Newsletter > Newsletter archive > January 2011

January 2011 

Making plans for 2011
2010 was a pretty busy year for us. The new website in particular was a big undertaking. We also spent much of the year researching for a book on historic footpaths. It meant travelling to all corners of the British Isles, from Cornwall to the north-west coast of Scotland, walking old paths and taking hundreds of photographs. It’s been great fun and we hope that the end result will be an interesting read. The book is at the designers right now and is scheduled for publication in May. So watch this space, as they say.

In the meantime thoughts are inevitably turning to holidays, whether that’s a winter break or grand plans for the summer. So this newsletter definitely has a holiday theme. There are ideas for going abroad on a ‘do-it-yourself’ basis, some charity treks you can join and organised holidays from two of our favourite walking holiday operators.

Winter walking on Ibiza
Winteribizaa.jpgJim and Gina Arymar have been busy adding new walks on Ibiza. Soon there will be an additional five hikes on the website making a total of thirteen which, between them, offer an excellent insight into the timeless Ibiza countryside, spectacular scenery and history of that lovely island. Four of the new ones are a little strenuous. However they are all well within the capability of any reasonably fit and properly equipped walker and the rewards are sure to be worth the effort.
 
Ryanair continues to offer direct flights twice a week from Stansted between the end of October and May and a good range of hotel and hostal accommodation and reasonably priced car hire is available. Public transport to and from most walk starts is a little hard to come by in the winter and car or scooter hire is the best option.
 
If you are looking for a winter walking destination, perhaps for a small group, do consider the island. Its historic capital is a world heritage site, with some fascinating archaeology. The lovely countryside is coupled with a generally mild climate. February is gorgeous. Spring has sprung and the almond blossom abounds. The walks and more guidance on where to stay from Jim and Gina can be found on our Ibiza walks page

Bavaria by foot 
Inntravel012011.jpgFrom the ornately frescoed houses of traditional Alpine villages to the awe-inspiring majesty of Germany’s highest peak, southern Bavaria is an intriguing and delightfully surprising region to explore on foot, and holiday company Inntravel is keen to showcase this region on a new self-guided walking holiday this summer.
 
The holiday begins in the traditional village of Mittenwald high in the Karwendal Alps, close to the border with Austria, where you can breathe in the crisp mountain air whilst soaking up far-reaching views. Inviting paths take you past glittering blue lakes, impressive castles, rugged winding gorges - and beneath the mighty Zugspitze, the centrepiece of a dramatic, ever-present mountain backdrop.

Cog railway and cable cars ease the ascents while ornately decorated hotels in idyllic villages provide a peaceful setting in which to relax over a well-earned dinner of delicious Bavarian cuisine.
 
To find out more about holidays in Bavaria you can order your Inntravel brochure online, or speak to one of their experts by calling 01653 617929.

Where will you go for your next walking holiday?
HFHolidays012011.jpgWith almost 100 years’ experience, HF Holidays is Britain’s leading provider of outdoor and leisure activity holidays. It is a co-operative society, and was winner of ‘best large tour operator’ in the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards for 2010. 

The new year is always a good time to plan holidays and there are plenty of ideas for 2011, including new Unmissable Britain, showcasing the best of the UK, and new destinations in Sicily, Greece, France, USA and Mexico. 

For more information visit www.hfholidays.co.uk or call 0845 470 8559 for a brochure.

Great savings on Páramo
There are four fantastic offers from Páramo to kick start the New Year. Whatever adventure you’re planning for 2011 it’s a good idea to choose high performance, long lasting gear to make your escapade even more comfortable. Páramo currently have some excellent Gear up & go! offers, allowing you to make some substantial savings on their award-winning outdoor gear.

The offers comprise a £78 saving on effective waterproofs for extreme environments, £58 off multi-active waterproofs, 31% on a clever fleece and windproof combo and 33% on great year-round reversible baselayers. We have been using Páramo kit ourselves for many years, from waterproofs to the reversible baselayers, and can thoroughly recommend it.

Go to www.paramo.co.uk/gearup to check out what’s on offer and where to buy. But note that these offers end 27th February 2011.

Discounted rail travel in Scotland
Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) members can enjoy a 50% discount on tickets from ScotRail for journeys on the Highland lines in winter 2011. The 50% discount offer is available on the following routes (includes intermediate stations): Fort William to Mallaig, Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness to Wick/Thurso. This offer is valid until the 31st March 2011. Full details can be found on the Short Term Offers page on the MCofS website.

Charity events
Macmillan
have two upcoming walks in the north of England. The Hamsterley Forest Walk, Sunday 3rd April 2011, offers woodland of outstanding natural beauty. At the end of the walk, you can treat yourself to a well-earned rest and a slice of delicious homemade cake in the tearoom.  Minimum sponsorship is £25; if you raise over £100 you get a freeMacmillan t-shirt. Tyne Stride, Sunday 22nd May, is a family friendly 5 mile walk starting at Baltic Square in Gateshead, crossing the Millennium Bridge and following cycle paths east along the Quayside. Walkers will set off together at 10am.

firststepsannapurnaa.jpgYou can join Durga Aran, Founding Director of First Steps Himalaya on a trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary in the Nepal Himalaya. This is a spectacular trek into the natural amphitheatre of the Annapurna Sanctuary surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks including Machapuchare (6997m), Himchuli (6441m), Annapurna 1 (8091m) and Annapurna South (7273m). Following the trek there is a visit to the charity’s project base at Sangachok where there is basic but comfortable accommodation and you can experience daily life with a local family and contribute your skills to the project work. All profits from this trek support First Steps Himalaya work in Nepal. The trek runs from Friday 18th March to Thursday April 7th 2011 (20 night trip with 8 night trek) and costs £990. www.firststepshimalaya.org

Peter Harper is about to complete all 214 fells collectively known as ‘The Wainwrights’, featured in the seven volumes of Alfred Wainwright’s ‘Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells'. He started with Helvellyn in May 2005 and on March 28th 2011 will, if all goes to plan, be found at the top of his final peak, Starling Dodd. To celebrate, Peter is raising money for The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association on his Justgiving page. Peter says, “Many people think that mountain rescue is government funded, but it is entirely dependent on donations, so I hope that you will agree that this is a worthy cause and give generously.” Quite so.

Between April 27th and May 17th 2011, a group will be undertaking a long distance walk to raise funds for a children's home and school in Nepal. The walk will be based on Guy Hunter-Watts’ new guide The Andalucían Coast to Coast Walk, a 21 day, 430 kilometre trail through the mountains of southern Spain. Each of the legs is a beautiful walk in its own right, covering a distance of between 16 and 27 kilometres and well within the capabilities of anyone of sound health who walks on a regular basis. The hope is that all of those who participate will walk for a minimum of two days and will raise funds through sponsorship from friends and family. www.helpingnepalschildren.org