Thursday, 30 July 2020

5 tips for the Falkirk Wheel


Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel is a unique piece of engineering as it is the only rotating boat lift (of its kind) in the world. The Wheel opened in 2002 to connect the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. It lifts boats up 24 metres and then locks allow the last 11 metres to be covered:

Falkirk Wheel

With the current pandemic there are more restrictions so here are my top tips:

  1. You must book online in advance as boats are running at 1/3 capacity.
  2. Choose a dry day when possible as there is a lot to explore on the site, plus the boat windows won't steam up as much!
  3. Food is limited so bring snacks.
  4. Bikes could be useful to get you to the Kelpies 4 miles away.
  5. Take your parking ticket to the centre to pay (£3) before returning to the car.
Our drive to the wheel was just over an hour so we allowed time to get a coffee before our trip. This meant that we also got to watch the previous trip boat go up and down on the wheel. To keep everyone safe boarding procedures meant that we had to go on as our group and then get seated spread across the cabin. They had also turned off the air system which normally keeps the windows clear:

Falkirk Wheel

We were aboard the Archimedes, named after the man whose discovery enables the wheel to function. The boat sailed into the cradle and then slowly rotated to the top:



The cradle docks onto the top of the structure and then a gate drops to allow water to flow between canal and cradle.  Then the boat sails over the elevated section of the canal:


A tunnel has been carefully dug through the hillside. Above it are roman remains from the Antonine Wall and below it are old mine workings. We passed through and then turned before reaching the locks to head back down:


The boat then reversed its ride by going back down to the lower canal basin. We then walked around to get another look at the wheel and canal:


My mum and I walked along a bit further to try to get to the roman fort and parts of the Antonine Wall but got too wet so headed back to the car. It turned out we had got really close... oh well next time! This is a taste of the video footage I took (hard to film in the condensation coated cabin):


After our visit we drove off to see the Kelpies..

Friday, 24 July 2020

Pokémon Go - Level 39



In case you don't know Pokémon Go is a smartphone game that enables you to hunt down Pokémon in the real world and take part in virtual battles. Pokémon began as a video game on Game Boys in 1995. Since then trading cads, cartoons and films have made it the highest grossing media franchise of all time. It has been a while since I blogged about one of our Pokémon Go walks or raids. My son had lost interest over the last few years so I hadn't played quite so much. However, lockdown and daily walks got him back in and I have finally hit the 2nd highest level:

pokemon go level 39

I started playing 3 years ago and it is amazing how far I have walked and places I have been to in that time:

pokemon go stats

The motto of the game is gotta catch 'em all and I have been doing my best to fill up my Pokédex. New regions get released which match up with the video games and cartoon series. I have also been making my Pokémon as powerful as possible to do better in battle and raids:

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Derby Arms, Witherslack

Derby Arms, Witherslack

Going to the pub since lockdown eased has not been at the top of my priority list as they seem to be places that potentially cause outbreaks. Also I didn't go to the pub much before lockdown! However, as we had parked next to The Derby Arms for our walk to Halecat House, it was the obvious choice for a late lunch.

It was very reassuring to see all the COVID-19 safety procedures with a one way system into the pub and hand cleaning as you came in:

Derby Arms, Witherslack covid-19 preparations

One person had to register our group for track and trace. There was only table service able, only max 2 households at a table, and the menu was on the wall and not as one you held. We were verbally told the sandwich options:

Derby Arms, Witherslack menu

All over the floor there were markers to show the one way system and lines to keep everyone socially distanced. Luckily for Sherlock the rules don't apply to dogs and he made a new friend:

Monday, 20 July 2020

Number challenge week 3


Number challenge week 3

I have to say that the Number challenge is getting harder now we are in more unusual numbers! In week 1 and week 2 I made much more progress... Any way here are the 8 numbers I captured whilst out and about in week 3:

Number challenge 25-28

Number challenge 29-32

  • 29 - an update to a shop's COVID-19 opening
  • 30 - the distance to Keswick from Kendal
  • 31 - a map of architect George Webster's buildings with Colin Croft, Beast Banks
  • 32 - a map of Kendal's streets showing Yard 32
Hope other folks are playing along?

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Reasons to be cheerful: family time #r2bc

reasons to be cheerful 18-7-2020

I will be the first to admit that this hasn't been the easiest of weeks. It is at times like this that it is so important to find things that have made you smile. I look forward to seeing what that has been for you. For anyone new to the linky we have a few relaxed instructions: 


What do you have to do? Easy: 

1. Link up a post about something that is making you happy or grateful. It can be a list, photos or any way you fancy 

2. Add the #R2BC badge (at the end of this post) onto your post or blog so that people can easily find the linky and join in too if they want to 

3. Share the love. This is the really important bit. Please don't just link and run, comment on at least a couple of posts and why not share with #R2BC too? 

I'll stop by all linked up posts to comment and I'll share on social media too. 

Meanwhile here are my reasons to be cheerful for this week: 

1) Art Outdoors

Our trip to Halecat House combined several things that make me happy:

  • being with loved ones
  • a walk in beautiful countryside
  • discovering wonderful sculptures


2) Running with my son

I may not be any where near as fast as him but my son asked to run with me twice this week. He pushes me to run faster and keeps encouraging me when I am finding it tough:




3) Hair Dye

To celebrate the end of the school year I decided to do something wacky to my hair. As I was virtually all grey I have gone for a very bold colour which I had never been brave enough to do before: