Newsletter > Newsletter archive > February 2011

February 2011
 

Walkingworld wins awards!
The good people at ViewRanger, the mobile phone software company, have given Walkingworld an award as ‘best walking guide publisher’. ViewRanger has blazed the trail in providing Ordnance Survey mapping and GPS functions for iPhone, Android and Symbian phones. The application allows Walkingworld subscribers to download walks direct to the phone at no extra cost. We’re delighted that they regard us as the best, above the AA, the Ramblers and others, thanks, they say, to the sheer range of routes and the clarity of the instructions.

Not only that, one of our walks got the 2010 Most Popular Route Award, based on the total downloads in the year. The top three routes downloaded in ViewRanger during the year were on Snowdon, Scafell Pike, and Ben Nevis. But the winner was Jim Grindle’s ‘Snowdon Summit via the Miners and Pyg Tracks’ (Walk ID 267). Funnily enough it is usually the most downloaded route from the website every year. Well done, Jim, but maybe it’s time we spread ourselves around more and gave poor old Snowdon a bit of a rest!

Good news for SatMap owners
The technical folk at SatMap have been hard at work making Walkingworld routes compatible with the SatMap GPS device. Now when you download a GPX file for a Walkingworld walk and import it into your SatSYNC application, you’ll get all the instructions and the pictures as well as the waymarks, all in a format that then exports to the SatMap.

When following the route the waymarks show on the map as normal. Select to see information on a waymark and up pops the photograph and the instruction set. Essentially you can follow the route exactly as it is described in the standard Walkingworld guide, but without having to print it out. Don't forget to take a paper map with you, though, just in case!

For a step-by-step guide to importing Walkingworld routes into the SatMap, for both Mac and PC users, download this PDF.

Review: Granite and Grit
graniteandgrit1.jpg‘Granite and Grit: A Walker’s Guide to the Geology of the British Mountains’ is now out in paperback, having previously been published in a more expensive hardback format. The book unashamedly focusses on mountains over 2000ft, so it’s very definitely aimed at the hillwalker. Britain’s geology is extraordinarily complex but Ronald Turnbull approaches the story from the walker’s point of view, explaining not just why rocks and strata look the way they do, but also why they feel so different to walk and climb upon. There is plenty of technical jargon for those who want it; however it is always clarified in layman’s language. On top of that you’ll find page after page of colour photographs and plenty of wit to keep a potentially difficult subject from becoming too dry.

All in all this is a fabulous book. It’s too big to carry around in your rucksack but it warrants reading from cover to cover to get the gist of Britain’s unique geological history. And then you’ll have it to go back to whenever you are visiting a particular part of the country. Recommended retail price is around £17 but it can currently be got for £5 or £6 less from Amazon.

Wainwright calendar sale
WainwrightKSMRTb.jpgThose who bought the lovely Wainwright calendars in the run up to Christmas will be delighted to know that they helped to raise £9000 for Mountain Rescue. Out of that total sum the Wainwright Society has chosen to give a whopping £1600 to Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team, of which David is a member. The money has been used to buy snow chains for the team’s three Landrovers, plus winch cables (very useful when you get stuck!).

Like most Mountain Rescue teams, Kirkby Stephen now go out regularly in support of the ambulance service when, as in December, snow blocks most minor roads. A Landrover with snow chains can get places a standard ambulance has no chance of going, so for the people of Cumbria it really can be the difference between life and death. So thank you all those who bought the calendars – there’ll be another one next year in support of the Lake District Calvert Trust which we’ll tell you all about when the time comes.

Walking holidays in the Spanish Pyrenees
hikepyrenees211b.jpgThe deep canyons of the Ordesa National Park are a highlight of the Pyrenees and packed full of fantastic hiking. There’s a huge range of walks from rambles in alpine meadows to cliff hugging ‘faja’ paths set high in the valley walls that will really take your breath away.

Discover the best the park has to offer with Hike Pyrenees who specialise in walking holidays in Ordesa. Their Discover Ordesa guided walking holiday offers a choice of two guided walks each day, a low level and a high level option. If you prefer a self guided walking holiday Hike Pyrenees get you straight to the best spots with their detailed route cards and advice.

Walkingworld readers save £50 when booking. For more information visit the Hike Pyrenees website or call 020 8123 5049.

The Emerald Isle
KillarneyRossCastleb.jpgIreland certainly lives up to its colourful name, with vivid green landscapes of lush fields, rolling hills and lofty mountains leading westwards to stop abruptly at the dramatic Atlantic coastline, where myriad tranquil islands sit like gems amid a foaming sea. Discover this and so much more with holiday company Inntravel who offer two new walking holidays here this year.

There’s nowhere more suited to slowing down and easing into the rhythms of local life than in this rural land where you can wander through the splendour of the Wicklow Mountains or make a leisurely journey round Ireland’s South-West, exploring the Ring of Kerry, watching mighty Atlantic rollers crashing onto the isolated Sheep’s Head Peninsula or searching the sea for dolphins after a ride on Ireland’s only cable car. And, as the sun sets, retire to the convivial atmosphere of a real Irish pub for some genuine craic and a drop of the ‘black stuff’!

To find out more about holidays in Ireland you can order your Inntravel brochure online, or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617929.

Charity events
Bridget Glynne-Jones, through her company b-footloose, has organised a challenge walk for charity Dreams Come True based in Midhurst. The 5 day walk covers the length of the South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne with all accommodation and meals provided. The dates are 19th - 23rd May 2011. Participants are encouraged to raise £500. The registration fee is £100. Contact Martin Neal on 01730 815000/0800 0886013 for an application form or visit www.dctc.org.uk for more details.

StRichards211b.jpgSt Richard's Hospice is holding its 27th Annual Malvern Hills Walk, with three routes available of 2, 5 and 11 miles. The walk is on Saturday 21st May. It’s a fine part of the country so you can bring a picnic and enjoy the stunning views. There is no registration fee but walkers are asked to raise as much sponsorship money as possible. Last year over £22,000 was raised towards the £5.2 million running costs  of the hospice. Sign up by downloading the registration form on www.strichards.org.uk/malvernwalk or call the fundraising department for more information on 01905 763 963.

Festival
20-22 May 2011 sees the second Winchcombe Cotswolds Walking Festival. Based in the north of the Cotswolds, it’s a weekend of guided walks and social events. www.winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com