Newsletter > Newsletter archive > December 2011

December 2011

Excess baggage
waylands smithyWalkingworld’s David Stewart has had his fifteen minutes of fame – almost to the minute – on Saturday 10th’s edition of Radio 4’s travel programme Excess Baggage. The discussion was around the historic pathways David and his co-author Nicholas Rudd-Jones had written about in the Pathways book. David managed to squeeze in his thoughts about the significance of water to the British path through the ages, the development of routes for spiritual purposes and the fact that a horse pulling a canal barge could transport 30 times what it could in a cart.

You can catch up with the programme if you missed it in the archive on the Excess Baggage website. The second half of the programme is also worth a listen, as it was about the relative merits of fast and slow trains, covering everything from the high speed links into Europe to the discomforts of a very slow train in Cuba.

The other ‘walking’ participant on the programme was Bill Bevan, an archaeologist, photographer and writer who has just published a gorgeous book, 'Walk into Prehistory', about walking to prehistoric sites in Britain and Ireland. Bill agrees with us that you can only really appreciate ancient monuments by walking to them, preferably along the paths that were most likely taken by those who used them. So often you find that the way a fort or stone circle comes into view as you come over the crest of hill is a carefully ‘stage managed’ experience. If you just drive to the nearest car park you can miss that entirely. Bill’s book is available from Amazon, currently at nearly £10 discount on its £25 cover price, so excellent value. You might get it in time to give as a Christmas present; or alternatively you could just hog it for yourself.

Gift subscriptions

Talking of Christmas presents, a Walkingworld gift subscription could be the perfect solution if time is running out to get something for that keen walker you know. It’s very simple; you pay for a gift subscription and then tell your recipient to sign up to Walkingworld and contact us when they have done so. There’s a printout sheet you can give them that tells them exactly what to do. One benefit of this is that they can start the subscription whenever they want – they could wait until the Spring for instance. That way they’ll get the fullest possible use from your gift. You can find out more on our gift subscription page.

Help for junipers
juniperThe Wainwright Society has announced that Cumbria Wildlife Trust will be the main beneficiary of funds raised by the Society in 2012. Both Alfred Wainwright and his wife Betty were members of Cumbria Wildlife Trust for many years. The Trust, which does great work across the county, will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2012.

In particular the Wainwright Society will be supporting the Trust’s Uplands for Juniper project. The Lake District has more extensive stands of juniper than anywhere else in England. Sadly, a decline in the use and management of juniper in recent years, coupled with reduced seed production of older plants and overgrazing of young saplings, has taken its toll on the viability of juniper in its natural habitat. 

The project will survey the 231 identified juniper sites in order to establish the condition and extent of the species.  Following the survey practical steps will be taken to improve the condition of existing juniper sites, expand juniper woodland sites and create new stands through planting locally sourced saplings. The Society hopes to raise funds for this worthwhile purpose through its annual 'Challenge' as well as from sales of the Wainwright Society calendar (and once again, thank you everyone who bought a calendar this year, the proceeds of which went to an equally valuable cause).

Fancy a walking holiday in 2012?
SnaefellsnesImagine walking through dramatic landscapes of towering mountains and wide-open, velvety green plains, crisscrossed by astonishing glaciers and raging rivers that cascade into deep gorges. This is Iceland, just one of Inntravel’s new walking holiday destinations for next year. Choose one of two routes – the striking Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west, or the dramatic southern coast beneath the iconic peaks of Eyjafjallajökull and Vatnajökull.

Their other new destinations couldn’t be more different. Head south to the warm waters of the Adriatic and enjoy a leisurely walk along Corfu’s West Coast where glorious sunsets herald the end of each day’s walking. In southern France, spend a week discovering the timeless landscapes of the Lot, exploring the Three Rivers of the South-West; or set out on a journey through Asturias, Burgos and the Basque Country as you enjoy a landscape of haunting beauty – of lush pastures, rugged canyons and spectacular coastal scenery – amid the Three Faces of Green Spain.

For details of Inntravel’s wonderfully Slow walking holidays for 2012 – order a brochure online or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617034.

Outdoors Show special offer
The Outdoors Show, returns to ExCeL, London from 12–15 January 2012. The show features talks from a wide range of experts from the worlds of walking, photography, bird watching, climbing and more. A number of explorers, from Shipwreck Hunter David Mearns to world record breaking adventurers, will also be speaking.

If you fancy having a shot at a bit of climbing the 2012 show will feature a wide range of walls for the complete beginner to accomplished climbers. Tree-top adventure company Go Ape are bringing a 150 metre zip wire to the show, which the organisers claim is an absolute “must-do” for all adventure lovers”.

With retailers, brands, specialist photography holiday companies, guest photographers and more, The Photography Village promises much for photography enthusiasts. Visitors will be able to bring their photographs for a one on one critique and advice session with some of the UK’s top photographers, as well as being able to listen to travel, wildlife and landscape photography talks on the main stage. Speakers and experts include Joe Cornish, Colin Prior, Andy Rouse, Charlie Waite, David Noton and Tom Mackie.

We have got a special ticket offer which is valid until December 25th. If you quote WALKING at you can get advance adult tickets for £14, a saving of £6 on the door price (a booking fee of £1.95 per transaction applies). The Outdoors Show ticket also includes entry to The Active Travel Show, The London Bike Show and the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show.

The eighth Gower Walking Festival (9-24 June, 2012) provides a great opportunity to see the wonderful scenery and wildlife of the Gower Peninsula and the area around it. It has over 70 guided walks and activities, so there is something for everyone. This year’s festival celebrates three milestones; to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee there is a ‘Collect a Castle’ series of walks; to mark the completion of the Wales Coast Path there’s a new challenge, the Gower 40-Miler, to take place over two days; and the centenary of Edgar Evans’ death has prompted The Captain Scott Connection. Other new walks include Orchids at Oxwich, Passionate Pilgrims, Romans, Monks and Ironworkers focussing on Neath Abbey, a Singing Walk, and Only Dogs Allowed, led by Daisy.

The London 2 Brighton Challenge is open to everyone from leisure walkers to ultra-marathon runners.  Participants will begin their 100km journey along the River Thames and continue their route across varied terrain passing through towns, villages, across open country-side and over the South Downs to reach Brighton throughout the day on Sunday 13th May. Challengers can choose to fundraise for one the London 2 Brighton Challenge Official Charity Partners, including Asthma UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, British Red Cross, Cancer Research, Christian Aid, Macmillan Cancer Support, Help the Hospices, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Scope, Save the Children and The Big Issue Foundation. 

Want a Lakes based job?
Lakeland Walker magazine are looking for salesperson to attract local advertising and help the editor to develop features. Apparently persistence is an important quality! If you are based in the area and think you might fit the bill take a look at the job advert (PDF)