Newsletter > Newsletter archive > February 2014

February 2014

‘Hidden Footpaths’ in OS GeoVation challenge
Last November we mentioned Richard Varhman’s ‘Invisible Footpaths’ entry into the Ordnance Survey GeoVation Challenge, which offers development funding to a small number of winning ideas. Well we’re pleased to say that the project, which offers a potentially brilliant and fun way of recording and displaying how often our footpaths are walked, has made it into the group of ten finalists. We’re even happier to have been invited to join Richard’s team to help develop the idea and pitch it to the GeoVation Challenge judges for funding from a £100,000 pot. The GeoVation Camp takes place at the end of the month and we’ll let you know how we get on.

Way out west along the Órganos Trail
Los-OrganosFrom a huge rocky outcrop on the crest of the ridge at Portillo del Topo, a narrow winding path strikes out along the steep hillside, soon disappearing amid the distinctive Canarian pine trees, characterised by their jigsaw-like bark. This is the Órganos Trail, a high-level walking route on Inntravel’s walking holiday to northern Tenerife that follows the contours on a wonderfully exhilarating meander round the cliffs and crags of Montaña de la Crucita’s lower slopes.

A sturdy fence guards the most precipitous and most dramatic section of the path, as it begins to swing southwest towards a striking rock formation – looking remarkably like the pipes of a monumental natural organ – from which this trail takes its name.

As the path winds in and out of the lush barrancos, frequent breaks in the trees reveal tantalising views of the iconic summit cone of Mount Teide and glimpses across the veil of mist that blankets the coastal plain. Even on the hottest of days, the aromatic pine trees provide welcome shade for walkers – though you may have to share it with one of the island’s eye-catching blue-headed galloti lizards.

For more details on Inntravel’s walking holidays in the Canary Islands, see or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.

Tenerife & El Teide
- Two-centre, self-guided walking holiday
- Prices from £655pp, inc 7 nights’ B&B accommodation, 1 dinner, 7 days’ car hire, plus detailed route guides & maps
- Flights extra (direct from several UK regional airports)
- Available from now until 31 May & from 1 September to 21 December 2014

A luxury holiday for the price of a standard one
BOH beach sceneHere’s a superb offer on a luxury walking holiday on the delightful Mediterranean island of Menorca from Balearic Outdoor Holidays. Rather than sing their own praises the company have made a short film showing what customers thought about their time with them in 2013. If this whets your appetite, have a look at the page on their website giving full information about the holiday. The saving to be made is certainly substantial but it’s only for the three places so you’ll need to move fast. As you’ll see on the website, the holiday usually costs £783.00 per person. However, the last three places available for the week of 30th May are being offered to Walkingworld members at the seriously discounted price of £599.00 per person (based on 2 sharing).
If you’d like to make a reservation, or need any more information, you can contact Balearic Outdoor Holidays now via the website. You can also call them at any time on freephone 0800 072 4832.

Hiking in the Ordesa National Park
Ordesa National ParkThe Ordesa National Park with its dramatic kilometre deep canyons topped by 3000 metre peaks is an undisputed highlight of the Spanish Pyrenees. 

Ordesa is a fantastic destination for hikers with routes of all lengths and difficulties. The famous 'faja' paths cling to the side of the high cliffs - perfect for those with a head for heights. If you prefer your feet on more solid ground there are beautiful walks in the park's alpine meadows that are filled with wildflowers.

Hike Pyrenees organise guided walking holidays and self guided holidays in Ordesa that show you the best the park has to offer. Visit their website or order their 2014 brochure to find out more.

Seven Sister South Downs Way Walk – Saturday 24th May
Taking place in the Eastbourne Downs, utilising parts of the inland and coastal South Downs Way and incorporating the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, you can choose from 25.3 miles, 15.3 miles or 8.7 miles. This event is being promoted by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services to benefit the Fire Fighters Charity but the organisers have no objection to anyone joining and fund raising for their own good cause. Light refreshments and water at check points and medals for all finishers. £10 entry fee. Go to the website to download an entry form.

GPS Training courses for 2014
If you are planning more ambitious walks this year and need to brush up on your navigation skills – or perhaps you have been the lucky recipient of a GPS at Christmas but don’t know how to make best use of it – you can get up to speed on a course run by our friends at GPS Training. There are courses in many parts of the country, from Hampshire to Northumberland, covering quite a few different types of GPS device. They tend to fill up so it’s worth booking early. See the overview of courses in 2014

Maps for Spain on CD
Sa CaletaGood digital mapping for Spain has been hard to get hold of, although the Instituto Geografico Nacional has begun to make its 1:25,000 scale maps available and we are finalising a deal to include their mapping on all our Spanish walks. This will be a vast improvement on the open mapping we have been using up till now, although obviously it will take a while before we can get our maps converted. Many thanks are due to Jim Arymar for conducting the negotiations in Spanish for us. (N.B. picture shown is from walk ID6836, one of Jim's portfolio of walks in Ibiza)

Meanwhile Discovery Walking Guides have been making excellent walking maps for parts of Spain and its ‘warm islands’ for many years, filling the gap with a product that is beautifully clear and oriented towards walking. The maps have been available to download into ViewRanger for some time and you can purchase them individually for import into Garmin GPS devices and the like at around £6 a map. Now, to make life a little easier, all twelve of the maps are available on CD for £26.99, which saves the bother of the download as well as quite a bit of cash. More information at

The North Highland Way
The North Highland Way across the top of Scotland from John o’Groats to Cape Wrath was first promoted as a route in July 2013. The scenery is magnificent - from the Pentland Firth in the east to the wild and remote Loch Eriboll to the magnificent and haunting Cape Wrath.  There is good quality accommodation of all levels on the route and bag transfer is available. Book in to the Dunnet Head B&B and campsite for a couple of nights and get a free orientation session (normally £30 per day, booked in advance).  This includes assistance with putting route information onto Walkingworld as part of an ongoing project to promote the route, and there are discounts if you are Friends of the North Highland Way.

Great result for Wainwright calendar
We are told that the profit for the Wainwright 2014 calendar was around £7200, and after paying for the way-marking on Wainwright’s popular Coast to Coast path, the balance will be shared between the Mountain Rescue Teams along the route. Our local Kirkby Stephen team, for instance, will be benefitting to the tune of £650, an incredibly welcome contribution to the team’s funds. As usual many purchases of the calendar were made by Walkingworld members, so once again we are proud to have played a big part in its success. No doubt the 2015 version is already being planned.

Access to walking in Mallorca
There is a developing issue involving access to some climbing and walking areas in Mallorca, particularly in the Tramuntana Mountain range (this is the main range of mountains along the northwest coast of Mallorca, all the way from Andratx to Cap Formentor). We put a link to an online petition on our Facebook page late last year, but there is a useful overview of the issue on the UK Hillwalking website