Newsletter > Newsletter archive > June 2016
The last journey
Corpse roads can be found in many of the remotest parts of Britain. They come under a variety of names: corpse way, coffin road, bier way, lyke or lych way being just a few. They often pass through bleak and desolate places, partly because landowners feared the routes would become standard passages for trade and travel. The difficulties encountered by the funeral procession as it waded through the mire and across rugged heathland were therefore partly deliberate - no-one would take the route unless they had to.
Corpse roads reflected the desire of the church to keep the people of their parish within the fold, even after death. Not surprisingly the paths became steeped in folklore; tales of ghostly happenings are commonplace and rituals were often performed, particularly at river crossings and crossroads, to prevent the spirits of the dead returning.
The route from Mardale in the Lake District to the burial ground at Shap, featured in this month’s chapter from the Pathways book, is a classic of its kind. The folk from the tiny hamlet of Mardale, now lost under the waters of Haweswater, had to carry their grim cargo up a series of steep zig-zags, over a rough moor and through another dale on that final journey. However the remoteness is an important part of its charm for today’s walker, with fantastic views across the Lake District fells and Eden Valley. You can read the Corpse Road chapter from Pathways here (and don't forget you can get the whole book on your Kindle for just £1.99).
Ibiza’s little sister
Our modest portfolio of walks on Ibiza’s close neighbour, Formentera, is now complete and we have eight walks available that cover all the interesting parts of the island. To make life as easy as possible for those visiting just for the day, there are three walks that start and finish at the ferry terminal, thus avoiding the need to hire transport or use the rather limited public transport system. There are ferries to and from Ibiza throughout the day and evening.
Walking on Formentera is generally much easier than on Ibiza although some of the rocky foreshore areas can be hard on your footwear. There is also less shade on the island than on its bigger neighbour.
Our local contributor, Jim Arymar, urges you to give Formentera a try – “If you are on a walking holiday in Ibiza don’t forget to set some time aside for a visit to Formentera. You won’t regret it!”
From the mountains to the sea
“A couple of weeks ago, I was in Provence updating the route notes for The Alps to the Mediterranean, one of our most popular French walking holidays”, says Inntravel’s Steve Jack. “Our customers have been enjoying this self-guided route (more or less unchanged) for over 25 years, so, as well as making sure that everything was bang up-to-date, I wanted to understand why it’s such a big draw.
"It didn’t take me long to find out: the first part of the walk, in and around the Mercantour National Park, offers stunning routes amid the dramatic – yet completely unspoiled – mountain scenery of the Alpes Maritimes. Then you get to explore the softer, wooded landscape around Sospel, where our hotel sits serenely on a hillside, its inviting restaurant terrace gazing down on the town and across the valley.
"Then finally it’s time for an exhilarating descent to the Côte d’Azur itself, on a walk that offers sensational views of the glinting Mediterranean and the terracotta Riviera rooftops of the Italianate town of Menton, where our 4-star hotel offers some richly deserved rest and relaxation. For a real sense of journey, and for some richly contrasting scenery, this holiday is hard to beat!”
For more details on Inntravel's wide selection of walking holidays, visit inntravel.co.uk or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.
From the Alps to the Mediterranean
- Self-guided hotel-hotel walking holiday
- Prices from £692pp, inc 6 nights’ B&B accommodation, 4 dinners, 2 picnics, & detailed route notes
- Flights extra (direct from several UK regional airports)
- Available until 31 July & from 1 September-31 October 2016
Nepal one year on
It has been just over one year since the devastating earthquakes of 2015. First Steps Himalaya, a New Zealand charity with long experience in the country, has been hard at work on an earthbag school rebuild programme. They report that life is still extremely difficult in Nepal, with many people living in temporary accommodation and children being taught in unsuitable and cramped temporary learning shelters.
However things are looking up and with the help of a team of volunteers a temporary learning centre has been transformed into a wonderful new six room school at Mulkharka.
First Steps Himalaya operates a programme of ‘Beyond the Clouds’ trips, all the profits of which go to support their work in Nepal. There are trips scheduled for 2016 and 2017 to Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. We know that Walkingworld members have enjoyed these trips in the past, gaining an insight into the region and knowing that their money is going to a good cause.
The Red Rox Events & Fundraising 24-Hour Challenge (12-14 August) promises to be a memorable experience, hiking Ben Nevis, Ben Macdui and Braeriach and embracing the breathtaking scenery of Scotland’s highest mountains. This 36-mile endurance event will take courage and determination and allow participants to make an impact for their chosen cause or charity.
The Barmouth Walking Festival runs for 10 days from Saturday 17 to Monday the 27th September. It is in one of Britain’s best walking areas with spectacular coastal and mountain scenery. Apart from the well-known peak Cader Idris much of it is under-walked.
Bath's Roman Baths will be opening until 10pm during July and August for a special season of torchlit summer evenings. In the heart of Bath, the Roman Baths is a magnificent ancient temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain's only hot spring, which still flows with naturally hot water today. Visitors can walk around the Great Bath where people bathed nearly 2,000 years ago, see the ruins of the temple of Minerva where Roman worshippers gathered, and explore the Roman Baths museum. During Torchlit Summer Evenings the Roman Baths will be open until 10pm. Last entry is 9pm. Adult tickets for the Roman Baths cost £15.50 in July and August.
Hot on the heels of his 80th birthday, Satish Kumar is making a 50-mile pilgrimage from the source of the River Thames to Oxford in September, for a 3-day event celebrating Resurgence Magazine’s 50th anniversary. The UK’s longest standing environmental magazine, Resurgence has been hailed by the Guardian as ‘the spiritual and artistic flagship of the green movement’. Reaching Oxford on 21st September, the pilgrimage will raise the curtain on a three-day event commemorating Resurgence’s 50 years at the forefront of the Green Movement.
Jay Ryde has made a superb video based on Dennis Jeane’s Walkingworld walk at Totternhoe in Bedfordshire (3587). He now has quite a portfolio of films of Walkingworld walks but this one is a real step up, with aerial footage (shot by himself using a drone) and a contribution from a local archaeologist on the ancient remains seen on the route.