Monday, 17 February 2014

Castle Hill 16/02/14

Honestly, February is not bringing the joys of Spring with it as the Dark Season continues to recede, far too much rain and days of utter changeability, and the work situation isn't leaving me with much in the enthusiasm reserves, so combine rum weather and a complete lack of gusto to greet the weekend and it looks like February's adventuring might come to an end rather early. However, recall what #hibernot means, and don't think that you have to be out all day every Saturday, if you only have short window of Sunshine due on a Sunday, go out and make the most of it, hurry out to the nearest viewpoint for an exhilarating dash and know that your entire round trip could take less than 4 total hours. So a Sunday dash it it then, to the nearest available high point in Kirklees, with a window of only 2 and a quarter hours to use, and a wholly new panorama to absorb, plus a start on checking off those places regularly observed from afar and never otherwise visited.

Honley to Huddersfield, via Castle Hill  4 miles

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Rivington Park 08/02/14 & Entwistle Reservoir 09/02/14

I am not one to be sold by advertising, as most of it washes past me in a 'Don't need it / Never wanted it' way, but every so often something will capture your attention, as it taps in to your interests in an almost specific way, as if it were directed to you personally, and that is exactly what Land Rover's #hibernot campaign has done for me. I'm not sure if this is a campaign to sell more off-road vehicles to the suburban middle classes, or if it is a genuine attempt to promote outdoor activity in winter, but the ad perfectly captures what the many tangents of being outdoors in the least clement of seasons can be like, and the associated website does seem to be doing its best sell the idea of enjoying this 'grey and pleasant land', despite being pretty horrible to navigate (we don't all use tablets, you know). So whilst February fails to offer long days and clear passages of pleasing weather, the idea of #hibernot seems like a good way to enjoy the season before Spring finally makes its breakthrough, and as an excess of rain has knocked Pendle Hill from the immediate target list, some low key expeditioning will be handy as I end my week of NIW by staying with My Sis and family on the fringe of the West Pennine Moors.

Rivington Park 3.6 miles, & Entwistle Reservoir 2.6 miles

Monday, 10 February 2014

Morley to Wakefield 06/02/14

The odd caprices of February weather continue as Wednesday brings heavy cloud and lots of rain, an ideal day for a ride up country to Carlisle on a bargain ticket and to return having spent the difference on books and CDs at my favourite secondhand outlet. Then we get more clear skies and much milder temperature for the Thursday, so quickly get myself set for another stretch, filling in another blank spot on the map by heading south to Wakefield, but I'm a bit of a dawdler when all is done and I don't get set quite as fast as I'd have liked. Still that's not the worst thing in the world as the low sun of late winter may illuminate the world in an attractive fashion, but walking with it sitting squarely in your eye line through the middle of the day would not be the most comfortable, so greet the milky skies with relief, as I will not be blinding myself on today's amble.

Morley to Wakefield, via Tingley, West Ardsley & Alverthorpe. 9.2 miles

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Morley to Bradford 04/02/14

So a week of being NIW, and having started it with a colleague's birthday bash, featuring me getting blasted and dominating the karaoke (not that I can actually sing, but can give an impression of knowing what I'm meant to be doing), and following that by staying up to watch the worst Superbowl in at least a dozen seasons, the need for some walking is in order once the hangovers have dissipated. Of course, this is already turning into one of the most inconsistently weathered Februarys in recent times after the consistently grey January, so the weather eye has to be keen to spot the open windows, and time shouldn't be wasted with excess travelling, so let's start out from home. The Dales Way and the High Moors absorbed so much of last year, and after the first pair of trips in February, no more trips were made in the locality of Morley, so I may have made the North Country feel small, but I should now start making the less remote parts of West Yorkshire seem a bit closer together. So onward to spend more time on the local paths, starting by walking to the one notable place in West Yorkshire that I have avoided on all my trails so far...

Morley to Bradford, via Gildersome, Drighlington, Birkenshaw and East Bierley. 9.4 miles

Monday, 3 February 2014

Rumination: Another Dark Season Survived

This last couple of months has not had Winter come down hard on it, there haven't been any exceptional bursts of intense cold and there's been only the slightest flurries of snow, instead it has been a lot of moderate temperatures and rain, not quite on Somerset levels, but the North Country has been kept moist throughout January. So why has this last five weeks or so been so singularly awful, as the arrival of February has been marked by several friends and acquaintances, cursing the previous month and condemning it to history as 'one of the worst ever'?