Newsletter > Newsletter archive > January 2014
What’s your favourite quirky feature?
This year we’re planning a weekly feature in a national publication to highlight all those fascinating little outdoor features that are so easily missed, but which cast a revealing light on our natural and historical heritage. Summit cairns, gravestones, memorials, mileposts, follies, outdoor sculptures, caves and tunnels, unusual geological formations, standing stones, bridges; they can all tell a story about our past. We all know of the classic spots – Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, King Arthur’s Seat – but what of the obscure ones that just a few people know about, that reveal something of our ‘hidden history’?
One of our favourites is Lacy’s Caves, a bizarre folly on a remote stretch of the River Eden in Cumbria. Five chambers have been carved out of the soft red sandstone, reached by a narrow path two or three metres above river level. The caves are named after Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Lacy of nearby Salkeld Hall, who commissioned them in the 18th century. They were used by Lacy for entertaining guests and the area around about was originally planted with ornamental gardens. Some of the rhododendron bushes can still be found. He is also said to have hired a ‘hermit’ to add a touch of authenticity to the occasion. You can visit them on one of our walks (which also happens to be a free sample one if you’re not a subscriber).
We would really like to hear about your own favourite quirky feature to be found on a walk in our countryside or in one of our towns or cities. It could be a place that makes you smile, or gives you an insight into past lives, or throws a light on a particular subject. We have set up a page where you can post your ideas. We would like them to be places on a Walkingworld walk but it doesn’t need to be one you have submitted yourself. If there is no Walkingworld walk there already we can help you create one. It’s a good way of making sure your own favourite ‘hidden feature’ doesn’t get forgotten.
Walkingworld badges go towards a satellite dish
Last year Walkingworld members raised £500 for Moutain Rescue from purchases of our Walkingworld enamel and sew-on badges. The money is to be spent by Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team (one of the Lake District teams) on satellite equipment for a new mobile internet connection. Internet communication is becoming more and more important in the coordination of searches for casualties and for dealing with civil emergencies, like flooding.
Teams are now able to track their mountain rescue volunteers using GPS coordinates transmitted by VHS radio. They are also able to keep the other emergency services up to date on progress using online reporting. However this all assumes that one has an internet connection and in the deep valleys in which operations are often conducted it’s not always possible to get a signal back to the team base in Kirkby Stephen. The new satellite internet service will allow the team to operate from a control vehicle anywhere in their area. So thank you everyone who bought a badge – it could save lives. You can find out more about the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team and gen up on how to enjoy safe hill walking on the team’s ‘Safe in the Hills’ website.
Walk the Camino de Santiago - Coastal Route
Hike Pyrenees are specialists in small group holidays in the Spanish Pyrenees offering guided and self guided walking holidays. Their base in the Spanish Pyrenees is surrounded by spectacular scenery and the loftiest peaks in the range, and the walking ranges from scenic strolls in meadows to long hikes in the high mountains.
New for 2014 is the ‘Camino de Santiago - Northern Route’, and the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims through the ages. The Northern or Coastal Way follows the Basque coastline with its beaches, cliffs and fishing villages. You spend the night in beautiful rural and beach accommodation and your bags are moved each day.
You can order their summer 2014 brochure online or give them a call on 0208 123 5049.
A luxury walking holiday in Menorca
Menorca is one of the Mediterranean's last undiscovered outdoor holiday gems, with deserted golden beaches, hidden coves and lush flower-filled countryside. The luxury walking holidays offered by Balearic Outdoor Holidays are a top quality introduction to this wonderfully diverse island, at the sort of price you would expect to pay for a standard one. The price of £783 includes superb country hotel accommodation, seven fantastic suppers with near Michelin star quality food, a pre-supper drink and all the wine with your meal, five wonderful picnics and five fully guided walks with two guides and backup vehicle.
Interested? There’s a short film on the Balearic Outdoor Holidays website showing what you can expect should you decide to join them during weeks of 2nd or 30th May 2014. For full information about luxury walking on Menorca and other walking holidays on the Balearic Islands, take a look at the Balearic Outdoor Holidays website or call freephone 0800 072 4832 if you'd like to make a reservation or need any more information. Other holidays for singles and cycling are also available.
The joys of coastal walking…and the chance to win some great prizes
Coastal walking is hugely enjoyable, not only for ever-changing view of cliffs, coves and headlands, but also in simple terms of route-finding. If you are heading south along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, for example, the sea should be on your right most of the way. If it’s not, you might want to check your notes!
Inntravel first featured The Lycian Way as one of their self-guided walking holidays four years ago and the area has proved so popular that you can now follow another part which explores the westernmost section, dominated by The Seven Capes. The terrain is rugged in places but the rewards are more than worth the effort, as you discover remnants of ancient civilisations, deserted beaches, small wayside tavernas, and comfortable family-run hotels where you can put up your feet, take off your rucksack and relax.
Talking of rucksacks, Inntravel are currently running a competition with specialist travel bag maker Millican in which one lucky winner will walk away with a £500 voucher (redeemable against any Inntravel holiday taken during 2014); while two runners-up will each receive a Millican daypack, inspired by classic alpine rucksacks. Click on this link and answer three simple questions to be in with a chance (closing date 16 Feb 2014).
For more walking holidays in Europe, take a look at Inntravel’s website, or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.
ride2stride is a festival of walks, talks and music along the famous Settle-Carlisle railway line, 29th April – 5th May. It's a week long celebration of the wonderful landscape and culture of the western Dales and Eden Valley. The festival is made up of lots of events and activities along the length of the line. Walks will be led from stations by experienced walk leaders. Speakers will share their local knowledge and love of the area, and the pubs will be buzzing with music and song.
Frontier Holidays have a ‘walking festival’ in Andalucia running from the 24th February for a week. It’s a holiday that takes advantage of local festival events and mixes them with everything from cooking to star gazing.
Member news and offers
Members Richard and Alex Johnson have an exclusive offer for a week’s walking holiday in the beautiful Lot department of south-west France in 2014. They have been providing walking holidays from their B&B for 9 years and if you book a week’s walking holiday for two people in 2014 the price for Walkingworld members is reduced from 742 euros to 710 euros. This is for 2 people sharing and includes 7 nights B&B plus 6 evening dinners! See www.jardin-segala.com for full details and mention OFFER WW2014 when booking. The offer applies for any booking completed before the end of March 2014.
Stuart Forbes has written an Android app which makes the process of completing a route card much quicker. You can enter two OS grid references and it calculates the distance and bearing between the two points, so it is really useful as a quick way to complete a route card or just as a safety tool to check that your route card is correct.