My name is Paul Ridley and I live in the North East of England. I’m happily married to my lovely wife Christine and have three children who I am so very proud of. I have previously worked as an engineer in the nuclear industry, at a company close to my home, although over my career I have spent time on various projects at sites across the UK. I have recently retired from work and am enjoying more time relaxing and doing what I love most, which is fell walking.
As a child, many a happy holiday was spent in the Lake District with my parents and I believe this is where my love of this area originated. My father often took me on his works walking club outings in the lakes where my first taste of walking amongst the high fells was gained – little did I know that years later I would have developed such a passion for the area, that I feel a need to visit on a weekly basis and spend a day walking and exploring the fells.
As I grew up, normal social life, work and family dominated all my time and efforts and although these were very happy and rewarding times, there was certainly no spare time for hobbies.
In 2010, as my children were all growing up and leaving home and time was becoming a little more available, my friend Paul re-introduced me to the Lake District when he took me on a snowy winter walk to some of the Dovedale Fells. This was one serious re-introduction to fell walking, with my inappropriate footwear and the icy and snowy conditions, it took all our strength and endurance to get back safely. My over-riding memory at the end of the day, was sat in a pub in Patterdale with a roaring fire with a pint of real ale and feeling overjoyed with the fact that I was still alive ! But this day re-ignited my passion for the lakes that I developed all those years ago, and I soon became obsessed with visiting the lakes for more and more lakeland walking - always with Paul, but then as my confidence increased, I was able to venture out with others or by myself.
My hobby soon expanded to include walking elsewhere; Yorkshire Moors & Dales, County Durham and occasionally Scotland, in addition to one of my favourite types of walking – ‘Long Distance Trails’ which I look forward to once a year with my friend Davy and a few other regulars.
One thing I have always been very thorough with (probably in part due to that first ever walk), is the preparation and planning of all the walks I do, to make sure I can enjoy the walk without getting into difficulty. In the early years I relied on David Hall’s excellent website to give me the confidence and route planning to be able to set out on my own and do each of the walks. I will always be indebted to David for the information he provided to help me, and I expect many others like me – My website will never reach the heights of that site (which is no longer available) nor some others which are far more professional, but it does give me a sense of pride in what I’ve achieved and what I’ve recorded which may also be of interest to others one day.
I'm not a 'white knuckle' walker who would enjoy the thrill and adventure of doing scary stuff ! - all of my walks are generally without the serious exposure that could be classed as 'scary' - My limit is probably Striding Edge, anything greater than that for scrambling and exposure I would always tend to avoid. I would love to do some of these walks and scrambles but I know my limit and I stick to it. My pleasure is a lovely walk amongst lovely scenery and countryside, good conversation and a nice pint or two at the end - Perfect !
See you on the fells - Paul