Monday, 4 June 2018

Wigan (always good to be back after a few days away)

Thursday was a long day of travelling as we were having an extended weekend in Scotland.  We set out for the station first thing to catch three different trains to Yorkshire to pick up our car from my parents’ house.  That meant we could spend some time with them before the long drive up the M6/A74 to Edinburgh.

We set off with two back packs each, well a front and a back pack like we were carrying babies.  Trouble was, although we were only going away for three nights we needed all sorts of clothes for the different activities we had planned.

We got to the station only to find our train to Manchester had been cancelled   By the time we got to Leeds we were running an hour late and having just missed a connecting train found we were running two hours late.  At least we felt at home waiting at Leeds station as we were right at the eastern end of the Leeds & Liverpool canal.

Having a rest in Leeds
It was good to see my mum and dad although Dad seemed a bit frailer physically but mentally he is still all there which is good news.  Mum manages to get up to see him every other day and they do things like The Times crossword together.

Later in the afternoon we drove up to Culross which is a village on the north side of the Forth, almost opposite Linlithgow where my youngest brother lives.  On the drive there we passed the Kelpies which are right next to the motorway and we could also just see the Falkirk wheel in the distance.  I had never seen either before, but Karen had been to both when she stayed with Jo for a couple of days last year.

Culross is famous as it is often used as film and drama sets; most recently it was used for filming a series called Outlander (not our sort of thing as I believe it’s an historical time travel series).

With the sun out and the warmth it felt very Mediterranean

We went to the airport at about 10 in the evening to pick up Lauren who was also staying with us for the weekend.

Before the morning sea mist cleared on Friday

On Friday afternoon we went into Edinburgh to meet up with Jo as we were going to her degree show in the evening.  Before the show we met up for a drink with my brother Richard and he then joined us at the uni.

The project Jo was showing off was all about using all the material from a sheep to make items for tending sheep, e.g. she had made a crook from the horn, fleece clippers using a jaw bone, tool belt from wool she had woven etc.

Jo at her stand

On Saturday, Karen, Lauren, Buddy and I set off at 6 for a three hour drive up to Fort William to walk up Ben Nevis.  All week, thunderstorms had been predicted so we were well prepared (especially after a really wet and windy walk up Snowdon last year).  Contrary to the forecast, the sun was out, and it was really rather warm, so it didn’t help having a steep climb with backpacks laden with wet-weather gear and extra layers.  The path was very busy, with a lot of people on three-peak challenges and we made it to the top in just under five hours.

Soon after setting off, looking away from Fort William
Just before we stopped for lunch at the half way point

A bit higher up – you can see how busy it was
It was a bit strange walking across the snow wearing shorts and tee-shirts, but Buddy loved it:

  Buddy checking Karen wasn't slipping

At the top we put some layers on as we could hear thunder and it started spitting with rain – it’s very easy to get cold as the sweat dries off and you’re not moving.

The three of us at the top
Lauren happy she made it 😊

It only took 2 ½ hours to walk down and then we had the 3 hour drive back to our AirBnB in Culross.  The sun had come out again and we could take in the stunning scenery around places like Glen Coe to make the journey not feel as long.

We dropped Lauren back at the airport early on Sunday and then drove down to Gargrave to spend some more time with my mum and dad.  Now we are near Liverpool it meant the final leg of the journey back to the boat only took an hour.  It was really good to be home again, and we just crashed out for the evening.

We have now walked up the three peaks over the last year.  Steve (my middle son) joined us for Scafell Pike and Snowdon but couldn’t make Ben Nevis.  Lauren (my middle daughter) joined us for all three.

Our summit pictures: top – Ben Nevis, middle – Scafell Pike, bottom – Snowdon
Karen and I attempted the three peaks over a weekend about 10 years ago but both gave up on Ben Nevis, so we were pleased and happy to have climbed all three, albeit over 12 months rather than 48 hours 😉

Our next walking plan is to go up the three Yorkshire peaks over the summer whilst we have the boat up there.


  1. Congratulations to Jo on her degree! Out of interest, assuming there isn’t a degree course in sheep recycling, what was she reading?