Newsletter > Newsletter archive > April 2012

April 2012

Maps and mobiles
search on mapWe have had lots of enquiries about how to search for walks on a map and it’s certainly a useful way to identify walks in a particular area. We have now included a simple map-based search on the website. You still make your initial selection from the Find a Walk tool on the homepage, picking a postcode, grid reference or place as the centre point for your search. Now, when the results come up, there’s an option to view them on a map. To do this click the button at the very top to ‘Show/Hide these walks on a map’. Click on any of the walk start icons and you’ll see a short description of that walk. Click to view the walk and you are taken through to the main walk summary page.

The map shows icons for all the walks on the page. By default the page lists ten walks – the nearest ones to the centre point for the search. If you would like to see more walks change the number of walks on the page – you can see 20, 50 or all of them (the latter might take a while to load). Then choose the view them on the map again and they will all be there.

You can still download an overlay of all the walk starts to load into digital mapping applications like Memory-Map, Quo, Anquet, AutoRoute and others. Our suggestion is that you create a new overlay from time to time, as we are adding walks regularly (and some have to be taken off the site if paths are closed or changed significantly). You can create an overlay for any search you have done, whether it’s for a handful of walks in a very defined area or for a whole country.

If you have been considering getting a GPS app for your smartphone there’s some good news. The excellent ViewRanger Outdoor GPS app is now completely free to download. It’s available on a range of platforms (Apple iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, Symbian smartphones, and BlackBerry Playbook).  The free app is fully functional and comes with unlimited access to ViewRanger’s  ‘open’ mapping. Walkingworld walks download direct to the app, complete with the route overlay, step-by-step instructions and even the waymark photographs. If you are a Walkingworld subscriber you simply enter your login details in the My ViewRanger portal and the download is free. More information about this

Spring is springing
wood anemoneTo celebrate the arrival of spring the Natural History Museum has released a couple of short but enjoyable films featuring Museum botanist Fred Rumsey. Each film is only a few minutes long and Fred talks about many of the seasonal flowers and plants you can discover out and about in the UK. They're quite fun and you might just learn something. The two latest films in the Natural History Museum catalogue are Spring Walk and Spring Blooms in the Wildlife Garden.

If you are yet to see bluebells in your area the Museum would like you to report your first sightings. Taking part in the survey will help the museum’s scientists to judge the effect of climate change and the influx of non-native species. You can record your findings online and there’s good advice there on how to distinguish one species from another.

South Tyrol – a walker’s paradise
sudtirolThe dramatic Dolomites in South Tyrol, which encompass eight nature reserves and one national park, are recognised as one of the world’s most beautiful mountain landscapes. The region boasts over 13,000km of well-signed footpaths which any keen walker will relish.

“As we climbed the broad, steep-sided, ridge, we were rewarded by increasingly magical views of immense jagged fingers that pointed skyward all around us.”

For a destination that combines exhilarating walking and characterful hotels that capture the true essence of a place, South Tyrol is hard to beat. With Inntravel, you can head off the beaten track to walk amid the famous jagged peaks of the High Dolomites; or explore the Valleys and Villages of the Dolomites, walking through forests and flower-filled meadows while enjoying equally unforgettable views. The natural beauty of this enchanting region is made all the more appealing by the region’s 300 days of sunshine every year.

Discover why the Dolomites are such a popular destination for walkers in Inntravel’s Walking and more brochure for 2012. Order a copy online or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617034.

£14,000 raised for The Lake District Calvert Trust
For those Walkingworld members who bought this year’s Wainwright Society calendar you’ll be pleased to know that the 2012 calendar raised a fantastic £10250 in total. The Society estimates that several hundred calendars were bought by Walkingworld members, so together we made a good contribution. Other activities organised by the Society brought the total up to £14,000, which was donated to The Lake District Calvert Trust, the Society’s main beneficiary in 2011.

The Calvert Trust was established in 1974 to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside.  The trust’s residential activity centre is located at Little Crosthwaite, near Keswick.  There they offer a varied programme of activities including climbing and abseiling, water-based activities, horse riding and hill walking.  The aim is to enable people to see beyond their disability and achieve their true potential.

Long distance books
Burton coast to coast coverIf you have ever trudged your way along a long distance path you probably regret all the photographs you didn’t take, or the scenes that would have looked wonderful if only the weather and light had been right. A couple of beautiful books published by Frances Lincoln solve the problem, but only if your expedition was on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk or the South West Coast Path. Karen Frenkel’s pictures on the Coast to Coast and Adam Burton’s on the South West Coast Path are quite a lot better than most of us can manage, even on a good day.

Some of Burton’s long-exposure shots of the sea are absolutely stunning; his is more of a picture book but there’s nothing wrong with that as he is a formidable outdoor photographer. Frenkel’s Coast to Coast book, however, gives more background detail on the route and much of the fascinating history and geography to found along the way. This might well make it a good buy for those contemplating the walk; a spot of inspiration as you prepare for the challenge. Both publications can be found on Amazon and the like.

Macmillan’s Hamsterley Forest Walk is coming up on Sunday 29 April 2012. You can take part in a four or eleven mile route through beautiful woodland in County Durham. The registration fee is £7.50, with minimum sponsorship of £35.

The 13K (8 mile) Canal and Countryside Walk, also on Sunday 29th April, is being organised by the Rotary Club of Southport and takes in the Leeds - Liverpool Canal, the Cheshire Lines Railway track, plus quiet country lanes and paths across farmers fields. Entrance fees are just £4 for advance bookings and £5 on the day. Walkers can choose their own ‘good cause’, with all the money they raise going directly to their chosen charity.

Final reminder: the Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival is 28 April to 6 May.

Member news
David Phillips has been given some old OS maps and would like to pass them on for free if they are of interest. They are sheet 167 Salisbury 1960, sheet 102 Huddersfield 1961, sheet 101 Manchester 1961, sheet 109 Chester 1963. Get in touch with us and we’ll pass your message on.
Walkingworld contibutor David Kelday’s first ebook is now available on Amazon. It’s a detailed examination of the Viking Highlands, piecing together real history (as best one can) from a range of sources, including the famous sagas. Focussing on the leadership rather than ordinary folk, it takes a fairly academic line, but it’s also got a good smattering of blood-thirsty action, sibling rivalry and the all-round machinations of an elite bent on retaining control of their followers. Nothing changes then....