Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Winter Sunshine

An early start and not too long a run so that we could meet my brother and his family for lunch on Saturday meant catching a very welcome winter sunrise.

Winter Hill 12 Dec 09  (1 of 6) Looking south east from Counting Hill (one of the dozen or so summits on Winter Hill) towards Bolton


Winter Hill 12 Dec 09  (2 of 6) Looking north west from Counting Hill

Winter Hill 12 Dec 09  (3 of 6)Closer to the masts – needing the reflection to get the top of the mast 


Winter Hill 12 Dec 09  (5 of 6) North east over Belmont

Winter Hill 12 Dec 09  (6 of 6)

Trig Point casting a long shadow 

Calf deep wet peat bogs are probably not Winter Hill’s most appealing feature but on a morning like this even they pale into insignificance. There are grander hills, of course, but Winter Hill is most often at its very best during its namesake season. As yet, it isn’t cold enough for clear views as far as North Wales or the Lakes but hopefully those days aren’t too far away because these moors have a charm and character all of their own in mid-winter.

The whole area is crisscrossed with dry stone walls almost all of which are now in poor condition and some are barely discernable in places. Like the abandoned farm houses that dot these moors the walls are an intrinsic part of the landscape. When the Rivington reservoirs were being built  in the mid 19th century some 22 farms had to be abandoned to avoid contaminating the water supply. In poor weather the walls are reliable navigation aids well used by local runners to find their way on and off Winter Hill. In poor condition and spilling their stones these walls are fascinating – almost like crumbling sculptures they provide endless interest.

Winter Hill 12 Dec 09  (4 of 6) A crumbling silhouette


  1. i love the added history you give to your photos. the last shot reminds me of the wheel stones in the peaks but in miniature

  2. There really isn't anything better than a blue sky winter's day in the UK!

    And I have seen a lot of blue sky days trust me!