Newsletter > Newsletter archive > March 2013
Well and truly snowed in
Just a few weeks after standing on the top of a Lake District fell and thinking that the first breath of spring was on its way, we are now completely blocked in, surrounded by great drifts of snow and battered by a bitter easterly wind. Walkingworld HQ sits on a Cumbrian hillside some 1250 feet above sea level, so we’re fairly used to these conditions; just not at this time of year. And, to be fair, being snowed in is quite pleasant for us. We light the stoves, hunker down and only go out to take the dog for his two daily walks (which he absolutely insists on having because he loves the snow).
It is definitely not so good for the sheep – which are either lambing or close to it – or the farmers who have to battle through the drifts to deliver fodder. Every day the road is dug out to allow a tractor or quad bike through and almost immediately it refills again. Our neighbours Alan and Fiona Alderson featured in an article in The Telegraph at the weekend which aptly describes the difficulties faced by hill farmers in such unseasonal weather.
Meanwhile the local Mountain Rescue Team (of which David is a member) responded to eight incidents in a single day, as motorists got caught out by windblown snow. The majority were led astray by satnavs offering tantalising alternative routes when the trans-Pennine A66 is closed. The problem is that these routes are on minor roads that cross even higher passes, so the end result is almost inevitable. It’s a timely reminder about not relying too much on technology, whether out walking or driving. A good map can tell you so much!
Talking of which, there’s still time to join us on Easter Saturday and Sunday for our Open Day with GPS Training and Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue. It’s a great opportunity to brush up your navigation skills with the help of the Mountain Rescue team members. If the forecasted trends are correct both days should be cold and dry, so it’ll be a question of dressing up warm! You can just turn up on the day but it’s better to book in advance.
Walking in the Secret Apennines
The remote and often overlooked mountains of Italy’s Apennine range conceal one of the country’s most magnificent walking regions. This month, Inntravel’s featured holiday explores the spectacular landscapes between the great cities of Florence and Bologna. Here, traditional villages cluster on the lower slopes of dramatic peaks rising to nearly 2,000 metres, and inviting paths lead up through thick, majestic woodland of beech, oak and chestnut to the high mountains. To match the wonderful walking you will enjoy a robust, hearty cuisine, featuring hand-made pasta, wild mushrooms and truffles, accompanied by the best Emilian and Tuscan wines.
This is very much ‘off the tourist trail’; authentic rural Italy, where the welcome is genuine and warm. You walk through chestnut woods and wild valleys; follow part of the Freedom Trail that celebrates the partisan resistance during the Second World War; and ascend broad ridges to reach the lofty peaks of Il Corno and La Nuda. On your discovery of the Secret Apennines, you stay in four traditional family-run hotels, as proud of their history and heritage as they are of their delicious cuisine.
For more walking holidays in the Italy, take a look at Inntravel’s website, or speak to their expert team on 01653 617034.
The first walking festival covering the whole of the North Pennines is being held this autumn, from September 28th to October 6th. The event grew from a desire to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Wainwright’s 'Pennine Journey', a 247 mile long distance walk which traverses both the east and west sides of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), but there will be other shorter walks to enjoy. The programme is being finalised; you can keep up to date with it at www.northpennineswalkingfestival.org.uk
In another AONB, the 2013 Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival takes place from the 18th May - 2nd June. This very popular Festival, now in its ninth year, attracted over 4600 people last year. A variety of over 100 walks allow you to discover this beautiful area. Programme request call 01529- 461499 or see www.woldswalkingfestival.co.uk
Even further north, Unst Walkers are Welcome celebrate being the first island to join the ‘Walkers are Welcome’ scheme we featured last month. Learn more on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Unst-Walkers-are-Welcome/498104086893341
St Basils Walk is now in its 15th year. The walk takes place in a different location each year and the 2013 route will be a circular trek across stunning Shropshire countryside just west of Church Stretton. The challenge is for teams of 3-6 people and participants can choose between a 13 mile route or, for the more adventurous, a 26 mile route which will take walkers across Shropshire’s amazing Stiper Stones. St Basils, aim to give young people aged 16-25 a brighter future, not just helping them find a safe and stable home but working to develop their confidence, skills and opportunities. www.stbasils.org.uk/walk
Leukaemia Busters ‘Purbeck Odyssey’ Charity walk is on Saturday 29 June around the magnificent Isle of Purbeck. There’s a choice of six walks to suit all abilities for a great cause, some including a ride on a steam train on the Swanage Railway. www.leukaemiabusters.org.uk
Wensleydale Rotary Club is holding its annual charity walk, the Wensleydale Wander, on Saturday 6th April. There is a choice of two circular walks, one a 22 mile challenge and a shorter one of 12 miles, both starting and finishing in Leyburn.This year's principal charity is Arthritis Research UK, but walkers are welcome to raise money for a charity of their choice. www.wensleydale.rotary1040.org.
A Downs Dash, on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May, involves joining a small group completing the first 40 miles of the South Downs Way for children’s charity Dreams Come True. The registration fee is £50 and includes overnight accommodation, meals, a guide, a celebratory drink at the end and fund raising tips and ideas. Fund raising target is £100. A wonderful walk with stunning views and camaraderie guaranteed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Seven Sister South Downs Way Walk – Saturday 25th May – takes place in the Eastbourne Downs using parts of the inland and coastal South Downs Way. You can choose from 25.3, 15.3 or 8.7 mile routes. This event is mainly to benefit the Firefighters Charity but the organisers have no objection to anyone joining and fund raising for their own good cause. Light refreshments and water at check points and medals for all finishers. £10 entry fee. www.fssaa.com/seven%20sisters.html