Newsletter > Newsletter archive > April 2011
Coastal paths on their way
In perhaps the most exciting development for walking in Britain since Open Access legislation, work is under way on creating an unbroken path around the coast of England. Pilot areas have been chosen in various parts of the country, including Cumbria, Kent, Somerset, Norfolk and the North East. The first published report concerns a stretch of the coast in Weymouth Bay in Dorset, between Lulworth and Portland.
The report proposes several improvements to the existing coast path, including moving it closer to the sea in several places, securing statutory rights of public access and enabling the path to ‘roll back’ as cliffs erode or slip. These are, no doubt, issues that will arise in every part of the full England coastal route. The Secretary of State will be making a decision about the proposals after all representations and objections have been considered. Establishment of the new path will not begin until then.
The plan is to have the section ready in time for the 2012 Olympics, to support the sailing events that are being held in the Weymouth area. Work on proposals for the England Coast Path on a further five stretches of coast will start this month. A copy of the report is available on Natural England’s website.
1931 tour of the Lakes relived
Eighty years ago, Alfred Wainwright planned a Tour of the Lake District to be undertaken at Whitsuntide with three of his pals from the Treasurer’s Office in Blackburn. It was a six-day marathon covering 102 miles with nearly 35,000 feet of ascent. Details of the escapade did not come to light until the year of Wainwright’s death in 1991. Eric Maudsley, the only surviving member of the party, had kept a copy of Wainwright’s original itinerary which included the description: ‘This tour is a most comprehensive one. Limited as we are by time, it is impossible to visit every corner of Lakeland, yet the programme, if followed conscientiously, will lead us everywhere worth mentioning. It will be ARDUOUS, but the reward will be well worth the work. It will avoid the tourists, the roads, the picnic-spots. It is the claim of this programme that EVERY lake, EVERY valley, EVERY mountain will be seen if not actually visited.’
The six-day walk actually took the party seven days and, even then, not all the route was completed. To celebrate this 80th anniversary, and as their annual Charity Challenge, members of The Wainwright Society are walking the route in sections and visiting all the significant landmarks along the way, during three weeks from 7 – 28 May 2011. Money raised by members from donations and sponsorship will be given to The Lake District Calvert Trust, the Society’s main beneficiary this year. Details can be found on The Wainwright Society website.
Walking at your own pace
What better way to really get under the skin of place than by exploring the surrounding countryside at your own pace before returning to a quiet and comfortable retreat each evening? Whether you wish to go this month, at the height of summer or in the autumn, holiday company Inntravel currently still has a wide range of self-catering holidays available in Europe’s most unspoiled and alluring corners, on which you can use your included hire car to enjoy varied walking to suit all levels.
Whether you choose a traditional farmhouse near the sea in Algarve, Portugal; a stylish barn conversion in Italy’s magnificent Sibillini Mountains for breathtaking views; a fisherman’s cottage in Norway’s dramatic Lofotens archipelago, or a pretty cottage amid the lavender fields and vineyards of Drôme Provençal in southern France, Inntravel’s carefully researched and detailed route notes will guide you through spectacular landscapes whilst offering the perfect place to relax each evening.
To find out more about villas & cottages walking holidays in Europe, you can order your Inntravel brochure online, or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617034.
To walk on the island of Alderney is to experience incredible diversity of wildlife, landscape and culture in just 2000 acres. Indelibly stamped by more than 7,000 years of human occupation, it is a mixture of dramatic beauty and stark industrial landscape. This is flickering, blink and you’ll miss it, scenery with a monolithic Victorian fort or cliff fringed bay around every corner, yet it also has the vibrant feeling of ordinary life you might expect in any seaside town.
The paths that lace the island, offering over 80km of very varied and often challenging walking, are basic and raw. There are few signs, steps or railings and the history which seeps from crevice of the island’s geology is definitely not isolated and sanitised. There seem to be dozens of World War II bunkers fringing every path, their doorways dark, open and mysteriously beckoning. Its southern cliffs are reminiscent of the Cornish cost. Alderney is a raw unpolished diamond of a place which can offer so much to anyone willing to grasp the challenge, but beware: it is no country park experience. Find out more
A Cateran Yomp
The Cateran Yomp is brand new event for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity taking place over Armed Forces Weekend this year (25th and 26th June). Teams of between 3-6 individuals are invited to walk either 23, 38 or 54 miles in a 24 hour period. Tackling some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the Highlands the route itself will be a fantastic personal challenge. 54 miles in 24 hours is no easy task but the organisers promise to be there to support you along the way, from training tips when you register, all food and drink along the route, to a massage when you finish.
The event is raising money to support The Soldiers’ Charity who provide a lifetime of support to serving and retired soldiers and their families. The event is also raising money for PSYBT and The Alliance Trust Staff foundation whch provides support to young people and their communities in Scotland. More on the Soldiers' Charity website.
Registration for this year’s St Basils Charity Walk is now open. St Basils is one of the UK’s leading charities helping to prevent youth homelessness. The challenge takes place on Saturday 25th June, starting and finishing from the Welsh town of Dolgellau. Two walks are on offer, the half route at 13 miles and the full route at 27 miles. Cadbury are again sponsoring the event which means there will be plenty of chocolate on route.
Train Walk is a ‘Thomas & Friends’ themed family sponsored walk in aid of the National Autistic Society. This year the organisers are hoping over 100 will take place, between 3-6 June, across the country. It should be a fun day out raising money for a good cause. It could be your opportunity to be the Fat Controller. Find out how to organise a Train Walk or join one on the Train Walk website.
Members are offered a discount of 10% on the prices for renting Casa Esteban in Andalucia, Spain. This is near to the walks 4692-4695 on Walkingworld. Find out more