Newsletter > Newsletter archive > August 2015

August 2015


Wetland tracks
As the summer has not been as dry and sunny as many of us would have hoped, perhaps it's appropriate to be focusing on our wetlands. As well as being rich in wildlife and ecology, Britain's wetland areas continue to reveal much about our past. From the Somerset levels and East Anglia to Yorkshire's famous Star Carr site, archaeologists are digging up artefacts and investigating habitats that are no longer preserved in drier contexts.

From the mesolithic era onwards wetland areas have proved attractive living places, offering a diversity of food and shelter. Ancient trackways served both practical and ritual purposes, as seen at sites like Flag Fen in East Anglia, where the votive offerings found alongside the wooden causeway show that it was much more than a simple bridge from one piece of raised ground to another. Later, as many wetlands were drained to create valuable agricultural landscapes, raised causeways became vital thoroughfares.

In this month's chapter from our Pathways book we explore the Aldreth causeway, one of three leading to the Isle of Ely with its magnficent Norman cathedral. It is part of the ancient road from Cambridge to Ely, made famous by the story of William the Conqueror and his attempts to oust the rebel Hereward the Wake and his men from the East Anglian city. Read the chapter on Wetland tracks to find out more about this extraordinary episode in our history.

Beer'n'Bangers Festival
As last year we're sponsoring the ceilidh at Kirkby Stephen's Beer'n'Bangers Festival on Saturday 5th September, with music provided by Cumbrian band Long Meg featuring Walkingworld contributor Paul Shorrock. If you can get up to Cumbria for the weekend it would make a great way to mark the imminent transition from damp summer to balmy autumn.

As well as a huge amount of beer and quite a lot of sausages the Festival promises two nights of rollicking music, most of it more or less from the folk genre but with a swig of Americana and some plain old rock'n'roll thrown in. The musical line-up features Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra and a young band from Northern Ireland, The Emerald Armada.

With tickets costing just £25 for two for the whole weekend (yes, that's just £12.50 each) and free camping on site it's extraordinarily good value. Some people arrive by train on the classic Settle to Carlisle line and fit in some walking on Sunday too before heading home. The event is in aid of Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team, Upper Eden Rotary Club and the local Scouts.

Walking beneath Switzerland's iconic peaks
What could be grander than the chance to walk amid some of Switzerland's best-loved mountains, with the famed Swiss railways taking you between their illustrious forms?

On Inntravel's 12-night Grand Tour of Switzerland, you do just that – travelling by train from Zuoz in the east to the city of Lucerne, including a trip on the magical Glacier Express to historic Zermatt, and a scenic journey to Wengen overlooking the 'other-worldly' Lauterbrunnen Valley.

You stay three nights in each place, and have plenty of time to explore on foot, taking advantage of boats, cog railways and cable cars to reach the high paths.

Walking highlights include an exploration of the spectacular Trupchun Valley in the Swiss National Park, looking for chamois, marmots and ibex; a thrilling route from Gornergrat to Zermatt on which you'll see the unmistakable pinnacle of the Matterhorn reflected in crystal-clear mountain tarns; a descent from the summit of Mannlichen through flower-filled meadows in the shadow of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau; and a hugely exhilarating walk along the spine of Mount Rigi for wonderful 360-degree views across the Alps.

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

A Grand Tour of Switzerland
● 4-centre, self-guided journey by rail, with wonderful walking opportunities
● Prices from £1895pp, inc 12 nights’ B&B accommodation, 9 dinners, detailed route guides & maps
● Transfers to/from Zürich airport & rail journeys included
● Flights extra (direct from several UK regional airports)
● Available until 1 October 2015 & then from June 2016 (please call for details)

Walking with a camera in Andalucia
Between March 5th – 12th 2016 you can discover the rugged beauty of the Spanish Sierra Nevada through a lens. Casa Ana offers a week of walking in the Alpujarras mountains whilst learning the secrets of landscape photography. Your guide is Stephen Walby, a keen walker and photography tutor at West Dean College in Sussex and your base is Casa Ana where you will be well looked after with first class food, good wines and comfortable accommodation. The holiday will also suit partners or friends who enjoy walking but have no particular interest in photography.

Highlights include learning how to shoot big landscapes whilst exploring the mountains and valleys of the Alpujarras, a day exploring the Moorish architecture and old city of Granada and discovering the secrets of successful sunrise and sunset photography. As well as expert tuition and guided walks, there'll be time out to shop, eat, explore and sample the best local cheeses, ham and wines – or simply relax on the terrace with a cold beer and good company…

The price from 1185 euros includes 7 nights B&B, picnics, lunches and dinners, wines, excursions, local transport and guides. Group numbers are small early booking is advised. For more information and booking ontact Anne Hunt at info@casa-ana.com or visit the Casa Ana website.

The Wainwright Society 2016 Calendar
The Wainwright Society 2016 Calendar has just been published and is now on sale. Once again, the format includes photographs of the Lake District taken by Society members, together with line drawings and quotations from the works of Alfred Wainwright. For the past six years, the Calendar has completely sold out raising thousands of pounds for the Society's designated charities. We know that it is very popular with Walkingworld members and are delighted to continue promoting it.

All profits from the sale of the calendar will be donated to Animal Rescue Cumbria (ARC) and the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association (LDMRSDA). The money will be used by Animal Rescue Cumbria to support their work of taking in unwanted dogs and cats and helping to re-home them. The Search Dogs Association needs funds to replace the training radios of dog handlers, which are a vital part of communication whilst out on the fells.

The price of the calendar has been held at £10 including p&p. The calendar can be purchased direct from the Society website using PayPal.

North Pennines Walking Festival
The North Pennines Walking Festival takes place at the end of September and beginning of October each year. The event was initiated by the Friends of the North Pennines in 2013 and is run by enthusiastic local volunteers who want to share their love of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The walks feature a variety of themes including local history, nature and geology, or more specialist subjects such as photography, art or specific species of plants and animals.

This year's festival celebrates the 50th anniversary of the epic Pennine Way National Trail. On the 30th September Walkingworld's David Stewart, with his friend Andy Bryan, will be leading a fairly strenuous 10 mile hike from Cow Green Reservoir to High Cup Nick, one of the most spectacular geological features on the Pennine Way. Do come and join us!

The Cheese Walk
Walk Herefordshire in association with The Leominster Food Fayre is organising a Cheese Walk on Friday September 4th. To take part meet at the Tourist Information Centre in Corn Square, Leominster at 9.30am for a 7.5 mile walk to Monkland via Ivington Common. Then enjoy a guided tour of Monkland Cheese Dairy. Tickets are Adult £10, Children £8.75, and include entry into Monkland Cheese Dairy. Light refreshments will be available (but are not included in the walk price). www.walkherefordshire.com

3 Peaks Challenge
The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Advantage Africa takes place from 25th-27th September and promises to be great fun. At Walkingworld we have been supporting this really worthwhile charity for several years now, with some of our contributors also contributing their royalties to the cause. The challenge will provide a real sense of achievement from hiking up and between three mountains in 12 hours. Most importantly, the sponsorship raised towards life-changing projects will help build a better future for some of Africa's most vulnerable people. Applications close on September 7th. Find out more