Back to Holidays

Three Peaks - Jun 2010

Yorkshire 3P - July 2009

Lake District - Nov 2007

Lake District - Aug 2007

Three Peaks - Jun 2006

Dublin - Feb 2006

Scotland - Oct 2005

Scafell - Jul 2005

Andorra - Mar 2005

Scotland - Oct 2004

Scotland - Feb 2004

Snowdon - Jul 2003

Scafell - May 2003

La Rochelle - Sep 2002

Poland - Mar 2001

Nefyn - Oct 2000

Eclipse - Aug 1999

Three Peaks - Jun 1988

Porthcawl - Jul 1986

Fourteen Peaks - Jul 1985

Lake District - Jul 1983


Fingals Hotel with Annette, Thomas, Holly, Jack and Jeannette May 2017

Thursday 11th - Facebook Post We set off for about 10am. Just me and Thomas in my car. J&J with Annette and Holly. We stop at the Gordano service station and have Subway. Drive straight to Blackpool Sands, I recognise it from when we stayed at Kingsbridge. No sand, just stones, but we have a quick play on the beach. Drive in convoy to Fingals Hotel, some very small and steep roads. An enchanting place. Annette and Jeannette cook Steak and chips. Thomas does the cocktails, start with Gin and tonic and move on to Rusty Nails. Read the rules for Cluedo, but decide to play Balderdash. Goes well after we get into it. Thomas wins when the game wraps up at 1:30am.

Friday 12th - Facebook Post Annette and Thomas do a large cooked breakfast for us all. Me, Thomas and Jack take Holly for a swim in the pool. We find the balcony over the river. After a bit of debate we decide to drive to Torquay. I wanted to go over the Dartmouth Ferry, but cannot get much agreement. Drive up to Totnes and down to Torquay. Park up and walk along to the Wetherspoons pub, Green Ginger. Grant, Debbie and Laurent join as from their office across the road. Have a couple of pints of 61 Deep, Marston's ! On the way back I decide to come over the ferry, so we head to Dartmouth, go over the lower ferry. Park in the centre for toilets, a music festival is in progress, we all like the place. Back up to the cottage for Gammon, New Potatoes and Salad. Play Balderdash again, Thomas wins again.

Saturday 13th - Both me and Thomas have got blocked left ears. Another good full breakfast. Me and Jack take Holly for a swim in the pool. We head down to Dartmouth, but it is rammed. Drive back up the hill and go on the park and ride. We book to go on a cruise of the harbour on a boat at 2:30pm. I enjoy the fresh air on the top deck and out at the front. Holly enjoys running in and out. Jeannette has got a cold. Have a bit of a walk round and listen to some of the music. Have a pint in the Railway Station. We drive back and drop J&J and Thomas at the Hunters Lodge, Cornworthy. We then go and drop my car back at Fingal's. I drive Annette's car back, crunch the back a little. I have strange dreams about Press Gangs and claustrophobia of getting cars stuck on small roads.

Sunday 14th - Nice lie in till 8:30am. Sunshine in the morning. Pack up and set off at 10:10. Me and Thomas have a quick drive round Dittisham. Head off to Cheddar Gorge. Park half way up and then walk down. Have lunch in the White Hart. We drive up the Gorge and then back onto the M5.

Northumberland with Annette and Holly April 2017


Three Peak with Explorers June 2010

Saturday 5th - Round to the scout hut for 7am. Paul Gant drives his car up to Lake district services, Ian goes in the front, me and Annette in the back. Have a little break and then I drive on. Stop at Glasgow services for a short break. I mention to Paul G about dropping at one side of Scafell and picking up at the other, he agrees and thinks that it will save 20 minutes. Over the Erskine bridge and up the A82. Meet up again at Tarbet and drive in convoy to the Bonnie Braes. A French van driver hits my wing mirror on the way. Straight to Glen Nevis, park in the large car park, it is very busy. They get set and depart. I drive into Fort William with Annette looking for nicotine. When I get back I show Paul Dalton and Paul Lambkin the zig zags. Paul L gets the mushroom stew ready. I love the drive through the night, the A82 may have been blocked so we head down past Calender and then Stirling Castle. Bit of a traffic jam after that.

Sunday 6th - Paul D is getting a bit sleepy so Annette nips into his car to keep him awake. Seems a long way down from Kendal to the start. Get to Seatoller. just getting light. We convoy round to Ambleside and have a sleep in the main car park for a couple of hours. Push on to the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the car park is empty. We cook bacon sandwiches. Paul L gets left behind and comes off the motorway at the wrong place. We proceed along the A55 and on to Llanberis, re-group there. We then drop then on the youth hostel, Annette goes up with them. We drive back to Llanberis, I have an idea of going up on the train to see them, but it is £25 each. Have a cup of tea and a sleep. Back down with 20 minutes to spare. We all have a pizza in Runcorn, the boys order loads of food. Back to Derby, 1050 miles.

Yorkshire Three Peak with Team Boots July 2009


Saturday 18th - Arrive at Newfield Hall at about 6pm. Meet Jackie Buxton, Sonja and Bali. Have a few drinks outside and then in the bar. Phil arrives and drives us all down to the Victoria, Clare arrives. After some negotiation we get served fish and chips all round. Back to the hotel for one more.

Sunday 19th - Jackie knocks on the door at 5am after the alarm fails to get off. We rush to get ready and eat a little breakfast. Drive the 30 minutes to Horton. We arrive just as the others are setting off. We remain about ten minutes behind then all day. Annette and I start walking at 6:30am. Rain on the way up Pen-y-Gent, get to the top for 7:45am. Quick rest and then press on, we see Greg, with an umbrella, and some of his team, going the wrong way round Pen-y-gent, give him a map. Some bloke who has done it 50 times says that the boggy bit is almost the worst that he has seen. When we go over it, it does not seem bad at all. Get my first glimpse of the Ribbleshead Viaduct through the mist. Down to the first check-point and meet the front runners. Set off up Whernside slightly behind them. Clare is struggling so Annette stays with her. I don't enjoy coming down at all. We don't go in the Old Hill Inn. We team up with Clare for the final hill. The ascent is very steep and quite exciting. On the top for about 4:15 ? The weather is now very nice and clear. I enjoy the gentle walk down to Horton. Complete the walk in 12:30. Jackie, Bali, Phil etc. are there to see us finish. We take Clare back to Sheffield, the sat nav chooses a rather strange way via the M65 and Burnley. Home for 10pm, Chinese for tea. Sleep well.

Lake District with Team Grundy November 2007

Friday 30th - Simon comes round at 5am. Zola is in the car, pick up Quince at 10 past. Get to the Queens for 7:40, have a very good full breakfast. Zola drives us to the Grasmere. Walk up Sour milk gill, very impressive since there is lots of water coming down it. Up past Easedale tarn, we had got plans to go over High Raise, and do a few of the Pikes, but the wind is too strong and the cloud is too low. I am pleased with my choice of walking in salopettes, since the driving rain does not get through. We cannot find anywhere to cross Bright Beck, since it is too full. Walk on to Stickle tarn, good views looking across to Pavey Ark. Takes about 20 minutes to cross by the dam, and then up and round the back of Harrison Stickle. Have a think about coming down Thorn crag but it is a bit too steep, come down Loft crag and down to the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Zola has got a few logs on the fire and we stay for a pleasant couple of pints. Zola has had a haircut by the same bloke that me and PK went to in 1991. Back to the hotel to shower. Get a Taxi out to the Log house, have a fantastic meal there. PK and Pete Gingell turn up just as we finish the meal. Walk back into town, have one in the Lake Road, and then on to the Sportsman's for a couple.

Saturday 1st Dec - Johnny Colebrook turns up at about 8:30. Start walking at 10am from the Hotel to attempt the Fairfield horseshoe. Raining from the start. Up over Low Pike and High Pike. When we get to Dove Crag I begin to think that I might make it. Heavy hail starts as we are approach the top, we have to shelter behind a wall. A bit of debate about which way to come off the top of Fairfield, until the a gap in the clouds shows us the path down. See good views down to Windermere and Coniston water also across to sour milk gill and Easedale tarn from yesterday. Down to the Badger bar for 3:30pm. Have a few pints and nibbles in the bar, we are all pretty exhausted. There is a problem getting more logs on the fire and we decide to walk back to town. Quick shower and bus to Bowness, go in the Sol Bar, Hole in the Wall, Stags Head, Old English Hotel and then walk down to the Wheelhouse. A few go on the Red Bull and stay till 3am, the rest of us leave at 1:30.

Sunday 2nd - Zola is up early as always, I lie in bed till 9am, my legs are very tired. Away by noon, lots of traffic on the M6, decide to cut across the M62, just as bad.

Lake District with Team Grundy August 2007

Friday 3rd - Simon comes round at 2am with Zola, we go and pick up PK and Face and then we are on our way. It seems unusual for me not to be driving, have a little sleep in the back. Arrive at the Dudgeon Ghyll Hotel just before 5am. Me, Simon and PK set off, the forecast had been for good weather but there is very low cloud. Walk along Mickleden and up on to the top of Scafell. Drop down to Mickledore, along Mosedale and down to Zola waiting at Cockley Beck. Him and Face have found some great Breakfast cobs. Have a little rest and then me and Simon push on over Grey Friars. The path is very indistinct, even the sat nav has real problems. Eventually find the top, covered in mist. Along the ridge over Great Carrs and Swirl How and then down past Levers waters. Zola and the gang are waiting for us at the Coppermines. The plan to swim across Windermere is quietly abandoned. Drive straight to the Old English hotel and check in. Go to the Hole in the wall pub. They lead us down to the Stags Head for a drink, Simon and PK pretend not to know the way. Drink lots of red bull and vodka, PK buys a bottle of champagne for my birthday. Dance a lot at the end, me and PK stay till it shuts. For some reason I sleep on the floor when we get back, very comfortable.

Saturday 4th - Get up at about 9am, still a little merry and go down for a very good breakfast. Face is comatose till about 10am and has throw up over the bed. Have a wander round Bowness, I buy some combat trousers. Set off back at about noon.

Three Peaks June 2006.

Team is Simon Grundy, Pete Kirkland, Steve Wraith, Me, John Colebrook, Andy King (Quince), Mark Marron (Maza), Pete Gingell, and Zola (Driver, Head Chef). The Petrol for the trip was generously paid for by Gary Matkin of Chad Cars. The Minibus was from Excel Car Hire.

Flickr Slide Show

Thursday 8th - Get picked up at 7am. We all meet up at the Queens Head. Simon fixes four England flags onto the van. Fortunately they fall off before we get to Scotland. Stop for petrol just after the Erskine Bridge, I drive from there. Stop at Firkin Point on the banks of Loch Lomond. Have some sandwiches and a cup of tea. Get a little more sponsor money. The Tom-Tom predicts well when we will arrive. Get into Fort William just after 3.30pm. Drive straight to the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. Start up Ben Nevis at 16:15. Simon has told everyone that I will set the pace, however before long it is clear that everyone wishes to go faster. Cross a few snow fields on the way to the top, arrive at 18:45. Spend 15 minutes on the top. Every peak is crystal clear, the views are fantastic. View computer generated view from the top here North and South. We all make good progress down, Zola watches us come down the zigzags with the binoculars. I am last man down at 20:30. Zola has prepared a very good Irish stew. I eat it very quickly whilst some large insects take chunks out of my arms and legs. On the road for 21:00

Friday 9th - Arrive at Wasdale head at 03:15. Zola drives round to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. I lead the way up till the path splits, takes one hour. The others rush ahead to the top. Watch the sun come up at 04:45, I arrive at the summit at 05:10, leave at 05:15. View computer generated view from the top here North and South. Simon leads us down towards the north. The party gets a little spread out. I keep on catching glimpses of the forward party running in the distance, it reminds me of some scenes out of "Lord of the Rings". Legs and feet ache a lot on the long walk out. I arrive there at 07:30. Have a few bacon sarnies and then on the road for 07:45. A bit of a traffic jam on the A55 where the council have decided to block one carriageway just to strim some grass. Arrive at the Llanberis Pass Youth Hostel and walking for 12:20. Go up the Miners track. Simon runs out of energy and has to ask for some food from passers-by. We get to the top for 14:20, one picture and then turn round. Come back down the pyg track, seems longer that I remembered it, rush the last bits to get within the time. I get back to the van for 15:50, i.e. total time 23:35. View computer generated view from the top here North and South. A few others just break the 23 hour mark. Very tired, whole body aches. Drive to the Sportsman's Arms on Denbigh Moors but it is shut. Drive to the Saracens Head on the A5 for a couple. Maza rushes back home to fly out to the world cup in Germany. Stay at Erw Feurig Farm B&B. Drive back into Bala and go to the Plas Yn Dre restaurant, very nice lamb. A few are very tired and go back. I stay out with Zola, Quince and Simon. Couple more pints and my bed beckons, sleep very well.

Saturday 10th - Have a very good breakfast. Good view out of the window over the valley. Drive back the traditional route via, Llangollen, Ruabon, Stone, etc. I lean out of the window to split out my chewing gum and my glasses blow off. I shout carry on, but PK says stop. After spending some time looking for them, Zola sees them through the windscreen lying on the road. Get to Excel motors just after 12:30. Get all the stuff out of the van, into two taxis and Zola rushes off to work. We go straight to the Queens Head for a presentation by the Deputy mayor of Derby. Walk up to the Bell and Harp to watch the England game and relax in the sunshine. Below are my times, most people were at least 20 minutes faster per peak.

Peak Start Summit Finish Duration
Ben Nevis 16:15 18:45 20:30 04:15
Scafell Pike 03:15 05:10 07:30 04:15
Snowdon 12:20 14:20 15:50 03:30

Dublin February 2006

Flickr Slide Show

Travel to Dublin with Annette, Rachael, Amanda, Ian and Anthony. Stay at Abraham House

Top of Scotland October 2005

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Friday 14th October - Leave at 9am, Started our journey following Tom-Tom directions. Sadly it crashed after about 10 minutes, reset then carried on to following Jane's directions she got a little confused and took us off the M1 a little too early so she said to turn round whilst she re-routed and tried to find the M18, we did as we were told and turned round. Found the M1 again and the Tom-Tom crashed, a quick restart and Jane found us again. We followed M18 and then A1, Annette decided to play on PDA and it crashed again, a quick re-start and all was well. Noon - Still on A1 just re-routed so we can call at Alnwick for some lunch Jane says we will be there for 13.20pm all being well. Tom-Tom crashed just after that, a quick re-start and all well again. A quick stop for petrol on A1 Jane worries but she settled down when we got back on the right road, Tom-Tom crashed as Annette tried to look at distance already travelled, a quick re-start all well, Jane now thinks we will be stopping for lunch at 13.40pm we'll see if she's right. Arrived for some lunch at the Purdy Lodge near Adderstone on A1. Views over to Alnwick castle. Had a nice lunch both had a Purdy grill. Back on the road at 14.30pm heading north. Traffic jams in Edinburgh, long queues to get over the forth bridge. Push on to Inverness, Tongue now seems a possibility. Head to Lairg, call in at the Nip Inn for one, with the hope that they may have a room, they don't so push on north. Try the Crask Inn, seems a nice place but no room. Arrive in Tongue about ten, find space in the Tongue Hotel which used to be a hunting lodge where the Duke of Sutherland stayed. Fantastic hotel really welcoming, have a few drinks in the hotel bar. They want to close so we get shown downstairs to the bar were all the locals are, everyone friendly. Back to the room for some late dinner at about midnight, enjoy some Italian meats and chicken. Annette puts the rest of the chicken on the window sill to keep chilled for tomorrow ( ends up staying there ).

Saturday 15th - Have a good breakfast Annette has kippers, I have eggs and bacon. The landlord tells us about the rescue he had just done with a car in a ditch. Leave the hotel at 11ish and went on the search for some petroleum and a map, after 2 shops and a couple of U's (Jane hasn't got a clue up in the north) we find it. We head to Ben Loyal, park the car at Ribigill at the entrance to the farm. A lot of sorting out of the car, making sure all of the computer's are well hidden, etc. Set off up at noon for a 2hour climb to the summit. After one hour arrive at a bothy, have a quick look around. There is no footpath marked on the map so we have to make our own route. After a few rests we get to the top after about three hours. Hear some very loud deer in the valley bellow us, watch them for a while. Walk towards them and the whole herd starts to run. In a small wood at the bottom we find a deer skull. After some debate about what to do with it we pull the antlers off as a souvenir. Back to the car after six hours. Set off to Durness with the intention of getting somewhere to stay don't find anywhere. Get the laptop up and running to get some phone numbers for B&B's, Annette rings a couple but no luck in the area. End up heading back through Tongue. Got there at 8.25pm stay at a lovely hotel called the Betty Hill which was about 12 miles from Tongue, have a drink in the bar and an evening meal prawn starter followed by one scampi and one lamb, very full. Get the cases out of the car and put all the equipment on re-charge, only just enough plugs.

Sunday 16th - A good breakfast, full Scottish. Leave at 11.00am, head towards Gairloch via Ullapool. Stop off and take a few pictures, the view is amazing and so is the weather, blue sky and hardly any wind. Get to Gairloch at 4.00pm park the car in the local golf club and go down to the beach. Sit and eat some crisps then walk along the beach looking for seals, carried on up the hill towards Charleston, a nice walk. A cruise ship called the "Hebridean Princess" is in harbour, watch it from the top of the hill for a while. Walk back along the coast to fetch the car. Arrived at the Charleston house at 6.30pm. Go downstairs for dinner have a drink at the bar talk to John about his new toys / gadgets, order food. Its as good as last time salmon starter followed by steak, a bottle of Palandri goes down well. Go for a walk round the harbour "Hebridean Princess" still there, a crew member says they were due to leave 6.00am next morning. Watch the trawler men for ages. We hear and then see the seal which lives in the bay. Stay and watch him for a while. Head back to the hotel at 11.20pm for a wee dram.

Monday 17th - A good breakfast. Head for home at 10.30am, travel for half an hour before we realise that we had forgot camera, turn round and pick it up. Have dinner at the Green Welly stop at Tyndrum. Get stuck in traffic at Glasgow, stop for a coffee before Carlisle, back for 11.30pm.

Wasdale Head July 2005

Friday 1st - We leave at about six pm, after a lot of debate about the best route, we go up via Scotch Corner. Meet Robert just after Ambleside, drive over the pass together. Arrive at the Wasdale Head Inn for 10.30pm. There are 16 of us. Robert Taylor, James, Rachael and Thomas; David and Debbie; Brian and Trisha; Simon and Sarah; Dave and Dawn; Me Annette and Thomas. Have a few drinks and then bed.

Ready to go outside the Wasdale Head Inn Saturday 2nd - Fantastic breakfast. Misty start to the day. Set off at 10.20. We go at a fair pace. At the split in the paths we enter the cloud and Rachael and Annette choose to go down. Very windy near the top. Get there in less than three hours. Decide to push on to the summit and find somewhere to eat on the way down. In the end there is no shelter from the wind and we just have a few cold sandwiches and then down. Lots of drinks in the bar. Play the memory game, “When I went to Skegness, etc.”. Have a very good meal in the evening.

At the SummitSunday 3rd - We all head off in convoy to the Eskdale and Ravenglass railway. A nice little ride down to Ravenglass. Robert and David lead us to have a look at the Pennington Arms where they stayed when they were young. Go in convoy over the two passes, I enjoy it, leave them to go home and we go to the Go Ape site in Grizedale Forest. Have a meal and wait till 5pm. Good fun. Drive along the A65 and then the A59 through Harrogate, quite a good way. Do a quick lap round Menwith hill to see if I get followed. Get back for midnight. Fascinated to learn later that the Wasdale Head Inn was where Aleister Crowley met Oscar Eckenstein in 1898.

Andorra Ski - March 2005

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PasDeLaCasaFriday 11th - Annette arrives on the 15:35 flight, pick her up from the airport, go to my hotel to get my stuff and then up to Pas de la Casa, roads have deep snow at the side of them. Arrive at about 9pm. Paul Moorhouse and Kirstie have found a couple of hotels, book into the Sporting for the first night and the Casada for the second night. Ben and Alex arrive later, I start calling him bad boy. Go out for a meal and some drinks.

Saturday 12th - Headache in the morning. A lot of queuing to get skies, passes etc. Start at about 11am. Spend a lot of time on the radio, calling bad boy. Fantastic days skiing, very impressed by the linked area. We all go though the snow park. Ben shows us how to jump straight up into the air and lands flat on his back. Stop for lunch at La Tartar in the bowl. Annette is a little unsure to start with but does very well, has a great day. A couple of beers straight off the slopes. Geoff takes us to the best restaurant in Pas, very good food, BBQ.

Sunday 13th - Get going for 10am. Do some very fast runs with Ben late on. Stay for a meal and drink in Pas with Annette and then leave at 7pm, back in Toulouse for 10pm, tired. I have a very burnt nose.

Saturday 19th - Paul Moorhouse picks me up at 6am from the Hotel de L'Opera and then Ben. Takes just 1 hour 40 to get to Pas de la Casa. Have an English breakfast and then go to hire skies. On the slopes for 9:30. Have a great morning skiing. Head to the James Bond bar for lunchtime, Alex and girlfriend Anna meet us there. PJ also meets us there. Someone borrows my skies and forgets to bring them back. I have to get the lifts all the way back down to Pas. Hire some more skies, have to pay 200 euros. Meet PJ and Emma in a bar straight off the slopes. Have a few beers and a meal. Back to the Sporting hotel to get changed and then back to the Irish bar. Lots more beer and shots. Move onto the Underground club till 4am, thankfully I lose Paul and Ben. They find somewhere else and stay out till 6am.

Sunday 20th - Still a little under the influence in the morning. I am very loud and swear a lot. On the slopes for 10.30am. Alex and Anna ski with us all morning. Do lots of mad jumps. I enjoy going down the little gullies. Alex and Anna leave at 3pm, it takes them two hours to get out of Pas. We ski till 5pm and then go for a pizza. Drive over the Col du Puymorens and then along the Gorges of St George, via Quillan and onto the A61, takes 3½ hours. Convince Ben that we are horribly lost. Home for just gone midnight, very tired.

Top of Scotland October 2004

Flickr Slide Show

Wednesday 13th - Annette and I leave Derby at about 11am. Up the M1, A1 and then across on the A66. Up the M74 and on thought Glasgow. I take the A82 to Dumbarton in the centre of Glasgow and cross the river without noticing. Go over the Erskine bridge the wrong way before I realise. Annette books us into the Milton health and leisure club in Fort William using the laptop. We get there at about 8.30pm and they have not received our reservation. Fortunately they have one rather small room left.

Thursday 14th - Have a good breakfast and set off at 10am. See a steam train go past the hotel window. Drive along to Mallaig. Stop at Glenfinnan and look at the monument and walk up to look at the bridge, wait for the train, but a diesel train turns up. Get the ferry across to Skye at 13:20. Only about six cars on the ferry. We see two small dolphins from the boat. Drive round the west coast of Skye. Back over the Skye bridge. Try for a hotel in Kyle but decide to push on to the Charleston House at Gairloch. See a couple of large red deer right next to the road. Book over the Internet again but phone to check that we are booked in. Have a fantastic evening meal, of salmon and venison with some fantastic red wine, Palandri Merlot 2001. Have a late night wander round the harbour hoping to see the resident seal.

Friday 15th - Have a very good breakfast and then head north. Have a look at the Corrieshalloch Gorge. Call at the Lochinver Larder by chance for a very good pie. I remember it being on Radio 4. Drive round a very long single track lane past Achmelvich beach. Drive over the Kylesku bridge. Great views of Foinaven and Cranstackie. Call in at Durness and have a look at the Smoo caves, very windy and cold. Stay at Port-Na-Con Guest House on the shores of Loch Eriboll. Talk with the other guests from Thurso, horizontal rain is beating against the windows. Have one can of larger and then the bar seems to shut.

Saturday 16th - A bit of rain as we set off. Drive along the top of Scotland. See Dounreay power station. Go through Thurso and on to Dunnet Head, and then John O’Groats, cold, wet and windy. Stop for a coffee, we are both quite keen to be heading back. Down to Inverness and on past Aviemore. Stop at a Corus hotel just above the Forth bridge. Have a good meal and a few lagers.

Sunday 17th - Dreadful breakfast. Leave at about 11am. Drive down to North Queensferry to have a look at the bridge. Annette recalls going to Inchcolm years ago. Straight down the A1. Stop just near Alnwick for a drink, good views of the castle, then across on the A1-M1 link and down the M1. Have a bite to eat near Sheffield. Get back for about 6pm. 1505 miles in total.

Coniston cottage October 2004

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Friday 8th October - Set off at about 4pm to go to the Lake District, go up through Leeds and along the A65. We get to Coniston at about 9.30pm, pick up the key from the garage. Rob and Rachel turn up at 10pm. We have booked a cottage just behind the Sun Inn, 3 Dixon Farm Cottages. We walk down to the Black Bull I enjoy the Old Peculiar.

Saturday 9th - Rob and Rachel cook a very good breakfast. Get all the stuff together and set off for about 11am. Walk up past the Coppermines Youth hostel. Do a bit of cross-country trekking, quite steep. It seems to take forever to get to the lake. Push onto the top for 2pm. Have a large lunch on the way down. Call in straight to the Sun Inn for a few lagers. Stay there for a while. Go down to the Crown Hotel for evening meal. We watch a little telle when we get back and I light the fire.

Sunday 10th - Me and Annette do the breakfast. Head back to Derby.

Scotland February 2004

Sunday 1st February - Annette and I leave Kilburn at about 3pm. Drive up the A1 to Scotch Corner and then across the A66. At Carlisle decide to push on to Glasgow. Very heavy rain all the way. Drive to the Erskine Bridge hotel. Get there for about 7pm. I had been there before with Kip Wilkes for a Tay engine conference in the Eighties. Enjoy a few drinks in the bar.

Monday 2nd - Have a good breakfast and set off at about 10.30am. Get to Fort William and have a look around, still heavy rain. Continue along the A82 until we get to Inverness. Head north for about an hour to Golspie, decide to turn round. Stop in the hotel Chieftain in Inverness, not as good as last night. Go for a curry overlooking the river Ness and then to Johnny Foxes.

Tuesday 3rd - Leave by 10am, drive down to Aviemore. Call in on Edinburgh for a couple of hours, have coffee and a bite to eat. I enjoy the drive down the A1. Home before 11pm.

Snowdon July 2003

Friday 18th July - I have a look on the Internet and find a campsite in Rhyd-ddu. We set off at about 7pm. I am looking forward to going the traditional route. However I get a little lost just after Whitchurch, forget to go to Overton, go on a detour via Ellesmere. Back on route at Llangollen. Get to the campsite at about 11pm. Great campsite, put up the tent using the car headlights.

Saturday 19th - Drive to Llanberis and buy Annette a pair of walking trainers. Drive on and park the car near to the Y.H., walk up the track via the lakes. Up is quite easy. Very misty on the top, stay in the café for an hour. On the way back start along the Crib Goch ridge, go over the first peak fairly easily. We have some problems on Crib Goch itself. Decide to walk down the side, back down to the miners track. Have a meal in the Cwellyn Arms and then drive back to the tent.

Sunday 20th - Lots of heavy rain in the morning. Drive to Llanberis and have a look at the trains. Walk part way up the Llanberis path up Snowdon and take pictures of the stream train. Nice café on the way down.

Scafell May 2003

Saturday 31st May - Annette works at Oakwood for the morning. Buy a tent from Heanor on the way up to the Lake district. Go over the M62. Camp on the shores of Wastwater. We have taken a couple of complete disposable BBQs up. I am a little surprised when I open them and they don't have any food on them as in the photo on the packaging. I sleep outside the tent since it is so nice.

Sunday 1st June - I wake up at about six am, the sky to overcast. Get told to move on by a warden. Park the car in the car park at Wasdale Head. Start the climb at about 11am. Two hours 36 minutes to get to the top of Scafell Pike. After a small rest we descend and then go up Scafell, the same way as before, via foxes tarn. Lords Rake is still shut. Walk down the ridge as before but come down to the right back to the path up a lot higher that before. Have a pint at the pub and then drive back, leave at about six pm. M6 is very busy so cut across onto the A65 after one junction. Going well and then a large detour near Skipton. As we drive into Leeds a large clap and thunder and heavy rain. Call in for a KFC at the one near Lupton flats. Back for midnight.

Long Weekend in La Rochelle with Anna and Clive, September 2002

Friday 20th - Leave work at 2.30 and drive down to Stansted. Catch the 19:20 Buzz flight to La Rochelle, in the Charente Maritime region of France. Delayed for an hour as usual apparently. Anna and Clive meet me at the airport, lots of 'Bonsoirs' when I arrive. Drive for an hour to Dave and Hazel's place near St Savinien. I sleep better than I have slept with months.

Saturday 21st - Clive makes me a fantastic Spanish omelette for breakfast. We head to Royan and then inland along the river Gironde to Meschers, the water is very brown. Have a look at Talmont, reputed to be the nicest village in France, stop for a ice cream. Consult the Rough Guide and decide to move on to Pontaillac. Miss the beach and come across 'Plage du Conseil', a fantastic little beach which is almost deserted. I swim a long way out to sea, the sea is almost completely calm until 200 yards out. I tell Dave that I work for Rolls-Royce and he tells me my boss was staying in his guest house the other week. I ask him which boss and he tells me that Sir Ralph Robins, the company chairman, was here last week for four days of holiday and a meeting with the King of Spain. Seems funny that he stayed in the guest house and we are in the studio apartment.
Clive fires up the BBQ at about six and we have roasted onions, peppers and some fantastic sausages.

Sunday 22nd - We go to 'Plage de Conseil' again and have to wait for the tide to go out before we can swim in the sea. Anna drives to Taillebourg, go to the Auberge du Glycine. We all have the fantastic 'Pave du Boeuf'. Talk with Clive about submarines and aircraft over a few more glasses of wine till late on.

Monday 23rd - Drive to the 'Ile de Re'. Stop at St Martin de Re to start with, very nice, have a pizza there. Drive on to Phare des Baleines, walk up to the top. Sit on the beach and watch the kite surfers, they are jumping 20 feet up in the air. Drive along the north site of the island, me and Anna swim in the sea for a while. Drive into the centre of La Rochelle for a quick look at the towers. Have a quick bite to eat by the water and then they drop me off at the airport. Home for 2am.

Poland with David Taylor March 2001

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Nice Quiet drinkFriday 2nd March - Drive round to DT's for 7am. Down to Heathrow in his white Toyota Supra. Have a few lagers in the same bar as before Prague while we wait. Arrive in Warsaw for 3pm. After we fight off a few taxi drivers we give in and hire one called Anthony to take us into town, he gives us some details of a day trip. We arrive at the Jan III Sobieski Hotel. Very impressed by the hotel. Walk into town. See the Palace of Culture and Science. Walk over the river and get caught in a blizzard, get a taxi back home. Wander round trying to find the old town. Amazed at the lack of nice bars, eventually find some. Get talking to some English layers, one working in Poland and one working in Paris.

DT's Dream carSaturday 3rd March - Walk into town and eventually find the old town square, go to the famous drink bar. Have a look inside the main church, go down into the crypt, see all the old archbishops of Poland. Call in at a sports bar on the way back for a quick pint. We spend all evening there. David wins a beer barrel lifting completion. We get talking to the guy who cheats and comes second, he is English. His friend is a sports journalist.

Sunday 4th March - Anthony picks us up at 8.30am. We drive to see the Black Madonna first, see lots of snowy wasteland on the way. It is very busy in the church and we only get a small glimpse of the painting. It is more interesting to see the treasury and the crowds. We drive on to see Auschwitz. Anthony has considerable difficulty finding the museum even though he says that he has done this trip many times before. We spend a rather quiet couple of hours looking round. Push on to Krakow. We both decide this would have been a much better place to stay. Have a meal and go round a few bars. Back to the hotel for 1am.

Monday 5th March - Walk into the old town again. Sit in a bar waiting for the plane to go. Arrive back in Breadsall for 9.30. Drive up in Helen's car to the Windmill, with a car full. Good evening talking about Poland.

Nefyn Weekend October 2000. Friday 20th - Leave work after the welfare. Set off from David's for 3.10pm. I drive via Llangollen, David and Brian strangely complain about the speed and I then drive at a very slow pace. Get to Pwllheli for 6.30pm. Jokes about Wllheli WailWay station. Go to Gilly's house. The house has two large lounges. Have a few drinks there and then go to a nearby pub for a meal, lamb shank, and a few pints. Back to Gilly's for more beer.

Saturday 21st - I don't feel very well in the morning, partly from my cold and partly from a hangover. Meet Dave and Jayne at about 10am. Drive to Llanberis via Beddgelert, more complaints about my driving. The car park is full so we have to park down the bottom and walk up. Very pleasant weather, go up the Miners track and back along the Pyg track. David and Brian take a detour up a waterfall. It takes 2 hours 35 minutes to the top of Snowdon, 1 hour 35 minutes down again. We all go to the Cliff's for a meal, very large portions.

Sunday 22nd - Gilly, Me and Brian get up for 10am and watch the Great North run, I enjoy watching it. David stays in bed till noon. We drive to Nefyn and meet Andy. Walk over the golf course to the Ty Coch, enjoy a pint there, walk back along the beach. Go to the Cliffs for another meal. Have coffee at Andy's house overlooking the sea and Nefyn beach. Head back to about 6pm.

This is the scientific observatory which me, David Taylor, Brian Booth and Anna Whitehead set up at 'Start Point' Devon on the evening of 10th August 1999. The trip was official sponsored by 'Red Strip' Jamaican beer who supplied 48 cans and by Anna who made 18 bacon sandwiches. Unfortunately our observations of the Eclipse were of little use to the scientific community. For that day we were 'Shadow Chasers'.

This is us queuing through Devon to get home. We decided to wait one hour at 'Start Point' to let the traffic 'die down'. We then queued for 8 hours to get out of Devon.

Three Peaks June 1988.

Team is Me, Kevin Clarke, Darren Pickard and Simon Hinds. Ron Shaw drives.

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Saturday 18th - Ron comes round at 5.45am, drive up to Fort William. We travel in the back of a Luton van all the way, no windows. Have a meal and start walking at 4.30pm, heavy rucksack. Get to the top at 7.05pm, start down at 7.15pm. Back to the van at 8.30. Drive to Scafell, start walking at 2.05am. Get lost twice on the way up.

Sunday 19th - Top at 6.30am. Leave at 6.50, lots of people on the top. Down at 7.50am. Drive to Snowdon, go via Chester, get into a small queue on the A55. Start walking at 11:45am. See the JCB team on their way down. I get to the top at 1:15, feel rather ill. Spend ¾ of an hour on the summit and then run down in an hour. Top to Top time 18 hours, JCB manage 18:16, Bottom to Bottom time 22:30, JCB do it in 23:15.

This a trip to Porthcawl made by Belper Duke Of Edinburgh Award unit in July 1986. From the left is Me, Debbie Lloyd, Kevin Clarke, Jack Lenham. This picture was taken in the 'natural light' of my car headlights.

Friday 12th July - Drive to Wales in the afternoon for an attempt on the 14 peaks of Wales. Pick up a Liverpool couple on the way. Meet group from Rolls-Royce in Pete's Eats, in Llanberis at 6pm. Raining and windy. Camp half way down the Llanberis pass. I go to bed about 9pm, they go to the pub. I feel tired and still not very well.

Saturday 13th - Get up at 2:30am, start walking at 3am. Crib Goch at 4:50am, Snowden for 6am, down to Nant Peris, up Elidir Fawr, feel good, along to the Glyders. Right knee gives pain on Tryfan, finish at the mini-bus on the A5 at 4:30pm, done 7 peaks and 15 miles. Go to Pete's Eats then to pub, watch “Live Aid” on the big screen, Robert and Heather are there. It rains all day, walk in mist, very wet.

Sunday 14th - Lie in, still raining, some others do the remaining peaks. I drive back with Martin and Hilary from Allestree, very interesting talk on the way.

July 1983. Friday 8th - Drive up to the Lake District with Min, AC, IV and Colin Normanshaw. Get separated on the M6, wait for ages at Penrith island. Phone Sid and ask for directions. Arrive in Pooley Bridge just before midnight. Saturday 9th - Go into Pooley Bridge, take boats out on Ullswater, swim in the middle of the lake, lose my car keys in town. Sunday 10th - Find car keys at the pub. Drive back via Leeds.

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