Archive for the ‘Lake District Guided Walks’ Category

Hadrian’s Wall – day 2


From our hotel in Gilsland we drove back to Steel Rigg car park ready to continue our Badger Adventure .

Joan and Tom ready for day 2.

The weather was forecast to be cooler and our first hour was to climb Peel Crags and Milecastle 39 (Castle Nick) before gaining a view of Crag Lough Sycamore Gap. The Sycamore was made famous as a star in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.

Joan and Tom aka Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman – and the sycamore tree as himself!

Walking up to the crag we passed the Crag Lough with some stunning views through the crags to the water. No need for a huge wall here with the crag being such a good defense against the marauding barbarians from over the border into Scotland.

View from Steel Rigg to Crag Lough.

A few more ’undulations’ and we traverse Hotbank Crags, Cuddy’s Crags and then Housesteads Crag. Coming along the wall you are greeted by the archeological site of Housesteads Fort. The Fort is one of the most important Roman sites anywhere in Europe with well preserved ruins of the granary, communal latrines, commanders quarters and much more.

Housesteads Fort / home to up to 1000 Roman infantrymen and cavalry.

The next portion of todays 19km walk took us past Busy Gap and the impressive restoration work of John Clayton in the 17th century.

Sewingshields Crag just before Turret 35a and a saxon burial chamber / crypt.

Leaving the crags behind we picked up the ditch on the north side of the wall and the vallum on the south. More sightings of Hen Harriers and a Goshawk kept our journey alive with wildlife.

Soon we arrived at Brocolitia Fort and the Temple of Mithras and the sun God. After a quick prayer we hastened our way onwards to Limestone Corner, the most northernmost point of the Roman Empire.

Temple of Mithras with altar at the far end and two Sun God worshippers!

The last part of our Badger Adventure took us along a relatively flat part of country to Chesters Fort and Roman Baths. Ritchie (Chief Badger) was waiting for us in the bus ready to adjourn to the Crown Inn in Humshaugh for libation of local ale and northern sustenance!

So another great day with Joan and Tom and ready to return to Chesters first thing tomorrow to explore the Fort and Baths before our 15km walk to East Wallhouses.

Why not tailor your Badger Adventure by following the link to the website and see what you can do!

Badger Adventures

See you tomorrow!


Hadrian’s Wall – day 1


Our plan today was to walk the wall from Gilsland to Once Brewed / 15km or 9.5m.

As you can see, the day was a rollercoaster with many ’undulations’ but mostly a straight line!

Joan and Tom started with a few minor comfort niggles but nothing to cause any concern. So off we went.

Our first major point of interest (other than the Badger Sett – alas not the home of Badger Adventures), was Thirlwall Castle -the 14th century fortified home of the Thirlwall family to protect their amassed wealth from military campaigns from the Border Reivers who loved nothing better than taking whatever they could steal. The fortified home was built almost entirely from stone from Hadrian’s Wall but sadly after 300 years was sold for £4000 and fell into disrepair.

Soon after we Headed onto the wall and got our first real sense of the way ahead.

The Northumberland scenery also began to emerge in all its glory. Vast open countryside, big skies, and a 2000 year old feat of engineering, vision and determination.

The Walltown Crags in the distance behind Jane and Tom.

The undulations became a frequent companion if not friendly!

A little before 1630 we reached our end point of day 1 and retired to The Milecastle Inn at Twice Brewed for a small amount of imbibing before a drive back to Gilsland Spa Hotel for our overnight and dinner.

So, day 1 completed and looking forward to day 2 and even more spectacular scenery and wall.

If you are interested in this walk or any other UK trail, why not look at Badger Adventures for details of how you can join us on your adventure.

Follow us tomorrow for the next instalment of Hadrian’s Wall with Badger Adventures

Hadrian’s Wall day -1


Met with our clients Joan and Tom today in Penrith before driving to Gilsland in Northumberland to settle into our hotel and go through a briefing pre dinner.

Van to carry luggage and also to accompany us along the way to help with any tired legs or excursions that may take our eyes en-route – all part of the Badger Adventures experience.

Meanwhile, after a short pre dinner walk to the River Irthing Gorge it was a full dinner and a swapping of travel stories and experiences as we got to know each other ahead of the walk.

For more information see Badger Adventures

Hadrian’s Wall with Badger Adventures


Really looking forward to starting a 4 day guided walk on Hadrian’s Wall for Badger Adventures. The walk takes in the major forts at Housesteads, Chesters, Vindolanda, Birdoswald as well as the famous Sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap – the tree made famous in the film of Robin Hood starring Kevin Costner – some say the tree was less wooden!


For details of this walk and other UK and overseas walks check the website Badger Adventures 

Photos will follow when we start on Saturday 👍

Coast to Coast – September 2016 – Day 4


Dawn broke with an eerie mist over the Grasmere Fells but Carol from the BBC Weather service assured me of another warm and sunny day for day 4 on the C2C!

We were back to full strength this morning with everyone walking and looking forward to another ‘easy’ day in Lakeland. It’s only 8 miles or so up Tongue Gill to Grisedale Tarn before dropping down the valley to Patterdale. Having said that, it’s still a decent climb to Grisedale Hause on a rough track.

I always tend to start the day walking at the back just to make sure everyone is walking ok and not carrying any obvious injury’s and so it seemed today.

The C2C can certainly break a pair of boots - duct tape though is the number one thing I pack on every expedition!

The C2C can certainly break a pair of boots – duct tape though is the number one thing I pack on every expedition! I hasten to add that these boots don’t belong to our group!

The walk up Tongue Gill certainly made us a touch warm with the humid conditions and the sun trying to break through the cloud. After some clothing adjustment and baggage redistribution, we all made the Hause for elevenses in the sun.

The decision had already been made to walk down the valley route rather than climb St Sunday Crag, so Steve led off on what turned out to be a sheep trod over bog and down a rock outcrop whereas the wily amongst us took the path in comfort! So trainee guide Steve was unanimously sacked from his role after the second misadventure in two days 😉

After sharing tonight’s laundry with all of us further down the slope during a not so private wild wee, Andrea soon caught us up just in time for lunch break at the Ruthwaite Climbing Lodge.

As it was such a lovely day with a spectacular view (not Andrea’s laundry) we made the most of an extended lunch in the sun.


This photo is for Deaglan, Bob’s grandson back in Australia who is following his Grandad’s progress across the country. Deaglan – he is doing fine and putting us all to shame with his fitness and determination – you can be very proud of him!



The view down Grisedale after lunch as we headed towards Patterdale

Once down in Patterdale, we took advantage of the hostelry to top up on fluids prior to checking in to our varies accommodations. I’m not sure how much the alcohol post exertion played in the part that followed but Steve made a revelation that surprised us all. He asked us for advice on how he should tell his wife that this was the best holiday he had ever had!!

Well, after much hilarity, and suggestions that he should text her, leave a Dear John letter, leave the country, etc, we decided that it may be best if she learns from reading this blog. When you do, please leave Steve’s belongings in a waterproof container outside the house for his eventual return.


Refreshments in Patterdale


This was the moment when Steve shared his innermost thoughts…….I’m not sure what advice Christine is giving him, but as you can see in the background, Paul is highly amused!

So after a light refreshment, we made our way to our accommodations and hot showers. Tomorrow, we leave the Lake District with regret but heartened in the knowledge that the Yorkshire Dales await us in a day or so. Who knows what further revelations may emerge as time goes on – we can only speculate – watch the blog for further instalments and learn whether Steve ever goes home or spends his life on a permanent loop of the Coast to Coast; will Andrea continue to air her laundry in public; will Alan’s jokes ever get better; will my wasp sting ever stop stinging – see tomorrow’s next instalment if we ever get to Shap!

If you would like to become part of the C2C adventure check out and see how. After all, Steve can’t be wrong, can he?

Coast to Coast September 2016 – day 3

Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

So a nice short day today from Stonethwaite over Greenup Edge to drop into Easedale and Grasmere.  Unfortunately, Christine felt that her muscles were a little tight after the first two days and so opted for a scenic bus tour to Grasmere via Keswick.

The day started a little misty but soon turned out to be a beautiful warm September day. It warmed up pretty quickly and promised to be a very good walk.

Beautiful Borrowdale

Beautiful Borrowdale

It wasn’t long before we reached the foot of Lining Crag and Bob was very happy to be able to fill his hat with cold water from the beck to yield an impromptu head shower

Bob takes an early morning head shower at Lining Crag - he said it was 'orgasmic'

Bob takes an early morning head shower at Lining Crag – he said it was ‘orgasmic’

It wasn’t too long until we made the summit for the team photo where Andrea tried her best to photo bomb Sue! Bob’s hat still looks full of water too!

The team minus Christine at the top of Lining Crag, Borrowdale

The team minus Christine at the top of Lining Crag, Borrowdale

The team managed the ascent pretty well and without incident. As usual, the descent into Washburn valley was a little messy with some of the group finding the peat and boggy conditions a little damp!

Even Helen, our Fall Prevention Manager could prevent herself from the occasional flirtation with the ground.


We had lunch at the saddle before an easy descent into Grasmere and the opportunity to sample the many tea shops, pubs, and gift shops all available in the town.

Ellen ponders her next step as the gallery wait for a splash - which incidentally didn't happen!

Ellen ponders her next step as the gallery wait for a splash – which incidentally didn’t happen!

So day 3 ends, and baths, showers and good food awaits us again to recharge us for tomorrow’s walk to Glenridding and Patterdale.

I wonder what other jokes Alan can dredge up from his memory bank to keep us ‘entertained’.

Alan – sorry I’m late Malcolm but I had to stop and watch a hedgehog and a rat fighting in the road. Never seen anything like it in my life!

Malcolm – amazing – who won?

Alan – the hedgehog – on points!!!!! Boom boom!

Yes they are all like that – long days indeed 😀


for or more information see

Coast to Coast – September 2016


We are off again with 13 Coasters all fit and raring to get at the challenge. A good mix of nationalities represented with Australians, an American and a sprinkling of Brits for good measure!

Coasters - September 2016

Coasters – September 2016

The group vary in age from 22 to 72 with an average age of 58 – so I am expecting great things!

The first few days are always those ‘getting to know you’ moments and invariably some are entertaining. Sam was having difficulty getting her hydration bladder to function until she realised that she had it upside down – well she is from ‘Down Under’ and technically therefore the right way up! However, I soon realised that there was a little more to this story when she regaled us of her story of train ticket booking to Whitehaven to start the C2C – she booked it and then realised that she hadn’t booked the return ticket (from Whitehaven!!). Then she booked it until she realised of course that she was walking C2C and finishing on the other side of the country 🙊. Oh dear!

We must be in the Lake District

We must be in the Lake District

The first day is a shakedown 14 miles and the delight of Dent Hill and Raven Crag – I need not have had concerns though as the group all made my cautious warnings seem completely unnecessary, even with the very wet underfoot conditions. It is what Wainwright called the steepest descent on the entire route and therefore quite tricky but this group ‘laughed in the face of Wainwright’s challenge’

We soon arrived into Ennerdale Bridge in a credible 7 1/4 hours so a good first day all round.

Day 2 is 15 miles through Ennerdale to Borrowdale and it always shows the Lake District off at its wild best no matter what the weather.

A moody Ennerdale from Anglers Crag - one of the best days on the C2C every time!

A moody Ennerdale from Anglers Crag – one of the best days on the C2C every time!

Arriving at Black Sail Hut in sunshine, we were greeted by a semi naked Alan who was contemplating a quick dip in the river to cool off. Fortunately the ladies persuaded him to put his clothes back on and we could all eat our lunches without fear.

Alan - now partially clothed at least!

Alan – now partially clothed at least!

Some running repairs needed to various parts of anatomy and they were ready for Loft Beck. Up until lunch we had made good time, but the pace was going to slow dramatically as we climbed the  long route to the top.

Running repairs for Anne and some of the others

Running repairs for Anne and some of the others

Once at the top and after nodding to Haystacks (Wainwright’s final resting place) we walked toward Honister and Borrowdale as the mist started to roll in quickly obliterating all but the immediate footstep in front of us.

So we made Borrowdale in  just over 9 hours – a slow day but arriving at Stonethwaite at 1730 still gave us time to freshen up before dinner and enjoy the delights of Langstrath Hotel – and the lamb shoulder for many!

Tomorrow is an easy day over the top to Grasmere so I should be able to report a good walk – especially as the forecast is 24c and sun – but don’t hold your breath – after all this is The Lake District and she does know how to surprise you!

For more information check out



Coast to Coast September 2016


Well here we go again with another group of ‘Coasters’ courtesy of Sherpa Expeditions. 13 plucky adventurers from Australia, USA and the U.K. ready to take on the 192 miles over two weeks.
I’ll keep you updated via the blog and you never know – maybe you will be inspired to take the challenge on the best long distance walk in the UK.

Coast to Coast May 2016 – The End


It’s always a bitter sweet day when the final walk into Robin Hoods Bay arrives. The weather was dry with a hint of early morning drizzle for our last 17 1/2 miles from Egton Bridge to RHB.

Stepping across the River Esk

Stepping across the River Esk

After a couple of miles we reached Grosmont (lit. Big Hill) and with a calf popping 230m climb out of the town, it had us all puffing a little harder (except Trevor who loves hills more than Full English Breakfasts)!

At least we got to see a steam train departing at Grosmont

At least we got to see a steam train departing at Grosmont

So we climbed up on to Sleights Moor and gained our first view of Whitby Abbey on our way to Littlebeck. I had promised everyone a coffee stop at Falling Foss in the woods – a delightful tea garden but the signs warned us of an impending wedding at the garden and closure at 1130! After a hasty dash through the woods, we made it for a brunch. With only 7 miles walked in 4 hours as we left the garden, I was anticipating a late arrival into the Bay.

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Trevor scraping the barrel

Trevor scraping the barrel

Negotiating the mossy stones across Little Beck near Falling Foss - Mark shows the way

Negotiating the mossy stones across Little Beck near Falling Foss – Mark shows the way to Kelly

With Jo’s, Liz’s and Karen’s blistered feet, Kelly’s mushed toes, Mark’s ‘dead legs’ there was only Cheryl, Trevor and me walking on air! I needn’t have worried though. The walk over the moor was as if the group were on drugs – oh wait – they were – Ibuprofen at least as far as Jo was concerned – enough to dull the pain caused by her blisters Bob and Betty who were not giving her an easy time at all!

After a good yomp across the Moors, Trevor needed to treat himself to a reward – yep – a light snack by way of an ice cream

'Just a top up Malcolm' - it's Bootiful - just like these fleece lined trousers to keep me warm!

‘Just a top up Malcolm’ – it’s Bootiful – just like these fleece lined trousers to keep me warm!

So as they say in war movies, “over the top we went” and down to the cliffs of the North Sea Coast

The North Sea always looks like the Mediterranean on arrival  - look at that sun kissed sea!

The North Sea always looks like the Mediterranean on arrival – look at that sun kissed sea!

The final 3 miles melted away as we drew close to the end of this particular pilgrimage paying homage to Alfred Wainwright. He has been revered, respected, cursed and dreaded for what he has led the group to do – but for all that they have succeeded!

Bay Town at last - 192 miles and many aches and pains later

Bay Town at last – 192 miles and many aches and pains later

After checking into our accommodation, it was down to the end and the ritual of depositing our carried pebbles from the Irish Sea into the North Sea.

Liz escapes the pebble throwing ceremony just as the waves engulf the rest!

Liz escapes the pebble throwing ceremony just as the waves engulf the rest!

Liz's pebble caught on camera mid chuck!

Liz’s pebble caught on camera mid chuck!

So with a mix of emotions, it was off to celebrate the achievement and contemplate what next…………..


It’s been a wonderful crossing with only a half day of rain, and plenty of sunshine to help us across. There has been torment, pain, agony and ecstasy en route and finally the joy of the finish.

The Coast to Coast is a challenging walk over 192 miles, three national parks, mountains, hills, bogs, vales and coastline – each bringing their own brand of challenge.

Well done, and congratulations to Cheryl, Jo, Karen, Kelly, Liz, Mark, and Trevor for an epic journey that you’ll never forget. It has been a pleasure to guide you for the past two weeks and good luck with your next challenge – don’t let it be your last – no matter what you do.


If you would like to take the challenge, contact Sherpa Expeditions at

Coast to Coast – May 2016 Day 12


The penultimate day and we are back to full strength for the 11 miles from Blakey Ridge to Egton Bridge. It’s all downhill today (literally) and suits some but not all!

Mark suffered from his post ‘race’ exertions with Trevor yesterday along the old railway track to Blakey. Muscle fatigue hit his legs ( not due to Black Sheep he declared) and he kept a watching brief on the group from the tail 🙊

The wind through the night was pretty wild and no less so when we left Blakey – gusting to 35mph and a wind chill of 4c taking it down to about 8c! This made it positively ‘baltic’ for our Australian Coasters – normal May temps for us Brits!

Passing Fat Betty and on through Great Fryup Dale, we stopped for tea at the Glaisdale Tea Garden and enjoyed scones, tea cakes, and cake in the summer sun!

Karen, Cheryl and Kelly from Australia enjoy a UK summer tea in the garden

Karen, Cheryl and Kelly from Australia enjoy a UK summer tea in the garden

Hardy Brits Liz, Trevor and Mark  enjoy summer sun

Hardy Brits Liz, Trevor and Mark enjoy summer sun (Trevor having just mopped up the spare cream, jam and milk! – using his knife too – what would his wife say?

So tea done and it was a short roll down the hill to Beggars Bridge, through the woods and into Egton Bridge and the Horseshoe Hotel for an early afternoon libation (sleep for Mark though!)

Tomorrow is our last day – 17 miles to Robin Hoods Bay and the termination of this crossing. It’ll be a sad farewell on Sunday after breakfast to this lovely group of people. They have been an absolute pleasure to lead across the 192 miles with laughter, fun, some pain, but above all some brilliant moments that will live forever hopefully in all of our memories.

Still, one more day to go and the opportunity to enjoy the walk into The Bay and celebrate a tremendous achievement by all of the ‘Magnificent Seven’


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