Thursday, 23 September 2010

What's all the fuss about?

After three weeks of not being able to fit a walk in (I won't bore you with why), we finally got to go out. It was VERY late when we decided to go, as the rain was really lashing down in the morning. 1:00PM saw us parked at Milldale - still in pouring rain! I'd decided to walk in Dovedale to see what all the fuss was about the 'repaired' stepping stones. If you've not heard, 'they' have decided to cap the original stones, as they were considered a danger. Whatever, it caused a right furore, as no-one knew anything about it before it was done. I think people felt it was a bit sneaky, and lots of other projects deserved the money.
Anyway, here we were, sitting looking and listening to the rain, when all of a sudden it stopped. We booted up, and set off while the spirit was still willing. We walked the short distance into Milldale and crossed the 'viators bridge', a low-sided bridge built to afford the passage of panniers on horses. You can read more about it here;

This is a small barn the National Trust have converted to use as an information point. It's well worth going inside, if you want to learn more about the area.

Viators bridge, with its low-slung walls.

The Gunnera was now starting to look VERY tired and brown, some already rotting down.
The pictures this week aren't as good as usual, as I decided, what with all the rain, not to take my SLR, but packed the small compact instead. I'm not at ALL happy with the colours.

Some flowers were still looking fabulous, like this yellow monkey flower,
which grows in patches at the side of the river.

Also, the butterflies were still about, this beautiful red admiral was just one we saw.

Approaching the stepping stones in Dovedale. They're just on that bend.
The hill is Thorpe Cloud. We intended to stretch our legs and climb it after 'step inspection'.

And here's the root of the argument. You can clearly see what has been done.
Yes, passage is easy now, but don't they look awful?

I have to admit, as you can see in this older picture, the stones were 
partially submerged after heavy rain.
I'm still not sure I agree with what's been done though.

Anyway, we left the controversy behind us as we set off to climb Thorpe Cloud.
It's a steep little push, but you're up there in about 15 minutes.
We felt we needed to push ourselves a bit, as we'd done little walking in the last month,
and we had a special trip in mind too, in the near future.

Looking across the valley on the climb up.

Looking down to the stepping stones and Dovedale.

There we go - no problem!

It was a little bit breezy up there too, Sue thought she could fly!
(or, should that be 'queen'?)

We dropped down the far side of the hill, and rewarded ourselves with an ice cream and a bit of flapjack at the Dovedale car park. We set off for Bunster hill, and this look back showed us where we had been less than half an hour ago. 

A wonderful-looking sky, and despite the threat, we stayed dry all day (see notes later).
We decided to extend the walk a little, and drop down one of 
Sue's favourite dales, Hall dale.
This led us to then walk back to the car along the 'quiet' side of Milldale.

Sue met up with these little Shetland ponies.
They can be bad-tempered, but these were very friendly.

We'd walked along the other side of Milldale on the way out, and somehow managed to miss
'Dove Holes' caves - but this was a fine view of them from the 'other side'.

We got back to the car at just on seven o'clock, dry!
A few minutes after we set off home - it started to rain.


  1. Lovely. Oh and a happy belated birthday! xx

  2. Look woman, don't creep - just send more choklit, ok?