I’ve already planned my Boxing Day abdication! The requisite… a remote area void of parties and merriment. Lonely yet friendly in much the same way two friends enjoy each other’s company yet share few words. I’ll pack my rucksack and head for the shoulders of the North Pennines by way of Cronkley Fell. I’ll meet no other walker. The route to the summit will pass an old Shepard’s shelter, a railway carriage, battered by storms yet clinging on.
I’ll take my rest with a view down to the river Tees, watching clouds build over Widdybank. When the wind-chill becomes too much, I climb down Main Gate towards the river, following its course to High Force before heading back to Hanging Shaw where the car will waiting. Short, cold but filling me with warmth that will last the festive.