The skies, shapes and notoriously sticky South Downs mud from my hike to and around Castle Hill Nature Reserve in the South Downs National Park in Sussex. A day hike out from my support bubble mate’s home. I’ve been thinking of doing a set about Mud for a while and this day out provided an opportunity.
Geese on the Thames at Putney Bridge (1886)
Rowing Eight and Fulham football stadium
Walking from Barnes to Putney along the Thames Path; the river here does a loop so it’s much shorter to walk the chord but nothing like so interesting. The rowing crews are back out on the river but Hammersmith Bridge is still closed because of cracks in the Victorian ironwork, so the traffic on the footpath is much reduced. Note the Star Wars stormtrooper on Christmas duty. I enjoyed Mince Pies from The Parish Bakery in Barnes for my festive picnic.
Keswick Railway Footpath reopens! Much missed since Storm Desmond wrecked bridges and caused landslides in December 2015, the footpath along the track bed of the former Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway through the gorge of the River Greta is now remade and renamed the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail. The official reopening is planned for December 5th, the fifth anniversary of the worst of the storm. However the barriers have been removed and the workmen in hi-viz can share their pride in their work. The path is almost more popular than ever with many Keswickians eager to try out their reopened path in advance of the official reopening. I had the opportunity to walk it following business earlier in the day in Keswick (meaning that I was in the area on permitted travel).
Greta Gorge looks peaceful enough for the moment and as attractive as ever, both to us and the wildlife; but the wide river bed and the scoured rock sides are reminders of how this trout river turns in to a terrifying torrent when fed with flood waters from the fells towering above.