Newsletter > Newsletter archive > September 2016

September 2016

Tracing Britain's smuggling trails
This month brings to an end our monthly publication of chapters from our Pathways book. You can now read the book in its entirety on the website or, if you want it in more convenient reading form, it's available as a Kindle edition or in paperback. We have kept one of the best chapters to last, our exploration of Britain's smuggling trails.

The quaint view of the smuggler as loveable rogue doesn't have much basis in fact. Neither was there much smuggling of the type featured in films and books, with small boats creeping into dark harbours, guided by the occasional flash of a flintlock from the waiting shore party. Most contraband was brought in from abroad on a truly industrial scale, with gangs of hundreds meeting beached vessels on the shores close to London and other big cities. Demand was massive, fueled by huge taxes on staples as well as luxuries during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Nearly all of society was involved in contraband in one way or another, a fact that made it more difficult for the authorities to gain convictions. But the stakes were high and fights between smugglers and enforcers could be very violent indeed. Only in out of the way places, like Cornwall, was smuggling more as it is imagined in popular fiction, undertaken by small family concerns with a degree of decency. Here it was just a way of life and of earning an income alongside fishing and legitimate trading. It is one of these stories from Cornwall that we follow in our chapter, which you can read on the website now.

Volcanic Trails on La Palma
On Inntravel's new hotel-to-hotel walking holiday for autumn, winter and spring on La Isla Bonita, you will discover Drago trees, salt pans, volcanic craters and a rich colonial history.

Heart-shaped La Palma is the steepest island on the planet, and lushest of all the Canary Islands. It has managed to keep itself far below the radar of mass tourism, retaining its strong culture and traditions, and saving truly breathtaking landscapes for those who are willing to put in the effort to see them for themselves.

Follow La Palma's Volcanic Trails from the stark lunar-like wilderness of the southernmost tip, then north through the pine forests of the central Caldera de Taburiente National Park, before descending from the island's rugged backbone through evergreen woodland, flower-filled meadows and cultivated terraces to reach the architecturally resplendent capital, Santa Cruz.

On your way, explore the historic streets of Los Llanos de Aridane, the island's 'secret' capital; savour tasty dishes based on traditional gofio, fresh pulpo (octopus) and spicy mojo sauce; visit the history museum housed within a full-size replica of Columbus's Santa Maria, and revel in the South American vibe of this surprising island.

For details of Inntravel's walking holidays on all seven major Canary Islands, visit or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.

La Palma's Volcanic Trails
- Self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking holiday
- Prices from £790pp, inc 7 nights’ B&B accommodation, 3 dinners, 3 picnics, return domestic flights between Tenerife North and La Palma, transfers to first/from last hotel, & detailed route notes
- International flights extra (direct to Tenerife from several UK regional airports)

Explore the Alpujarra and Sierra Nevada
In the coming season, Casa Ana, a gem of a B&B, is offering a selection of great holidays in this wild and beautiful part of Spain.

Walking over Lemons is a week of walking with Chris Stewart, author of best-selling Driving Over Lemons. He'll take you on his favourite walks, invite you to lunch at his farm, and entertain you with stories about life in the Alpujarra. The walks range from a gentle stroll around the white villages and the country footpaths linking them; to a day in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada; and include walking in the Poqueira and Trevelez river valleys, plus a guided day in Granada exploring the city's medieval sights.

Walking with a Camera enables you to discover the rugged beauty of the Spanish Sierra Nevada through a lens. Highlights include learning how to shoot big landscapes whilst exploring the ancient Moorish footpaths, mule tracks and silk routes of the Alpujarras; a day exploring medieval Islamic architecture in the historic city of Granada; discovering the secrets of successful sunrise and sunset photography in the mountains; and visits to the bars and bodegas of the area's famous white mountain villages.

Walking and Nature visits the Sierra Nevada and its southern slopes which are fantastically rich in wildlife, mainly due to large altitude differences ranging from 500m in the lower market towns of the Alpujarras through to the high summits at nearly 3500m. Expert guides will take you on five days of walking at a range of altitudes to see the wonders of the mountain and valley wildlife, including eagles, vultures, ibex, and many of the endemic bird, wildflower and butterfly species, all in spectacular scenery.

For further details contact Anne Hunt at or visit the Casa Ana website.

Special offer on 'Discover Britain' magazine
The Georgians dominate in the October/November 2016 issue of Discover Britain, from Leeds Castle, which was rebuilt, albeit in Tudor style, during the reign of George IV, to the dazzling Georgian architecture of beautiful Bath.

You can meet the people who made the era famous – including dandy and trendsetter Beau Nash, architects John Wood the Elder and Younger, beloved novelist Jane Austen, this issue's English eccentric, Robert 'Romeo' Coates, who holds the dubious honour of being the era's worst actor, and the 'mad, bad and dangerous to know' Lord Byron, with whom we explore London.

However if your interests are in Britain's earlier, darker history, you can also join an exploration of York, the city which shaped Guy Fawkes, revisit the case of the Princes in the Tower, or discover dazzling Castle Country in Aberdeenshire.

There's a special offer on subscriptions to the magazine for Walkingworld members, with 6 issues for just £18.