Exmoor Pilgrim’s Trail

PILGRIM’S WAY 8th – 11th June 2023

This was a three-day base camp with two day’s walking.

The scheduled club event (eight camping) was to stay at Pool Bridge Camp site just south of Porlock. This was in a delightful valley accessed along narrow and steep lanes. It was one of the prettiest camp sites we have been to for a long time and is one that I could easily go back to. The facilities were basic, but there was a reasonable shower.

The local pubs are in Porlock, about 2 miles away by car (recommended) or an 800 feet ascent from Porlock over the top and down to the camp site (in the heat, this is not recommended).  We had a meal at The Castle, a basic pub with good beer and cheap meals for the area.

David and Martin completed the Pilgrim’s Trail.  This route takes you to some of the remotest small churches in Exmoor, all of which are very old and are all in themselves worth a visit even if you are not walking between them. There are plenty of other options as well, but at these you can collect a stamp to confirm your visit.

In summary, we had two very good days to complete the trail. The walking was long with lots of ascent mainly along very old green lanes, woodland trails, across open land, fields and minor roads. The whole place is seeped with history going back thousands of years.

Day 1  The route took us direct from the camp site to Stoke Pero church,

Luccombe      Tivington   Selworthy (and a visit to the NT tea rooms)

West Lynch   Bossington (not in the list) and finally to Porlock

With a detour, 14.25 miles and 2775 feet ascent

Day 2    Starting from County Gare car park (free) to

Oare     Porlock Weir       Culbone

There was then a long walk back to County Gate and the newly opened café.

12.5 miles 3300 feet ascent.

At the end of the walk we returned to Porlock to enter our names in the register of the Parish church having completed this pilgrimage.

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Cumbria Traverse May 2023


Participating were Steve, Martyn and David.

Many thanks to Claire who provided transport at the start and also at the finish of this challenge.

Day 1

The walk commenced at Broughton Mills, initially on a farm track and then on to the fells. This walk was not about the peaks to be bagged (as that would take a day or two longer), but in the distance to be covered through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country (weather permitting). The weather forecast was mixed with high winds predicted later on and rain late afternoon. We were all carrying our full backpacking rucksacks (the one I was carrying weighed about 12kg, without water). It is a tough walk and we were doing quite well until after lunch when the wind speed significantly increased which made walking very hard and into the wind almost impossible. This was particularly evident on ascending Walna Scar, going over Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag. For me, it was the highest wind speeds I have ever experienced whilst wearing a backpack which was dangerous, but we had to crack on. To reduce the effect of the wind from the south east, we followed a path which avoided the ridge walk from the Old Man of Coniston to Swirl How where we started to descend into Wrynose Bottom. From there another ascent up good quality paths which took us to Red Tarn where we camped for the first night.  An exhausting day followed by a very windy and wet night.

12 ½ miles, 4763 ft of ascent.

Day 2

After a stormy night, on looking out of the tent, it was virtually impossible to see more than a few yards as the mist and cloud was right down. There was a wet start to the day with the kit being packed away somewhat damp! We started off as soon as we were ready and ascended Great Knott, Long Tap and skirted just around the top of Crinkle Crags (to avoid the bad step whilst carrying large backpacks which would be dangerous as the rock was wet and slippery. The route went up Bow Fell, Esk Pike (the rain was particularly bad here). Up to now the distance achieved was slow due to the conditions. By the time we descended to Sprinkling Tarn the weather had eased and we started to see other walkers. The route was to take us up Great Gable which looked intimidating, or at least what we could see of it. We decided to take a route that none of us had done before, to ascend Aaron Slack, another 1000 steep climb. At the top we met three lost souls who were pointed in their right direction. From their we traversed over Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts to Honister Hause. A last ascent up Dale Head to our second camp at Dalehead Tarn. This was a delightful camp site helped by the weather being dry and with little wind. We arrived at 7.15pm, a 10 ½ hour walking day.

10 ½  miles 4793 ft of ascent

Day 3

A different day entirely. Whilst in London the weather was poor for the Coronation, we had good weather. Low cloud but bright which improved. Today was more straight forward and in the dry. On good paths up and over High Spy and on to Cat Bells (hoards of walkers of all sorts). This was followed by what seemed a long walk on the flat to Portinscale and finishing in Keswick at 12.40am with plenty left in the tank for more. We finished off with a beer and fish and chips

7 miles 1103 ft of ascent

A good trip with mixed weather. This will probably remain a little used route due to the difficulties in arranging transport to the start and collection at the finish.

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Church Stretton walk 11th March

Five members of the Nuneaton Mountaineer and Hill Walking club braved the weather for the day walk in Church Stretton. It was still very wintery here, the snow being shin deep in places. The car park at Carding Mill Valley a bit on the slippery side, as Martyn found out as he manages to fall over within thirty seconds of getting out of the car. (No injuries sustained). It was nice to see the the moor ponies that had come off the hills for the shelter of the car park.

After leaving the car park the early climb became somewhat arduous in these conditions as we headed in a north easterly direction to Caer Caradoc. The views looking back a real winter scene. Our hill was always in sight but it was three hours before we set foot on it.

A slow steady climb on the north side in falling snow we finally reached the summit. On the descent we found ourselves walking into the wind with the sleet being blown into our faces which was quite sharp, it was also getting quite cold and we were glad to get down to the relative calm of Church Stretton. Back on the flat ground we weaved our way through the town and back to Carding Mill Valley car park.

A great day, great route and a great hill enjoyed by all, but we were glad to get back to the warmth of the cars.


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Killin, Loch Tay, Scotland 4th -11th February 2023

This is the Nuneaton Mountaineering and Hill Walking Clubs annual walking holiday in Scotland. This year we were at Killin on the shores of Loch Tay a beautiful spot surrounded by mountains and stunning scenery. 11 members and friends of the Nuneaton Mountaineering and Hill walking club signed up for this event and it proved to be one of the best. The weather was kind being mainly dry and not too cold. There was snow on the higher mountains and we did get a little more during the week but again only on the higher ground. Killin is a lovely town with a spectacular set of rapids “The falls of Dochart”, a ruined castle “Finlarig” with a gruesome history, and evidence of a Victorian railway line.


We stayed in Mountain Lodges which were very comfortable, its all self catering so we share evening meal duties giving everyone a break from cooking and each lodge take it’s turns to host the evening get together where we share a drink or two and discuss plans for the next day. There was lots to do in the area  from Munros, Ben Lawes being the nearest, to lake side walks and plenty in between.


Ben Lawes summit.1214m.      Snow on the west face

Meall  nan Tarnachan  1044m                                   Meall Clachach 603m

Path up to Meall Clachach, Lock Tay in background.     Drummond Hill 460m.

Being a holiday everyone can decide what they want to do for the day, walk or visit one of the many interesting historic attractions or just chill.


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4th March 2023 Impromptu day walk to Desford.

7 members of The Nuneaton Mountaineering and Hill walking club joined the impromptu walk starting from Desford in Leicestershire. The 9 1/2 mile walk was over farm land, through woods and around Thornton reservoir before returning to the attractive and historic town of Desford. Although not particular hilly this was a lovely walk, evidence of spring was everywhere and the weather was kind being dry and not too cold.

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Friday 20th January 2023 Hartshill Hayes

This was an impromptu walk decided upon at the Thursday evening meeting of the Nuneaton Hill Walking and Mountaineering club.

The day was cool and crisp with frost on the ground, blue skies and winter sunshine perfect for walking. We met at  9.30 am at Hartshill Hayes and did a 6 mile circular walk around Hartshill and Mancetter taking in the  areas that was in the past a Roman Industrial site, now just fields, but with an interpretation board showing how it once looked.

The terrain was undulating and mainly on good paths making for easy walking,  and as the ground was frozen no mud to clean off the boots at the end. A very interesting and enjoyable walk.

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7th January 2023 Cannock Chase Day walk

Happy New Year to everyone from the Nuneaton Hill Walking and Mountaineering Club

The first walk of the year was programmed to be in Llangollen but the weather report forecast wind and rain all day so the destination was changed to Cannock Chase.

Although it rained all the way there it stopped and cleared up as soon as we arrived and we completed the 10 mile walk in bright sunny weather. Note the shadows in the attached photograph.

There are numerous paths and tracks over the Chase and ours took us past the two cemeteries and the Polish Memorial before climbing to the highest point where we got some super views of the surrounding countryside. Spotted some deer on the return to the cafe where we had a welcome cuppa before returning home. A very enjoyable walk made  all the more special because the weather was far better than expected.

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Novemberfest 18th – 20th November 2022 Brecon Beacons


Nuneaton Hill Walking and Mountaineering Club Annual  Club Meeting

Coed Owen Bunkhouse, Brecon Beacons

An upmarket bunkhouse with some small rooms and a stove in the main room as well.
Local hills were walked on the way on Friday with Sugar Loaf at Abergavenny being the favourite.

On Saturday we all set out from the accommodation towards Pen y Fan.

  The ridges to the south are grassy and a way was easily made up to the main track which led to the summit.  The nearer we got the busier it became but it was a fine walk.  By early afternoon we had seen the best of the day so we descended to the Storey Arms and then down the valley eventually coming out quite near to the bunkhouse.
Another excellent group meal at the accommodation.  Thanks to Keith and Michele for being chef and sous chef.

On Sunday we climbed Ysgyryd Fawr, Abergavenny.  

It was cool but bright and sunny.  After a steep ascent there was a fine ridge walk to the summit before we descended the far side and returned on the west side of the hill.  Sadly for the last ten minutes it rained but not enough to dampen a fine weekend.

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Thurlaston Leicestershire. 10th December 2022

Nuneaton Hill Walking and Mountaineering Club

Day walk to Thurlaston Leicestershire.

A lovely clear frosty morning perfect for walking with blue skies and wintery sunshine. The 7 mile walk which started from Thurlaston church passed through two villages, taking in the heights of Croft Hill  (128m), a massive quarry, the smallest church in the county and an impressive ford. A very enjoyable and interesting walk.

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High House 7th – 11th October 2022

Nuneaton Hill Walking and Mountaineering Club

HIGH HOUSE 7th -10th OCTOBER 2022

Various short walks were accomplished on the Friday we all travelled to High House, Borrowdale.  This is a favourite mountain hut and once we got the stove up and running it all began to feel a bit like home.

On Saturday most of us headed up towards Great Gable.  One group traversed the mountain below Napes Needle and up from the other side whilst our team took a more direct ascent via Aaron Slack and straight to the top.  The rock were greasy after recent rain so care was required but we all made it to the top.  The descent was via Green Gable and eventually down Sourmilk Gill which was very slow going on the slippery surface.
A good time was had that evening as we all enjoyed a group meal together.

On Sunday we mostly headed up Grains Gill.  One group then went on to Allen Crags and Glaramara whist the other took a tour of the various tops of Seathwaite Fell before descending by Styhead Tarn and Taylorgill Force.
Those able to stay a further night had another walk on Monday before heading home.  Myself and Nick did a round of the hill country to the east of Rosthwaite, Cat Bells was climbed by another team whilst others took in Helvellyn from Thirlmere.  An excellent weekend.

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