DATE                             28.03.2010

DISTANCE                     3.5 MILES





Ashgill force.

For todays wander Yvonne and I would be heading over the wilds of the Pennines and starting our walk at the small village of Garrigill, not an easy place to find according to tom but after much buggering about, we decided to leave tom switched off and follow the signs instead, somehow we managed to find the place and park up.

First impressions wasn’t that good, yes I know it was a cold dull overcast day but the village itself seemed to be slowly dying, the pub was boarded up as was the village shop / post office quite a few of the houses where boarded up or in the process of being done up as holiday lets or something and the whole village had a dull neglected feel to it.( I am pleased to say when we returned to this village some years later that we found a lovley village that had recovered very well) see :-

Feeling a bit disappointed that there wouldn’t be a pre walk drink to be had we set off, I couldn’t have gone more than a couple of hundred meters when I knew that something was wrong with my Arty leg , at this point I didn’t know what was wrong , but I just knew that something wasn’t doing what it was meant to , ask any above knee amputee and they will tell you the same thing , it just didn’t feel right , as the day wore on the leg and its capability’s really did pack up causing me no end of trouble , but at the time we decided to press on , after all its not like we where heading off to some god forsaken mountain or anything .

Our route today was straight out of the village along the small road (I think that this is a tiny bit of the Pennine way) then at cross gill  cut down to the river South Tyne cross over via the windshaw  footbridge then head upstream till we met up with the Ash Gill where we follow it upstream to the big waterfall Ashgill force , I had read that its possible to walk behind this fall and was something that I was looking forward to another thing to be “ticked off” so to speak , then from there we would take the high route back walking along the well marked footpaths through the meadows back to Garrigill.

However sometimes things don’t go as planned.

As normal a few photos.

Our first view of the small village looks like it has seen better day.

On Windshaw bridge looking at the river.

My better half wrapped up very warm (it wasn’t that cold)


Our path along the river, easy walking or should have been if my leg was working.


A photo of the gill as we walk along.


One of the many small waterfalls along this section.


Me on the bridge over the Ash Gill.

Another small fall.


Heading up the Ash gill itself now


Me, what you can’t see is the problems that I am having with my leg, it keeps sticking in the bent position.


Looking up the burn

Yvonne having a pose

Nice small waterfall shot.

First sighting of Ashgill force.


Looking back down the Ash Gill

Lot of folk have the same idea as what we had, they all buggered off shortly after we arrived. (Do we smell or something)


Five minutes later we have it all to ourselves.


I think that this was part of some old lead mining that I believe used to happen in this area.


Unfortunately with my arty leg playing up I can’t go behind the waterfall however that doesn’t stop Yvonne from paying it a visit.


Looking back down this gorge


Yvonne behind the waterfall


Hello Mick


Heading back


Last look at the fall before we leave.


Some more old mine ruins

Our route up (this was seriously scary with arty leg playing up)


Me having a pose


Part way out looking back down.


Nearly out now and I am back on grass so it wont hurt so much if I fall


Heading back across the meadows, it’s starting to rain now and there is a very cold wind blowing.


The path leading towards the farm at loaning head


Looking back at Yvonne, there is still a bit of snow lying in places on the higher hills.


Mum and her little one.


The farm at loaning head, this is the last photo simply because the knee totally failed at this point


 Despite winding the extension and flexion up and down and trying different setting I just couldn’t get the leg to straighten out,

This knee has the ability to go “free” or lock but unfortunately nothing worked. So the hiking poles came out for a bit of support and the camera went into the rucksack for safe keeping, this walk was over.

It was fortunate that we where only a mile or so away from the car and I found that by forcing the leg straight then swinging it round in a half circle I was able to sort of weight bear on it while I took a step with my good leg.


It took the best part of two hours to get to the car and I was very happy to be there, naturally it was raining but the worst thing that I found was whilst hobbling through the village every man and his dog came out, normally I would stop and chat and have no problems talking about the fact I have lost a limb, but I actually felt embarrassed that I was reduced to using two poles and hobbling along obviously struggling. (Not a way I like to portrait myself) pride it’s a funny thing at times.


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