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Monday, 21 October 2013

A 'Glebe' Runabout - October 2013

Watch the birdie ! That's another nice mess..............
What's goin on here then !

OK, so here's what I've been up to.
I travelled over to Fife to meet up with my cousin Jean and her husband Bob over on holiday from Western Australia and back to their roots. We also met up with my aunt in Glenrothes and a couple of other cousins one of whom I was meeting for the first time.
As well as walking and socializing around Kirkcaldyand Glenrothes we went off one day to Glamis Castle and Arbroath.
I then drove down to Ulverston in Cumbria on an overdue pilgrimage to the birthplace of Stan Laurel. I stayed there overnight visiting the Laurel and Hardy Museum and going to the pictures to watch 'Sunshine on Leith'.
I then headed up to the Gordon Walker Chalet at Stair in the Newlands Valley to join my fellow ramblers for some walking.
All in all I had a very pleasant excursion.

I'll begin with pictures from.........

Glamis Castle and Arbroath 

After a run around in Dundee (the roads never used to be so confusing) we got to the home of the late Queen Mother. For the uninitiated the ' I ' is silent.

That is one superior Doocot (pigeon house)

There were some lovely highland cattle in the field adjoining the car park.
This wee fella was adorable.

We got tea and cake in the castle restaurant.
We learned that all the fittings, ovens and this fire are all as they were originally installed.

A picture on the wall of the restaurant.

We took the guided tour and were amazed at the history. Anyone who was anyone over the last 900 plus years gets a mention. In 1034 AD King Malcolm II was murdered at Glamis and the first of a castle being built was in 1376.
Here's links to their web page Glamis Castle and their Facebook Page

Some readers may remember My 2008 Trip

I can't find a thing on the internet about the lettering PLEK-HMCK. Anyone ?

The estate,  parks and gardens cover more than 14,000 acres.  

Here's Jean and Bob outside the castle.
It's just a little bigger than their pile in Baldivis WA 

After Glamis we headed for Arbroath and came upon Balgavies Loch
Here we saw Pink Footed Geese, Greylag Geese and a few other varieties of our feathered friends. 
A very nice stop on the way.

Jean and Bob raised their family on Seafood back in Australia, and Arbroath is like heaven to them.
We came away with 'Smokies' of course. We visited M & M Spink where Bill showed us around his smoker and told us of his appearance on the Rick Stein television programme.
I noticed while looking up websites that there's more than one Spink in the Smokies business so to satisfy my curiosity I looked up Spink Arbroath in the phone book........there's 28 phone numbers there !

moving on we're now back in.........


Above Burton's the Tailors in Whytescauseway. The Burma was the usual place I and my cousins used to go to dance in Kirkcaldy, but on occasions I would get myself up here to the Ritz  Plaza Ballroom...........ah ! memories. (not the bloomin Ritz)

Jean and Bob in the Robert Nairn

A dark but historic walk home.

It may be October but there's still a lot of blooms around

We're on a windy wild walk to the south of the town. You can still see coal dust in the sand from the now redundant Fife Coalfield. There were as many as fifty collieries at various times over a century plus. Many were open when I was young and a lot of my mother's family were miners. I used to hear that they'd been working under the Firth of Forth where some of them extended.  

It's rough out there but the fishing boats still brave it. There's an old saying that some of you might know "It taks a lang spoon tae sup wi' a Fifer." Fifers may be fly and mistrusting but better workers you'll not find anywhere. Although I was born in Forres, I still consider myself a Fifer (so don't cross me ha ha)

Kirkcaldy (pronounced kir caw day) has changed much since the days of my youth.
The pedestrianization like many other towns has taken it's soul away.
Maybe it's just me.
Right ye are then, I'm away tae..................


I get myself booked in at Church Walk House, a Grade 2 Listed Building. 
I got a single room for the night for £35. The facilities and my breakfast meant I'd got a bargain, a nearby pub wanted £85 for a room for the night. 

I'm in town early enough to wander round.
I find the Tourist Advice office is in the Coronation Hall.

These are the boys I'm here for.

We make a fine trio don't we.

This is the Roxy Cinema and the home of the Laurel and Hardy Museum

I spent a good hour in the museum.
Lot's of memorabilia and personal items. Lot's of history of Stan's family. 
Someone kept taken my picture............

...................might have been me 

Well worth a visit.

This is probably the bed Stan was born in

As a Son of the Desert and a member of the 'Their Purple Moment' tent, this was a pilgrimage on my part.

I left after purchasing the above fridge magnet.

I soon found number 3 Argyle Street

Although I found the Stan Laurel Inn it was closed and I never got back to it. 
I'm saving that for the next time.

This is Lantern House. It's up for sale at £699,999

Ulverston's a very interesting, picturesque bright and breezy town.

After dining in the Rose and Crown I headed out to the cinema to watch 'Sunshine on Leith'
A very enjoyable film featuring the Proclaimers music.
Me and the boys got re-acquainted.

After a good night's sleep and an excellent breakfast I check out and get my walking boots on.
I'm heading up Hoad Hill to the Hoad Monument.  It commemorates Sir John Barrow who was born in Ulverston in 1764. Sir John was a founder member of the Royal Geographic Society.

It's not a difficult walk and the views are soon forthcoming.

I'm soon looking north to the Lakeland mountains.

It can be accessed on Sundays and bank holiday during the summer months. They fly the flag when it's open.

Information boards show distant landmarks.

I decide to come down the steeper slope with views over the town.

Back in the car I'm now heading north to join my rambling friends in the Newlands Valley near................


I travel up taking occasional stops as here at Coniston

It's sheep country too. Driving can be hazardous.
The sheep top left above actually seemed to smile at me (no names please !). It's a local Herdwick I think.

I've time to take in scenery as I get in touch with Scoop and find out that they're climbing Blencathra.
I've arranged to meet them for dinner in the Horse and Farrier in Threlkeld for dinner.
There are eight ladies in the group and only me of the opposite sex. It'll be an interesting couple of days !
Dinner is excellent I'd well recommend it. At the chalet, arrangements were made for me to sleep in a quiet corner, meaning I didn't need to sleep in the car. Thanks ladies.

The following morning we're heading out for a shortish walk as there's rain forecast for later in the day.
We drive over to Seatoller to start walking up to Castle Crag

It's quite cool but dry as we head through Borrowdale

Castle Crag looks small against it's larger neighbours.
Wainwright included it in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells because it "is so magnificently independent, so ruggedly individual, so aggressively unashamed of its lack of inches, that less than justice would be done by relegating it to a paragraph in the High Spy chapter."

We reach a point to overlook Derwentwater and Keswick
There are numerous paths and our leader the 'Musician' is right on target in selecting the right ones.

It's not Venice, but it could be the 'Bridge of Sighs'...... aah............

It's quite a climb from the base.

There's been extensive quarrying on the crag.

The gazelles of the group are already ensconced on the summit

Castle Crag was given to the National Trust in memory of 2nd Lt J Hamer and the Men of Borrowdale who perished in the great war. The plaque is a war memorial.

What a pretty picture you make ladies.

As others before us have done we leave our own little monument inscribed WR.
I deny any knowledge of the bottom graffiti.

Time to move down the 'Jaws of Borrowdale' and stop for a lunch break.
Love that tree !

We descend to the River Derwent and turn south. We find Millican Dalton's cave.
Reading up on him it seems he was quite a character. I too used to smoke Woodbine cigarettes !

Other caves are also available.

When the rain finally arrived it came down with a vengeance.
The YHA Borrowdale Hostel at Longthwaite appeared like an oasis in the desert.
Wonderfully welcoming and real value for money fare.

Having to put wet gear back on to get back to Seatoller was a bummer though.
Still, it was a fabulous walk.

That evening we headed out to Keswick's Theatre by the Lake to watch a wonderful production of  Oliver Goldsmith's 'She stoops to conquer'.

It's now Thursday morning and I've decided I'm heading home later today.
Here's the gang outside the chalet.

We're heading east up through Skelgill farm passing these fine specimens of animal-hood on the way.

It's a gorgeous day after all the rain yesterday.
Reaching Derwentwater we encounter an out of time World War One soldier going by the name of Corporal Duncan. He was due to meet up with others of his ilk to do a re-enactment for schoolkids from the Merseyside area. 

It's no wonder people are attracted to this area the scenery is cracking.

We see the cruise boats running up and down the lake a lot on today's walk.
They're run by the Keswick Launch Company 

 The plaque says, the wooden sculpture commemorates the centenary of the National Trust's first ever land purchase, 108 acres of the Brandlehow estate, below Cat Bells on the western shore of Derwent Water, in 1902. The wood was opened on 6 October 1902 by Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. The sculpture of cupped hands was unveiled on 16 October 2002.

"Celebrating 100 Years Of The National Trust Caring For Your Countryside At Brandelhow 2002
For Ever For Everyone"

We walk along the lake shore till we reach Brandelhow Bay before heading up to the road and the start of the climb.

It's amazing how the slightest boost to a photograph can turn it into something resembling an oil painting.
Purists can scoff, but it's no different to adding filters direct to the camera. It's my composition and I'm extremely happy with there. ha ha ha

We're zig zagging up Catbells, arguably the most popular hill in the lakes.
A few of the paths I remember from our January 2010 Visit have been closed to curtail the erosion. Alternative paths have been opened up.

I thought I'd construct a postcard with a few pictures.

Sadly I've lost two of my ladies on the summit, but these six beauties are enough for any one man.

After lunch just below the summit, I get my hugs and begin my descent. Scoop was right, the north ridges are the hardest descent. Goodbye for now ladies I'll see you soon.

I again met up with Hawkeye (The Sloane Ranger) and the Musician on the Friday night at the Isle of Whithorn village hall. We were there for a magical night of music featuring the fabulous Gaberlunzie and The Cochranes of Wigtown

It's been an enjoyable run around. Mind you I don't get around half as much as Sandy of Witterings fame


  1. Fabulous and extremely enjoyable tour! Gorgeous series of photos.

  2. Thanks for the mention Jim. I was actually very stationary during my last time off, travelling only between Eskdalemuir and the Isle of Whithorn. This is quite a world tour you've done here. I've only seen Glamis out of this lot (it's a shame pictures aren't allowed inside - they've got some good rooms)...oh yes... and I've been to Keswick. Ulverston looks good for a visit (not at £85 though - I'd have slept in the car that night. £35 is much more reasonable)

  3. Looks as though you packed a lot in Jim. Still to see Ulverston and climb Castle Crag though they are both on the wish list. The Lake District seems to have so much high class scenery and history compressed into one small area you never run out of things to do there. M. Dalton- What a life story,what a character who picked his own way in the world. Cracking post.

  4. wow--what a trip--so much to see--from the still lovely blooms to the pigeon digs----love the castle and a murder story---and yes i do think you make a nice trio :)

  5. An amazing post Jim, you certainly get about. As my wife Anne hailed from the edge of the Lake District National Park (Hesket Newmarket)Your photos brought back some good memories.

  6. Thanks for all your nice comments folks much appreciated.
    You're right Bob, Millican Dalton was one of a kind, we need more eccentrics.
    Nice to see you Julie, Cornwall's a wonderful part of the world, I'll be popping over to your blog now and again.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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