Getting above myself

Today’s guest picture, in the absence of any up to date contributions, is a charming bridge near Buttermere, which was crossed when he came to it in August by my brother.

Leaving Buttermere, I headed over an ancient bridge

In spite of beautifully sunny and calm conditions, or perhaps because of the beautifully sunny and calm conditions, the temperature stayed resolutely below three degrees Celsius all day and a large ice covered puddle outside the back door persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal and myself that cycling might be a bit risky on roads that had been quite wet last night.

She went off to church to sing in the choir and I was about to settle down for some superior quality idling when I was mugged by my camera and dragged out for a walk.  Having already been up Warbla and Whita,  the camera was hungry for change and took me up the third of the four hills of Langholm, Meikleholm.

It was worth the walk.

meiklehom track
The track from the town onto the hill.
gate onto meikleholm
The hill ahead.

Unaccountably, the hill had got a bit steeper since I last climbed it and I was forced to stop to admire the view quite often but I made it to the top (265m) and looked at Timpen (326m) in front of me.

timpen from meikleholm

The legs said stop and the camera said go on.  I went on.  The frosty conditions made for good walking on the boggy ground and I was (fairly) soon at the top, looking back over the Ordnance Survey trig point at the mist covered Solway plain to the south.

mist and trig point

To the far north, I could just make out the first snow covered hills of the year on the horizon.

snowy peaks ettrick

Because of the steep climb and the still conditions, it was positively balmy on the top of the hill.   There were good views to be had as a reward for climbing.

tinnis from timpen
Tinnis hill seen in the distance.
Milnholm from Timpen
The Esk winding its way north past the farm of Milnholm with Craigcleuch house in the foreground.

I was enjoying the views so much that I took many more shots but when I went through them later on, they all looked much the same.  I walked back down the hill by the way that I had come up and stopped for a couple more pictures on my way down.

Castle hill from
Castle Hill seen from the mini summit of Meikleholm Hill

As usual, the direction of shooting compared with the position of the sun produced some very different colours.

Langholm from Meikleholm
The town below.

Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from church by the time that I had got back.  I offered her the chance of a pedal but the ice was still on the puddle outside the back door and her needle calls her as insistently as my camera calls me.  She is making herself a jacket.

The sun wouldn’t shine on the feeder but the plum tree was glowing gently.

perching chaffinches postcard
Two chaffinches posed decoratively for me.

It was too good a day to sit inside so I rang Sandy to see what he was up to and it turned out that he was up for the short drive north that we meant to take yesterday.  He had been for a walk in the morning too and had seen a shot which he liked so we drove into the centre of town first.Langholm Bridge (3)

He is busy preparing prints for a stall at a forthcoming craft fair so he may not have time to put them on his blog as well but I hope to see some of the pictures he has been taking soon.

We left the town and drove to Milnholm, the very spot which I had photographed earlier on the day from the top of Timpen.  The farmers were hard at work in the fields.

Milnholm crops

All around them, the trees were glorious.

Longfauld trees

We crossed the river and parked the car before walking along the track to Staplegordon.  This gave me a view of my favourite picturesque cottage at Henwell.


Even the barns at Potholm farm looked good in the light of the low sun.


Although a single house and a graveyard are all that is left of Staplegordon now, this used to be the centre of the district and I took a  photo of the motte, all that remains of the motte and bailey Barntalloch castle which once guarded the spot.  There are no traces now of the wooden Norman castle that stood there first or of the stone tower that succeeded it.


When we got home and had enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea, I noticed that somewhere along the line, I had left a pair of gloves behind.  I might possibly have left them beside the river in the town or more probably up at Staplegordon but as the river in the town was nearer, I decided that I must have left them there so after finishing my cup of tea, I walked down  to find them.  As I got nearer, I was more and more convinced that I must have left them at Staplegordon and I was only looking at the riverside because it was nearer.  However, it had been a good day so far and my luck held as I found my gloves lying beside a wall where I had dropped them.

I had my phone in my pocket and took another picture of the bridge to show the same view in the fading light.

Langholm Bridge

Our days really are getting shorter.  This was taken at twenty past three.

I walked back over the bridge in the picture and took this picture from it looking upstream.

Langholm Bridge
You could call this the end of a perfect day as far as the weather went.

Mrs Tootlepedal rounded off a top notch day by cooking a feast for our tea and then we settled down to watch the worst two dancers in Strictly meeting in the dance off.  Sometimes even the thought of the gas bill can’t spoil a good mood.

In between all the rushing about, I found a moment to catch a flying chaffinch.

flying chaffinch (118)










Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Getting above myself

  1. What a lovely day and a feast of grand pictures to prove it. The light in the late afternoon is magical! Definitely some winners for future competitions.
    Winter has more or less arrived here and we had a day of rain and biting winds with snow forecast for tomorrow. Unlike where you are, there is not a leaf left on the trees.

  2. What a lovely set of photographs, especially the first one of the track from the town. Positively artistic.

  3. Pictures like your first one in this post, the “ancient” (?) bridge always make us feel the wingbeat of history. Beautiful!
    What does the ending “-holm” in many of your location names mean? Is it a “left over” form the viking era? I compare with our own “Stockholm” where holm means an islet. 🙂

    1. It is the same word. It may have come to mean a flat piece of land beside the river. It is a reminder of the rude behaviour of your Viking forbears who invaded us long before that bridge was built and left their names all over this part of the country.

  4. Wonderful pictures throughout but especially on your walk up the hill. Sorry it was too cold for cycling but your readers got the benefit. Glad you found your gloves and finally, nice perching birds for my delight.

  5. I am in total envy of the fabulous day you had, only thing missing was a pedal. Didn’t like to hear of ice on puddle up there though, it’s still very mild here in the Neath Valley, but the forecast states below freezing nights will be here by the end of the week………….ugh!! Thanks again for a great read, cheers.

  6. That photo with the long grass in the foreground shows every blade so clearly even looking at it on my iPhone. Beautiful autumnal views. Glad you let your camera take you on a walk.

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