Newsletter > Newsletter archive > October 2013

October 2013

Autumn arrives
Brancaster BeachIn early October we spent a long weekend in Norfolk, a stark contrast to the hilly region in which we live. Someone once complained to us that a walk he’d done in the Norfolk fens was ‘too flat’, but for us the flatness is great part of the charm. We love the place precisely because it’s so different from the rest of the country, with its famously ‘big skies’, wildlife-filled wetlands and scattered settlements. What’s more, as we describe in our ‘Pathways’ book, the history of its tracks and roads is endlessly fascinating, a story of people through the ages living on the very margin of land and sea.

On our trip ‘down south’ there was already a nip in the air, the first hint of the new season. Up in the north of England spring and summer come late, but autumn comes early and here the leaves are turning. It’s a good time to head to your nearest broadleaved woodland. We find there’s a real pleasure in following the same route several times through the season – something our dog is quite happy to do too as he sniffs out the same spots – and watching how the scene changes as the leaves colour, dry to a crisp and eventually fall.

So here’s a hint then when you are searching the Walkingworld walks – select ‘Woodland’ as a feature from the drop-down menu before you do your search to be sure of having some trees to wander through at some time on your walk. Our 'historic woodlands' article is also a good source of inspiration, with various woods to explore across the country.

Alicante – a world apart
AlicanteInntravel’s Steve Jack reports back from a corner of Spain that is full of surprises…

“I’ve just come back from the dramatic mountains of eastern Spain, and would urge you to forget everything you’ve ever heard about ‘Alicante’ and the ‘Costa Blanca’ and to get out there to experience it for yourselves.

Just an hour or so from the airport, and 50km (as the crow flies) from Benidorm, you’ll find a remote-feeling land of craggy limestone peaks, dramatic gorges, and terraced slopes coated in almond and citrus groves. The ruins of Moorish castles are circled by eagles, and panoramic ridges reveal views over timeless villages dotting the hillsides. This is sleepy Spain at its very best.

The food was another highlight: not only the home-cooked and hotly debated paella Valenciana, but also – towards the end of my trip – the fabulous 7-course ‘Taste of Spain’ extravaganza enjoyed in the homely surrounds of hosts Pat and Brian’s wine cellar. After that, such splendid walking was both welcome and necessary!” 

For more walking holidays in Europe, take a look at Inntravel’s website, or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.

Wainwright Society announces beneficiary for 2014
Brathay Trust TeamThe Wainwright Society's main beneficiary of funds raised by the Society in 2014 is to be the Brathay Exploration Group Trust, formed in 1947. The trust is a charity that takes young people on exploration in the UK and throughout the world. They also provide opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled children in Cumbria to explore the fells and learn about environmental issues that affect the landscape.

The money raised by the Society through its annual Charity Challenge, together with sales of its 2015 Calendar, will be used to fund ‘Taster Weekends’ in the Lakeland fells for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gorgeous landscape pictures
The ‘Take a View’ Landscape Photographer of the Year awards have been announced and they’ll either inspire you or fill you with a deep sense of inadequacy at your own lack of prowess behind the lens. Either way they are definitely worth a look. Perhaps unsurprisingly there are rather a lot of views of the Lake District. We all know the Lake District is beautiful so in a sense we barely need reminding and it might be refreshing to see photographers championing other parts of the country. But maybe that’s just being churlish...

Digital mapping news
Digital mapping specialist, Anquet, has just launched a posh new website, with details of their Outdoor Map Navigator applications, which are available for PC, iOS and Android.

Walkingworld contributor, John Thorn, has created some very effective mapping by merging Ordnance Survey OpenData maps with contour data and paths recorded for the Open Street Map project. The maps can be loaded into a variety of applications and used offline when walking. At £25 for the whole of Great Britain it’s about a quarter of the typical price of Landranger mapping from most digital mapping providers. Have a look at his website

Should woodlands be managed?
Heywood WoodThere's an interesting and important debate going on about how our woodland and forest can be 'future-proofed', especially against the influx of new diseases. Ash dieback disease is one that is exercising every woodland manager right now, but of course it's not the first and won't be the last. When it comes to protecting woodland over the long term, there's no easy answer and not everyone is agreed on the right strategy. There's an interesting article on the BBC website which describes how the Woodland Trust is tackling the issue on one of its estates.

(Note: picture above is Heywood Wood in Devon, Walk ID 6466)