Smardale - Christmas 2001 / New Year 2002
I wanted to get just one more walk in during 2001. New Year's Eve was only my second walk of this, a year blighted by Foot & Mouth and the associated footpath closures.
We spent Christmas and New Year in a little cottage near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. It was on a farm near Smardale down 3 miles of single track road. The cottage was triple glazed with oil-fired central heating and a lovely woodburner. Chopped wood was supplied throughout our stay. We found the cottage through www.easycottages.com - this one was number 2921.
On New Year's Eve we climbed up to High Cup Nick, where the Whin Sill reaches the western edge of the north Pennines and a small stream cuts a lovely "nick" in the hillside. It was one of those perfect winter days - blue sky, cold, still air, not a cloud in sight and snow everywhere. It was well below freezing all day and even the Sun did not feel too warm being so low in the sky all day. It was wonderful.