Monday, 5 March 2012

Walks in the far north, north, middle and south of England

Back on the Thames Path, with the third leg being completed. The 26.1km walk along the path is the longest single leg I have planned and was further increased by an additional 3.5km which was necessary to get to the nearest village to get public transport. Swindon was once again used as the exchange point for transport. travelling from Kingston Bagpuize to Swindon , then out to the start point at Lechlade.

I had planned on two previous occasions to complete the walk as the last leg was over 5 weeks ago, however the snow stopped one attempt, as I didn't want to get stranded down in Oxford and on the second occasion lack of public transport on a Sunday hampered plans. One eye opener was the string of WW2 Pill Boxes on the North Bank. Just to think this and the Thames itself was a line of defense had the Germen ever invaded

As an alternative on the Sunday I chose to head north to start the E2 walk linking Standedge on the Pennine Way to the Stafforshire Way at Rushton Spencer. Starting at Marsden the first of four legs heading south was walked. This 26km walk had me joining up and sharing a 1 mile of the Pennine Way. This will be walked again at the end of the second day of the Pennine Way walk in July. Using the Standedge, Pennine and Oldham Ways, I arrive at Mossley after venturing onto the misty Wensleydale and Saddleworth Moors. Nothing like a misty, murky moor for an atmospheric walk. After really enjoying the walk I look forward to returning to continue the walk, something I'll do once the Thames Path delivers me into Oxford, as there is a greater opportunity for getting some ascent in prior to the Pennine Way start in july

Half term week was spent up in the Lakes, with six more Wainwrights bagged, taking the total upto 75% completed. High winds above 450m restricted some of the planned walks so I chose to divert to the Northern Fells and pick some of the lower fells off. Now looking to spend a weekend up in the Lakes, probably the May Bank holiday weekend to bag a few more and continue with some more ascents.

A walk over Cannock chase and onto Penkridge finishes the walks completed list. This was Leg 6 Staffordshire Way, with 3 more remaining, the next is this weekends venue.

Weather is still remaining good for the walks with the exception of the snow (and wind). This last weekend a band of rain crossed the country during the morning, however although the clouds looked dark not a drop of rain was felt. In the afternoon, I was surrounded by blue sky which caused me to catch the sun on my head by the end of the day

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