Day 1 – Edale to Crowden

After an excellent breakfast I was well fuelled for the first stage of the Pennine Way. I was up and about early but from the window of the breakfast room I had already spotted one person who looked likely to be on his was to Kirk Yetholm.

The Old Nags Head, the start of the Pennine Way in Edale The view north from above Upper Booth

It was an easy path out of Edale (passing the Old Nags Head pub), through Upper Booth, to Jacob’s Ladder a short sharp climb on the was up to Kinder Scout. As I got higher the views got better and better, despite the hazy conditions.

The view south from the top of Jacob's Ladder Noe Stool trig point on Kinder Low

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Edale – the day before

Edale (the start of the Pennine Way) from Back Tor Looking south from Edale towards Hollins Cross and Back Tor

It took about 5 hours on various trains but I was safely at Edale, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the light breeze was cooling. It was then that I had a major crisis – walking stick (MK1) had disappeared, while I was ambling into the village of Edale it was heading off to Manchester.

I found the B&B in quick order and decided to head to the hills to forget my crisis…

Two good viewpoints to the south were marked on the map – Hollins Cross and Lose Hill. While it was hazy at the top the views were uplifting, it was also good to stretch my legs, and I got to thinking about the path ahead – but I sure did miss my walking stick.

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Heading towards the Pennines

After recent trips towards the south west (and brief flirtations with space travel) my time is now my own again and a change of direction is needed – northwards… I had been really lucky at Christmas to get all the maps and guidebooks needed for the Pennine Way, and now I have the time to do it, just have to hope that there are rooms at the inns B&Bs available.

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Minions and the Cheesewring

As I continued to make my way through the 40 different sausage selections to choose from at the B&B for breakfast I needed to get out and stretch my legs. Without really knowing I had already walked up and around the highest peak in Cornwall last month, so chose one of the more heritage areas around Minions this time around.

One of the engine houses of the South Phoenix Mine is now the Minions Heritage Centre The view of Stowes Hill with The Hurlers stone circles in the foreground View from Stowes Hill looking towards the Cheesewring

Minions is the highest village in Cornwall, high up on Bodmin moor, and was totally created for the needs of the local industries: mining, quarrying and railways. It was almost entirely constructed in the few years between1863 and 1880. The area though is thought to have been inhabited for around 6,000 years, and old field systems and settlement areas can still be seen amidst the moorland, though they can be more clearly seen in Google Maps.

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A week in the Brecon Beacons

Looking over Dyffryn Crawnon valley towards Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn Looking along the Dyffryn Crawnon valley from Tor-y-Foel

David invited me to visit Dyffryn Crawnon in the Brecon Beacons for a week, and while he set about on repairs to the bunkhouse I have the opportunity to stretch my legs over a beacon or two.

The first amble was up and around the head of Dyffryn Crawnon valley, but from there I caught glimpses of Pen-y-Fan to the north and a few interesting looking mountains closer to home.

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Gover Hill to Gravesend

The view south from Gover Hill on the Wealdway The southern slopes of the North Downs

Starting the final leg of the Wealdway at Gover Hill I had just 16 miles or so to get to Gravesend. The first few miles of walking was through a lovely woodland of chestnut coppice and oak standards. It had been the first be of decent production woodland I had walked through on my entire journey. It was not long however until I reached the other side and the view over to the North Downs.

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