DATE                                  10.05.15

DISTANCE                         6.2 MILES

WEATHER                        WINDY WITH SHOWERS


Surrender Bridge

Well all my carefully made plans had been totally and utterly wiped out by bad weather it was time to try and salvage something out of this trip, It’s not that I am bothered by bad weather it just the wind (I could go into some really bad jokes about wind here or mention my better half  but I wont) , I really do struggle with my walking in strong winds and unfortunately the wind was doing its best to ruin my short holiday, I had been blown over twice already at the campsite much to the amusement of the pup’s still , no damage done (other than to my pride) but had I been going along some exposed hillside it might have been different plus with all the rain that we had just gone through everywhere would be sopping wet , again I am not bothered about getting wet as I do have some good waterproof gear , however once I have got it on I tend to sweat like a pig ( do pigs sweat?)  So I often wonder is it worth getting kitted out in it. You know do I get wet from the outside in or from the inside out?

So today when the wind died down and it actually stopped raining I quickly grabbed my walking gear, said goodbye to my better half who would be spending her day lazing around in the Van called for Bob dog and jumped into the car , I wouldn’t be taking either Flynn or Munchy today the reason being it was forecast for more rain and I fully expected the wind to start to pick up again as the day went on , neither Flynn or Munchy like the rain or wind and to be honest they really looked contented  laying on the seats in the caravan with Yvonne , Bob on the other hand couldn’t wait to jump into the car and get out someplace , it really doesn’t matter what the weather is like he just runs about totally ignoring the elements , in fact I often have trouble getting him to stay still long enough for me to put his coat on .

I decided that we would pay a visit to Surrender Bridge and have a small walk around there, several reasons firstly I have walked there before and knew the area, it has a good path all the way round, at the walks highest point (great Pinseat 583 meters) it wouldn’t be too exposed and it was the nearest walk that I had planned to the site where the van was parked up and against my better judgment I actually believed the weather forecast that stated that I would only have a small window  before the weather turned pants again .

So that was it twenty minutes later found me and Bob dog parking up at the roadside car at what I believe is Surrender Bridge, gear was quickly sorted and off we went, our route took us over the Mill Gill then along a very well maintained track (shooting track?) we couldn’t help but notice that there was loads of  signs about keeping your dog under strict control because of nesting birds , I must admit it did bring a smile to my face , yes lets not disturb the birds so they can shoot them to bits a bit later on in the year and judging by the amount of shooting stell scattered about it must be a bit of a massacre for the grouse still what do I know .

I did my civic duty and informed Bob not to go into the heather and chase any birds he saw , as normal he listened then carried on  to range all over the place , however most of his attention was along the banks of the gill and any bird who is daft enough to nest right by this busy track really wasn’t going to survive anyway, but on a serious note I was pleased that when I called Bob he returned straight away and when I said “that word NO” he would change direction  and would mooch around along the track .

It wasn’t long before we reached the “Old Gang Smelting Mills” and as per normal a few photos where taken, what surprised me was how well the ruins are looked after, some one (the parks people?) have done a good job with keeping on top of things here. And just like the last time I was here it seemed like a meeting place for allsorts of folk, naturally the conversation was all about the weather and was it worth taking the waterproofs off or even putting them back on and “look at that dirty cloud”.

Bob of course love all the attention that he was receiving and was off all over the place saying hello to one and all, wagging his tail every one and rolling on his back so he could get his tummy tickled.

Eventually we set off (after all there was a small window in the weather) our route (see map) took us along this well used track past Level house Bridge, alongside Flincher  Gill, past a few more ruins and tunnel entrances then up over Forefeild rake up to great Pinseat, this area hadn’t changed much since I was here last time it is still a barren waste where the spoils where tipped and left nothing seems to grow here it something to do with the left over product from the mining  process ……… wouldn’t be allowed to happen with todays stricter pollution controls but I guess back then it really didn’t matter , however I will say I does add something to this walk walking over this barren landscape , I wonder how many years  decades will pass before its all covered with grass or other vegetation after all nature always clam’s its land back eventually . after a few minutes of walking around the spoil heap on what I thought was the top of this hill I decided to check the GPS  and sure enough the trig point was a few hundred meters away ……duh !!!.

Lunch was shared with Bob Dog behind a small stone cairn then it was time to head back down, the wind had started to pick up a bit but nothing that was problem for me …..Yet , Bob seemed pleased to get back onto the grass and heather again after walking across the whites stones on the summit of Great Pinseat and went into his “ranging mode” with the odd stop where he would roll onto his back and have a good wiggle in the grass , sadly for bob we had to walk along a small road for the last part and I had to put him on a lead and with the amount of motor bikes hurtling past I didn’t dare take the chance to let him run free and with the speed some of these bikes where traveling I really am surprised that there aren’t anymore accidents .

We just about had time to see one more section of the ruined Smelting Mill before that big black cloud arrived , Bob & I came face to face with some sheep who wouldn’t move and we had an Mexican stand off for a while , but I was very pleased to see that Bob didn’t show any signs of wanting to bark or chase them , even when they started to stamp there feet at us , then it was a mad dash for the car on the other side of the Gill just before the heavens opened up , another five minutes we would have been caught out and soaked .

We did 6.2 miles with about 1031 ft. of the ups and downs Bob of course did load more.

A few photos:

Taken on Surrender Bridge looking up the Gill / beck


On the track looking down


One of the many water run off that run down into the Beck


Bob having the time of his life just stopping for a quick drink


First sighting of the Old Gang Smelting Mills


Getting closer


Looking at some of the ruins (I haven’t got a clue what bit did what)


Bob is still running around checking things out


A few more photos of this wonderful place


Bob letting me know its time to get a move on


Bridge over the beck


Not really sure what this is


Looking back towards the shooting lodge


I think that this was part of a peat store (but that’s just a guess)


Looking back


At Level house Bridge


Flincher Gill


Level house ruin?


Up close


Bob dog waiting for me to catch up


Old mine shafts?

Looking down (there was loads of rubbish tipped down there)


Heading up Forefeild rake (looking back)


Heading up onto Great Pinseat across the old spoil heaps


Nature is slowly reclaiming the land (very slowly)


The man made summit of Great Pinseat (the trig point is a few hundred meters away)


Time to get off this wasteland


On our way down old vehicle


On our way down looking towards Brownsey Moor


Looking further along the valley


At Barra’s end, still heading down, Bob meet up with a friendly dog called Bear and had a good run around


Looking towards the smelting mill at Surrender Bridge


A few of the locals

A few photos of this old ruin


Stand off (bob much to his disgust is put on a lead)


Looking towards where the car is parked


Notice board

Last one looking back


Day after thoughts,

We really had a good day today, very easy walking with lots to see, the amount of people out today was a bit of a surprise as the weather had been / was lousy but I can say that we stopped and chatted to everyone and we all had a great day, Bob of course really enjoyed the day and lapped up all the fuss and attention that was put his way , and even though he had been running around all day he still went running around the field with Flynn and Munchy when we got back to the farm .

It’s a pity that I only got this walk in whilst we where down here but I know that we will return to the area again and (fingers crossed I will get a few more walks done)