Day #1. The hallway of our first hotel, a plain-looking inn on the outside, has beautiful architecture on the inside. This is a good omen for the rest of the trip. We landed yesterday, and drove up to this hotel in Bassenthwaite, near Keswick, in the north part of the Lake District.
The hotel has a rose garden...
And a conservatory! This is one of the great British stereotypes that turns out to be true for so many houses.
Downtown Keswick. The information center is in Moot Hall, in the center of the pedestrian area.
The trailhead of our first trail! Aira Force waterfall.
Beautiful countryside. Our loop course comes down the hill in the background.
We didn't expect these hills in the Lake District!
Aira Force river.
An upper waterfall.
Typical trail here. Looks easy but there's plenty of rocks and drainage cuts.
Jet lag? What jet lag?
Love the stone work! Looking down over the waterfall.
Aira Force waterfall.
Stopped to stretch. Ullswater in the background.
A trail down to the lake.
My vacation at the beach...
Rob doing what became common - checking a guidebook a map.
When you see trees here, they're big.
Rob crossing our first of a zillion stiles. They're engineering to allow hikers (but not sheep) to cross fences.
The trail starts up through a field of stiff bracken fern.
The heather is blooming.
The trail follows the contour along the side of the hill. That's the other side of long Ullswater Lake.
Awake enough today to run.
Ullswater Lake. The earlier photos at the shore were taken on the right side of the lake, on the top side of the rounded green point sticking way out into the lake. We've come a long way in a short period of time.
The other side of Ullswater. There are lots of peaks, but this is the reason they call it the Lake District.
The trail passes rocks and sticker-y hawthorn trees.
Rob at the triangulation point at the high point of Gowbarrow Fell. It's cloudy and the sun is setting behind him.
Gorgeous sunset across the fells.
The trail looks like it's heading into Ullswater. The trail is identifiable by crushed grass. We didn't expect to be out so late and don't have headlights, but we can see the car way down the hill in the parking lot.
Many ways down the hill behind me.
Day #2. We've gone to Whinlatter Forest Park (recommended!) and are heading to a trail that goes up and across nearby Grisedale Pike.
Brathwaite Village. That's the white roofs of our favorite - Keswick town - in the distance.
The trail starts up the valley along Coledale Beck. The lower part of the hills are covered in bracken fern turning russet in the fall chill. We're headed to the tiny trail up the left side of the valley end.
Crossing Coledale Beck.
Looking up, Coledale Beck tumbles farther than my camera can take.
The trail climbs up on the left side of the valley's end into the pass ahead.
Looking back down where we came from. That's our trail on the left, through the red.
Sweating at the top of the hill.
Head of Coledale Beck.
Heading up the pass.
Taking a breather on the way up.
The wind hasn't hit yet. Still wearing a capilene top.
A little more to climb to the pass.
Who's that mountain goat? Rob, looking down at our progress. The start of our trail is the line through the red way off near the top of the photo.
We're at Sand Hill pass and suddenly in the wind - itt's time for a jacket and gloves. That's tomorrow's hike, Skiddaw, on the left side of the valley in the sun.
Mining? Up here?!? We feel like wimps.
Climbing from the pass up to and intermediate peak before the remainder of the climb to Grisedale Pike (i.e., peak). Look at all the other trail options behind me! Grasmoor is on the right, and Crag Hill is on the left. Next trip!
Lots of climbing today.
Rob, at 739 m (~2100 ft). That's Grisedale Pike ahead. The clouds are setting in and sending a little drizzle.
Headed down to a saddle, then up to Grisedale Pike, 791 m (~2593 ft.). We came in on the trail you can see down in the valley to the right.
A rock dam along a potentially wet spot near the top. The iron bar in the background is left over from the mining.
About to peak out on Grisedale.
"Shelter" near the top.
Lots of the high-profile Lake District peaks in the background.
Looking back past a monument cairn, to the pass and the trail we followed. That's still Grasmoor and Crag Hill in the background
More hikes for more days. Langdales and Helvellyn in the back?
Grisedale Pike. Skiddaw (tomorrow's hike) and the town of Keswick are both in the background.
The town of Keswick, on Derwentwater.
Company! Another hiker heading up our descent route.
The descent starts steep and rocky.
Keswick town behind me.
Trail down the ridge line.
Looking down the valley at our ascent up along Coledale Beck.
Rob made it down the descent from Grisedale Pike, no handrails.
The remainder of our descent along the ridgeline to the left.
Whinlatter Forest to the left. The distinctive edge is easy to use as a landmark.
Descent continues. Brathwaite Village down below.
It's cold but we're headed to the barn!
Bassenthwaite Lake ahead. Our hotel is at the far, far end, and (unknown to us) tomorrow's hike is on the hill to the right.
Almost at the trailhead. We came down so quick!
We went on following the trail to the mine on the right and came down on the Grisedale Pike trail to the left.
Last car at the trailhead. That's the starting trailhead at the gate.
Day #3 - In the parking lot at Dodd Wood getting ready to climb Skiddaw.
It starts pretty tame - this is paved!
A fowered stile off the easy road and onto single track.
What a view!
Grisedale Pike, the highest pointy one toward the right, was yesterday's hike.
Yes, Rob's on the trail.
The cairns are (helpfully) on the OS maps, and can be used for navigation.
Typical trail in the moors or up high. Hard to follow.
Looking behind us...sometimes the trails look like they end in thin air.
At the saddle where we ascend to the top, and turn on the way back to take the other trail down.
The way we'll be going back on the way down.
It's steep and covered in shale scree.
Oh yeah, and it's cold too.
On part is very steep but very do-able. Most of the hikers were using poles.
From the top, the view east looking over to Little Man,
The view north,
The view northwest,
...and the view west. That's the summit behind Rob.
Very windy up here (we were warned by a hiker who clearly disapproved of our shorts).
It's sunny, for the moment, so we decide to hunker down in a “shelter” in the shiny shale, soak up some sun and views, and eat a snack.
Our picnic view.
Rob getting scruffy.
Other brave couples were doing the same thing. This view looks toward the bay (left of the man) and over to Scotland.
Love being up high.
A more elaborate shelter than ours, but you get the idea.
Enough sitting - we're getting cold and it's time to leave!
Who says Rob can't run rock?
There's a look at the descent route along a very narrow “edge.”
There's our junction below. We came up from the left and will descend to the right. The little dots on the trail are people.
Clouds are starting to roll in.
We can still bail out and take the more direct route way back, but we're going to opt for the longer route down to the right.
A tarn (mountain lake).
Here we go...it looks easy so far.
Taking a look back up at Skiddaw. The peak where we sat is actually in shadow on the left.
The gatekeepers demand the answer to their riddle before allowing us to pass.
Yes, this looks like an edge now.
But what a view! That's Bassenthwaite Lake.
Rob conquering aversion to edges and rocks, all at once.
The trail actually isn't as narrow as it looks and it's exhilarating to run.
We were just up there!
Our hotel is at this end of Bassenthwaite Lake, on the far end near the junction of the dark green woods and tan plot of land. That's Scotland across the bay in the background.
Grisedale Pike, yesterday's hike is the pointy on on the right side.
You can barely see the bump of a cairn at the summit on the left side, and the trail up and down on the right side of the grey slate.
Sometimes the trail just seems to end before wrapping around the rock in another direction.
Stunning views around every corner.
Rob's taking the softer option down through the springy peat.
A nice hiking couple that we finally catch and have a hard time staying ahead of.
Trying not to get blown off the side of the hill.
Continuing down toward farmland.
Looking back at Skiddaw. The white dots are sheep.
Heather and rock alongside the trail.
Rob trail ahead!
Looking back at the whole bowl of Skiddaw. We went from the peak on the absolute far left down along the jagged edge to the right to where we are now.
The trail ahead disappears into rock.
Find the sheep!
Looking back at our descent thus far. It's been fun!
Now we turn about 270 degrees and run back along the wall, past the tree and the green field to the small, dark green wood on the far shoulder of the mountain. It's a big switchback.
Yes! Now we know we're reading the map right. Signs are good.
Down into bracken fern and then back into Dodd Wood. It's getting late and cloudy but incredibly, we spot several people going up.
Back into Dodd Wood.
Instead of taking the shortcut back along the road, we opt to cross the stile, go back to the right, and head down along the lake.
Looking back. The trail cut through the front parking lot of Ravensclaw lodge to keep hikers off the road below.
St. Began's Church. Beautiful. We stopped and walked around the churchyard.
Mirehouse. The trail runs through the grounds, right past it.
The “trail” past Mirehouse.
One last look at the green fields and lake as the sun goes down.
Day #4. It's the day before we leave for the race. Back in to Keswick to shop for last-minute required gear and make a quick stop at the U-Compute to check e-mail.
What a great combo! The lunch was outstanding. Who says British food is bland?
Oooh, look at Skiddaw capped in clouds. Glad we went yesterday!
Typical alleyway in Keswick, narrow but still worthy of flowers.
Sweeney's pub where we had some beer last night is under the blue sign on the left.
Another pub. Almost as fun to look at as to visit.
Ok, I couldn't stand it. The day was so beautiful, we postponed the rest of the shopping and headed to nearby Cat Bells for a quick hike. That's the peak above Rob.
Rocks are your friends.
A rare Gore-tex-free day!
Country farm, complete with sheep lawn mowers.
Keswick in the background.
A little left to go.
This is a fun hike, lots of rocks.
Looking at long Bassenthwaite Lake, with our hotel at the far end and Skiddaw on the other side.
The day was so nice, the paragliders were launching from Cat Bells.
Checking the map.
Up, up we go.
Peaking out. Now how do we get down?
Our route up was along the top of the red/green ridge. Even Skiddaw across the valley looks sunny now!
Neighboring valley, in the sun.
Rob at the peak.
I have to go down?
Skiddaw in the background.
View from the Cat Bells that's in the guidebook.
Headed to the saddle, then down. That's the rainy-est valley in Britain to the left.
In the saddle below, we take a right that will curve along the flank of the Cat Bells back to the car.
Looking back up at the peak before we descend off the side.
Wonderfully soft trail!
Down into the bracken fern.
The valley below is opening up.
Well, it's not all soft trail.
I could run this forever.
Sheep, trying to break INTO the field.
Finishing up at the end of the day again. There's still some light on the mountains across the valley.
Day# 5 - Leaving the Lake District to drive across the country to Scarborough for the race. This house is across the road from our hotel.
Keswick, last shopping.
Castlerigg stone circle.
Stile in a rock wall.
One of many roundabouts, in action.
Scarborough, at night when we arrived.
Fish and Chips.
Packing drop bags the night before the race.
Day #6 - Race day morning. This is the beautiful view from the hotel room.
The ivy on buildings everywhere was turning a deep red.
Last minute prep on the drop bags in the Helmsley town square.
Left to right: Julian, Jon (the RD), Mark Barnes, unknown crew.
Sitting around, waiting for everyone to register. Rob already looks tired.
Waiting around, might as well take pictures to kill the nervousness.
Waiting with the other runners in the town square to be led to the start. Registration was in the top of the town hall behind Rob.
A bunch of nervous runners, standing around waiting...
Steve making sure everyone is still waiting while Jon's getting ready.
Jon giving his pre-race briefing. Can't believe we're really doing this!
We walk past Helmsley castle to the start. This is the logo for the race.
Clean, rested, and ready. Who knows what it we'll be like when we finish?!
At the start line. Wish we could go and quit all this waiting!
The trail sign at the starting line. Wish we'd noticed the white acorn symbol earlier.
Signs are good. They just aren't everywhere they need to be. We just left Blackdale Howl Wood.
Part of Griff Lodge, next to the medieval village of Griff.
Abott Hag Wood on the right, and a helpful trail sign.
Looking back behind us in Nettle Dale. The trail jumped onto road here for a bit. The black steer to the left was making an awful racket.
This is the trail, along Bridge Road. The trail varied - pavement, gravel road, and single track.
The trail turns ahead to the right Grass Keld Spring. Some other runners saved us here from mindlessly continuing down the gravel road. Only later did we realize the value of the course description and trail guide book.
Grass Keld Spring. The evening fog is starting to set in.
On the map, this is an FB - footbridge.
Trail follows the gravel road, Low Field Lane. Two other runners ahead.
The kid that was going to walk the whole thing. We leap-frogged with him through the first night and into the next morning, where he dropped. He was a local from a town along the course, knew most of the course very well, and saved us several times. The view is looking back down to Rievaulx and Helmsley (the start).
Running along a bit of trail called Casten Dike to (according to the two runners ahead of us) a great view.
Sure enough, it is. Looking down at sunset into Sutton-Under-Whitestonecliff.
Looking left at the same place to Hood Hill.
At mile 20.
The first checkpoint at mile 20, the back of Steve's truck. This is as elaborate as it gets. That's Jon the RD, ready to run as sweep.
The trail along Whitestone Cliff.
Whitestone Cliff. The trail runs through the wood on top at the right.
Yes, that's the cliff on the left. Thankfully, the wind is blowing us away from the edge.
A typical gate. We went through tons of them along the course. The easiest way to open it is to take the top part of the bar in hand and push it over to the left.
Leaving checkpoint two, 28 miles, in the town of Osmotherley.
A trig point at a Round Hill on Carlton Moor.
Neolithic/prehistoric labyrinth pattern in the stone.
The plaque at the base of the Captain Cook monument, a huge obelisk, in the middle of barren Easby Moor.
There were (potentially treacherous) drainage channels frequently cut into the rock.
This is typical of most of the moorland trail. It's rock. We never figured out if it the miles and miles of this were laid intentionally or laid bare by erosion.
One last view of the moon as the sky lightens up.
Day #7 - Morning in Guisborough Woods, looking toward sunrise.
Looking down over Guisborough Woods in to city of Guisborough in the early morning light.
Another stile on Spring Bank, above the town of Slapewath. See the helpful trail logo? That's Mark Barnes, heading for a moment's rest on the bench ahead. After this, we run past Airy Hill Farm.
Looking back at where we've come from. We were on the hills across from this when the sun came up. The trail took us across the hills, from the right side of the photo to the left, then down across a highway and up the hill we're on. The wooded hills are Guisborough Woods, and the building is the Old Park Farm. It's thankfully not obvious in this photo, but there was lots of clearcutting in Guisborough Woods.
Leaving Airy Hill Lane, running across The Hills.
Looking down on the town of Skelton from The Hills.
Saturday morning, early, in Skelton. We have the road to ourselves.
Yes, this is still the trail. All the little houses have their neat gardens.
I took this as a sign.
Field in Skelton where everyone was walking their dogs on Saturday morning.
Tunnel under A174.
Nice rich soil, freshly disked. We take the right-hand path into Crow Wood.
Double-track through Crow Wood.
The bridge over Skelton Beck.
Railroad bridge in Crow Wood.
Beautiful buildings in Saltburn-By-The-Sea.
The trail is the sidewalk, as best we can tell.
The North Sea!
Heading down to the sea.
The black car is the aid station at mile 55, at the shore of Saltburn-By-The-Sea. Glad to see it, since we just ran 25 miles (unintentionally) without aid, and ran out of water hours ago. We have accumulated several drop bags here. That's Jon the RD on the phone, running as sweep.
Mark Barnes, who we leap-frogged with most of the race.
The aid station (a water jug and our drop bags).
Looking back at the aid station, at the base of the pier.
We run all the way along the sea cliffs now, for the rest of the run. The far cliff has a name, Hunt Cliff, and the rocks below are called a "scar."
Typical trail along the sea cliffs. It's best not to look down.
Say goodbye to Saltburn-By-The-Sea.
Kooky sculpture. We're now running with Jon and Mark Barnes. Though we expect Jon to be a defacto tour guide, he finally admits he has no idea what this sculpture is for.
Steps - get used to them. Heading down to the town of Skinningrove.
Yep, more stairs.
The trail runs through this seawall/pier thing.
Don't look too tired after a long night on the trail.
Yay, a rare trail sign!
Looking back at our route through the town of Skinningrove. The trail ran down the hill, along the front of the buildings, and up this road.
The climb out of Skinningrove. That's a person at the top.
Rob, catching his breath on the climb. Not sure if the rocks make the footing easy or hard.
Miles of sunny sea cliff ahead. Wishing now I'd put on sunscreen at the last aid station.
Believe it or not, they farm right along the seacliffs.
We just passed through the stile in the fence. This is a good example of public access across private land in this country, and one of the reasons they have so many trails here!
Looking back again. The heather is a little past bloom here, but there's a bit of purple left.
Trail crosses another stile in the fence and passes in front of the white building straight ahead in the town of Boulby.
Here the trail uses an asphalt road to connect to the next off-road section.
The trail often takes a line along farm fence, as it does here. The footing is almost good enough to run side by side.
Interesting trail adornments.
The town of Staithes, one of the prettiest we ran through.
The trail goes down the road in Cowbar, turns right behind the green shrubs, and crosses the bridge over Staithes Beck to the pretty town of Staithes on the other side.
Crossing the bridge over Staithes Beck.
Running through the quaint and un-touristy town of Staithes. We run past several art galleries on the way (no time to buy anything!).
Trail takes a right turn up the street.
We climb through low woods, back up to seacliff level.
Rob, looking a little scruffy but awake.
Yikes, this is not a good time to be sleep-deprived.
Saw lots of these along the way. It's hay-baling season.
The aid station at Runswick Bay, mile 70-something, the back of Steve's truck.
This is the section we had to hit at low tide, and the reason the race had to be timed around the tide. Runswick Bay.
The trail heads across the sands to the opening in the sea cliffs to the left of the sail.
Looking back at Runswick Bay. We got lucky on the weather. It's even warm enough that kids are in the cold water.
We've just finished the Runswick Beach section. Now we're at the opening in the cliff, called Hob Holes,.
Such an unexpected and beautiful surprise! Rob likes the handrail.
Looking down at the steep climb up from Hob Holes. Lots of stairs. That's Runswick Bay in the background.
Looking back at Runswick Bay. We zig-zagged. Left along the tan sea cliff to the red building, down through the trees to the grey road, right down the road to the aid station at the quay, left along the quay in front of town, and along the beach.
So picturesque, yet not touristy or over-built. The aid station was in the grey parking lot on the far left of the photo.
One last look back at Runswick Bay.
Can you say "soft"?
Cinder track, heading into Sandsend, that passes through earthworks on the left and right.
We're headed for the little blip sticking up above the land on the left side. It's Whitby abbey, the ruins of a Benedictine abbey. It's maybe five miles away.
Sandsend. The trail runs (left to right) through the parking lot, along the quay in front of the houses, and stays along the road to the left.
Starting along the quay at Sandsend. The trail eventually winds around to the seaside road you can see far off on the left (lots of tiny white cars).
Along the bay in Sandsend. We get our first tast of dodging the other tourists in our way, while not getting hit by a car.
Beautiful homes along the bay, where the front yards are big flowerboxes.
Ahh, we have the quay walk to ourselves for a moment. The trail follows the road to the right into a brief inlet, and then back along the top of the sand in front of the buildings, going left.
Not many thatched roofs in this area.
The course follows a seaside walk path. It's a sunny, warm, weekend so there are tons of people out. We're headed as far down the coast as you can see (and farther). That's the abbey on top of the farthest cliff.
Directions say to take a right up the hill. Notice, no course signs.
You can just now see the abbey, sitting tall, near the farthest set of cliffs. That's our next aid station.
Heading into Whitby. It looks so calm from here. We're not quite sure how the trail gets from here to the abbey.
Gorgeous formal square. More people here but we can still run on the sidewalk.
Another Captain Cook memorial. That's the abbey across the bay. We're getting ready to descend (into total chaos), cross a bridge, and climb the 99 steps back up to the abbey.
The trail follows the road below, and turns right at the red trolley. We have no idea what's around that corner.
It's like running in Gatlinburg, and it gets worse.
We're a little pushed for time, but how do you run through this??? We still have to cross that red bridge to the left, go through more people, in tighter alleyways, and up the hill to the abbey. It's like running through molasses.
Heading across the bridge. You can see the people shoulder-to-shoulder on the quayside. This is ridiculous.
The infamous 99 steps. In the end, they were so easy (and relatively free of people) that we ran up.
Part of the abbey buildings, and cemetary we pass along the way to the checkpoint.
Looking down at the mayhem we just passed through along the bay. I've never run through a crowd like that. To give you some idea of scale, we ran along the entire seacliff way in the background on the right side. About halfway between the right side of the big white building on top of the hill and the right edge of this photo is the (now tiny) Captain Cook monument in one of the previous photos.
One of the abbey buildings that serves as a youth hostel. We finally figure out that the aid station is in the back.
Rob, at the door of the hostel/aid station filling up a bottle.
The yellow sign is for the race. The guy (wearing the race Buff) is an aid station worker.
We can spare a second for a quick photo.
Back to the quiet sea cliffs. We cross up the hill just in front of the lighthouse.
Down and back up on the other side. This routine becomes very familiar.
We're heading to Robin Hood's Bay. That far cliff looks so far away, but the mileage just seems to disappear.
More haying to the right, and a sign up ahead (yay!).
It isn't all soft grass and gravel. Still plenty of rocks that never made it as part of a wall.
Scenic Robin Hood's Bay. We get a little of the spectacular view before sunset.
It looks for all the world like they paved these trails with rock.
Something different - a green tunnel. This is around 80 miles, with 30 left to go.
Day #8 - Poof! All of a sudden, we're done and napping (unshowered) in the car. Ran out of time for any other photos when we got stuck navigating through Scarborough at night. We got done in the wee hours of the morning while it was still dark and since we didn't know when we'd get done and didn't have a hotel room, we napped in the freezing car. Let's just say it was epic.
The entire cast and crew of the race at the end of the awards ceremony.
On the way from Filey to Buxton and the Peak District, we stopped at Castle Howard to walk around and stretch. I couldn't resist and had to start in the garden. This one mixes food crops with flowers.
A proper English rose garden.
The Altas Fountain.
You may recognize Castle Howard - it's where Brideshead Revisited was filmed.
Altas holding the world on his shoulders.
Stunning. It was designed in 1699 and took 100 years to build.
This is the back of the house!
Walking to the Temple of the Four Winds. One of the British tourists ahead takes our picture at the temple.
The statue's holding a shield, not a discus.
The Temple of the Four Winds.
We were walking about the same speed and route as two nice British couples, so one of the men asked to take our photo.
Walking out in front of the formal entrance. There's a huge obelisk marking the turn in the road far off ahead.
The front looks more business-like than the back, but it looks across a long lawn to a swan pond.
Day #9 - In the Peak District. This is the glass Pavilion in Buxton where the information agency is located. We need maps!
Buxton was a famous spring and "bath". This is a running spring at the center of the bath area.
The Crescent, where people came to "take the waters." They're hoping to complete the restoration in time for the Olympics.
Crescent and shopping center.
Pedestrian shopping area. We counted five charity shops (for the aged, for cancer, for...) in this short street.
Day #10 - Another rainy day (though we've been incredibly lucky so far), so we decide to spend it at the historic Chatsworth House, the site of the new movie The Duchess. These are the stables (now shops).
The Red Room? Built effectively as a grand entranceway.
Only part of of one of the many painted ceilings. I can't remember the story this tells, but it's beautiful.
I'm still not sure how to take the modern sculptures mixed in with the old English landscaping. I did NOT PhotoShop this.
Another story, told on the ceiling. The person with the rays behind his head was supposed to be a metaphor for the king.
You wouldn't believe the work that went into making these rooms. The cabinets along the wall are tortoiseshell and other intricate inlays.
Here's the reason for the excess of ornament. The house was built by The first house at Chatsworth was built by 'Bess of Hardwick' (c. 1527-1608) and her second husband Sir William Cavendish (1505-57). They bought the manor of Chatsworth in 1549, and building began in 1552 and continued for many years. No expense was spared because it was also meant as a palace for the king, but ironically, due to the queen's death and other turns of events, the king never even visited.
Detail of marble in the chapel. Amazing.
I want one! An indoor water feature. Believe it or not but this is the original 1800s working gravity-fed plumbing.
Princess Victoria had her first "grown-up" meal here. Impressive room. See the scuplture room beyond?
Vestal virgin - one of the more popular sculptures in the souvenir shop.
View from the backyard.
Safe exit from the maze. We made every possible wrong turn, but it was fun.
Entrance to the very unusual stone garden. The owner at the time had the stones moved here.
Chatsworth grounds. The trail is calling me...
Classic English landscape. Actually, the placement for each tree in the Chatsworth grounds was planned.
Day #11 - The day starts sunny,but as soon as we get to Morrison's to stock up on sandwiches, crisps, and beer, it starts to sleet.
Peering over the pass into Edale valley. We're headed to peak in the middle of the photo ahead that's covered in clouds. It's cold, windy, and rainy.
The trailhead and parking area at Barber Booth. Headed up Kinder Scout. We're begining to think we didn't pack seriously enough for this outing.
Yes, I'm even wearing pants today. Heaviest Gore-tex jacket cinched down for the heavy wind, heavy purple fleece, warm green fleece, green capilene shirt on top; windproof gloves I picked up yesterday; shorts and pants. Map in a ziploc. This is all-out.
Pretty but the weather looks a little intimidating. How bad can it be? We're going up the draw on the right side of that hill.
The sun is out in patches.
Aw, a telephone box out here in the middle of nowhere!
National Trust farm. This road and farm driveway are part of the Pennine Way. We just watched four Gore-tex-covered hikers pass through here on their trek.
Our trail leaves the tame road for wilder places.
Rain, and lots of it.
Gate and bridge combo.
We don't even think about the stiles anymore.
Wilder and prettier with each step.
The trail is a creek in some places.
Gorse blooming across the creek.
Looking back down the draw we've climbed.
Wouldn't be any place else, but I can't tell you how cold it is.
That fog is actually another wave of sleet and rain coming at us.
The moor and some slippery, wet peat hags.
Beautiful colors. I love this scenery. Look how the wind is blowing the grass.
The view across the moor on top. The wind is so strong we can only take photos in the lee of these rocks while bracing against them. The camera is also starting to slow in the cold.
On last shot of the moor as another wave sleet arrives. We've done 95% of the elevation gain but don't have the time or gear to safely reach the peak across the barren moor so we face the sleet to head to return downhill. We'll save this for next time.
Sunny down below but treacherous up here.
It's easy to lose navigation points in the fog and boulders. My gloves and feet are now very wet. Don't want to leave but I'm ready to descend to the warm car.
More clouds and rain as the camera freezes up.
Day #12 - Leaving Buxton and the Peak District. This is the hotel in Buxton. They've all been beautiful.
The Buxton Opera House - still going strong. Look at the clear blue sky, then look at the next picture...
Yep, that's hail. Even the woman at the computer store said this was unusual. Blue sky one moment, hail the next.
This country is littered (in a wonderful way) with trailheads. You could walk your entire life and never do a decent percentage of them!
Cutting through the Cotswolds, a Tudor-style building.
Day #13 - Stonehenge!
It's another cool but beautiful, blue-sky day.
The cap stone, lying in front.
There's not much to stop the ever-present wind here on the plains.
We've driven the short distance from Stonehenge to Avebury to look at what is supposed to be an even more impressive stone circle. This is the churchyard.
Lots of thatched roofs here in the south.
A real-live dovecote (circa the 1600s?), complete with mossy roof.
The circle at Avebury is encompasses the entire town. This is one part of the circle that sits inside an earthen circle. It's such a large site, it's hard to describe. Very impressive!
The circle continues across roads and fences.
And the stones are huge.
While walking around the circle, we got stuck out in a surprise downpour but thanks to this tree, stayed dry and warm. There were all kinds of charms and prayers hanging from the tree and written on it.
Yes, it's pouring rain outside the shelter of the tree...
But there's a rainbow too!
The outside earthworks ring is made of the chalk soil (see the white path) and at the time it was built, was an unbelievable five stories high. It's awe-inspiring even now.
This shows how the outside earthworks ring and inside stone circle sit together.
The stones are simply part of the town.
One last, pretty building in Avebury before we call it a day and drive to London.
Day #14 - At Heathrow. One last photo of the scruff before it disappears.