It was a good ride. 6am saddle up, and it was just getting light. Cold, but not too bad, horses nostrils pushing breath into the air.
Rachel, Lynne and myself, good horses and great company set the scene. Helvellyn sits behind the sharks fin shaped hill in the shot above. Hidden in the cloud. Our route follows the ridge line to the right of the same shot.
By the time we had gotten to 3000 feet, the temperature was way down, hence the odd shaped hat! Then the clouds rolled in,and the strong winds roared around us like Banshees.
Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, especially since this was Lynne’s first go round. But it was getting a bit unsafe for us and the horses. So down we came. Still a great day.
3111 feet high, it commands a central position in the Lake District, a National Park in the UK.
Centuries ago, the Packhorse Routes criss crossed these mountains, carrying Salt, Lead, Graphite and many other useful products to places far and wide, via the sea ports on the west coast of Britain. One such route crossed this Mountain Summit. When we travelled this route, on a warm sunny day, although by the time we reached it, it was bitterly cold, the first signs of winter flowing South on a North wind. As I turned my collar to the cold, I felt my horse Toby, agree. Time to head down.
I have often ridden over areas of land, that I thought were free to roam by us none landowning proletariat. Not so it seems, to my everlasting shame, I have been ignorant of English Land Law. While Scotland has a Right to Roam Act, England alas, has not. The saving grace in all this, are the myriad of Bridleways and Footpaths, Permissive Ways and so called Green Lanes. These are historical rights of way, built up over generations, but sadly, are being little used by the Smart phone weilding public.
I fear that in the years to come, landowners will find any excuse to rid ‘their’ land of the footfall, of multiple visitors to the countryside. Horse riders, now afeared, due to heavy vehicular traffic upon the roads, reduce themselves to Arena work and competitive rides, where traffic isn’t an issue. This is to the loss of all horse riders. However, there are a few intrepid persons, intent on claiming back the Bridleway et al, I include myself in this, we must never give up on these highways of the ancient Packhorse and Tinkers Cob.