Up and about

Today’s guest picture comes from George, a friend that I met the other day. He asked me about a walk I had done. I suggested that he and his wife might like to try Walk 9 of the Langholm Walks and lo and behold, here is his wife Susan half way round the walk yesterday in beautiful sunshine.

We didn’t have such beautiful weather here today but we did have some reasonable overnight rain which left the soil in Mrs Tootlepedal’s vegetable garden looking nice and moist this morning.

And the flowers in the garden hadn’t been harmed by the rain at all and were looking fresh and cheerful.

It was back to being a bit chilly and windy so we didn’t have our street coffee morning. Luckily the crossword was rather obscure and took me a long time to solve so I wasn’t bored.

Apart from that, I listened to a lot of interesting stuff on the radio and did nothing useful at all.

I watched the birds. We have a steady supply of greenfinches and the odd siskin at the moment.

After lunch, we went for a walk, despite the brisk breeze and the threat of rain.

George’s expedition round Walk 9 of the Langholm Walks had awakened Mrs Tootlepedal’s interest and she suggested that we might do it ourselves today. I agreed, as it is my favourite of all the walks. We took rain jackets, a few dates and a camera and set off along the track to the Becks.

There were wild flowers and fine ferns to be seen along this section of our walk.

We crossed the Becks Burn and were walking up the road towards the farm when we were passed by a snail.

To be fair to our walking speed, it wasn’t going in the same direction as us and Mrs Tootlepedal spotted it as it crossed the road.

A patch of sunlight on the hill behind the farm gave us hope…

…that the weather might be kind to us and we were soon high enough to have a look back at Langholm behind us.

The swaying grass beside the track through the fields past the farm showed how brisk the wind was…

…but as it was behind us, we didn’t care.

When we got to the end of the track through the fields and took to the open hill, we were faced by a stiff climb on rough ground into a rather grey. weather..

…but the climb was well worth the effort as were soon able to enjoy the views that make this such a good walk. From the end of the track, the walk takes a horseshoe route along the top of three ridges and gives the walker wonderful views in all directions.

As you get towards the top of the first ridge, Calfield Rig, you can look south and see the gap in the Lake District where Ullswater lies 40 miles away in England….

…or look west and see Criffel looming above the Nith Estuary 30 miles away to the west in Scotland.

Langholm lay a couple of miles behind us now…

…and all around us were inviting hills to walk on with not another person in sight.

And this might be the best place to get that view of Skiddaw across the Solway Firth.

For a few hundred feet of climbing, this is a wonderfully airy spot and I never get tired of it.

Perceptive readers may well have realised by now that this is going to be a picture heavy post. If walk descriptions are not your thing, you can take my word that we enjoyed the walk and skip to the end of the post for the usual flying bird finale.

We walked along the ridge, keeping an eye for cattle grazing. When we saw some, we were able to drop below the ridge and cut a corner and we did not disturb them. This is a look back along the the ridge.

There are turbines on the next hill along…

…and we could hear a good ‘wumph, wumph, wumph’ as they turned in the breeze.

We turned along the ridge that makes up the top of our horseshoe and found ourselves walking along the boundary fence in a field of bog cotton

Looking north over the fence we could look down into the next valley…

…and looking to our right, we could see a sea of cotton.

As we reached a fence half way along the ridge, a ray of sunshine contrasted with some mean looking rain clouds which were coming our way.

Our last turning point, just below the hilltop, lay ahead bathed in sunshine but the clouds encouraged us not to hang about and enjoy it too much.

The best of the weather was now heading south behind us and the English hills in the distance behind Warbla were getting the benefit of the sun…

…while to the north, things looked more unsettled.

Did I mention that as far as views go, this is the walk that keeps on giving. You don’t just get good views, you get different good views all the time.

We were on the homeward stretch now as we took the last leg of our horseshoe along the ridge from Black Knowe to Timpen and Meikleholm Hill. The rain reached us as we went along and I had to put my rain jacket on, but though it had looked very ominous, it proved to be only a passing shower and we were able to enjoy the view up the Esk valley….

…before we got to the trig point on Timpen…

….at 1068ft the highest point of our walk.

As we descended carefully down the steep slope from the summit, we could look down to our right and see Becks Farm and the track through the fields that we had followed on our way out.

And we could look down on Langholm basking in the sun for a moment….

…but another rain shower was on its way so we pressed on as fast as creaking knees would let us.

Once again we were lucky and the shower passed over us at a crisp pace and we got back home as dry as we had left it.

At only just over five and a half miles, this walk packs in a lot and it has plenty of climbing and rough ground to make it feel a lot longer than it is, so we had a pleasant feeling of a job well done as we had a cup of tea and separate digital chats with my siblings and our daughter and granddaughter.

I had a walk round the garden while tea was cooking, and although things are looking good…

…we still need more rain. Fortunately, the forecast says that we are going to get some.

I apologise for the large number of pictures but it was a scenic walk and I still didn’t do it full justice.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Up and about

  1. What an amazing walk. And the cloudscape makes the landscapes that much more magnificent. I made it through your entire post but I can’t imagine doing the walk as quickly as you did.

  2. What a walk! Stunning views. And beautiful lupine. In Maine, June is also the time for lupine. There is so much of it that we tend to think of it as a Maine flower, which I can see is not true.

  3. The views are beautiful. I think that would quickly become my favorite place to walk.
    Is the fence there to keep you out of the bog cotton, I wonder? I’m guessing it must be very wet ground.
    I hope the wind doesn’t break those lupines. I’ve never seen them grow in such towers.

    1. The fence is to mark the boundary between one farm’s sheep run and another’s. The ground is very wet there in a usual year but it was a pleasure to walk over after our very dry spell.
      The lupins are well sheltered (I hope).

  4. That was a very splendid walk and the many pictures of the scenes you passed through, up, over, along and down have done much to assuage my jealousy at not being able to do have experiences like that.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures. They make me long for some change of scenery on my walks. I especially loved hearing about the speed of that snail, racing along.

  6. All those wonderful views to see in a relatively ‘short’ walk- to be honest the walk is made so very interesting by you pointing out all the various landmarks with your running commentary and splendid photos. I feel as though I’m getting to know more about all your hills and dales than I do about the ones near here! The lupins are a delight too!

    1. It is a good walk and one of the things about it is the fact that you are very unlikely to meet anyone else while you are up on the hills as Langholm is not a tourist destination (though it should be), This gives a real sense of peace when you are walking the ridges.

  7. I have enjoyed the views and findings from you Langholm Walk 9 with Mrs. T. The snail is a fine specimen! We mainly see slugs here, but I did find a handsome banded snail gliding up the garage wall.

    Your gardens look well tended and beautiful. Our roses are blooming now too, finally.

  8. Never too many photos of those beautiful green views. I must look up the population of your town; it looks rather small tucked in among the hills, and I wonder if it has the same population as ours (around 950).

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