Friday, 6 January 2012

Ram Raid!

 Today we REALLY wanted a walk, but the weather forecast was for heavy rain and high winds. The forecast did look slightly better by the time the BBC had changed its mind for the umpteenth time, but lo and behold, when we looked out of the window at 8:00am, it was LASHING down! We sat, looking out forlornly at the rain as it beat against the windows......and waited.
At around midday, the clouds parted and it brightened up a bit. We quickly made a flask and some butties (sandwiches), and shot off to do a short walk over Ramshaw rocks. We pass these rocks whenever we go to see Sue's son, and I had vowed they were next on the walk list. As we topped the moors, we could see this dramatic sight in front of us. It was just like some God showing us where the rocks were. (Don't forget, you can click on any image to see a larger version.)

After taking pictures, we parked up just below them, and got out of the the driving snow! We REALLY needed our four layers today, plus warm hats and gloves. The weather changed as soon as we got going, and we set our sights high. 
Determined, we pressed on to the top of Ramshaw to be rewarded with spectacular views. most of which were directly into the sun, so the camera didn't stand a chance of getting what we were enjoying seeing. We spent far more time than we could afford, scrambling over the rocks, enjoying the fierce wind and views before heading off towards the Roaches. This is Sue, and that building hunched up on the far ridge is the Mermaid pub, as bleak and remote a place as you'll ever find. 
 The cold couldn't get to me through all the layers!
 The light now just got better and better. This kind of light is a photographers dream, and I tried my best to get some good shots. This is looking back across the Ramshaw ridge.
 Shutlingsloe was clearly visible, just across the fields.
 Another shot of the Mermaid pub. The name alludes to the myth that a mermaid appears in a pool on the top of the Roaches (Doxey's pool) once a year, and gives the gift of either eternal life, or certain death by being dragged into the murky depths!
 Some impressive rocks stand on the ridge, this one looked really good with the sun behind it.

 We decided to have a late lunch on the lower reaches of the Roaches, just enjoying the changing light and super views. This derelict barn made a very atmospheric picture in the golden light of the low sun.
 Tittesworth reservoir.
Looking back to Ramshaw rocks from the lower Roaches. 
The Mermaid pub looked even more remote now, looking at it from here. 
Hen Cloud. We had intended going up it, but time and light were now at a premium, so that will have to wait for next time. 
Stark shadows & perfect light highlighted everything on this ridge. 

 We sat down in the lee of a large boulder to snatch some lunch. Looking up at the rock face, we could almost feel the ghost of Don Whillans was with us.  He, and MANY other famous climbers, cut their teeth on these difficult gritstone buttresses. that Don I see there, hunched over a difficult move?

 ...........See him now?
 It was then that we decided we had to make for the car and not go on to the top, as time was getting short. Luckily, we knew there was a road we could end the walk along, so fading light wasn't too much of an issue. One last look around in this light, then it was time for a sharp exit.

It was dark when we got back to the car, it had only been a short walk of about three hours, but we were VERY well rewarded for making the effort.


  1. ooh I've loved this post - this is my home, where I was raised! I spent half my childhood on the Ramshaws and Roaches! I was there myself on Monday so they will feature in my next post when I get round to it. Your photos are great.

    The Mermaid is not a pub anymore, it's a large holiday home thing now that sleeps about 30 people. It's one of my dream homes as it has wonderful views!

    The mermaid is said to come out of the Mermaid Pool, just along the road from the Mermaid Inn and people believe that a series of underground cave systems might link it to Doxey over on the Roaches and that would explain the legend about people getting 'sucked in and dragged down to the botom'

    I'm glad you enjoyed your walk on 'my' rocks... there are many, many other fab walk you could do around there, but I'm sure you know that :)

  2. Thanks for the update on the fishy side, Louise :-) Glad the pics brought back memories. Yes, I saw on the Mermaid website that it was a 'venue' now (there are SO MANY pubs, old farms etc turning into these, very lucrative, 'venues'.) Sue & I have walked the area around there a lot (postings in the blog archives). We LOVE Luds Church in spring.