Newsletter > Newsletter archive > September 2011

September 2011

Autumn breaks
Lac de MontriondHaving just got back from a couple of weeks in the French Alps we appreciate that we got the best deal, weather-wise. While parts of Britain were being battered by the remnants of a hurricane, we were basking in hot sunshine under cloudless blue skies. We feel quite smug. In fact the Alps regularly have the opposite weather to us at home, for the simple reason that a low pressure system over Britain is often accompanied by a high over the continent.

There are other good reasons for spending part of the autumn abroad, if you can. Outside of the main holiday seasons travel and accommodation can be very good value. And the further south you go the pleasanter the weather is. In the south of Spain it’s really too hot to walk far in the height of summer. Spring and autumn are the times to go. The glorious autumn colours in every part of Europe are a bonus.

The day before we left the Haute Savoie we did a walk through the mixed woodlands above a deep green lake, the Lac de Montriond. To give you a flavour of the place we have made the walk free to download. There’s also some background information on the area, how to get there and where to stay - just click 'Haute Savoie' in the area list for the walk. If you would like more advice on visiting this part of the French Alps near Geneva please get in touch.

Another great place to go at this time of year is, of course, Andalucia in Spain. There are plenty of walks on the website and Inntravel, below, have fully organised holiday in Almeria.

Want to brush up on your hill skills?
We're looking forward to the Navigation Open Day taking place on October 22nd at Mungrisdale, Cumbria. It's free to attend and you can learn all about GPS, geocaching and the like from our friends at GPS Training. With members of Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team we'll be running workshops on map reading and using a compass. Then on the Sunday there's an opportunity to hone your map and compass skills on a fell near Kirkby Stephen with members of the team. Find out more and book your workshops

Website tip
If you find that the time a walk takes to complete is different from what we quote on the website, you can change the settings. By default we assume that you will be walking at 4 kilometres an hour. If you find that always finish walks quicker you could try increasing this to 5 kilometres an hour. Our time estimate also includes an allowance for the extra time taken to climb uphill. We use the well-known Naismith’s Rule which adds an extra 10 minutes for every 100 metres climbed. You can see the height gain for each walk, which is the value we use to make this calculation. Basically we just do the arithmetic for you.

Finally if you want the estimate to include the time you take for breaks you can add this as a percentage. If you reckon you spend an extra 20% on top  of walking time having lunch or enjoying the view, you can add this percentage onto the calculated time. You can make all these adjustments by logging in and then clicking ‘Change my details’ at the very top of the page.

Amazing colours of Almería
Around GenovesesHaving worked for walking holiday specialists Inntravel for more years than she cares to remember, Alison García Hall has travelled the length and breadth of Spain while creating and tending Inntravel’s holidays on the Iberian peninsula. You would expect her, therefore, to be spoiled for choice when asked to name her favourite place, but she answers almost instantly:

“It has to be Almería in the south-easternmost corner of Andalucia,” she declares, leaving no room for doubt. “It’s where the desert meets the sea and the colours are amazing – muted reds, burnt oranges, the green of date palms – and it’s fabulous at pretty much any time of year. I love the silence too: it’s a great place to get away from it all as you can completely disconnect. It feeds the soul!”

For details of Inntravel’s 7-night hotel-to-hotel walking holiday along the Coast of Almería – and many more wonderfully slow holidays for autumn, winter and spring – you can order a brochure online or speak to one of Inntravel’s experts by calling 01653 617034.

Three Peaks survey
IngleboroughVisitors to the beautiful Three Peaks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being asked to help shape future conservation plans. A survey has been launched to try to find out why and how people come to the area and what problems they encounter as they hike up and down Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

Steve Hastie, Area Ranger and Three Peaks Project Manager, describes the key issue: “Roughly 250,000 walkers come here every year. They have a huge impact on the footpaths and on the flora and fauna; our priority is to try to lessen that impact and bring about positive benefits. To do that we need to understand how and why people use the area and what improvements are needed from their point of view.”

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a free draw to win a year's membership to the Friends of the Three Peaks and some exclusive merchandise. 

Keen on the Lakes?
Lakeland WalkerLakeland Walker is the only walking magazine devoted entirely to the Lake District. Every issue contains at least 10 walks in the region. Established in 1996, it’s a bi-monthly publication packed full of easy-to-follow walks in the Lake District illustrated with stunning photography. There’s also regular news from the National Park, events, gear reviews and exclusive reader offers.

Most of the magazine’s enthusiastic contributors live in the Lakes and know the National Park like the back of their own hands and every walk they recommend includes precise, step-by-step directions and an accurate Harveys map. As well as some of the classics, they will introduce you to some fascinating, lesser-known routes. Lakeland Walker are offering Walkingworld members a special subscription price of £9.50 by direct debit for 6 months (3 issues) or £19.95 by credit card/debit card for a year (6 issues).

2011 Wainwright Memorial Lecture
Hunter Davies, noted author and Patron of The Wainwright Society will deliver the 2011 Wainwright Memorial Lecture on Friday 28 October at 7 pm at the Rheged Centre, near Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0DQ. Tickets are available direct from Rheged (01768 868000) and cost £8 to Wainwright Society members, non-members £12

Member news
Nick and Lucy Russell are in the midst of preparing for a coast-to-coast walk across the USA starting in late October, 3,000 miles in total over the course of 6 months. They are doing this in aid of The Pamir Trust, an organisation to support local community organisations in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan (just to the North of Afghanistan). www.walkamerica.co.uk