Several well-known walking areas of Britain have been almost overwhelmed by visitor numbers in 2020. Why not take a look at somewhere less crowded, offering a unique experience?
England’s South Pennines are not usually on most walkers’ ‘top ten’ lists. Well, those walkers are missing out on a fascinating region combining beautiful countryside with history.
Old paths and trails dating back generations beckon, revealing the unique character of a region shaped by hundreds of years of human toil and creativity. Canals, railways, mills, bridges, viaducts and reservoirs are testaments to humankind’s work.
Many of the walks can be reached by train, making for a varied day out, punctuated with refreshment breaks in pubs or cafes, while making the area feasible even for those not living in the area. For example, within 20 minutes of leaving the hustle and bustle of central Manchester you can be in the wildest and most lovely countryside. Most of the walks lie within a rough rectangle contained by Walsden in the north, Bollington in the south, Oldham and Stockport in the west and Glossop in the east.
Anyone who has a mental image of soot-blackened towns and dull countryside is mistaken. Many of the old industrial buildings that remain have been converted into heritage centres or living accommodation. Farms dot the countryside where flora and fauna flourish; bird watchers will find plenty to discover.
For more information on wonderful walks in the South Pennines, take a look HERE.
Looking for a great day out, possibly with your mates in a walking group, on the UK’s most scenic Challenge route?
Edale Skyline Challenge is your answer. At just over 20 miles, with a Challenge time of 10 hours, Edale Skyline is a great achievement for fit hikers. Our new Edale Skyline Challenge Map (and Guide) has everything you need to enjoy these ridge line panoramas, including gpx waypoint file for the route and digital editions of the map in a choice of Viewranger, Locus or Garmin Custom Map versions – simply follow the directions on the reverse of the map to receive your digital downloads.
Choose a good weather day, start early, and you will have one of the UK’s most memorable day’s adventure.
Challenge No.2 The Yorkshire 3 Peaks
Great Britain offers many opportunities for discovering the outdoors, from gentle strolls to big challenges. Here’s one of the big ones. You could plan to tackle the Yorkshire 3 Peaks yourself, or simply lose yourself in the experiences of others who’ve planned and completed the climbs and descents, following them step by step from your own armchair.
Key to success in completing the Challenge Routes in good time is planning, down to the finest details. It’s fascinating to find out how it’s done.
Challenge No.1 The National 3 Peaks
With the Christmas/New Year break coming up for many, why not plan to complete the National 3 Peaks Challenge. If that’s a bit too energetic, experience these iconic ascents and descents from your armchair. Here’s a few images to tempt you.
Find out how to plan your own Challenge. Get the best ‘how to’ advice from those who have completed it. Get the best, detailed up-to-date maps to keep you on track.
Today it was announced that the British Government is “looking afresh” at our National Parks which could lead to new additions to the 15 currently designated (the official website is HERE).
In the meantime, I wonder how many of our existing National Parks you’ve visited, and which is your favourite. One of the finest of the existing National Parks (in this author’s opinion) is Brecon Beacons.
It’s a beautiful and rewarding place to walk, where high peaks hide glacial lakes in ancient moorland, while man-made reservoirs and canals blend with their natural surroundings, and waterfalls cascade down secret gorges and canals.
Castles, churches and monasteries bear witness to the rich history and heritage that can be experienced while walking in this unique area of natural beauty.
After all the turkey, pud, mince pies and drinks, wouldn’t it feel good to get out in the fresh air and get moving?
If you’re in reach of the Malvern Hills you’re spoilt for walking choices. How about climbing the Worcestershire Beacon? It only takes an hour and a half, ending at a café at St. Ann’s Well. It’s a circular walk so you end up back at your transport.
Or perhaps a delightful, gentle stroll that skirts Midsummer Hill then climbs to the landmark obelisk in Eastnor Park before descending to Eastnor village?
Field and woodland paths drop us close to Ledbury and a charming back route through the town to The Market House.
It’s a 2 hour linear walk with taxis available at the end if needed; just the right length to get moving again post-Christmas.
On flicking through outdoor activity magazines, you’ll see plenty of photographs of fit-looking intrepid types posing on rugged, windswept mountain peaks wearing plenty of layers. Is this you? Do you wish you were here? Or do you long to get away to kinder climates?
Do you fit fairly neatly into one of the following groups?
THE INTREPIDS, striding through winter landscapes, dealing with biting winds and snow-capped hills in full weather-defying gear, and feeling invigorated as you finally reach a cosy country pub for a well-earned lunch.
How about England’s rugged and beautiful South Pennines? They’ve had quite a bit of a snow-dusting already this winter, although this pic taken on Corn Du was taken in summer.
WARM WEATHER WALKERS, escaping to warmer climes when winter bites at home, exploring in t-shirt, shorts, sunhat and sun-cream under a blue sky, sweating as they gain the heights, then
relaxing on a beach as the sun goes down.
There’s a whole lot of destinations within a 4-6 hour flight from northern Europe; Tenerife is ideal for pretty reliable gentle temperatures with several sunny hours per day.
For lots of walking destination ideas and inspiration, take a look HERE.
Of course, you might well have a boot in each camp so to speak, getting the best of all walking worlds. It would be great to know your opinions.
Dartmoor – a place of history, myths and legends.
The best way to experience its wild and wonderful moors and ancient stone villages is on foot.
Dartmoor residents and author-researchers Kate & Alan Hobbs know the moors well and are your step-by-step guides through forty wonderful walks, strolls and adventures. They know the best places to call in for a pub lunch along the route too!
Detailed walk descriptions, Ordnance Survey mapping and waypoints at decisions points, along with frequent timings, ensure you’ll find your way.
Each walk is illustrated with photos taken along the route. Walks are graded for difficulty, distance, time required, ascents and descents and refreshments.
Walk! Dartmoor (2nd edition) arrives on the planet 18 January 2016.
For more details look HERE.
Dartmoor has a long and fascinating history; this new research suggests that some areas have an even longer history than was previously understood. See for yourself – take the walk.
The weather is perfect now for exploring British walking. If you want to take a look at the ancient stone circle of Sittaford Tor then follow Walk 9 in Walk! Dartmoor. The walk is a pleasant three and a half hour circular route which includes plenty of interest including the Tor.
For more information see:-