Holwood House

Slaves, Outlaws and the Beast of Farnborough (London LOOP Part 11)

Cooped up at home for the last couple of weeks supervising builders, I was desperate to get out. I’d been lucky that my two weeks of being out of circulation had coincided with some miserable weather, but I could actually feel the modicum of hill fitness gained in my legs in the Lakes seeping away. It was time for a walk. Continue reading

2nd Pitch

Playing with the Hexpeak

In a recent post, I mentioned that I’m giving up on my failed experiment with the Trailstar, and switching to a mid instead – specifically, the Luxe Hexpeak.

The new shelter arrived on Tuesday and I had to wait a couple of days before the weather and the ground was dry enough to pitch and do the seam sealing. And I’ve now had a chance to pitch the shelter for a second time and get her properly ready for use in the field. Continue reading

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Trailstar For Sale

As revealed in my last post, I really haven’t got on all that well with the Trailstar, so I’ve decided to pass it on to someone who will and replace it with a shelter that’s more to my liking – i.e. one with a bit more headroom and an actual attached door. I also don’t need the acres of space the Trailstar has.

So anyone that’s interested in buying part or all of the following Trailstar setup, please get in touch. Continue reading

First night in the Trailstar

The Trouble with Trailstars…(or a brief history of my tents)

Two or three years ago, I saw that several people seemed to be acquiring these funny pentagonal tarps, and always wanting to keep my finger on the pulse, had a look at the Mountain Laurel Designs website myself to see what all the fuss was about.  At the time, I was just moving up from a budget starter backpacking tent (a T2 Ultralight Pro from Decathlon), hadn’t even had my first wild camp, and my requirements were firmly for a tent, with proper doors and everything. Continue reading

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The Zombie Promenade (London LOOP Part 10)

Back two days from the Lakes, and I felt I ought to capitalise on any fitness that had crept up on me while I was in hillier parts, so the next section of the LOOP beckoned.

An uneventful journey back out to Coulsdon then saw me cross the railway and then the busy road to the bus shelter where I stopped last time. On consulting the map in the guidebook, it soon became clear that the route required me to cross the railway at this point, meaning I’d unnecessarily diced with the traffic. It also meant that if I’d carried on last time, I’d probably have gone wrong at this point and carried on up the road.

I retraced my steps and then walked through a residential area that brought me to the foot of Farthing Downs. Continue reading

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The Four Valleys Walk – Part 2: Eskdale, Wasdale & Borrowdale

I was halfway down a suspiciously unlimey lime and lemonade, when a large blue rucksack came bobbing along the lane in front of the pub. It turned into the “beer garden” and Cath emerged from underneath it, and muttered some words I took to be a greeting. A few minutes later with a pint of ale in her hand, she was more coherent, and I decoded her previous attempt at conversation as being a tirade against the weight of her pack. This would become a familiar gripe for the rest of the trip. Continue reading

Upper Eskdale

The Four Valleys Walk – Part 1: Borrowdale and Eskdale

I’d long dreamed of exploring this valley and camping somewhere remote in its upper reaches to enjoy the majesty of England’s highest mountains surrounding me, but the reality was damper, mistier and more precarious than I’d imagined it would be.

Continue reading

escaping to the hills

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