Newsletter > Newsletter archive > February 2017

February 2017


Keeping an eye on the weather
The weather has been much in the news lately. A few days ago Walkingworld's David Stewart had a very bumpy ride in a Search and Rescue helicopter scouring the sides of Scafell Pike for a couple stranded in a storm. Fortunately their twenty-four hour ordeal ended well. They had spent the night in a plastic bivvy bag, cold and miserable but protected from the weather. Their possession of this very simple and inexpensive piece of kit may well have saved their lives.

There are some excellent resources if you are heading into Britain's hills, including the Mountain Weather Information Service. Funding for MWIS appeared to be threatened in late 2016 but it's now secure for at least three years. It's well worth consulting, as is the Scottish Avalanche Information Service if you find yourself in snow covered Scottish mountains. In the Lake District the Weatherline service brings daily reports from two fell top assessors who take it in turns to climb to the summit of Helvellyn to take readings and report on conditions under foot. The service runs throughout the winter and the blog makes good reading even if you are not planning a Lake District hike.

Gladly, for the most part our interest in the weather is much more benign. At Walkingworld HQ we have joined hundreds of thousands of amateur weather watchers by setting up a personal weatherstation. The device is an 'all in one' and measures sunlight, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, humidity and rainfall. For less than £150 this bit of kit uploads continuous weather updates from our station in Barras to a free service called Weather Underground, where current conditions can be viewed by anyone on a web browser or mobile app. Anywhere you go there's quite likely to be a Weather Underground connected weather station nearby, so you can check what's actually happening 'here and now'. If you're interested in setting up your own station get in touch and we'll let you know what how we have done it.

An eagle's eye view
Inntravel has three new self-guided short walking breaks in the Austrian and German Alps, an area they know well having just been recognized as the ‘Best Tour Operator' at the 2017 German National Tourist Office Travel Awards [Feb 2017].

The first break explores stunning Berchtesgadener Land in Germany's Alpine south-east corner, with three nights amid Bavaria's Soaring Peaks. Situated above Königssee, a fjord-like lake beneath the Watzmann Mountain, the luxurious Hotel Alpenhof is the perfect base from which to strike out on foot to visit the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's former retreat, or to sail across the lake to visit the Eiskapelle glacier.

Over the border in Salzburgerland, a second break takes in the Heights of Austria. Three nights in the pretty village of Kaprun provides two full days of walking in the shadow of Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner including one route to the glaciers of the Hohe Tauern National Park.

The third short holiday, Salzburg & Königssee, contrasts rewarding walking amid the breathtaking scenery of Germany's Berchtesgadener Land, with a discovery of the delightful musical city of Mozart, staying two nights in each location.

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

Bavaria's Soaring Peaks
- Self-guided, single-centre walking holiday
- Prices from £515pp, inc. 3 nights' half-board accommodation, return taxi from Salzburg airport, boat trip on Königssee & detailed route notes
- Flights extra (direct to Salzburg from several UK regional airports)
- Available 3 June - 1 October 2017

Got an idea for a community archaeology project?
The Mick Aston Archaeology Fund is looking for volunteer projects that promise original contributions to the study and care of the historic environment. Community archaeology projects have been making some impressive discoveries in the past few years, as well as engaging enthusiastic non-professionals in the exploration of our past. New technologies, which are increasingly easy to use, have opened up many possibilities for small-scale archaeological studies.

Voluntary groups, societies and individuals are invited to put forward proposals to support new or existing research projects. Applications which encourage the participation of young people are very much encouraged. Applicants can ask for a grant of up to £1,000 by filling in an application form on the Council for British Archaeology website.

Events for your diary
Skills for the Hills is a one-day event at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow on 25th March. It runs from 10am to 4pm and entry is only £2 per adult, £1 per child or £5 for a whole family. There are plenty of exhibitors and some interesting talks.

The inaugural Deepdale Hygge takes place on Friday 24th to Sunday 26th March. Friday evening features storytelling and live music. A whole range of local organisations, attractions and activity providers have been invited for the first North Norfolk Coast Hygge Fair.  The one day fair, on Saturday 25th March, is designed to help visitors and locals to discover more about the North Norfolk Coast.  Exhibitors include the National Trust, Go Ape, Deepdale Bike Hire, MarGins Walking & Glamping Holidays and the RSPB. Its free to attend and you can combine your visit with some shopping at the Deepdale Spring Market and lunch at Deepdale Café.

Places are still available on the nine day Annual South Downs Way Walk this June. This is an organised walk along the full 100 mile length of the South Downs Way, one of England's finest national trails. It will take place from 9th to 17th June 2017. For the past 37 years it has been enjoyed by hundreds of people from all over the world. It is, by tradition, a supported rather than a guided walk, with everyone free to walk at their own pace.

Further off, the 7th Isle of Purbeck Walking Festival (previously called the Swanage and Purbeck festival) is scheduled for 16th - 24th September 2017. The programme will offer guided walks both on the coast and in the often overlooked Dorset hinterland. Walking booking for 2017 is not yet open so if you plan to go to the festival make sure you keep an eye on the website.

People
In March Phil Godfrey is starting a 1,400 mile walk to raise awareness and funds for medical charity APS Support UK. Setting off from the western-most point of the Isles of Scilly to the northern tip of the Shetland Islands, Phil will pass through over 70 towns in 16 counties on his five-month trek. The Isles to Islands Walk is a tribute to Phil's wife, Christine. Married in 1972, Phil and Christine enjoyed 42 happy years together. However Christine was diagnosed with APS in 2005 and died in January 2015. Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an under-diagnosed, incurable life-threatening autoimmune condition that causes the blood to clot too quickly. The couple enjoyed many walking holidays together and with this epic journey in Christine's memory Phil hopes to raise £45,000.