape could be easily packed

In walking the Pennine Way I spent quite a while within Yorkshire – with the opportunity to try some of the wonderful delights on offer that go well with a nice cup of tea.

I had occasionally seen Yorkshire Tea Biscuits advertised on TV, but never found a good supply of them. In Hawes I was delighted to find numerous shelves fully stocked with a wondrous range of these biscuits, though disappointingly I probably only had room for two packets of biscuits in my rucksack, so I chose the Original and Chocolate Chip varieties – leaving the Oat & Honey and Ginger ones for another time.

Yorkshire Tea Biscuits, showing their distinctive T shape Yorkshire Tea Biscuit, the T shape and good texture makes it a perfect dunker

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Day 19 – Byrness to Kirk Yetholm

The forecast was not great, and it looked like it might be worse tomorrow – while I had the option of doing the last stage of the Pennine Way in 2 days I thought I would try and do it in one – all 26 miles!

After an early breakfast I was out on the road by 8am, so that I would have as much time as possible to complete the stage. I hoped it would take around 10 hours, though it could easily take more.

The top of Bryness Hill on the final day (19) Heading towards Windy Crag

There was a sharp climb out of the valley, along a narrow path through tall plantation conifers – then at the top of Byrness Hill I was hit full in the face by the gale force wind that was still blowing from the northeast. That wind was going to make the day a whole lot harder.

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Day 16 – Greenhead to Once Brewed

Today was a very short walking day – the shortest of the whole trip – no matter how slow I was. I was feeling better, but still lacked some energy, particularly on the up hill bits.

Hadrian's Wall earthworks out of Greenhead at the start of day 16 Hadrian's Wall A mile castle in Hadrian's Wall

Leaving late I was quickly back onto the Pennine Way, and walking alongside a huge ditch – which was part of the Hadrian’s Wall defences. It was like all the climbs of the day, short and sharp – and with a seemingly gale force wind that would hit you in the face every time you reached the top.

Hadrian's Wall The trig point near Steel Rigg and the end of day 16

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Day 15 – Slaggyford to Greenhead

While the Pennine Way seemingly wandered around the farmland to the north of Slaggyford with seemingly little purpose, I decided to stick to the easy walking of the dismantled railway for a mile or so to near Knarsdale, before rejoining the route which is also shared with the Maiden Way and the course of an old Roman road.

An old railway bridge near Slaggyford at the start of day 15 The Pennine Way heading for Featherstone Common

After a brief excursion back up onto moorland the path descends again into farmland, before rising once more onto a more significant piece of moorland across Featherstone and Blenkinsopp Commons.

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