Newsletter > Newsletter archive > October 2020

October 2020

Night-time walking adventures
There have been some great nights for stargazing recently, with the planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars clearly visible in the early evening sky and, if you are very lucky, wonderful views of the Milky Way. Most of the National Parks are running 'dark skies' promotions, although most group events are on hold for obvious reasons. But that shouldn't stop you making your own way to a spot where you can take in a glorious night sky.

In our little town of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria we have gone one step further and published a small leaflet, in partnership with the local Walkers are Welcome group, describing a perfect evening and night-time walk. We have designed it to start at dusk along the riverside and through ancient woodland to have the best chance of seeing, or at least hearing, nocturnal creatures such as bats and owls. The route then joins the track-bed of an old railway, ideal for walking in the dark. It's far enough out of town to benefit from really dark skies, so ideal for picking out constellations and other astronomical bodies.

If you can visit Kirkby Stephen the leaflet is available from the visitor centre and you can of course download the walk to the app or print it out (ID 3888). Or perhaps you can find your own 'dark skies' route not too far from where you live. We would simply suggest walking it in daylight first so you know exactly where it goes and what obstacles there might be. Take a torch each but use it sparingly so your eyes can adjust to the dark. It's amazing how the same walk becomes a completely different experience at night.

There are several 'Dark Skies' festivals running this week, some of them 'virtual' with online talks from experts. For instance the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks are hosting a series of Zoom meetings at which you can watch presentations but also ask questions. Check out what's happening on the Go Stargazing website.

HF Holidays 2021 brochure out

HF Holidays have just launched their new 2021 brochure, showcasing everything that's new both at home and abroad and the special booking offers you can enjoy if you book by 24 November. The new edition features the latest collection of UK, European and Worldwide walking holidays for 2021 and into 2022 for those winter sun breaks. It also features Family Walking Adventures.

There's a digital flipbook version of the brochure so you can zoom in to get a close up view and use links from the contents page to take you straight to your chosen page. All holidays are available to book via the HF Holidays website right now.

Tree and Archaeology weeks
The Tree Council are holding their National Tree Week from 28 November – 6 December this year and are encouraging everyone to plant trees. To coincide with National Tree Week, many Walkers are Welcome towns will be holding woodland walks to celebrate the beauty and importance of these varied habitats.  Details of walks and activities will be published on the Walkers are Welcome website's What's On page.

This week's Festival of Archaeology, organised by the Council for British Archaeology, is also a mix on online events with some Covid safe outdoors activities. There's a whole series of talks, lectures and workshops all round the country. You can search for them on the Festival website.

Member news
Fancy something nice and peaceful to watch? Steve Harris has put together a couple of minutes of stunning drone footage from walk 7932 in Wooton, Surrey, accompanied by some soothing music. See it on Youtube. It's just as the trees are beginning to turn a couple of weeks ago.

It's also a walk that Steve has just helped us to update, with some changes to the directions and several new pictures, so a big thank-you from us and from Richard Clayton, the walk author.