Lewis House is now open

I prounce this building open.
Very sadly, Bolton Women’s Aid have today officially opened Lewis house. I say ‘sadly’ because they have already filled it with people escaping domestic abuse.

Lewis House is a brand new, purpose built refuge. It has 22 self-contained apartments of various sizes, including 4 with wheel chair access. It is rather different to the Georgian building they started off with in the early 70’s where 10 families shared just 6 bedrooms.

Steve Lewis was asked to open the house. His late wife started the ball rolling when she heard of someone desperately pleading to the Samaritans to find an escape.

If anyone wants to contribute please click on the button on the donations page. I make sure that anything donated through the Paypal site goes directly to them.

- Steve.



Orton Revisited

After a lazy morning get up (is 11am considered lazy on a Sunday?), we started wondering where to go for a potter. It has to be near the motorway (or else it would take ages to get there) we had to park near a pub (for the après walk beer and food) and it had to have fantastic views. Normally the Lake District is the ideal spot, but during the C2C we have found some brilliant places, one of which is Orton.
It is just on the other side of the M6 from the Lake District, so has less traffic, fewer people and yet still has a fantastic landscape to have a slack-jawed gawp at.

Limstone outcrops
It also has some of the most accessible limestone paving and outcrops this side of Malham. This is actually missing (in my view) from AW Wainright’s Coast To Coast route. It isn’t very far from the main route, but ought to be in there for it is an amazing piece of natural sculpture. It is also all Open Access land, so I would recommend anyone to take a closer look around there. I will also very firmly kick myself from here to Blackpool if I find a ton of litter scattered around the place next time we visit.

Gloomy rain clouds near Orton
The weather wasn’t exactly fantastic, but the clouds scudding past the mountain tops where very moody.
When we got to Sunbiggin tarn, we propped ourselves up against a signpost to eat our butties. A bloke from Natural England got out of his car and asked us a pile of questions. Why we visited the area and what we knew about Open Access land. One of the questions he posed was about what extra amenities we would like in the area. Our first reaction was “NONE!” I think of amenities as car parks full of people dropping litter and beef burger vans giving off noxious fumes. After he went off satisfied with our answers, I stood there finishing my butty thinking “I could do with a bench to sit on.” Ah well. Opportunities missed.

Back at the George (pub, obviously) in Orton, Steff did her usual trick of introducing herself to someone’s dog. I chatted to the owners, Rob and Jo. Lucky devils live in Orton and have their own website

If anyone is reading this and is interested in what routes we take – this was a 14 mile jobby, by the way – let me know and I might start doing a sketch map.

- Steve.



A Wet Weekend in Eskdale

Dampened spirits
What a lively weekend.

We went up to Eskdale, in the Lake District, for a spot of camping. Talk about wild! It rained and rained and when it stopped raining, it was just because it was saving up to absolutely bucket down.

On Saturday, we had the best of intentions of climbing England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, but the closer we got to it, the less we could see of it. Given the fact that the mountain isn’t going anywhere and there’s always tomorrow, we gave the peak up as a bad job and got wet through walking, scrambling and falling over, the scree slopes on the bank of Wast Water. That was hard work. The rocks were horribly slippery and one false footing could have broken an ankle instantly. It seemed to take hours to do the 4 or 5 miles along the side.
I have to say that the Paramo jackets we were both wearing may be among the best waterproofs (kind-of) in the world, but even they couldn’t handle 15 miles in torrential rain. By the time we got back to the tent, Steff and I were soaked through to the skin. One advantage of wimp camping in a biggish tent, is having an electric hook-up. On went the heater and the kettle and after a hot shower we were nice and toasty again. Watching a deluge from inside the tent was much nicer than experiencing it first hand – though it was very noisy.

We were very fortunate that our camp site was reasonably sheltered. Some friends of ours were camping it up in Wales and the porch was ripped off the front of their tent. It took 6 of them to get it under control and folded up in the car.

Sunday was spent in Ambleside trying to find some new mountain boots for me. Failed miserably; despite trying on the footwear of most of the shops.

To the lovely lady we met from Warrington – I do apologise. I didn’t get your name! If you read this, do click on the comment button below and leave a message. You could also send me an e-mail using the Contact page.

- Steve.



Weekend Walkies

Well after mentioning all those lovely mountains in Cumbria, we woke up late and went to the Peak District instead. We spent the afternoon wandering around Bleaklow.

I have very mixed feeling about walking in the Peak District. On the one hand it is a very beautiful area. On the other it is very popular and consequently has terrible erosion problems. You cannot walk on peat moorland without helping to destroy it. Parts of the top of Bleaklow looks like the battle of the Somme has been transplanted on top of it.

One good thing about the weekend’s walk – my GPS is in for repair at the moment and I didn’t get us lost. I couldn’t find the footpath we wanted – the erosion took care of that – but I knew exactly where we where.

- Steve.

I must find out how to put photos on here; Geoff usually sorts that bit out…



We're on the Radio!

Actually “We” are not. Steff is on the radio. My Boltonian accent has been missed entirely. I’m not one to sulk so I won’t, much, but it did mean our website didn’t get a mention.
I was hoping that we could sneak our total donations over £4000 by having us on the radio, but I guess not.
After speaking to the lovely Victoria, from Century Radio, for about 5 minutes I was cut completely and Steff was reduced to about 10 seconds — I must work out how to edit her like that ;-)

Well this is the first update since we finished our Trans-Pennine walkies.
How much walking have we done since getting back to work? None. Not even a walk up to Doffcocker Lodge to feed the ducks. I’m not counting our walk to the pub at the weekend.
We do have plenty of plans though. As soon as we got home we were wondering where to walk on our first anniversary. I fancy a wander up the Southern Upland Way (212 miles) or the West Highland Way (92 Miles). We may have to fit it inside a week though, so maybe Hadrian’s Wall would be better. At only 84 miles, it is an easy(ish) walk following the Romans.
But that’s a long way off. What to do this weekend? I can feel a trip up to the Lakes coming on. We can never get tired of walking in the Lake District. Just flicking through a couple of Trail magazines for inspiration, there’s Haystacks, Great Gable, Pillar and a whole bunch of other mountains ripe for climbing. Probably not Pillar because it takes an age to drive to. If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to click on the comment button below.

We still need to say our thankyous to all the people who helped us during our honeymoon. I promise we’ll do it soon.

— Steve.