Outdoor Diary


Mark Richards Walking Blog

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Canadian outdoor writer visits Hadrian's Wall

september 30, 2016 09:37pm


I had the greatest of pleasure to introduce Yves Oullet and his wife Joanne from Quebec to the magic of Hadrian's Wall two weeks ago, specificaly to the National Trail. We walked from Birdoswald to Walltown with sun and a light breeze at our backs, so to confirm the best way to walk is always eastwards. It was a delightful a most entertaining wander, Yves has written some 40 books on the state of Quebec extolling its amazing outdoor and scenic qualities. Yves writes for a range of outdoor journals and newspapers in the French-speaking state and edits a travel magazine too. He interviewed me before we set off (as you can see in the photo) and I showed him some of the intimate detail of the fort. I stressed the importance of allowing oneself time to walk and visit the key sites and museums close to the Wall. My suggestion to him was to tell his audience to walk from Carlisle to Corbridge to get the best from their precious time in the vicinity of this remarkable monument from the classical age.



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.

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