Newsletter > Newsletter archive > August 2017

August 2017


Walkingworld app update
We are a couple of weeks into testing the new Walkingworld app, with around a hundred people willing to give it a try. We have been testing it as thoroughly as we can during development but nothing beats a whole bunch of walkers coming to it fresh and using it 'in anger' on some real walks.

We have identified a few bugs and been given some ideas, some of which we can include immediately and others which may have to wait for a future release. It's actually quite hard to release an app which we know could be even better but we don't want to hold back too long now. We'll learn far more as you and others start to use it.

We know that our most popular walks are in the countryside, passing a pub or two if at all possible. For country walks Ordnance Survey's Landranger and Explorer maps are without doubt the best and this is what you'll get by default (providing you are a Walkingworld subscriber). However we have been pleasantly surprised at how good the Ordnance Survey 'standard' mapping is for city and town walks, so there's the option to switch to this style of map if you like. The screenshot above is an example in London.

It's still possible to be a beta tester if you would like to try the app straight away. Just contact us - please mention if your device is iOS or Android and make sure the email you give is your Apple ID or the one for your Google account.

A new hill forts atlas
Hill forts make a fantastic destination for a walk. Perched on lofty ridges and promontories they promise spectacular views and a glimpse into a distant past. A research team funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has spent the last four years sifting and recording information on all the hill forts identified across Britain and Ireland. It has just launched an online atlas of all the forts reaching its criteria.

The project has resulted in well over 4000 confirmed and possible hill forts, some large and well known and others pretty much hidden away. While some of the monuments are on private land and would require the landowner's permission to visit, many are crossed by public footpaths or are on ‘open access' land. The details of each fort are available on a public website using the latest mapping technology. It takes a little while to load but it's worth it.

Walking along Spain's Costa de La Luz
For this autumn, winter and spring, Inntravel have introduced a new walking holiday, exploring the rich history and long sandy beaches that light up the Costa de la Luz in southernmost Spain.

Staying in two bases, Vejer de la Frontera and Tarifa, mainland Europe's most southerly point, this leisurely self-guided walking holiday (with hire car) allows you to discover historic whitewashed towns, Roman remains and Moorish watchtowers, windswept Cape Trafalgar, plus rolling sand dunes, pine woods and the wetlands of two natural parks, with the mountains of Morocco ever-present on the not-too-distant horizon. 

"Even this far south you somehow don't expect North Africa to be that close", says James Keane, Inntravel's Spain & Portugal expert, "but there it is, not a hazy smudge on the horizon, but tall mountains just across the sea from Tarifa. It's a constant reminder of how and why AndalucĂ­a's history and culture came to be inextricably linked with those of North Africa."

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

Costa de la Luz
- Two-centre, self-guided walking holiday
- Prices from £635pp, inc 7 nights' B&B accommodation, 2 dinners, 7 days' car hire, detailed route notes & maps
- Flights extra (direct from several UK regional airports)
- Available from 18 September-15 December 2017 & 2 January-31 May 2018

Finding the right waterproof jacket
There is a wide variety of waterproof jackets. Waterproof should mean waterproof - guaranteed to keep the water out – but fabrics, features and price all have a bearing on performance. So what should you look for when deciding? Taunton Leisure have some tips…

What is the garment for? Jackets will cope with a range of activities, but a longer heavier jacket for walking year round is perhaps not ideal for cycling to work. You may decide you need two. A lightweight, easily packable jacket is ideal for summer months or biking, coupled with a longer, more substantial one, for rougher weather.

Do make sure you try the hood. When it's pouring down, windy and unpleasant you want a hood that fits well, maintains vision and keeps the rain out. Look for a hood that adjusts, usually with drawcords, both around the face and at the back for volume. Then when you move your head the hood moves with you.

Check whether the jacket has the pockets you need, both internal and external. Lots of jackets feature a 'map pocket'. Large enough for a folded OS map, they are usually under the storm flap covering the front zip. The exterior pockets on jackets are not usually guaranteed waterproof - it's difficult to keep the water out when you open them up. Pocket linings vary, from light breathable mesh to fully sealed fabric constructions.

For more helpful buying advice and a great range of waterproof jackets for all activities check out the Taunton Leisure website.

Events
The inaugural Deepdale Festival takes place on Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th September at Deepdale Backpackers & Camping, welcoming bands from Norfolk and the East of England for a weekend of live music. There will be live music on Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday lunchtime across various stages.

Chilterns Walking Festival runs from Saturday 16th September to Sunday 1st October. The programme includes themed walks, and opportunities to discover lively stories and scenic landscapes associated with the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  These include a walk round the environs of Hughenden Manor, home to the flamboyant Benjamin Disraeli; a walk past the notorious Helfire Caves, before a climb to Sir Francis Dashwoods' mausoleum and the Golden Ball; and a series of three walks focused on the beautiful central Chilterns landscape before it changes forever with the advent of HS2 railway.

Formentera in the Balearics has launched an initiative aimed at raising funds to conserve the Posidonia, an oceanic marine plant vital to the local ecosystem. In October (12th-15th), the Save Posidonia Festival includes a stand up paddle boarding 'loop' around the entire coastline of Formentera, 'live art' exhibitions, music events, cinema screenings and a mass beach clean-up. Formentera is a great destination for walking – we have a library of walks on the island – and of course you can combine a visit with a stay in Ibiza.