Newsletter > Newsletter archive > April 2019

April 2019

This month's urban ramble

Cambridge is a city defined by academia. The most prominent, if rather plain, building remains Gilbert Scott's 1930s University Library. It is only 157 feet in height but can be seen from miles around; this is a very flat landscape, so perfect for a gentle wander under big skies.

The dominance of the university colleges has created an urban grid that is skewed, with almost all of the nineteenth century development taking place to the east of the city. The railway station was also relegated to the south-east edge, perhaps to discourage undergraduates from hopping on the train down to London and neglecting their studies.

The huge benefit of this tight collegiate land ownership has been the preservation of large open spaces, along the 'Backs', the river to Grantchester and also the numerous sports fields. Our walk includes all of these green spaces, impressive college architecture and some unfamiliar corners of the city.

This is one of twenty walks in 'Urban Rambles', written by Walkingworld co-founder Nicholas Rudd-Jones, exploring the very different pleasures of walking in our cities, picking up on the best of their stories.

Hostels, bunkhouses and barns

We have seen an explosion of independent hostels and bunkhouses over the past decade or so, partly fuelled by the YHA selling off a proportion of its properties. Many find this level of accommodation ideal for an outdoor break, more 'weather resilient' than camping but lower cost than hotels and guesthouses. They can also be great venues for larger groups and family gatherings.

The Independent Hostel Guide website features many such properties, now with 425 hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns. Their website has just been revamped, so it's easier than ever to find what you're looking for.

Two special sections cover long distance routes, listing all the nearby hostels with a handy map, and the 25+ walking festivals sponsored by the guide.

Explore 'Italian Switzerland' on foot
When it comes to walking holidays, there are few destinations with quite so much to offer as Switzerland: glorious scenery, well-waymarked trails and a famously efficient transport system - making it easy not only to access all the best walking areas, but to extend or shorten routes as you see fit.

Inntravel's newest Swiss holiday has yet another string to its bow - taking place on the sunny, southern side of the Alps, in the region of Ticino, it can also promise beautiful Italianate architecture, sub-tropical lakeside towns, and elegant restaurants whose mouthwatering dishes wouldn't look out of place in Rome.

Beginning on the shores of Lake Maggiore, in the picturesque town of Locarno, this self-guided walk leads you through the heart of the region, passing through the chestnut-forested hills and tranquil river valleys of the Malcantone to reach the hill-village of Carona, set just above the emerald waters of Lake Lugano. It is challenging yet flexible - with options to explore exotic botanical gardens, visit panoramic, hill-top sanctuaries and ride the famous Centovalli railway.

In the words of Inntravel routefinder, Eric Kendall: "I'm not easily given over to superlatives, but I think it's fair to say that, for those who want sumptuous Swiss scenery, without needing to bag high-mountain peaks, this holiday in Ticino - a slice of Italy in Switzerland - is the best walking ever!"

For more details on Inntravel's walking holidays in Switzerland, see or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.

Lake Maggiore to Lake Lugano

Hotel-to-hotel, self-guided walking holiday
Prices from £1065pp, inc 7 nights' B&B accommodation, 4 dinners, detailed route notes & maps
Flights extra (direct to Z├╝rich from several UK regional airports)
Available from 4 May-13 October 2019

Places to go
RSPB Haweswater have just released a series of bookable Guided Wildlife Walks. The initial series take in the bubbling streams, dramatic crags and waterfalls of Swindale Valley, under the guidance of RSPB staff who are on hand to introduce attendees to interesting wildlife encountered on the journey. They have also just opened a brand new Badger Hide at Naddle Farm, which visitors are welcome to book onto individually or as an exclusive user, for sessions throughout April-Oct 2019. More information and booking details

Six major sculptures by internationally-renowned conceptual artist Dr Subodh Kerkar have been installed at Yorkshire's Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park, near Ripon. The award-winning garden and open-air gallery boasts more than 70 sculptures over 45 acres, featuring an arboretum and three lakes. It is also home to the North's largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias. The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park is open April 16 to July 14, and October 5 to November 3, 10am-4pm on Tuesdays to Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Special offer in picturesque Devon
Situated amongst the rolling hills of South Hams, Salcombe is the 'jewel in the crown' of South Devon. The harbour town may be small but it is full of character and there are many coastal walks to enjoy. 8 Kings Cottages is a great base in the very centre of Salcombe. The comfortable two bedroom property can sleep up to five, with a small terrace garden and private parking outside. 'Number 8' is offering a 15% discount exclusively to Walkingworld members for June bookings. To redeem, go to the website and enter WALKING19 in the Discount Code box.