UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews

About me

This website is dedicated to my personal Mountain Walking and Mountaineering experiences over very many years. I've been enjoying the great outdoors since at the tender age of nine, my Uncle and Cousin took me on a Youth Hostelling weekend to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire where we stayed at St Briavels Castle, which is still a Youth Hostel. I've been walking and climbing in all areas of the UK from as far north as the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye through the Lake District, Yorkshire, the Peak District, North, Mid and South Wales right down to Devon and Cornwall.

In Europe I have organised and participated in successful expeditions to Switzerland, the Italian Dolomites and the French Alps. Further afield, I have been to South America to climb Aconcagua, Africa to climb Meru Peak and Kilimanjaro by the difficult Western Breach route, to Nepal, which was a lifetime ambition, to climb Gokyo Ri, Kala Patthar and Chukhung Ri, then in 2019 I went to Russia for an attempt on Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. I have written about many of these trips and expeditions and these reports are in the 'Previous Expeditions' pages.

During those expeditions I had the opportunity to test out all types of equipment and the Equipment Review page lists most of this gear along with my honest opinion. Hopefully that will be of use to anyone considering purchasing equipment.

Over the years, I have been slowly but surely climbing all of the 2,000 foot mountains in England and Wales as defined by the Nuttalls guides, i.e. 2,000 foot (610m) with a 50 foot (15m) prominence. As a labour of love, I have listed all of these mountains along with the date of ascent on the Mountain Log Book page. During 2023 I completed all of the mountains in Wales and in July 2024 I completed all of the English ones with Pillar Rock being the final mountain. I have created a database SQL file and also a spreadsheet containing the list. Anyone who reads this and would like an electronic copy of the full list of Mountains, get in touch and I'd be happy to provide it free of charge, but be warned, it gets very addictive! In fact, so much so that I am now tackling the Marilyn group of mountains. These can be any height but must have a prominence of 521 foot (150m). Obviously some Nuttalls are Marilyns and vice versa so I was off to a good start anyway. These live on the Marilyn Log Book page.

In the meantime, have a look around the site, read the reviews and reports and let me know what you think, it will be great to hear from you.

UK Mountains Blog 2024

Pillar Rock 04/07/2024
Pillar Rock


Final mountain 04/07/2024
Well, after many many years of climbing mountains, I finally conquered the final Nuttall! It was Pillar Rock in Ennerdale. We walked over from Borrowdale via Scarth Gap, descended into Ennerdale and then made the big climb up to the base of Pillar Rock. From there, it was a multi-pitch rock climb right to the summit. The weather was dreadful with driving rain, wind and cold temperatures. I think it was the first time I'd rock climbed in full waterproof gear!

Of course, that is only half the battle and we needed a two pitch abseil followed by some tricky walking across and back down to Ennerdale, followed by another ascent of Scarth Gap and finally back into Borrowdale. In total I ascended over 1,500 metres which is actually about double the height of Pillar Rock!


Watch Hill 03/07/2024
Watch Hill


Binsey 03/07/2024
Binsey


Another two bite the dust 03/07/2024
Another two Marilyns today. First off was the highest: Binsey at 447m. Good parking just off the main road then after crossing, a good path all the way to the summit. Quite steep towards the end but it was short lived. There is a shelter and trig point on the top, so a proper hill. Descent was the reverse. Then onto Watch Hill, which at 254m was much lower although there was 220m of ascent compared to Binsey at 287m of ascent so not much in it. A straightforward ascent following a good path right to the end. There are a few undulations on the last section but nothing to worry about. This summit is marked by a few small boulders. Again, return was retracing the way up.

Swinside 01/07/2024
Swinside


Lords Seat 01/07/2024
Lords Seat


Back to the Marilyns 01/07/2024
Two Marilyns today and very different experiences they were too! Starting in Powter How I headed more or less directly uphill to ascent Lords Seat. The weather was particularly inclement with rain right from the get go. As I ascended I headed into cloud which of course meant high humidity which meant my waterproofs became nothing more than something to keep me warm rather than dry. The path is relentless and steep almost right to the summit. From there, it heads down into the woods and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the paths on the map actually existed!

Into and out of Thornthwaite in a flash my route took me South to Braithwaite then onwards to the foot of Swinside. There is no obvious path from the road below so I headed across a field hoping to find a gate but instead a section of broken fence allowed me access onto Swinside. A brief battle with the undergrowth and I was onto a forest track. The hill is a mere 244m high but it is steep, and I was well pleased to be on the summit. Some views across to Cat Bells and Causty Pike made it worthwhile. Following a forest track I soon emerged onto the road where I saw a sign claiming private land! Ho Hum. A short distance later I was at the pub and the finish.


Rock Climbing 30/06/2024
Rock Climbing


Today was a rock climbing day 30/06/2024
I've not rock climbed for many years but I fancied a day out on the crags so booked Mountain Journeys, a Lake District guiding company for a days climbing on a crag. ( mountain-journeys.co.uk )

We went to Shepherds Crag near Keswick and managed to ascent no less than four routes: Brown Crag Arete (Diff), Little Chamonix (HS) , Donkey Ears (VDiff) and Brown Crag (Diff). The grades were at the lower end but they made a superb day out, all bar Brown Crag being multi-pitch which made them even better.

The weather was kind to us with no rain all day, unlike yesterday and probably unlike tomorrow, so the day choice was inspired. Most enjoyable day out but my toes hurt (tight rock shoes), my arms hurt (pumped) and for some reason, my back also hurts!


Crummock Water 29/06/2024
Crummock Water


Red Pike 29/06/2024
Red Pike


High Crag 29/06/2024
High Crag


Nuttall bagging 29/06/2024
With seven Nuttalls to go, today was a big day, I ticked off another six! From Buttermere I climbed High Crag (744m), High Stile (807m), Dodd (641m), Red Pike (755m), Starling Dodd (633m), Great Borne (616m) in a big 23km day out. The weather was pretty awful with rain and low cloud all day, but the peaks were done. I might return in the summer and do them again as the view must be spectacular.

The final peak is booked for Thursday. What could possibly go wrong?


Hutton Roof Crags 28/06/2024
Hutton Roof Crags


Here we go again 28/06/2024
Heading off to the Lake District to hopefully mop up the remaining Nuttalls ( nuttalls.com ) and bag a few Marilyns along the way, today we stopped off at Hutton Roof to climb Hutton Roof Crags. A reasonable car park and the entrance to the woods led to a very pleasant walk up through the woods to the summit. It doesn't appear right until the end which is slightly disconcerting. Excellent views all around made it worthwhile.

Wapley Hill 24/06/2024
Wapley Hill


Shobdon Hill 24/06/2024
Shobdon Hill


Worcestershire complete 24/06/2024
Bagged two more Marilyns in a combined walk/bike ride. I managed to cycle most of the way up Shobdon Hill, although there was a steep section that required walking up and down. The summit was in the midst of ferns, nettles and undergrowth which was not much fun. I then cycled over to Wapley Hill, parking the bike in the car park and walking up. This time, the summit was easier, being on a mound on the earthworks. Nothing marks it so it was bagged by eye.

Wentwood Forest 21/06/2024
Wentwood Forest


Wentwood Forest 21/06/2024
I decided to combine a days motorbiking with an objective so rode down to Wentwood near Usk in South Wales, parked up in the forest and took a scenic route around to the highest point. At just 309 metres, it was a little contrived to find a suitable walk and the OS map is massively out of date as regards the footpaths, so quite a bit of lane walking was required. Also the trig point is well hidden down a tiny track. The weather was excellent all day.

St Boniface Down 20/06/2024
St Boniface Down


Highest peak on the IoW 20/06/2024
Not too much of a challenge to be fair, but St Boniface Down at 242 metres wins. I cycled from the airport to the base of the hill, stashed my bike and headed up. To be fair, it's quite a climb onto the summit area but the true summit is behind fences that guard the radio station so we have to be satisfied with the path to one side which will be within a metre or so. Actually, the trig point is well down from the summit so doesn't count either. Pleasant walk and good views. Back at the bike I headed to the seaside for a well-earned lunch.

Bardon Hill 14/06/2024
Bardon Hill


Leicestershires highest 14/06/2024
The competition is not all that high, but today I made an ascent of Bardon Hill via Birra Birra Hill. It is a nice walk, apart from crossing a very busy A road. The final ascent has been changed due to quarrying in the area and the alternative footpath soon deteriorates into a fight near the top. Good views but I didn't stay long due to the approaching rain storm. As it turned out, I just caught the edge of it.

Robin Hoods Bay 11/06/2024
Robin Hoods Bay


Yorkshire Coast bimble 11/06/2024
I parked at the radio mast near Ravenscar and made my way down to the old railway line which is now a very pleasant track leading in a roundabout sort of way to Robin Hoods Bay where I had lunch. My return route followed the Cleveland Way along the coastline to Boggle Hole and beyond, although there was a footpath diversion for a short way. As I approched the radio mast, it was clear that the entire climbing of the day would be right at the end with over 200 metres in the final couple of kilometres but it was easy ground and soon done. Fifteen kilometres made a very pleasant day out.

Guisborough Moor 06/06/2024
Guisborough Moor


North Yorkshire Moors done 06/06/2024
The highest point on the North Yorkshire Moors is Guisborough Moor. I parked in a convenient car park not far from Great Ayton and headed off. There are a lot of tracks going in lots of directions but I got the one I wanted and headed off. It was a good track which eventually bought me to a road. My original intention was to follow the road for a while then pick up another path. Rather than do that, I took a direct line across the moors. The going was mostly okay and I soon found myself at the Sleddale Farm. There is no choice at this point but to follow the path through the farmland, then up and around to the summit. Of course, being a moorland, there were two choices. The furthest one turned out to be the high point and it had a nice shelter for lunch. From there, back across and I followed the line of the woodland to join the Cleveland Way, then headed across more open land to pick up the path down to the car. 15km walked and 419m of height gained.

Bishop Wilton Wold 05/06/2024
Bishop Wilton Wold


Possibly the easiest one 05/06/2024
Bishop Wilton Wold (248m)

Barely worth it, but as I was passing. Parked the car and walked across the road to the trig point. Well, I would haver but it was inside a locked water treatment site so not accessible. Some websites claim a tumulus as being the true summit but surely that is man-made so doesn't count? Either way I'm counting it and not planning to return anytime soon.


Pendle Hill 05/06/2024
Pendle Hill


Where the witches go 05/06/2024
Pendle Hill (557m)

Downham is the perfect place to park for Pendle Hill. There is a free car park and the walk out to the base of the climb is a very pleasant meander through fields on dedicated paths. Once on the hill it is relentless upwards. I'd been walking in shorts an T-Shirts but about one third of the way up the waterproofs came out in defence of a hailstorm! It continued to rain for much of the way up and when that passed over, I had to keep the waterproofs in to combat the cold wind.

Pendle Hill summit is more of a plateau with the trig point being very slightly higher than the surroundings. Clearly popular, there are good stone tracks approaching it from all directions.

The return was the reverse of the way up. I finally took off the waterproofs as I reached the final walk into Downham. There is a small cafe in the village which does an excellent coffee and bisuit.


White Hill 04/06/2024
White Hill


And another one 04/06/2024
White Hill (544m)

A few miles North of Slaidburn, there is a very small car park. It was from there, that my second walk of the day began. The weather was dreadful, with driving rain, but it had to be done. Initially it is a good track that leads up the hill, but that peters out to almost nothing, so it was a case of make your own route. It was made harder with plenty of peaty groughs and streams requiring dropping down and climbing up. The view was non-existent and I was continually taking bearings to take the best route to the summit. The driving rain into my face didn't help and a couple of times I questioned my sanity! Finally the trig point came in sight and we headed over to it, with a second summit marker a little way away, which of course I had to visit. I stayed long enough to take a couple of photos, then another bearing and I was off back down. My descent route was slightly different to the ascent and I was back forty minutes later. With an ascent time of around one hour and fifteen minutes it was a significantly faster, I guess because the rain and wind were behind me. Seven kilometers, it seemed further, and just over 600 metres of ascent made for a good, but tough walk.


Easington Hill 04/06/2024
Easington Hill


More in Bowland 04/06/2024
Easington Hill (396m)

I parked in Slaidburn and headed off through a very wet field to avoid the walk up the road. As a result of following the obvious path, I missed the actual path and emerged onto the road much higher than intended so had to walk back down about as far as I would have walked up!

That little problem solved I headed out in the direction of Easington Hill crossing farming fields, some with sheep and some without. Rosie was very confused, on and off the lead. Eventually I emerged onto open land and headed up on a reasonable track. No sooner had I done that, than the rain started, which would continue for most of the day. I had to choose a jumping off point to get to the actual summit and I was lucky enough to find a thin track which took me very close to the summit. It was then a short distance to the summit, marked by a small pile of stones. From there, across to a path which I followed to the road, then aimed off across more open land, reasonable going but no actual path. After a steep downhill, it was more farmland until I got to the river Hodder which I could follow directly back to Slaidburn. Thirteen kilometres walked with just over 640m of ascent.


Fair Snape Hill 03/06/2024
Fair Snape Hill


Bowland Part 2 03/06/2024
After Longridge I drove the seven miles ish around to the foot of Fair Snape Hill (521m), parking in another very small and very popular car park. Initially I skirted around to the East, following a good farmland track. Eventually we started uphill and once on the ridge, followed it on a nice track pretty much right to the summit. Only a short distance on a thin peaty track bought me to the summit, which had a pile of stones and an information board. From there I followed the obvious track to the trig point and shelter, which actually are 10 metres lower but must do for many walkers. Returning, I ascended Parlick (432m) mostly because it was in the way, but I figured it might appear in one of my many lists! The weather was fine, a cool breeze but no rain.

Longridge Fell 03/06/2024
Longridge Fell


Forest of Bowland 03/06/2024
Another two hill day. First to be ticked off was Longridge Fell (350m), a quick jaunt up a forest track from a handy, though popular small car park on the South Side. Easy walking on a good track led me to the final slightly less good, but still fine track to the summit trig point. From there I could see Fair Snape in the distance. Return was a case of retracing my steps.

Off again 30/05/2024
On my never ending quest to climb all the mountains I am off again, this time to Yorkshire via Lancashire. The North of Manchester is ripe for picking off peaks where I will spent a few days, then off to the Yorkshire Coast via, probably the easiest peak of all, Bishop Wilton Wold which, not only being a mere 248 metres, the only sensible start is the car park across the road! Reports to follow of course.

View Edge 24/05/2024
View Edge


Final Marilyn of the trip 24/05/2024
I managed a final cheeky climb on the way home from a successful week in the Llyn Peninsula. Parking at Stokesay Castle I headed off on a gentle uphill slope into the woods above. A muddy but good path took me up through the woods towards the summit, but stopped short of the actual summit. A bit of fence crossing and dodgy field walking (no path) bought me to the top of the field and the top of the hill. It's nothing special, just a high point in a field, there seems to be no public access so something of a disappointment, but it's done. The get back to the car was a reverse of the way up.

Yr Eifl 23/05/2024
Yr Eifl


Highest peak of the trip. 23/05/2024
Yr Eifl on the Llyn Peninsula is 561m high so quite a giant by comparison to the others I've done on this trip. Due to some persistent bad weather, it was a very windy and wet walk up and down. The path on the North side is considerably better than the one on the South which made for a much more enjoyable ascent than descent.

On the summit there was zero visibility which was a shame as I am sure there are excellent views on a clear day.

I have to admit to underestimating the Marilyn hills. I'd assumed they would be push overs, completed whilst strolling along enjoying the countryside. Many are anything but, and this was a good example of that. Some serious weather, both rainy and cold made for a tough day out. As a habit I carry extra 'just in case' gear and today I needed it.


Garn Boduan 22/05/2024
I parked in Nefyn almost opposite the start of the walk. It was raining heavily so waterproofs on. Through the gate and across several fields, including one with cattle which of course, freaked Rosie. After that we had about a mile of road work before we came around to the Forestry entrance. After that, it was steadily up on good tracks almost to the summit which is when the tracks vanished and we found ourselves climbing over wet rocks.The summit had a trig point but zero view, coupled with being very windy, we didn't stop, but picked up a good track that took is steadily downwards, eventually popping out onto a lane that led right back to the car park.

Garn Boduan 22/05/2024
Garn Boduan


Moel y Gest 22/05/2024
Moel y Gest


Moel y Gest 22/05/2024
We'd finished the previous walk a lot quicker than I'd expected, so decided to pop over to Porthmadog to add another to the bag. Parking at the foot of the hill, it seemed an easy prospect. The walk started a little way down the road on a good wooded path which headed upwards. I followed what seemed to be the most likely path but it started to deteriorate into something of a fight in places, then open up into a better path. I continued along, past an old quarry expecting the final ascent any minute. We then came to a rocky section with a big drop. This looked like the end, but I spied a way down and with some help, Rosie followed - we wouldn't bre coming back this way! Eventually it started to climb and we popped out into a fern forest and shortly afterwards, came to the summit. Despite the rain, the views around were good but it was windy so we headed off, having to ascend the sister peak before locating the downward path. Near the bottom we came to the original path and realised our error. Oh well, it was a good experience.

Mynydd Bodafon 20/05/2024
Mynydd Bodafon


Mynydd Bodafan 20/05/2024
An easy ascent up a good path. I parked a little way up the road, but there is a reasonable car park at the foot of the ascent which is only about 50 metres of height gain up an easy path. Up and down was less than thirty minutes including photos.

Llyn Peninsula 19/05/2024
Llyn Peninsula


Bardsey Island 19/05/2024
Bardsey Island


Llyn Peninsula Far South West 19/05/2024
Today I travelled just about as far down the peninsula as I could without falling off. I'd got a route planned which would culminate in an ascent of Mynydd Anelog. It's not a high peak, in fact less than 200 metres but an interesting one nevetheless. Parking in the NT Car park in Aberdaron, I headed out along the headland with the sea on my left. It's a lovely walk, following the Welsh Coastal Path, but as with most coastal paths, very undulating. Eventually I could travel South no longer and rounded the headland. It was then that Bardsey Island came into view. There is a Marilyn on that island and today it was standing clear of the clouds. Continuing around the headland I eventually turned North and headed to todays peak. As I approached it looked very imposing, but close up, straightforward. There is a path to the summit starting more or less on the North side, so I had to walk past it and turn back. A few minutes later I was on the top. From there, it was an easy descent through fields to the road and back to the village.

Carn Fadryn direct 19/05/2024
An easy ascent from the car park in the small village to the South of the summit. There is a good path that can be followed right to the top, but it does meander around for a while but is infinitely better than trying a direct approach through the undergrowth. Just under 20 minutes after leaving the car, I was stood on the top of the second Marilyn of the day.

Mynydd Rhiw 18/05/2024
Mynydd Rhiw


Llyn Peninsula Day 1 18/05/2024
The day started badly when after leaving the cottage in glorious sunshine, I got to my destination in cloud and cold wind. There are a lot of choices in this area so I decided to change my plans and go back to the other side of the peninsula for the first walk. Unfortunately, the entire peninsula was in cloud so I had no choice. First peak to be bagged was Mynydd Rhiw at just 304m high, it was a pleasant walk up from a good car park, but the views were non-existent sadly.

Llyn Peninsula Day 1 part B 18/05/2024
After a nice lunch in a small village I headed off for the second walk of the day. I managed a superb car park spot right by a gate that led onto the hill - Carneddol, this time just 235m high. After seven minutes of hard effort, I stood on the summit, completely enveloped in cloud! Couple of photos and five minutes later I was back at the car, job done.

High Vinnalls 17/05/2024
High Vinnalls


Cheeky Marilyn 17/05/2024
En-route to Wales for some Marilyn hunting, I stopped off near Ludlow to bag High Vinnalls. There is a car park in the woodland and it is an enjoyable hours walk up decent forest tracks right to the summit. I wore walking boots, but could have easily got away with trainers. I saw no-one on the way up, but when I got to the summit, there must have been 30 people milling around!

A couple of quick photos and I was on the way back down, retracing my steps. There is a lot of potential here for a longer walk but I was on my way elsewhere.


Northumberland Tour summary 11/05/2024
So, nine days of walking, 5,856 metres climbed, 134 km walked, seven Nuttalls conquered, seven Marilyns and a handful of 500 metre peaks.

Rosie, my faithful Collie probably walked double, spent most of the time off the lead, got mucky, smelt new smells, looked in fascination at the sheep and the lambs and loved every second of being with her Daddy.

Happy with that.


Final Day of the tour 10/05/2024
For the final day, I chose an ascent of Wards Stone from Jubilee Tower in the Forest of Bowland near Lancaster. There is a good sized car park with excellent views. The route was straight up and down on a reasonable gradient and fairly firm underfoot. Finally we had a nice sunny day and even the views from the summit were good. One minor fly in the ointment was being told off by a ranger for having the dog with me. Apparently dogs are not allowed in this area, despite the notice at the car park implying dogs under control were allowed. Oh well, I do not plan to repeat the visit anyway.

Peel Fell 09/05/2024
Peel Fell


Deadwater Fell 09/05/2024
Deadwater Fell


Keilder yomp 09/05/2024
I parked just out of Keilder, near Deadwater and followed the forest track up as high as I could before breaking off to make my way through the felled forest area and onto Peel Fell (602m), although not before having to scale a six foot fence! Luckily there was a hole under one section so Rosie could get through, I had to scale a support, then climb down the other side!

Up to Peel Fell was a struggle, no path and thick heather and undergrowth exhausted me and I was pleased to reach the summit. The route across the ridge to Mid Fell (561m), then Deadwater Fell (571m) was pretty straightforward on a good path, marked rather sadistically by low metal stakes - it would be paintful to walk into one! A handy shelter on Deadwater Fell was perfect out of the wind for lunch, then I followed the forest track all the way back down to the car. Two more peaks for the bag, Mid Fell doesn't count in any of the groups!


Shillhope Law 08/05/2024
Shillhope Law


Tosson Hill 08/05/2024
Tosson Hill


Final day in the Cheviots 08/05/2024
Two walks today, the first was Shillhope Law (501m) which was a straight up and down from Wedder Leap Car Park. Quite a climb but only 30 minutes up and about the same down. The second walk was Tosson Hill (441m) from the Lime Kiln Car Park. A short road section followed by fields, woodland and open moorland made for a nice varied route. Around 1 1/4 hours up, I arrived in time for an early lunch in the sunshine, followed by a similar time down. Nice views from the top and excellent weather made for a nice end to a few days in the Cheviots.

The Cheviot 07/05/2024
The Cheviot


More Cheviots 07/05/2024
Today saw me climb the final three peaks in the Cheviot area: The Cheviot (815m), Comb Fell (652m) and Hedgehope Hill (714m). The weather was dry, the going was, as expected, very wet and muddy and the views were non-existent due to the low cloud. No matter, it's all done now and so there are just seven peaks to climb to complete the Nuttalls which will allow me to join their club.

So far this trip, I've climbed 4,420 metres and there are still three days to go!


Bloodybush Edge 06/05/2024
Bloodybush Edge


Cushat Law 06/05/2024
Cushat Law


Cheviots 06/05/2024
Today I started on the Cheviot Peaks. Many years ago, I walked the Pennine Way which went over Windy Gyle and optionally the Cheviot. We declined the option at the time! Two peaks added, Bloodybush Edge (610m) which was the lowest of the remaining peaks, and Cushat Law (616m). As a result of the out and back route, I had to climb Bloodybush Edge twice, but hey ho.

Little Fell 05/05/2024
Little Fell


Final Cross Fell peak 05/05/2024
Little Fell at 745m was the final piece of the Cross Fell jigsaw and today it fell into place. The cloud base was low and visibility poor to say the least, plus a non-existent path most of the way up made for a disappointing ascent, but equally exciting that the area is now finished.

Tomorrow I start on the final peaks in the Cheviot area.


Mickle Fell 04/05/2024
Mickle Fell


Mickle Fell 04/05/2024
Back on the Nuttall bagging with a ascent of Mickle Fell. It was a long walk (13 mile round trip) for one mountain and it was a very overcast day with some light rain but nothing requiring waterproofs other than a thin one as a windstopper. It is an easy track up from the B6276 followed by a nice grassy track to the summit.

Aye Gill Pike 03/05/2024
The small village of Dent was the starting point for the climb. The pike is the imposing hill to the North. Paying for the car park proved a challenge, cards could not be used, there was a Ringo code and a bar code, but unfortunately no internet, there was a phone number but no phone signal! I gave up and decided I would pay it once I got a signal (that was 50 minutes later!).

The path goes through farm fields with tiny gates on stone wall stiles, each one seemed to be more of a challenge than the last until finally we got onto open ground and Rosie could run free. Aye Gill is no pushover and took some real effort to gain the ridge, but then it eased dramatically over the last kilometre or so to the summit trig point.

It was a cool day, but no wind so I had lunch on the summit, before packing away and heading down. We took a slightly different and slightly longer way down but were soon back at Dent making use of the small cafe for coffee and carrot cake, an excellent end to a great day out.


Winter Hill 02/05/2024
Winter Hill


Winter Hill, a bit misleading 02/05/2024
To climb Winter Hill, I parked in Rivington Estate and made my way in the general direction of up, roughly aiming for the tower on Rivington Pike. It's a lovely walk in the woods before breaking out onto the summit steps. From the top, ther e are views all around, as far as the Bolton Wanderers football ground, the peaks behind and up ahead, the radion towers that marked the summit of Winter Hill seeming to be a short distance across the fell. They are misleading! It is a long way, but on a reasonable path and I was surprised at the time it took.

Once there, I stayed long enough for a few photos then headed off as it was incredibly windy and made my way back down more or less reversing the way I came up. Nice day out and a nice start to the weeks walking that lay ahead of me.


Coety Mountain 23/04/2024
Coety Mountain


Mynydd Carn-y-cefn 23/04/2024
Mynydd Carn-y-cefn


Brecons day out 23/04/2024
I parked in Blenavon at a very convenient free car park then headed over in the direction of Coety Mountain. It is steep from the get-go but initially on good paths. Despite the weather forecast, it was raining - presumably I was enjoying the 5% predicted! It is steep climb that gets steeper until the final plateau. The summit is nothing special except a mound so I quickly left.
From there is was along a good track, then over the northern end of Mynydd James and it should have been an easy downhill to Blenau except the path vanished in the trees and despite some searching, I ended up having to climb back up and follow another track to the town which was exhausting.
Through the town heading roughly in the right direction I came to the big climb of Mynydd Carn-y-cefn. It started steep and got steeper, so much so that I could touch the ground in front of me! Eventually I got to the ridge and it was an easy walk from there to the summit and lunch. The return journey was via same route but I bypassed Coety. Tough day out with 21km walked and 1,200 metres of climbing, but apart from the damp start, the weather was good all day.


Stroll on Cleeve 16/04/2024
One of my favourite walks is on Cleeve Hill starting from near the Rising Sun and walking over to Belas Knapp, following more or less the Cotswold Way, then return via the Radio masts and a fiendish drop down to the pond followed by an equally fiendish climb back to the main summit and a circuit around to make up 10 miles. Great weather, although windy with the odd shower, but sunny and warm when it was sheltered.

Myarth 09/04/2024
Myarth


Bryn Arw 09/04/2024
Bryn Arw


Even more Marilyns 09/04/2024
This is becoming a weekly event it seems. Today I climbed another two Marilyns; Myarth (292m) which is actually located on private property belonging to the Glanusk Estate, but an email request was met with a super helpful Estate Manager who granted permission. Parking at the forest entrance, it was thirty minutes up a good track, followed by a few minutes hunting for the summit amongst the brambles, then twenty minutes back down again. As a climb, I probably would not recommend it in summer as it would be a fight once the track is left.

The second hill was Bryn Arw (384m). Llanvihangel was the starting point for this one. Reasonable tracks led to the foot of the mountain. It was then mixed fields, thin tracks and a steep climb onto the summit ridge. I followed the ridge to the end, then dropped down and circled back, picking up the upward path. Interestingly, the big cairn is not the highest point.


The Begwyns 02/04/2024
The Begwyns


The Carneddau 02/04/2024
The Carneddau


Aberedw Hill 02/04/2024
Aberedw Hill


Bradnor Hill 02/04/2024
Bradnor Hill


Grand day out 02/04/2024
Four more Marilyns for the collection. An initial long drive over to the far side of Hay on Wye for a very pleasant walk on the Begwyns to the summit (415m). Parking was roadside on a narrow lane and the walking gently upwards with superb views on the summit. From there, it was a relatively quick hop over to Buith Wells for the big walk of the day combining the Carneddau (445m) and Aberedw Hill (451m), the latter being an initial tough climb on very steep ground followed by a couple of kilometres of relatively flat ground to the summit trig point. The final climb of the day was on Kington Golf course to Bradnor Hill (391m). Parking can be had just at the entrance to the golf club and the walk is mostly up the road that serves the golfers with a final off road section to the summit. The weather was fine all day apart from the return from Bradnor when the rain started but I missed the worst. Rather amazingly, my total ascent for the day was 1,120m.

More Marilyns 01/04/2024
Hopefully this week the weather will be kind enough to get out for more Marilyn bashing. I have identified two that can be done on a single walk further into Wales near Buith Wells and the journey there and back will allow me to pick up an additional two.

I am slowly working through them all, identifying and constructing walks, but there are a lot and it is very time consuming so will be an ongoing project.


Seager Hill 21/03/2024
Seager Hill


Burton Hill 21/03/2024
Burton Hill


Hegdon Hill 21/03/2024
Hegdon Hill


Herefordshire Marilyns 21/03/2024
Another day bagging Herefordshire Marilyns. After failing on Seager Hill (272m) near Tarrington last time, I returned to bag this one first and again failed! Walking up a path through Tarrington Common I came up to Private Land and had no choice but to abandon. It was the first peak of the day, so not deterred, I drove around the other side, found a thin parking space and attacked it from the South side. Not as far, but successful. From there I drove over for Burton Hill (294m), an altogether easier approach, following a good bridleway almost to the top. There was a small sting in the tail with a very muddy and steep last section but it was soon over. The final hill of the day was Hegdon Hill (255m) which is actually located on a road, but to make it a bit of a challenge I parked in Pencombe and followed the bridleway for about two miles to the summit and back.

Aconbury Hill 14/03/2024
Aconbury Hill


Garway Hill 14/03/2024
Garway Hill


Graig Syfyrddin 14/03/2024
Graig Syfyrddin


A Marilyns kind of a day 14/03/2024
There are a lot of Marilyns, and stringing a few of them together into a single walk is not easy, so today I jumped in my car with a cunning plan. I identified four in the Herefordshire (ish) area and drove to each, parking close, or not so close to each, and bagged them as separate walks. I managed Aconbury Hill (276m), Garway Hill (366m) and Graig Syfyrddin (423m). The final ascent was meant to be Seager Hill. I parked in Tarrington and headed off. Unfortunately after about a mile along the road, there was no further path to the hill. Walking back down I spied another path heading in the right direction, but lethargy, oncoming rain and a general feeling of had enough took over and I decided it would be for next time, but at least I knew where the path was.

My total ascent was just over 900 metres according to my watch, with a distance of about 15km. A good day out but surprisingly tiring. The weather was not so kind but I managed to avoid the worst of the rain which came as I was driving home.


Moving to Marilyns 11/03/2024
Now that I am down to my last 15 Nuttalls and they are all in the North of England, it is time to turn my attention to more accessible Marilyns to keep fit whilst planning the next adventure. Luckily there are quite a few within easy reach, the only problem is they are too far apart to bag more than one at a time, but I have a plan that will enable me to grab several in one day, but it does involve driving between each of them. More details to follow.

A good couple of weeks 06/03/2024
The last two weeks have seen me climb two Marilyn Peaks, ten Nuttalls, and four Munros with a total distance walked of almost 120km and an ascent of over 8,000 metres. I feel I deserve a couple of days off!

Chapelfell Top 04/03/2024
Chapelfell Top


Completing Burnhope Seat 04/03/2024
Day two of my stopover on the way back from Scotland saw me adding another two peaks and completing the Burnhope Seat group. The mountains added were Chapelfell Top and Frendrith Hill.

Despite the short distance, being snow covered, the going was very tough, especially on the tops where boots sank at every step and care was needed to avoid sinking into hidden bogs. The weather was thankfully, excellent with the sun shining all day, although a cold wind on the summits kept the temperature down.


Murton Fell 03/03/2024
Murton Fell


More Nuttalls in Cumbria 03/03/2024
A day off yesterday didn't really help with the legs today, but nevertheless I managed three peaks in two walks, firstly Murton Fell (675m) then the plan was to walk across to Little Fell, but the going was so tough with so much snow that I decided to retrace my steps back down instead. Back at the car, I had a reset, then had a word with myself, manned up and went and climbed Long Fell (623m) and Tinside Rigg (624m). Little Fell remained untouched so will be one for the future.

Aonach Mor 01/03/2024
Aonach Mor


Winter Summits Day 5 01/03/2024
We ascended Aonach Mor from the upper Ski lift. It is initially very steep, but once the plateau is reached, it flattens off for a steady walk across to the summit cairn. It was a warm day with some breeze from time to time. I managed to walk all day without my over trousers on which was a first for this week. There were fabulous views all around, especially to Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis but also Scotland as far as the eye could see was a white mountain playground. A special day for our last in the highlands for this time.

Meall a Bhuiridh 29/02/2024
Meall a Bhuiridh


Winter Summits Day 4 29/02/2024
Today we made an ascent of Meall a Bhuiridh (1,108m) from the Glen Coe Ski centre. The first section was up a tarmac road, then we loosely followed the ski lift and finally a steep ascent onto the summit. It was very windy most of the time with a lot of snow being blown around but it was relatively dry so we didn't actually get wet.

Superb day out with another good Munro bagged.


Stob Ban 28/02/2024
Stob Ban


Winter Summits Day 3 28/02/2024
I started the day feeling really bad, for the first time in a very long time, I have a cold! Our route was up to Stob Ban not far from Fort William. I decided to take my own car so that I could turn back if necessary. In the end, I managed to walk up to the col at the foot of the final climb, but already felt I had done enough so elected to walk back down with a couple of others who felt similarly.

A good day out nevertheless but the day was damp and raining pretty much the whole time.


Stob Coire Raineach 27/02/2024
Stob Coire Raineach


Winter Summits Day 2 27/02/2024
Day 2 saw a very different day, more typically Scottish, with heavy rain first thing, although we delayed leaving to allow it to clear. As we ascended, the wind picked up to the point that several were getting knocked over. On the ascent of Stob Coire Raineach a few elected to abandon and return to the relative calm of the col. I was one of the summitteers and ironically, it was fine on the top!

When we got down to the col, we had fun digging a snow shelter to show just how much work is required for even a small one. It took ten of us forty five minutes to dig a shelter that would take three but it was a serious squeeze.

On the way down, or rather, all the way down, we were treated to a proper scottish shower.


Stob Coire Nan Lochan 26/02/2024
Stob Coire Nan Lochan


Winter Summits Day 1 26/02/2024
Day 1 of the Winter summits course saw us ascending Stob Coire nan Lochan from the Glen Coe road. Ice axes and crampons were used after the first hour and right onto the summit and most of the way back down. The weather was excellent all day long, in fact, it felt a bit too warm at times. I doubt that feeling will last!

Cold Fell 25/02/2024
Cold Fell


Black Fell area done 25/02/2024
An ascent of Cold Fell completed the Black Fell area. It was an excellent day with excellent weather and a good path until the final summit area where it deteriorated into a heathery bog fest, but it was short lived. The views across to the Lake District are stunning and made it well worth while.

Meldon Hill 24/02/2024
Meldon Hill


Big day out on Meldon Hill 24/02/2024
Meldon Hill is a tough undertaking, especially when I'd already climbed Dufton Hill, a Marilyn and Backstone Edge, a Nuttall. It involved about three miles of trudging across boggy, heathery ground, up and down peat groughs berfore I finally reached the summit area. From there, the pain is not over as it is a long slog down to High Cup Nick, followed by over four miles of downhill back to Dufton.

Bink Moss 23/02/2024
Bink Moss


Doing the double 23/02/2024
The plan was an ascent of Bink Moss. Not a long day out, but an isolated peak so not much choice really. I finished early, so decided to drive around and pick off James Hill as well. Neither walk was particularly arduous, but the going was distinctly soft.

Allt yr Esgair 16/02/2024
Allt yr Esgair


Esgair Route 16/02/2024
Esgair Route


Black Mountains Day out 16/02/2024
A nice day out in the Black Mountains saw me ascend Mynydd Llangorse (515m), a mountain I had done several times and the first Marilyn of the year; Allt yr Esgair (393m). My starting point was Llangors which has a convenient, if small car park in the centre of the village. A little road work to get into the countryside, followed by a big pull onto Llangorse was enjoyable. There was then a long ridge walk down to the road and the turn point to head up to Esgair. It is straightforward and never steep but has great views on the summit.

From there, it should have been an easy descent and around the lake to Llangors. Unfortunately, the fields were underwater so I had a big detour around the roads to finish. A very nice 12 mile walk which ended in fine style when I discovered the small shop that did a fantastic coffee and even better pain au chocolat - well deserved in my opinion.


Pennine Way 1977

Walking

From single day to several weeks, I have walked many of Britains long distance footpaths. Below are some of the more well-known routes.

RouteDistanceDescription
Shropshire Way
(August 2023 onwards)
200 milesFigure of eight centred on Shrewsbury.
Hadrians Wall
(April 2023)
90 milesFrom Bowness to Newcastle.
Wysis Way
(April 2022)
55 milesFrom the Wye to the source of the Thames.
St Kenelms Way
(March 2022)
52 milesClent Hills to Winchcombe.
The Ridgeway
(September 2019)
87 milesAvebury to Ivinghoe Beacon.
Three Choirs Way
(March 2019)
100 milesGloucester to Hereford to Worcester to Gloucester.
Gloucestershire Way
(December 2018)
100 milesFrom Chepstow to Tewkesbury.
Severn Way
(August 2018)
210 milesFollowing the River Severn.
Winchcombe Way
(May 2013)
42 milesAround the Cotswolds.
Limestone Way
(December 2012)
60 milesRocester to Castleton in Derbyshire.
Welsh 3000s
(July 2000)
28 milesAll 3,000' mountains.
Worcestershire Way
(July 1992, August 1992 and August 2004)
38 milesWyre Forest to Malverns.
Cotswold Way
(August 1991)
96 milesBath to Chipping Campden.
Coast to Coast
(August 1990)
192 milesRobin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire to St Bees in Cumbria.
6 Shropshire Peaks
(July 1990 and April 1992)
40 milesEast to West Shropshire.
Lyke Wake Walk
(July 1983)
40 milesYorkshire Moors.
Offas Dyke
(July 1980)
180 milesLength of the Welsh Border.
Pennine Way
(August 1977)
270 milesEdale to Kirk Yetholm (Scotland).
Climbing the Hexenstein, Dolomites

Rock Climbing

Some years ago, I qualified as an SPA Instructor, and whilst it has probably lapsed due to inactivity, I have fond memories of rock climbing in many areas of the UK & abroad, particularly at Symonds Yat, North Wales, the Peak District, Mid-Wales, Cornwall & Scotland. I have many hundreds of logged climbs in my log book and during my time, have climbed many more than I have recorded.

Cuillins Ridge, Skye

Mountaineering

There are many beautiful mountain ranges in the world, many within easy reach of the UK. I am fortunate to have been to a large number of them. Below are the best.

Mountain (Range)Description
Mount Ararat
(September 2023)
The Highest Mountain in Turkey 5,137m.
Elbrus
(August 2019)
The Highest Mountain in Europe 5,642m.
Nepal
(October 2018)
Trekking in the Himalaya to a maximum of 5,643m.
Kilimanjaro
(September 2017)
The highest mountain on the continent of Africa at 5,895m.
Teide, Tenerife
(April 2015)
Highest Mountain in Spain (Tenerife) at 3,718m.
Alesch Glacier
(August 2001)
Including the Hexenstein in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland.
Aconcagua
(January 2001)
Highest Mountain in South America at 6,960m.
Dolomites
(August 2000)
Northern Italys' most famous range.
Matterhorn
(August 1997)
Most famous Mountain in Switzerland at 4,405m.
Mont Blanc
(September 1995)
Highest Mountain in Western Europe at 4,807m.

UK Mountains

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