I had a day out with my old friend Mike in Cumbria this week. Nothing as adventurous nor reckless as our canoe trip to Wild Cat Island almost exactly a year ago; just a pleasant stroll along the headland at Humphrey Head near Grange-over-Sands.
In the coffee shop beforehand, I had explained to Mike how I am drawn in particular to bleak, open landscapes. How, for example, I prefer the ruggedness of the Yorkshire Dales to the—dare I say it?—somewhat more twee Lake District. It’s a subject, I now recall, that I touch upon in my book—so at least I’m being consistent. I told Mike about the time I stood in the driving rain on a windswept cliff top at Brandon Head in Ireland—a place Mike knows well—gazing out into the Atlantic, watching the gannets fly by. Come to think of it, it was probably standing there, in the rain on Brandon Head, that first made me realise just how much I love bleak, empty landscapes. Which explains part of the appeal of my beloved Moor.
As it turned out, we were lucky with the weather, but Humphrey Head still had a wonderfully bleak feel to it. I took to the place immediately. The limestone headland reminded me very much of my favourite walk in Anglesey—even though, the tide being out, unlike in Anglesey, salt marsh and sands stretched almost to the horizon.
Mike was extremely patient while I faffed around taking loads of photographs. I have to say, I'm quite pleased with the results:
Once home, I texted Mike, thanking him for suggesting the walk, describing Humphrey Head as a new addition to my list of favourite places: an accolade I do not award lightly.