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.
There’s so much more to Spain’s Costa del Sol than sun, sea and sangria. Turn inland and you’re looking at the Axarquia, an unspoiled wildly beautiful and rugged area, waiting for you to explore it. Mountains, wooded hills and plunging gorges, dotted with small towns, tiny settlements and farmsteads give a sense of the true heart of this unique region.
Almond, olive, lemon and orange groves thrive in valleys fed by springs and from streams descending from the mountains, fertile land carved into terraces to maximise the best agricultural areas.
The best way to explore is on foot or by mountain bike. Let’s get started with this free sample circular walk, quite short and not too energetic.
You’ll also find information about using your device for accessing walks in the Axarquia as well as how to get your hands on the area’s most detailed guidebook and map. There’s also another free walk (pdf format) for you to download.
Each of the Canary Islands has its own unique personality. Lanzarote is strangely surreal. There’s plenty of wide open unspoiled places ideal for exploring by car, bike or on foot.
The best map by a long way is Lanzarote Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map.
But don’t take our word for it – there are dozens of user reviews on line. Here’s a few of them:
Kung Fu Panda
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended if planning a driving holiday on Lanzarote
Compared to many “travel” maps this map is very good with an impressive level of detail, including different road types, paths and tracks, contouring, etc. The map itself is printed on a very durable (and ultimately recyclable) plastic sheet material. I would highly recommend this to anyone planning to drive around Lanzarote and perhaps to combine that with some walking. I have just driven around 500 miles during a 10-day holiday and found this invaluable.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product.
I’m a regular user of OS maps & wanted a map of Lanzarote for our forthcoming holiday. This map, with the accompanying book, looks just the job. I particularly like the way the map & book cross-reference each other & the useful information about the walks.
5.0 out of 5 stars great product
Fantastic map at a very reasonable price. Large scale shows walking trails etc. Great for research prior to our planned trip.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent map, a must for driving around as road signs are atrocious on Lanzarote for independent motorist! Very good for walks too. Also, yes bended, folded, chucked on back seat & footwell several times, and not a single tear of hole on the folds. Would recommend & will buy for other Canaries when we visit them.
Lanzarote for sunshine, blue seas, amazing huge skies and volcanic sci-fi landscapes. See it for yourself. You’ll never forget it.
Thanks go to David L, just back from walking (and golfing) on the Canary Island of La Gomera. He’s been there before and knows the walking pretty well, and has sent us a detailed review of some of the walks he did (self-adapted in part) using Walk! La Gomera guidebook and La Gomera Tour & Trail map along with digital mapping which he accessed on his smart phone.
Here’s part of David’s walking report:
On 18 December 2017 at 20:24 David L wrote:
“Where? La Gomera – Jardin Tecina Hotel
We did three – or perhaps more accurately, 2.5. We took golf clubs and tennis rackets, too – and my wife is not a bad walker, but not as keen as I am.
We were looking for walks with the least amount of travelling possible, avoiding those with vertigo warnings, and ideally, in the sun.
The walks we did were:
- Playa Santiago to Targa With Variation (Walk 10)
- Degollada de Peraza to San Sebastian (Walk 1)
- Playa Santiago – Baja de Guane – El Aguila – La Trinchera – Playa Santiago (Short Walk)
- Navigational Aids
All walks were undertaken with benefit of the digital version of the Tour & Trail Map on iphone via Memory Map, and hard copy print of the relevant area – one side with route marked – the other unmarked. Full hard copy Tour & Trail Map and Walk! La Gomera Book taken but not referred to en route.
Previous visits/walks have been in February and December. In comparison, the countryside was far more burnt up on this occasion, with virtually no greenery, and noticeably warmer than Christmas, but cooler than Feb. We have had NE Alisio weather patterns on previous visits, but, on this occasion, the wind was between south and west.
4.1 Playa Santiago To Targa With Variation (Walk 10)
I had done this walk twice previously, so knew roughly what was involved. The part through the former cultivation terraces is probably fair enough for one experience but, in my view, not more.
So we headed up your down route, which was hot work in mid 20s C, but OK.
The route to the climb up the Playa Santiago cliff is completely different to the map – but more similar to the blow up on the reverse.
Had lunch in the shade close to the FRANCISCO DIAZ BARROSO NAMEPLATE Waypoint. Waypoint beyond this particularly useful as otherwise not clear when to head up the hill to the right – though clearer looking back on it.
Turned left to Targa itself and then along a couple of paths to Alajero. Bar where second path joins road up from Playa Santiago closed. Turned off into central Alajero, where found an open bar with Bus Stop opposite. Perfect! Bus turned up on time and dropped us off by Jardin Tecina for next to nothing.
Conclusion on 1. I think the route we did is better than the one in the book – but I was looking for something different to the route through the cultivation terraces. Probably worth including as an alternative. The variation at the top was not planned in advance, but evolved when we got there.
The leg adjacent to the stream south of Targa is tricky/ steep sided in places with few foot/handholds.
An unexpected hazard was the local authority painting some of the bus stop benches – but not warning of this! My wife wrote off a pair of trousers! Not sure whether this is a seasonal event!
Overall, an enjoyable and rewarding walk. Nice to get up into the cool – and amongst some genuine village life.
4.2 Degollada de Peraza to San Sebastian (Walk 1)
This is one of the more accessible walks from Jardin Tecina without vertigo risk- although, by analysis of non-vertigo walks, I have since found a more accessible one, at least to start.
We had toyed with which is gazetted as a’ vertigo trial’ but I had done the bottom 75% of this on my own on a previous visit, and had backed off when I reached a very sheer slope; furthermore, a section of this looked very sheer on Google Earth. It also looked pretty aggressive from the top of Degollada de Peraza.
Up here, we were in cloudy conditions, but the cloud base was well above us.
Shortly after the start, there was no observable issue with the landslide you mention. The path is quite steep sided in places and flat sided in others. Throughout the first 75 % or so, it is dominated by views of the main road from San Sebastian up to Degollada – and traffic noise from it, which was a pity.
On the plus side, we had some good views, and encountered a watchful raven, which I had not previously seen on the island.
The run down into San Sebastian was hard work, along a made up but very uneven ‘donkey’ track.
To return, we had the options of buses or the Fred. Olsen Ferry. We chose the latter, to give us a chance to relax a bit, an opportunity to see this section of coast, and avoid the lengthy/somewhat tedious road route.
We enjoyed the ferry ride, albeit that it was late starting by half an hour, it appeared because of a mechanical issue.
Conclusion on 2. We enjoyed the walk, but were disappointed by the main road/traffic noise impact and the extent of uneven donkey tracks on the descent. Probably good for anyone to do once, but I do not think we would do it again.
4.3 Playa Santiago – Baja de Guane – El Aguila – La Trinchera – Playa Santiago (Short Walk)
This was really a ‘fill in’ while my wife wanted to sunbathe – which I cannot do. I have a friend who has a holiday Property Bond Investment and had stayed at ‘Balcon de Santa Anna’ – and wanted to have a look at this – and the walk round the cliffs outside shown on the map looked interesting.
All went according to plan – having your map on my iphone proved ever useful, as I was not sure how long I was along the walk, on several occasions. Good views of the cliffs and breaking seas – and a pleasantly made up path. Also a short link at the end down to Playa Santiago.
Conclusion on 3. An enjoyable and worthwhile short walk which it might be worth mentioning.
- Overall Conclusion On Walks
We expanded our horizons – though did not visit the Valle Gran Rey/El Cercado area this time.
We enjoyed our walks – which were much aided by your materials and, particularly, the digital functions, which had either not been available or we hadn’t been aware of before. The map on the iphone with the flashing curser and marked waypoints really is a massive help.
We were surprised how warm the weather was – particularly having experienced quite a cool Christmas here once. The countryside was much the most frazzled we had ever seen it.
I am quite a keen bird watcher. I missed the plain swifts over the mountains and villages, normally in abundance. On checking, I see they return to Africa for November and most of December. On the plus side, we had a hoopoe in the hotel grounds, where there were singing chiffchaff and blackcap, and the aforementioned raven.
I attach copies of our tracks, in case of interest. As your book suggests, we took a good bit longer than you did! I also include some vehicle/ferry tracks and one round of the golf course, in case of interest. The speed the ferries travel at is notable – and the time saving from San Sebastian to Playa Santiago by sea, as opposed to land. The golf round was quicker than for an average UK course – because the hole sequence was downhill?”
Thanks David! User feedback is like gold!
Winter is a great time for walking in the Canary Islands. La Gomera is easily reached yet remains wild and natural with breathtaking scenery and the winter weather is usually fresh yet gentle, with plenty of blue skies; though there can be periods of rain it rarely lasts for long.
We thank Pamela and Malcolm Boura for these useful and detailed notes they made on their visit there this December; they were using the guidebook Walk! La Gomera and La Gomera Tour & Trail Map.
All of the new paths and those missing from your map, referred to below, are shown correctly on OpenStreetMap. You may need to use an editor to look at some of the tags for detailed information such as tarmac/unpaved.
Start of walk: OpenStreetMap shows a path running from a little way down the path to La Laja to Wp2. We did not walk this but the west end looks good and it looks clear on aerial photographs. It probably provides an alternative to the road. According to some rather uncertain contours, it adds about 30m of ascent.
Easy route first paragraph: new path avoiding buildings and noisy dogs to Wp5, see OpenStreetMap. Adds a few metres of ascent but is shorter and is the signed route.
We walked the first part of Walk 1 as the start of Walk 2.
If the start of this walk is not in La Laja, part of the descent to and ascent from the village can be avoided by taking a good donkey path, with fine views of the village, which starts as you cross the spur after Wp16 and emerges to rejoin the main route at the last houses of La Laga, where the sculptures are, after Wp2. This good and useful path is not shown on your map. See OpenStreetMap.
We think this walk should be done in reverse with the steeper and rougher paths as ascent and then the long, fast, gentle descent for the return. Climbing up Barranco do los Cocos would also be much safer than going down, especially in rain, as well as giving a better opportunity to appreciate this lovely valley.
The start of this walk in Playa Santiago has changed after recent works on the river bed. Now follow the east bank until scrambling up the road embankment at the end of the track at Wp2. The first zig and zag are tarmac. Alternatively, parking is available at the adjacent rest area.
There is a clear signposted path branching left before Wp7 which leads directly to the new wooden bungalow. This avoids the final part of the climb towards Targa and the short length of road. This good and useful shortcut is not shown on your map.
The track up Barranco del Valle Gran Rey at present can not be accessed from the lane which starts behind the bus station. This may be temporary.
We walked this in reverse and the start in this direction is confusing and needs instructions. Suggest “A few metres after leaving the road, head right up some rough rock cut steps.”
Some of the “path” is washed away crossing the gullies between Wp2 and Wp3. OpenStreetMap shows a path directly from the start to Wp6 which may provide a better alternative.
Just before reaching the road at the top of the barranco, the path goes to the north of the summit. This is not obvious on the ground and it is shown incorrectly on your map. The route shown on your map goes across a steep and dangerous hillside. See OpenStreetMap.
At Wp17, go slightly left across the road to a painted waymark on the crash barrier. The path from there goes directly to the cemetery.
Taking the alternative route in the last paragraph on your walk, turn right down a track just before the dirt track reaches the road. When the track reaches the bamboo, turn left on an overgrown but passable path to emerge on the road where the path entrance is marked by a cairn. NB This is a new road not shown on your map.
See OpenStreetMap for the extra paths and roads.
We very much enjoyed this straight forward walk but where the track junction is shown on your map between Wp7 and Wp8, we took the track forking left which continues as a good signposted path running parallel to your route but avoiding the road. This leads directly to the saddle between Mt Bianca and the masts and then along the ridge to the masts. See OpenStreetMap. We saw the ends of paths that probably bypass the masts to the NE, cutting the corner.
There is a signposted junction to the west of Wp8, at N28 10.802, W17 17.708, but the signpost has been sited sufficiently far from the junction (a few tens of metres east) to be misleading, especially if doing the walk in reverse. This needs checking on the ground before more can be said, as there were signs of a rough path north from the signpost, although I suspect that was due to people that had been misled!
Unfortunately, the dirt track up Barranco de la Palmita has become a tarmac lane for much of its length. See OpenStreetMap for details of which bits (you may need to look at the editor information to get details of the surface).
GPS users take note; our latest edition Walk! The Isle of Wight walks have been transformed into pdf route cards and re-packaged with ‘OSlike’ digital mapping for the Isle of Wight and gpx waypoints.
This is a great time to explore the Isle Of Wight; school holidays are almost over and there’s always the chance of some late summer sunshine.
Isle of Wight Adventure Package:-
Isle of Wight ‘OSlike’ Custom Map
pdf ebook of 41 A4 pages
– all delivered as a ZIP file download for £11.99
See all the details here:-
These notes were sent by Eryk Grant re the GR221, while using Charles Davis’ book ‘The GR221 – Mallorca’s Drystone Way’
http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/mallGR221Spec.htm , notably the stretch between Esporles and Valldemossa.
Walked this section last Sunday (6th April) without any problem.
There were five other walkers on the route and it looks like the obstructions placed by the landowner (notices and fence) are largely ignored. I saw no attempt to ‘repair’ the fence and it was easy to negotiate-there are cairns galore and helpful green/yellow spots on rocks. The track has not become overgrown suggesting it is really well used. There is also a shiny new GR route map in Esporles town centre showing the route going through and all the subsequent wayposts except one refer to it. I guess there may be some tacit acceptance that walking will continue and I would not hesitate to walk this part again.
Up by the Tossals refuge there is a fair amount of building material but not much sign that anything is happening! Last time we stayed there in 2012 we had a conversation with a Dutch couple who were using your DWG guide, and making their way based on “what does Charles say?” – your directions and supporting commentary have never let us down either and in fact have really added to the enjoyment in places.”
Thanks Erik – feedback from walkers who’ve been there is valuable both for those who come after you, as well as providing us with valuable information for new editions.
Menorca might not be the first destination you think of for a walking holiday. We find it surprising and fascinating. It has beautiful wild countryside and great walking. The island is full of interest, especially if you have an interest in ancient history, archaeology, geology, birds or flora.
And if you’d like to escape the winter, you’ll find Spring starts a little earlier here.
Above; on the Cales Coves route, Walk 30.
More about walking on Menorca at http://dwgwalking.co.uk/men.htm