Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Month: June 2019

  • Stacks of Duncansby

    Stacks of Duncansby

    A pair of dramatic sea stacks just off the north-easterly tip of the British mainland. But we almost lost them. Apparently in 1953, in what seems like a bizarre Monty Python sketch scientists from the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment had proposed to test a nuclear bomb on top of one of the stacks. The Stacks…

  • Badbea

    Badbea

    I’ve seen before the deserted black houses of communities in fertile straths that were cleared by absentee landlords to make way for vast sheep farms. I had thought the villagers were often provided with a small croft on the east coast in towns such as Wick and left to make a living from the sea.…

  • Covesea Skerries Lighthouse

    Covesea Skerries Lighthouse

    Built in 1846, following a terrific storm 20 years earlier in which 16 vessels were lost in the Moray Firth, several on the notorious Covesea and Halliman Skerries. The delay was due to Trinity House, the board responsible for lighthouses, believing that a lighthouse was in fact unnecessary. Eventually, the board was swayed by public…

  • Fraserburgh Bay

    Fraserburgh Bay

    The north-east coastline of Aberdeenshire has many miles of clean golden sands, deserted but for the occasional dog walker. This is Fraserburgh Bay between Kinnard Point and Cairnbulg Point. In the distance is Fraserburgh, a town dating from the 16th-century and named after Clan Fraser. Beyond Fraserburgh, the Moray Firth begins. Open Space Web-Map builder…

  • Bullers of Buchan

    Bullers of Buchan

    “The Pot”, once a massive sea cave with a collapsed roof. A buller is a whirlpool or in this case, it refers to the bellowing noise coming from The Pot as the sea roars through the arch. There is a local legend of a fisherman, in his boat one evening seeing a mermaid at the…

  • Old Kirk Shore

    Old Kirk Shore

    Woke up to a sea fret but by the time I set off to explore the coastline north of the former fishing town of Stonehaven, it was well on the way to clearing. Stonehaven can just be made out through the mist. The coast comprises vegetated cliffs which form the eastern end of the Highland…

  • Guillemots

    Guillemots

    Magnificent sea birds which spend most of their time at sea, only coming to land to nest on the sea cliffs where level ground is at a premium. At the RSPB Fowlsheugh Reserve just south of Stonehaven. The name Fowlsheugh actually means “bird cliff” so it is quite appropriate. Open Space Web-Map builder Code

  • Battle of Dunbar 1650

    Battle of Dunbar 1650

    Some of you might remember, but, in 2013, work was stopped on the construction of the new café at Palace Green Library between Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle when human remains were found, tightly packed in two mass graves. It was probably on the local news but when it was released that the bodies were,…

  • Slacks Beck

    Slacks Beck

    I know a confluence is where two streams or rivers converge. The usual node in a river network. A meeting of waters. But what is a parting of waters called? Where a stream separates into two courses. I know of one, in the Lake District, Raise Beck above where it tumbles down to Dunmail Raise.…

  • Blue Lake

    Blue Lake

    Originally known as Hanging Stone Dam it became known as Blue Lake because of the blueish tinge it had from salts washing out of the alum shales. But after a day’s rain, there was no sign of any blue tonight. It was built in 1880 by Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease to provide water power for…