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April 2017


Walking through a literary world
There are few areas of the British Isles that are not associated with literature in some way, whether through being a poet's favourite stomping ground, the home town of a famous writer or the evocative setting for a novel. It certainly adds depth to a walk if the environment you are venturing through has been the inspiration for a well known literary work. VisitEngland has declared this the 'Year of Literary Heroes', so you can expect festivities all around the country this summer and autumn, as places celebrate their (sometimes tenuous) connections to authors and poets.

The Isle of Thanet is laying claim to Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and T.S.Eliot, amongst others. Austen, more often linked with the Home Counties and with Bath, visited Ramsgate in 1803. The town inevitably found its way into her writing and, as a reminder that the sea air can loosen morals, it's in Ramsgate that 15-year-old Georgiana Darcy risks being seduced by the charming Mr Wickham in 'Pride and Prejudice'. Charles Dickens, on the other hand, was very fond of Broadstairs, his favoured seaside retreat for over two decades (Broadstairs' Botany Bay is shown in the picture above). The Dickens Festival in Broadstairs (17th–23rd June) promises a Grande Parade featuring Queen Victoria in a horse-drawn carriage and plenty of 'Dickensian feasting and revelry'. You can keep up to date on the Visit Thanet website.

Meanwhile on The Shotley Peninsula in Suffolk two Arthur Ransome anniversaries are being marked: 50 years since the author's death and 80 years since the publication of his novel 'We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea', which is set on the Peninsula. The local tourism group has organised a series of events including sailing, walking and cycling trails, photography exhibitions, 'Swallows and Amazons' themed activities, and the opportunity to see 'Nancy Blackett', the fine sailing boat on which Ransome conducted research for the book. Details will be appearing on the All About Ipswich website.

From the Eiger to the Matterhorn
How better to enjoy the awe-inspiring majesty of the Alps than on an epic journey on foot between two of Switzerland's most iconic peaks? Self-guided walking specialists Inntravel offer a two-week adventure exploring the best of the Bernese Oberland and Valais, passing beneath the Eiger's famous 'north face' and finishing in Zermatt with views of the Matterhorn, the world's most recognisable mountain.

Not for the faint-hearted, this is a thrilling challenge that leads over high-mountain passes on true Alpine trails and deep into glacial valleys, taking you back to nature via turquoise lakes, emerald forests and classic mountain villages.

The eclectic accommodation, ranging from 4-star hotels to simple mountain guesthouses, offers a warm welcome throughout, plus good food and wine (dinner is included each evening) that will satisfy the appetite of the hungriest walker. What's more, Inntravel includes journeys on Switzerland's unequalled rail network to transfer you from a choice of airports and to shorten the distance between hotels. They can even arrange for train travel from the UK if you wish.

Inntravel also offers a shorter 7-night version, High Passes of the Valais, walking from Kandersteg to Zermatt.

For details of Inntravel's walking holidays in Switzerland, visit inntravel.co.uk or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.

From the Eiger to the Matterhorn
- Self-guided, hotel-to-hotel walking holiday
- Prices from £2185pp, including 14 nights' half-board accommodation, 3 picnics, return rail from Zürich or Geneva airport. A half-fare card giving discounts on local transport is also included, plus a number of bus/train/cable car journeys, and detailed route notes
- Flights extra (direct to Zürich or Geneva from several UK regional airports)
- Available 24 June-8 October 2017

Crossing the sands
Here's an opportunity to walk across the largest expanse of tidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom, while helping the Friends of the Lake District raise money to protect the inspiring, yet fragile, landscape of the Lake District. The route crosses the constantly shifting sands of Morecambe Bay in the safe hands of Cedric Robinson MBE, the Queen's official guide to the sands.

The walk is approximately eight miles long and suitable for anyone who is comfortable walking for three to four hours. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and well behaved dogs are welcome. The majority of the walk is on sand but there are times when you need to wade through some channels up to your knees. Registration is £10 (£5 under 16s) and includes a free sponsorship pack and event t-shirt for adults or free water bottle for children. More information

Celebrating 80 years of trig pillars
2016 represented the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar. The Walkers are Welcome community of Tregaron in Ceredigion Wales is gearing up for a unique weekend of walking and celebration of these iconic features of our landscape. The Trigaron17 Walking Festival (16th-18th June) invites walkers and trig baggers to visit the modest Cambrian Mountains town and reach five of the highest trig pillars in the area. On one night it's possible to wild camp next to a trig pillar, if that takes your fancy.

The guided walks start from the town of Tregaron (made famous by the elephant buried in the beer garden of the local pub), and also Llanddewi Brefi and Pontrhydfendigaid, which is linked to the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, Strata Florida. Reaching the concrete pillars should provide some fantastic views across Wales to the high peaks of Snowdonia and dramatic escarpments of the Brecon Beacons.

Wainwright Society calendar donation
The Wainwright Society has announced that sales of the Society's 2017 Calendar raised a total of £8,500. This money, together with other donations, brings the total raised for the Society's main beneficiary for the past year to £10,500. A cheque was presented to the Lake District Calvert Trust at the Society's Annual General Meeting on Saturday 25th March.

The money is being used to fund renovation work on the Bowderstone Bothy. The bothy allows the Trust's disabled visitors to stay overnight in a remote location, providing a unique opportunity to enjoy the superlative landscape of the Lake District as well as undertaking physical and intellectual challenges outside of their day-to-day lives. Thank you to the many Walkingworld members who bought a calendar – it is a really worthwhile cause. Next year's calendar will be on sale in a few months time.