Newsletter > Newsletter archive > July 2018

July 2018

'Walking Roots' - a packhorse boom

As we come out of the medieval period and into the first stirrings of the industrial age, even the remotest parts of the country experienced a surge in longer distance transport. Whether it was cattle and other livestock along the drovers roads or trains of packhorses crossing the fells, much more stuff was on the move.

Track-side establishments and, in places, whole communities grew up to service those working the routes. This is what happened in our own tiny hamlet of High Ewebank, now just four houses on a remote Cumbrian fellside. Three hundred years ago this was a bustling community of some twenty dwellings, including three inns, housing around eighty inhabitants. High Ewebank sat at a strategic meeting point of trans-Pennine packhorse trails, a last stopping point before a long trek in one direction to Swaledale in North Yorkshire and in the other to Bowes and Barnard Castle in Durham.

In this month's 'Walking Roots' blog we look at the development of these busy transport routes and the wayside properties that served them, and tell of our efforts to find the long-lost trails on the ground.

Westmorland Dales Day
This Sunday 29th July our home town of Kirkby Stephen is welcoming walkers with a packed programme of talks, demonstrations, guided walks, steam train rides, children's trails, e-bike rides and more for Westmorland Dales Day. If you're otherwise twiddling your thumbs and are not too far away why not come and join us? If you are coming from the south or north you could make your way to Kirkby Stephen on the famous Settle-Carlisle line, which runs beyond Settle to Skipton and Leeds.

For our part we've made a selection of local walks free to download or save into the Walkingworld app for this week and next. Walkingworld's David Stewart is guiding one of these walks, on Stennerskeugh Clouds, a fascinating limestone pavement, on Sunday 29th but if you can't make the day you could 'do it yourself' another day. If you have not been to Kirkby Stephen or the Upper Eden Valley it really is one of those places you will never regret discovering. We liked it so much we came to live here!

Autumn adventures at home and abroad
HF Holidays have some very enticing ‘Autumn Adventures', whether at one of their beautiful UK country houses or in some fascinating European destinations. Wherever you go their walk leaders will make sure you get the most out of your holiday, taking you to iconic locations and their own favourite hidden gems.

Glen Coe is arguably one of the most celebrated glens in the world with its volcanic origins, and its dramatic landscapes offering breathtaking scenery. Easy walks are available, although if you're up for the challenge you can tackle Ben Nevis, Britain's highest peak. At the other end of the country you can stride out along the rolling hills and magnificent chalk cliffs of the South Downs. This wildlife-rich chalk downland is a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages and sweeping cornfields.

The Yorkshire Dales will charm you with its choice of landscapes. The huge rock amphitheatre of Malham Cove - once a waterfall to rival Niagara Falls - and the scenic cascades of Gordale Scar, are a snapshot of the wealth of natural wonders nearby. Snuggled between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales lies the hidden beauty of the Howgill Fells and the charming town of Sedbergh. This corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park offers remote peaks, rugged dales and quaint market towns.

The world famous Sorrento peninsula boasts stunning coastal scenery as well as the remarkable Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. There are walks around Amalfi, Ravello and Positano and meanders through olive groves between sleepy villages.

The ancient stone paths of the Pelion provide a fantastic network of walking between its untouched traditional villages. This relatively unknown corner of Greece is the perfect place to get away from it all and sample their relaxed way of life.

Looking further forward, HF Holidays' 2019 Europe and Worldwide holidays are now on sale - request your brochure

For further information on HF Holidays' Self-guided and Guided Walking holidays, call 0345 470 7558 or visit

Guided Walking Holidays
- Glen Coe: 4nts from £415pp*
- South Downs: 4nts from £470pp*
- Howgill Fells: 3nts from £314pp*
- Yorkshire Dales: 3nts from £325pp*
- Sorrento 7nts from £999pp*
- Pelion: 7nts from £749pp*
*Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. See website.

Wainwright Calendar 2019

The popular annual Wainwright Society Calendar is once again on sale. Money raised always goes to a worthy cause and this year it's the Great North Air Ambulance, a service that people in the north-east, Cumbria and Yorkshire rely on hugely because of the long distances that road ambulances have to travel to patients and thence to hospital.

The calendar is large format, size A3 with one page per month. Each month features a stunning photograph taken by a society member together with a related sketch and quote from one of Alfred Wainwright's famous works.

The calendar is just £10 including postage to the UK, EU and US/Canada and is available from the Wainwright Society website. They always sell out so it's worth getting an order in earlier rather than later.

App search gremlins
We apologise profusely for problems with searching for place names and postcodes in the Walkingworld app a week or so ago. Gremlins got into the search service provided by Ordnance Survey and it took a week or so for their tech folk to identify and eject them. When there's an issue like this it's worth checking the messages on the homepage of the app. We can post updates there on what's going on and often give tips on how to get round the problem, in this case by searching for walks on the website and entering the walk ID in the app. Hopefully it won't happen too often.