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June 2022

Festival of Archaeology 2022

Rather appropriately for us walkers, the theme of this year's Festival of Archaeology (16-31 July) is 'Journeys'. It's a subject we explored over a decade ago in our Pathways book and it's good to see a renewed emphasis on how people travelled rather than simply where they lived, worked and met. It's an area of landscape and social history that we find endlessly fascinating.

According to the organisers, the Council for British Archaeology, the theme of 'journeys' resonates through history and archaeology. Journeys happen at every scale, through space, time and personal experience. They include daily commutes, trade routes, migrations and much more.

There is a very wide programme of events right across the UK which can be found on the Festival website. The aim, as always with the CBA's annual festival, is to help people discover the archaeology that is all around them. The theme of journeys will flow throughout the 2022 Festival in a myriad of ways, from the more obvious such as pilgrimages, roads, canals and railways to its wider influence in folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge and language. 

Should you be using walking poles?
Walking poles are often seen as something that are used by people with injuries and ailments, for carrying heavy packs or the elderly. But this is not the case, at least not everywhere. Go to the Alps and you will see them in use by people of all ages and abilities.

There are many advantages to using walking poles including better balance, stability and posture and less impact on the joints. This all helps reduce fatigue and improve endurance. It also helps strengthen and improve the muscles and increases joint mobility. Better support and security when going up and downhill and on rocky, muddy or snowy ground are further advantages.

Walking poles commonly come in pairs and will have two or three sections that can be folded down or collapsed into themselves. Some poles are a fixed length but most are adjustable. It is important to size your walking poles correctly as this can have a positive or negative effect on your body and joints and on your own safety. So take time to consider the type and length and make sure that they are also packable and won't get in the way.

If you have never experienced the benefits of using walking poles then now could just be the time. If you thinking of getting a pair consider visiting your local outdoor store to find out more and get the right support, fitting and advice.

Walkers are Welcome in the Upper Eden Valley
This month our Walkers are Welcome feature comes right home to the Upper Eden Valley in Cumbria. Our hometown, Kirkby Stephen, is hosting the Westmorland Dales Day on 31 July. It's a great opportunity to experience the hospitality, crafts and landscape of this less visited part of Cumbria, with one foot in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and another in the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty.

The Kirkby Stephen & District Walkers are Welcome group is offering three guided walks, one of which David is helping to guide to the unusual Fox Tower, a folly overlooking the Eden Valley, accessible via a new permissive path. There's another walk looking at the fascinating local geology and short stroll exploring the lost pubs and breweries of Kirkby Stephen. Meanwhile Chris is running an event with the local Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers at our new venue, The Old Forge in Kirkby Stephen - do drop in. Walks are free but should be booked with the Visitor Centre in Kirkby Stephen.

Guided walks in Sierra Nevada

New member Sierra Nevada Hiking is offering Walkingworld members a 10% discount if you are a group of two or more. They say it is a good time an outing away from the Spanish coast, because nature is in full bloom right now and the temperatures are very pleasant. They take care of transport, booking the best hostels, hotels and restaurants and guiding the most beautiful hikes the Sierra Nevada has to offer.

The Alpujarra is well known for its picturesque Moorish white villages, many with fine eating places and lively cafes and bars. All guides are insured, have a first aid qualification and know all about the area's history, culture, geology and the special flora and fauna.