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Exoloring Swaledale

It's rare that I venture in to this neck of the woods but I arrived in Swaledale partly by chance. My original intention was to go to Wensleydale via Wharfedale and Bishopdale  but part way up I realised that I may not have enough petrol to get me there and back home again. I had two choice of  for petrol; Hawes or Leyburn but I wasn't too sure if there was a petrol station in Hawes. So Leyburn it was and, as it was a nice day, I wasn't too bothered about going a few miles out of my way.

There's two roads up Wensleydale from Leyburm; the main road which goes through Aysgarth and Bainbridge and then a smaller back road which goes through Askrigg. Fancying a change, I took the quieter back road. After a few miles I saw Swaledale signposted and fancied the change of scenery. The road goes over Grinton Moor which, as I was soon to discover,  is used extensively by the MOD as a firing range and can be quite a bleak and disorientating place.

I got quite concerned at one stage …
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Selside Shenanigans.

This part of Ribblesdale is always a good place to pull in and have a little wander. Good weather is an advantage though as the area really is open to the elements. Pen-y-Ghent stands across the Dale and Ingleborough is only a few miles behind you so the wind just to tears across the dividing moors on most days of the year. Pen-y-Ghent is known as "Hill of the wind" and it's not called that for nothing! The only problem can be parking up as this track is popular with cavers and, at times, their mini-buses turn up in droves. Fortunately mine was the only car there.

There's some interesting limestone pavements in the vicinity of Seaside which are always worth a visit and the path I used to go up to Alun Pot is dry and easy to follow. It sort of loses its way the further up you get but I should imagine that, on a nice dry and clear day, you could get yourself to the top of Ingleborough. Your feet might be wet by the time you top out but I should imagine its possible. Ob…

Maryport Rocks!

The rocks on Maryport's North Beach are from the Sherwood Sandstone group. The Sherwood Sandstone Group, formerly known as the Bunter Sandstone, predominantly comprises of sandstone and pebbly sandstone with lesser amounts of conglomerate and minor amounts of mudstone and siltstone and was deposited between 230 and 260 million years ago in the late Permian and Triassic periods. They are found in northwest England as far north as Carlisle (and extending just into Scotland around Annan and Gretna) and in the Vale of Eden and then extending down the Cumbrian coast into Lancashire and Cheshire. There is also a band running from Nottinghamshire up to Durham and the North East Coast.

Erosion by the sea has made the rocks form into lots of weird and wonderful shapes with many channels cutting through them, plus it's many pools have become a haven from small crabs and other shellfish. You can always people on the beach collecting shellfish when the tide is out.

I followed my photography…

Honister Pass

Finding places to park up in certain parts of the Lakes on a weekend is getting very difficult unless you are up at the crack of dawn and unfortunately getting out of bed early is not one of my strong points. I had wanted to park up by Tewet Tarn which, although it is quite close to Keswick, is usually very quiet but the few parking spots were already taken.

My next bright idea was to head down Borrowdale as it was close by. Both car parks at Rosthwaite were full as was the roadside parking at Stonethwaite. Seatoller was also full and I didn't even bother going down the side valley to Seathweaite as I knew this would be full of the Scafell Pike and Great Gable hikers.

So it was over the Honister Pass and on the far side I finally struck lucky. Fortunately its a road which people usually just drive over to get to the Buttermere area. A few people do stop for a breather after the excitement of driving over a Lakeland pass, but they are few and far between. They should try driving ov…