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February 2018

Walking Roots - in the mists of time
This month our 'Walking Roots' project peers back into our ancient past. We try to find out what our ancestors might have experienced as they wandered through our local Cumbrian landscape four or five thousand years ago.

If you are lucky enough to live in some parts of the country, whether it's Salisbury Plain or the Orkney Islands, there are prehistoric monuments aplenty to explore. Some may have incorporated processional avenues along which we can imagine ourselves, well, processing. Likewise many of our ridgeways are known to have been ancient routes, so on those too it's possible to step back in time and follow a path that would have been trodden by our forebears. We explored both these kinds of ancient pathway in our Pathways book.

At our local level, however, there's only one small prehistoric artefact to be found, a modest cup and ring mark on a rock in the middle of a field. But there is other evidence, of dramatic changes to the landscape that made the place quite different from how it is today. Have a look at our latest 'Walking Roots blog' - it might just inspire you to find delve further into the past in your locality.

Andros – a peaceful walker's paradise
Forget what you may have heard about the party islands and package tourism of Greece: little-known Andros is as unspoiled and authentic as it gets.

Arriving by ferry into the traditional port town of Gavrio, it's difficult to believe that you're only a couple of hours from Athens and the mainland. Yet there is much about Andros - the second largest island in the Cyclades archipelago and location of Inntravel's newest self-guided walking holiday - that will surprise you.

Like many other Greek islands, Andros has a colourful and diverse history, occupied in turn by the Romans, Venetians and Ottomans. But, unusually for Greece, its landscape is similarly varied - think lush green vegetation and abundantly flowing streams, rocky mountains and quiet sandy beaches. This diverse and understated beauty, combined with the well-waymarked network of ancient paths, makes for truly excellent walking.

Inntravel's challenging but rewarding routes lead you to some of the island's most intriguing sites - including the ancient city of Paleopolis and the prosperous 'Captains Valley' - and there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy both the tranquillity of the countryside and the cultural diversions of elegant Chora.

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

'Secret' Andros
- Hotel-to-hotel, self-guided walking holiday
- Prices from £720pp, inc 6 nights' B&B accommodation, luggage transfers, taxi transfers to/from walks & detailed route notes and maps
- Flights extra (direct to Athens from several UK regional airports)
- Available 12 May-30 June & 1 Sept-15 Oct 2018

The Big Walk
The Big Walk, a long distance walking challenge linked with the Big Lunch, is back. The Big Lunch takes place this year on the 3rd June (last year 9.3 million people took part in over 96,000 events). The organisers are looking for four members of the public willing to walk more than 250 miles over 21 days across the UK from Morecambe in Lancashire back to their own homes. These intrepid wanderers, accompanied by Big Walk teams, will visit and celebrate community projects along the way, helping to shine a light on the extraordinary things that ordinary people are doing in their own neighbourhoods.

If you live in Kent, Dundee, Swansea or Northern Ireland and are interested in taking part in The Big Walk, you need to be over 18, physically fit enough to walk up to 20 miles a day for 21 days and have a genuine interest in community projects. Could be fun! For more information and to register your interest, go to

The South Downs Way Annual Walk is an organised nine day walk along the full 100 mile length of the South Downs Way. This year it takes place 8th-16th June and goes from Winchester to Eastbourne (the direction changes each year). It is a supported rather than a guided walk, so you are free to walk at your own pace. Transport is provided each to day to pick-up points along the way, so you can, for instance, stay in Arundel or Chichester and return there each night. Cost (not including accommodation) is £259 for the full nine days.

Walk for Parkinson's is a sponsored self-guided walk to the summit of Snowdon on the 12th May. The route, supervised by marshals, takes the Llanberis Path route to the summit of Snowdon, where you'll be able to admire the breathtaking views of the Snowdonia National Park, with Anglesey and the Irish Sea in the distance. Suggested minimum sponsorship is £50 and the registration fee is £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s.