I’ve just returned from hiking and wild camping with a friend of mine in the Yorkshire Dales. We hiked from Settle to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, setting out from Settle on the Monday night. We arrivied at Scaleber Foss in the early evening and set up camp putting our bivvies up and having a night round the fire. The next day we hiked onto the majestic Malham Cove, stopping briefly at the Buck inn, in Malham village. The next day after camping at Malham cove, we went across the limestone pavement and headed up the gorge up to Malham Tarn. After a night at Malham Tarn, where a thunder-storm with hail stones the size of walnuts coming down on us. The following day we walked over Fountains Fell to the base of Pen-y-ghent and there again pitched up. Early in the morning we set off to climb Pen-y-ghent and then after the summit down into Horton-in-Ribblesdale and the train home.
Hiking and wild camping are my thing. A couple of times a year I like to pack my rucksack and head off up to the Highlands to explore the remoter regions of Scotland. This year was no exception. Towards the end of July I caught the train to Glasgow and then a coach to the Bridge of Orchy which is just south of Fort William. The weather was pleasant, although not as nice as usual. I set out from the Bridge of Orchy, taking the West Highland Way to Fort William.
In Scotland there are no trespass laws and wild camping is permitted anywhere within reason. Mainly due to weight restrictions, I only take a bivouac sheet and a bivvy bag. I take rations but the emphasis is always on, if I can find wild food then this is a superior alternative. I started my hike towards Fort William taking a couple of days to cover the forty or so miles. I took a diversion from the West Highland Way to Glen Coe and camped there. I arrived at Fort William to torrential rain, and got a room in a back packing hostel. I decided the next day I was going to climb Ben Nevis, something I have never done. But the weather came down with no look of improvement. So the next day I caught the bus to Inverness, and from Inverness got a train to Lairg, which is in North east Scotland. Here the scenery of the Highlands is less dramatic than in the West, with low hills but I wanted to see Lairg. I had noticed on the map before I left there were a number of Stone Circles marked there. The weather had improved no end from the previous day; Fort William is known for its rain and this being the other side of the country, Lairg was less affected. The hill upon which the stone circles were mark was small and the stones themselves unimpressive. However I found a lovely place to camp and set up there for the next two days. Here sunsets were incredible, the second night’s sundown being the most impressive.
After Lairg, I headed north to Thurso on the train and caught the ferry to Stromness in Orkney; there were stone circles I wanted to see on Orkney also so my adventure continued….