Hello, my name is Matt O'Brien.
I first discovered the joy of hill walking in March 2004 when a friend at work (another Matt) invited me to join him and a couple of others in attempting the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks walk.
As it happened the other two dropped out before we'd even started our first practice walk so it was left to just Matt and I.
Our first walks were aimed at exploring each of the Three Peaks individually and improving our fitness levels.
Those first few months of walking were characterised by foul weather but also a real sense of adventure and freedom. By the time we successfully completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks in September 2004 we had both been bitten by the bug.
While the majority of my early walks were in the Yorkshire Dales I began to broaden my horizons in 2005 when my wife Lisa and I purchased a tent and that summer visited the North Pennines, Hadrian's Wall, Kielder Forest Park and finally the Lake District. Much to my delight Lisa also enjoyed the hill walking experience.
From quite early on I began to keep logs of my walks including notes on the walk itself. These notes have formed the basis for many of the pages on this site.
When I originally set up this website in 2010 the focus was very much on my Pennine adventures. It has now been expanded to include my walks in the Lake District, North York Moors, Snowdonia, Cairngorms and many other places. As of February 2012 the website contains over 370 walk descriptions and over 4,000 photos.
For each walk I have included a grid reference link to the start point on a 1:50,000 scale map on www.streetmap.co.uk. I have also included a very basic outline of the walk route. I wanted to avoid a detailed route description as one of the pleasures of hill walking is creating your own routes and having the option to improvise your route ad hoc.
The walk lengths and total ascent are taken from my Memory Map software and are accurate as far as I can tell. I have also included the length of time it took me to complete each walk. These times often vary due to conditions underfoot, who I was walking with and how many times I stopped to take photos.
When I first started hill walking the memory cards of the time could not store many pictures while my Fuji Finepix 2200 digital camera went through AA batteries like there was no tomorrow.
For Christmas 2004 Lisa bought me an Olympus C4000Z which took a much better picture and came with a couple of memory cards which held about 5 times the number of pictures as the Fuji. In April 2007 I upgraded to a Panasonic DMC-F27. In October 2011 I upgraded again to a Panasonic G3. The improvement in the quality of photos is noticeable following each upgrade.
Due to the limitations of my first camera I took very few photos while out walking, nowadays it is quite common for me to take in excess of 100 pictures per walk. While I am most certainly not a great photographer I do get some good pictures and I visit places which very few professional photographers would actually visit.
Anyone visiting this site is welcome to copy and use any of the photographs on this site for non-commercial use with the request that Matt O'Brien is credited as the photographer. If they are to appear on another website please also include a link to my website My Pennines.
If you have feedback about this site, or have spotted a factual error please email at the following address firstname.lastname@example.org.