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January 2022

Walkers are Welcome in Kington

As our thoughts are turning to new places to walk through spring and summer 2022, the Walkers are Welcome network can be a very good place to start. This month we take a quick look at Kington, a marketing town dating back to medieval times near the Welsh border.

In the surrounding countryside are the remains of one of the country's largest Neolithic settlements and a landscape studded with Bronze Age tombs, mottes and baileys and ancient churches. Kington was for centuries a centre for cattle droving, so you can hunt for clues to droving roads. Present day walkers are spoilt for choice, with a web of public footpaths, many direct from the town centre. The Offa's Dyke Path national trail and the Herefordshire Trail run through, the 30 mile Mortimer's Trail from Ludlow finishes at Kington, and the recently created 80-mile Wyche Way starts in Kington and finishes at the Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds.

Kington Walks is a registered charity which each Autumn and Spring organises a programme of local walks. The Autumn Festival has over 40 local walks of varying lengths, difficulty and diversity and the Spring Walking Weekend enables walkers to experience the raw beauty of The Marches in spring and enjoy Kington in bloom.


Users of the ViewRanger app will probably have heard that the app is being 'turned off' at the end of February. For many years now Walkingworld subscribers have been able to download walks direct to the app, complete with the instructions and pictures. We are not sure if the app will continue to function in a basic form and with locally stored maps, but even if it does any links to Walkingworld walks will be lost. In times past, until we built our own, ViewRanger was in effect the default app to follow Walkingworld walks, so it is sad to see it go.

We may in time be able to integrate with its successor, the OutdoorActive app. In the meantime you can of course use the Walkingworld app, which also has a function to create a GPX file for import into other mapping apps, such as OS Maps or Memory-Map. Note however that you do only get the route file and not the full instruction set.

Keeping the extremities toasty
We seem to still be waiting for full-blown winter to arrive some parts of the country, but it surely will and you will want to wear the right insulation from head to toe when venturing out.

A hat can make all the difference as you lose quite a lot of heat through your head; it is also something light to put in your pack that can make a real difference. The same applies to neck wear. Mad about Mountain's biggest sellers are neck tubes, lighter than a scarf but still efficiently blocking the chilly air from getting down the inside of your jacket. You can also pull them over your nose and mouth to warm the air you breathe in. You could go for a balaclava to combine both, but that may be less flexible than two separate garments.

Gloves are essential, although they may hinder you using your phone or having as much movement, which can itself lead to cold fingers. Many gloves have tips that allow you to use a phone or camera - it may be worth looking for this special feature, because it saves having to take the glove off. The range of gloves differ so much in weight and size you should be able to find a pair that doesn't hinder movement but still provides warmth. You may also consider packing thicker or even heated gloves for when you stop moving.

Keeping your feet warm is incredibly important and the right socks can make all the difference.  Natural socks work best for insulation, breathability and keeping feet healthy.  Another option is a sock liner that will help to wick away from the skin, keeping your feet warm and dry.  A good tip is to avoid cotton; it will retain moisture thus causing cold, irritated feet.

To keep warm visit for lots of options!

Walking in Slovenia
With a diversity of terrain that morphs from Alpine mountains and glacial lakes; through valleys and meadows peppered with hayracks and brightly coloured beehives; to ancient forests and high plateaus, Slovenia is a revelation for walkers.

The Julian Alps provide an impressive backdrop to walking in the western Gorenjska region where, on Inntravel's The Lakes and Julian Alps self-guided walking holiday, you explore some of its most iconic landscapes, including Lake Bled. Although the scenery is relentlessly dramatic, the walking is surprisingly accessible - all that reward without too much effort.

Further west still, the Soča river runs for 137km, racing through deep gorges and densely forested hillsides. So mesmerising are its emerald waters and enchanting landscapes, that this was one of the film settings for The Chronicles of Narnia. Walking Through the Soča Valley showcases its beauty.

Logarska Dolina lies beneath the border with Austria, its conifer-carpeted slopes threading through green meadows to the 2,000-metre granite peaks of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Considered one of the most beautiful valleys in Europe, it's the base for the Slovenia's Enchanted Valley walking holiday. From a guided trail on which you learn about the area's traditions, and the chance to visit a remarkable herdsmen's settlement, this is green Slovenia at its best.

Discover the joys of walking in Slovenia with Inntravel. Find out more

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Access the Dales
Debbie North is a vocal and dedicated advocate for access to the countryside, having pioneered and shared many routes in one of her capable all-terrain wheelchairs. This April she launches her new charity, Access the Dales, from our local town, Kirkby Stephen, where Debbie lives.

The new organisation is committed to making the Yorkshire Dales more accessible to more people, chiefly by growing the number of locations where you can borrow an all-terrain wheelchair. Debbie is also passionate about getting children outdoors, and much of the initial effort and resources will be to get all-terrain wheelchairs, specially designed for children, into the Yorkshire Dales, so that families and carers can enjoy the great outdoors together.