Outdoor Diary


Mark Richards Walking Blog

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september 09, 2016 09:59am

0916Ian Hartland.jpg

Wednesday afternoon I had a lovely stroll along the western shore of Windermere north from the Claife Viewing Station to Wray Castle researching the Great Lakes Connection. On my way home I spotted this nostalgic scene. I raced into the pasture field in St John's-in-the-Vale as dusk was descending to line up a suitable angle. It was Ian Hartland of Threlkeld himself hastening to catch the hay dry before the next onset of forecast rain (which duly came in abundance). He was driving a 1950s Fordson Major and towing a Massey Ferguson baler. I well remember handling precisely these implements when a young man brought up on a farm in West Oxfordshire. The colour image converted to sepia at a stroke deported me back (thank-you Rachael Thompson for coverting my image thus).


Hadrian's High Way marches over Wainscarth

august 19, 2016 07:06pm

0816Rroad Hard Knott.jpg

I have advanced from Muncaster Fell up Eskdale and over Hard Knott and Wrynose Passes finding wonderful evidence of the survival of traces of the original Roman road. In the C13th Hard Knott was known as Wainscarth, which translates as the pass where wagons travelled. This showed that it sustained a trading route role from Ravenglass into the heart of the Cumbrian fells deep into history. See attached the photo of the route at the top of Hard Knott at 45 degrees from the modern highway heading down to Black Hall and seldom observed by contemporary travellers.


Hadrian's High Way and Cumbria Today

july 18, 2016 02:12pm

0716Wardway Lane & Cross Fell lr.jpg

Principal among my current endeavours research of a 100-mile walk from Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast to Bardon Mill in the Tyne valley. HADRIAN'S HIGH WAY traces the way of the Romans to and along their frontier.  Summoning the pioneering spirit the journey seeks to harmonise with routes established some 2,000 years old and still in evidence in many places. Clearly much has changed, but a sense of the landscape through which the Romans marched is possible, and in many instances, one can actually set foot on the very ground they strode. The journey I am crafting links ten forts and I am sure will enthuse and energise many keen outdoor-loving folk. Yesterday for instance I walked from off the Hartside road A686 down Wardway Lane (pictured here) into Alston the lane running close to the actual though lost course of the Maiden Way to Epiacum (Whitley Castle). I will add further notes as the project advances as part of the new PathMaster Guides series to be published by Richard Nicholls of Denby Dale.

Last week the new online county news magazine Cumbria Today - A Positive Outlook, published in their FEATURES section an article on my activities 'Wainwright's apprentice' you might like to click www.cumbria.today

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Mark Richards

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