Walking the Cleveland Way - in 4 days!!

"Let's go on a nice walk for our anniversary" was Donna's opening statement back in January (2019).  Well that's how the idea started, and then it turned in to something resembling a real challenge!

"The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 109 mile (175 Km ) walking route through beautiful and ever changing landscapes and scenery.  It was the second National Trail in England and Wales and was officially opened on 24th May 1969. The Trail offers the best of both worlds, heather moorland and stunning coastal scenery." (

Generally this route is walked either piecemeal or in around 7-10 days which gives you a chance to explore a bit and enjoy the scenery - due to time constraints imposed by childcare and the Easter Holiday's we were aiming to walk it in 4!

Yes, 4 days.  That's just under 30 miles per day - ouch!

So we set about training - or rather we didn't!  We managed to get in 2 back-to-back 25 mile walks in mid-March but t…

Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

Sitting above the banks of Ullswater, to the NW of the junction of the A592 and A5901 lays the grounds of Gowbarrow Park, owned and managed by the National Trust and home to the stunning Aira Force waterfalls.

Nestled in the middle (ish) of Gowbarrow Park is Gowbarrow Fell which rises 481m above the huge expanse of Ullswater and, as the weather was pretty rubbish and along with a walk up to the falls, was to be our "target" for the day.

While not a long walk we'd decided that as Aira Force was somewhere we didn't get round to visiting last time we'd have a walk around the grounds and waterfall before heading up towards the summit of Gowbarrow Fell and then continuing the circuit back to the carpark - a walk of around 4 miles.

The grounds of Aira Force are managed by the National Trust so are well maintained as you'd expect.  There is a charge to park and it does get very busy in the summer months, but on a rainy, chilly Saturday in February there were loads …

Place Fell from Bridgend

A year on from our last (and first) trip to Patterdale and Ullswater and we were back, to the same place, the same cottage, and today, the same walk!

Our first walk to the summit to Place Fell (read about it here) was born more out of necessity than planning and as the weather had cleared on the drive across from North Yorkshire we decided to do the same again.

Heading a mile or so down the road from Patterdale village we stopped in the small pull-in (room for about 6 cars) off the A592 at Deepdale Bridge and spent a fair bit of time faffing about getting things into the right bag for the 5 or so miles to the summit of Place Fell (657m) and back again.

Finally, with new binoculars (a lovely pair of Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 that have an amazing, clear optic that also works well with or without my glasses) and also my (very) newly purchased Fjallraven Singi smock bought from the amazing outdoor shop in the Rheged Centre (services on the A66) - an amazing example of what services can be lik…