Newsletter > Newsletter archive > March 2011

March 2011 

Let's just go walking....
Old-Kings-Barrowsb.jpgWalking, and the outdoors generally, have become rather political over the last few months, what with the Forestry Commission sell-off and the threat of deep cuts to rights of way teams. It’s nice to hear, then, that some groups are just getting on with the important business of opening up new walking routes and keeping them clear for us to enjoy.

The Plain & Avon Walk, a 14-mile romp from Casterley Camp to Stonehenge, will be walked for the first time on Saturday 26 March. The walk starts at the Iron Age hill fort of Casterley Camp high on Salisbury Plain, goes down the picturesque Avon Valley, and takes in the pre-historic sites of Durrington Walls and Woodhenge before it reaches Old King and New King Barrows at Stonehenge. 

The route has been set up by the Friends of the Ridgeway with the support of communities along the Avon Valley and the agreement of the Ministry of Defence to use their tracks around the Plain. The original plan was to open a longer route, The Great Stones Way, on 26 March, but that has been delayed while the concerns of a few local people and organisations about the precise line of the route in the northern section are addressed. So the Plain & Avon Walk represents a taster for complete route; let’s hope the issues are resolved soon.
The walk on Saturday 26 March starts from Casterley Camp at 10am, or for a shorter 8-mile route, from All Saints church, Netheravon between 12noon and 2pm. The registration fee is £10 per person, payable on the day, with the funds being used to continue work on the Great Stones Way project. Well worth supporting if you are in the area on that day.

And keeping on the same theme, we’ve got news of some other new trails to walk in 2011….

New trails in the North East
VHEY.jpgNew walking trails in Hull & East Yorkshire are set to help walkers access this unspoilt and largely undiscovered part of the UK. With a choice of long and short routes, from the Wolds to the coast, town or a city there's something for everyone. If you haven’t discovered the Yorkshire Wolds, this year is a great time to start.

There’s a wide range of walks on and around the Yorkshire Wolds. You can enjoy everything from short strolls and circulars to the 79 mile Wolds Way, traversing the entire Wolds from the Humber Estuary to Filey on Yorkshire’s Heritage coast.

The Boudicca Way
WalkersatCaistorb.jpgYou are invited to come and experience the beautiful Boudicca Way long distance path in South Norfolk. Named after the legendary Queen of the Iceni, the route and surrounding area is steeped in history. With scenic, untamed beauty, miles of meadows, clean air, big Norfolk skies and abundant wildlife, the Boudicca Way is inspirational too. As well as walking, there’s plenty of opportunities for cycling, running, horse riding, bird watching and canoeing - whilst enjoying the natural environment, scenery and wildlife.

You’ll find lots of accommodation to suit all budgets, delicious locally produced food and interesting places to explore. The Boudicca Way website is an excellent place to start planning your visit.

The Spectacular South Tyrol
InntravelDolomitesb.jpgThe South Tyrol is a wonderfully mountainous corner of northern Italy that has its own unique character, its own very distinct identity and some of the best walking country in Europe, towering jagged peaks piercing the sky above deep forested valleys and flower-filled alpine meadows. If this sounds like your idea of the perfect destination, then holiday company Inntravel may just have the walking holiday for you.
This is a walker’s paradise and there are plenty of options whatever your experience and ability. You can follow well-waymarked footpaths through the Valleys & Villages of the Dolomites, leading from one picturesque unspoiled village of neat wooden houses and bright window boxes to the next. In the High Dolomites, you'll discover the sheer majesty and awe-inspiring nature of the scenery, perfectly complemented by a series of family-run hotels famed for their attentive service, local knowledge and attention to detail.
To find out more about holidays in South Tyrol you can order your Inntravel brochure online, or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617034

geoadventuresb.jpgIf, like us, you have not been invited to the royal wedding, GPS Training are running an alternative fun packed weekend that combines geocaching with the challenges of an orienteering score event.  The event is being held with the support of the Forestry Commission at Grizedale Forest Park, in the central Lake District, on April 30 and May 1. The forest is a beautiful place to visit in its own right and a safe traffic free environment to chase around with GPS in hand.

GPS Training say there are lots of lovely prizes on offer for those taking part in the competitive events and trails; including Chirp Geocaching beacons (we have no idea what they are either...), Ordnance Survey rucksacks, Led Lenser torches and other geocaching accessories. If you’ve never been geocaching or don’t have a GPS, there are Getting Started sessions with free GPS loan. A day pass is £10 for Adults and £5 for Juniors & Mini-cachers with booking available on the day. However if you want to make sure of your place then you can book now online at the Geo-Adventures website or by calling 01768 885855.

You can join Friends of the Peak District on a charity walk to celebrate the 60th birthday of the UK's first national park on Saturday 16 April. Starting from Thornbridge Hall in the heart of the Peak District, there is a choice of two circular routes through the beautiful Monsal Trail - either the more challenging 15 miles (kicking off at 8.30am) or the more leisurely 7.5 miles (kicking off at 11.30). The walks return you to Thornbridge Hall where you can celebrate the 60th birthday with Simon Groom (ex Blue Peter presenter and local farmer), rest your weary feet and enjoy a nice piece of cake.  For more information, contact Danny Anderson, phone 0114 266 5822 or go to

The CHASE Superheroes Midnight Walk gets hundreds of people walking a ten mile route around Guildford at midnight dressed as superheroes! Last year the event raised an enormous £90,000 to support the children and their families at CHASE hospice care for children. In order to reach that amount and more this year, the organisers are relying on an even larger number of people taking part. More on the CHASE website.

Slacklining the spectacular Ritson Gap in France, ski mountaineering in the Hindu Kush, a reconstruction of a 1912 ascent of Brazil’s Finger of Gold and a journey into the heart and soul of white water kayaking are among highlights from the Kendal Mountain Film Festival on at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Thursday 24 March. Tickets are £10. For the fifth year running, charity Porters’ Progress UK is offering London audiences a mouth-watering selection of the best mountain and adventure films from 2010. The event will raise funds for porter projects in the Himalayas and other mountain ranges.

Bishop's Castle Walking Festival is now in its twelfth year. The walks are centred in the Shropshire Hills, which are a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The Festival takes place over three days – 7th, 8th & 9th June 2011 with a selection of walks and other activities for walkers of all abilities.

The 2nd Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival, sponsored by Oswald Bailey, takes place on 30th April – 8th May. With 50 walks of all grades it offers something for everyone – walking, geology, history, pub lunches, classic village such as Corfe Castle, a steam train ride or a Jurassic coast cruise.

Member news
Members can get a discount of 5% off the walking holiday package offered by Richard and Alex Johnson at their Bed & Breakfast in the beautiful Lot department in France. The discount applies to bookings made in March or April 2011 for this year.

Don't forget to check us out on Facebook. We have just uploaded some dramatic photos from David's trip to Glencoe last weekend where he was doing some Mountain Rescue winter skills training. There was plenty of snow...