Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Car Camping

We have just finished three days camping on a commercial site, Waterside, on the shore of Ullswater.

The site was quite agreeable, its main strength being "location"; the weather was way better than the met office forecast, in fact it was pretty good apart from a couple of "dampish" hours as we packed up this morning; the company  was excellent as we caught up with good friends from the Blackpool area & had a bonus visit by an "explorer" from the North East on Tuesday afternoon.

Its sometimes quite pleasant to camp out of the back of a car, as opposed to out of a ruck sack or out of a boat - it gives the ability to carry extra "stuff" and enjoy a bit of luxury. We also took an open canoe and some of the best time of the visit was spent paddling it in the magnificent scenery of Ullswater. As said earlier, the weather was fine throughout our stay & offered the benefit, in addition to the open canoeing, of some excellent photo opportunities: a mirror calm lake & a mountainscape dominated by the still snow-flecked Helvellyn.

Some of the better photographs are below, painting the scene well. The living images provided us with much opportunity to reflect and ponder on the difficulties & busyness of life and take enjoyment in the peace they offered. We hope you too may find some inspiration & encouragement.


Friday, 23 May 2014

Another Week In The North Pennines

Its an interesting & challenging time at Canoes, Mountains & Caves at the moment - lots going on and plenty of exciting new developments!

The last week, however, has been spent doing something very familiar, namely, working on a school residential which on this occasion was based in the North Pennines. The first day was dry and extremely windy, a good one to be underground at Nenthead; second day was possibly the best weather of the year, there were even folk sunbathing at Nenthead (never seen this before) but perhaps a less good day to be underground. Day three, the last for me was out in the local fells, it poured down in the morning but brightened a little to produce some really nice images (see below).

All told a good week, hope you like the pictures & please keep checking in for updates!

Monday, 19 May 2014


Canoes, Mountains & Caves is changing, we hope you like our new header photograph! There'll be more alterations to the site in coming days which we hope you will find to be positive.

You'll also notice we have a new web address, there's nothing there yet - but watch this space, we hope to have it up & running by the end of the month!

Our aims though will remain to inspire and encourage through engagement with the created, natural environment in which we all live. Thanks for reading & please keep in touch.........

Saturday, 17 May 2014

North Pennines: Underground Photography

Of late we've spent a lot of time in the North Pennines, its been packed full of excellent adventure!

As quoted in a recent post I'm really enjoying the big skies & lonely high moors but underground exploration is a gem of the area.

On Thursday night a group of six guys made a trip around Smallcleugh, it was a very enjoyable evening. Within our number was Mykie Jenkinson, he took a series of photographs that I think are excellent & very much capture the mood of the evening, they're arranged below as a photo account of the night. Thanks Mykie!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Salvation Army

Had a great day out with five guys from the Salvation Army yesterday!

Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead - a visit to Ballroom Flats.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Tuesday: North Pennines

Thought I'd write a short series of posts on a busy week working with a school which was staying at Knock Christian Centre in the beautiful North Pennines. This whole area is, in my opinion, very underrated and its offering of big skies; high moorland and some of the best mine exploration in the country deserves far more credit than many give it.

Anyway, Tuesday was an afternoon only & saw us walking straight from the Centre & up Knock Pike. The weather was kind & some good views were to be had:

Dufton Pike

Looking Towards the lakes

Cross fell & The Dun Fells

Wednesday: North Pennines

The weather was less kind today, however, going underground to that old favourite Smallcleugh Mine at Nenthead made for a good alternative to the local fells!

Thursday: North Pennines

It was back in the local fells today & a walk with seventeen young people, Gregg Paterson (as a second Mountain Leader) & two teachers. Again, leaving directly from the centre we covered about six miles taking in Dufton Pike. The weather was kinder than expected, with the rains only coming in the last half hour or so - a good day out, with some real achievement amongst the group members!

Views From Dufton Pike Summit

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Messing About In Boats & Making Fire

We met up with John & Karen Pear this weekend and spent an afternoon messing around in boats & making fire. It was a great time. Below is an album of photographs that describes the occasion, there might be a few more to add to them in the coming days. There'll also be some video taken from the afternoon that'll be published later.

All the photography is by Marion.