I travelled down to England last night on the Caledonian Sleeper in order to collect a new car this morning. My Land Rover will be getting used less frequently from now on as I have of late been putting far too many miles onto it. Having stayed awake all night to hear the election results, I was fairly tired today. Despite feeling tired, and not particularly happy with the result, I was determined to ascend several small hills.

My first hill of the day was "The Cloud". The Cloud is located East of Congleton. I parked in the Timbersbrook Picnic Area car park where there is room for at least one dozen cars.

Hill: The Cloud
Date: Friday 19th September 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 3.7km, Ascent: 330m
Time: 1Hr


Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

New car:


Gritstone Trail information sign:


From the car park, I walked along a couple of roads to reach a signpost marked "Gritstone Trail". In hindsight, instead of walking along the roads, I could have taken the Gritstone Trail track at the back of the car park.

I followed this track steeply up the lower slopes of the Cloud.

Gritstone Trail track ascending The Cloud:


Gritstone Trail track ascending the Cloud:


During the initial ascent, I stopped to photograph some bracket fungus on a dead tree.

Bracket Fungus:


On passing a clearing, I noticed a small rocky area below.

Gritstone?:


Beyond the rocky area, I arrived at a National Trust sign for the Cloud.

The Cloud:


On arriving at a track junction, I opted to take the wide track on the way to the summit and return via the narrower track.

Following the wide track into the woods:


Clear of the woods, not far from the summit:


On reaching the summit area, I visited the trig point and had a look at the toposcope. Views were limited due to low cloud.

Summit area trig point and toposcope:


I then visited the gritstone rocks at the actual summit. This was my 950th Marilyn.

Summit rock:


The rocks at the summit have lots of graffiti etched into them.

Summit rocks:


From the summit rocks, I returned via the narrow path to eventually reach my in-bound route.

View during descent:


On returning to the car, I drove to my second hill of the day. Gun is located North-East of Rudyard.


Hill: Gun
Date: Friday 19th September 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 1.3km, Ascent: 90m
Time: 20Mins


For my ascent of Gun, I parked at the top of the road to the South of Gun.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

The ascent of Gun took only ten minutes. I got no views during the walk and found this walk to be really dull in comparison to neighbouring The Cloud.

Start of ascent from road:


Path ascending Gun:


Approaching the summit trig point:


At the summit of Gun:


During the walk out, I met two other walkers who were also ascending via the same route. I incorrectly assumed they were Marilyn-baggers. It turns out they were Geo-cachers - an equally sad bunch !

On getting back to the car, I made my way towards my third hill of the day.

I opted to ascend Shining Tor from the Cat and Fiddle pub. This pub is apparently the second highest pub in England.


Hill: Shining Tor
Date: Friday 19th September 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 4.7km, Ascent: 215m
Time: 1Hr 15Mins


Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the pub car park, I walked along the road to reach a vehicle track heading towards Shining Tor.

Cat and Fiddle pub:


Of the two tracks leading towards Shining Tor, I opted to take the Stake Farm track during the ascent and the other track during the descent.

Track junction:


Before reaching Stake Farm, I followed the signs to bypass the farm. This led me through a field with a Shetland Pony and a horse.

Approaching Stake Farm:


The visibility was non-existant during this walk. I can only assume it would be a good viewpoint on a nice day.

Signs and gate:


It would be difficult to get lost on this walk as the track is obvious and there are plenty signs and gates.

Signs and gate:


Track leading towards the summit:


The final ascent follows a stone wall towards the summit.

Track leading towards the summit:


On reaching the summit area, I passed through the small gate to reach the trig point and then visited the small mound next to the trig point which is a tad higher.

Approaching the summit:


Trig point (6m from summit mound):


I ventured a short distance beyond the summit to have a look at a gritstone edge.

Gritstone:


On getting back to the Cat and Fiddle, I had a delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream. This was the highlight of the day thus far.

Hot chocolate from Cat and Fiddle pub:


After Shining Tor, I decided to escape the clag by leaving the Peak District and heading for the Lakes. My fourth and final hill of the day was Arnside Knott.

 I parked in the National Trust Arnside Knott car park. This is a free car park (unusual for National Trust!)


Hill: Arnside Knott
Date: Friday 19th September 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 2.0km, Ascent: 80m
Time: 30Mins


Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

There would appear to be a variety of paths on this hill. I just followed paths that were heading up and generally in the right direction.

Arnside Knott information board:


Arnside Knott is a wonderful hill. It is covered in a variety of nice trees and has lovely views down to Morecambe Bay.

Into the wood:


Ascent track:


View during ascent:


Looking towards the summit:


View during ascent:


Looking down to Morecambe Bay:


During the ascent, I heard an unusual bird call. On seeking out the bird, I found the unusual call to be that of a woodpecker.

Woodpecker:


Woodpecker (zoom):


H-shaped tree:


View during ascent:


Bench:


The views from the summit are fairly limited however there are lots of nice views during the ascent/descent.

Summit trig poing with Arnside Ramblers plaque:


I returned to the car via the same route.

View during descent:


View during descent:


Four straightforward hills. The Cloud and Arnside Knott are definitely worth a visit.