Newsletter > Newsletter archive > November 2018

November 2018

'Walking Roots' - new forests
The aftermath of the 1st World War led to the creation of conifer plantations across the uplands of England, Wales and Scotland. Successive governments were determined never to run out of home-grown timber, which had been in perilously short supply during the war. Publicly-owned plantations were developed across the country and generous tax breaks for commercial conifer plantations continued until the late 1980s.

We are lucky that many of these 'new forests' ended up being owned by the Forestry Commissions of England and Scotland and that recent proposals to sell them off were successfully quashed. The focus has shifted from the quasi-industrial production of timber to the value of plantations and woodland as places for recreation and escape. There are now thousands of walks to be found through these precious landscapes.

This is not quite the case for our local plantation, which remains in private hands. In our 'Walking Roots' blog this month we look at the tracks that were created to service the plantation and the effect of new planting on this hidden-away environment.

Christmas present ideas
We're nearly in December now so we have deemed it acceptable to write about Christmas presents. If you're looking for something for a walking enthusiast in your life, here are three ideas.

The annual Wainwright Society Calendar is great value at £10 including postage to UK addresses. The calendar is large format A3 with one page per month featuring a stunning photograph taken by a society member together with a related sketch and quote from one of Alfred Wainwright's famous works. This year proceeds are going to the Great North Air Ambulance, a service of great importance to people in the north-east, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

A Walkingworld gift subscription can be bought for the usual subscription price of £18. Recipients can join Walkingworld (if they haven't done so already) and start their subscription at a time of their own choosing, so none of their subscription period is wasted. As well as providing unlimited access to walks on the website the subscription brings proper OS Explorer mapping to the walks on the Walkingworld app.

'Urban Rambles' by Walkingworld co-founder Nicholas Rudd-Jones features 20 glorious walks through English cities. In each city a 6-mile ramble takes you through the best green spaces and past the most notable buildings.

Locations include cathedral cities, seats of learning, trading ports, cities designed for pleasure, Victorian cities and of course our capital city, London. This detailed walking guide is a great starting point for a city break, just the thing for the coming winter months perhaps. The book can be found in all the usual places, including Amazon.

Spring and winter walking with HF Holidays
Every year, as the clocks go back, a new and exciting season begins. The walks on HF Holidays' country house breaks are designed to show you the best of the countryside. Led by knowledgeable guides they sometimes include a cosy pub for lunch or a hot flask of delicious soup at a far-reaching viewpoint.

The eighteen award-winning 3 and 4-star country houses are in some stunning locations. Breaks are for 3, 4 or 7 nights' full board accommodation, with all meals from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure day.

At Lulworth Cove, Dorset, the coast is never far away, with the remarkable coastal path providing access to iconic chalk cliffs, rugged headlands and hidden bays. Around Abingworth, South Downs, the wildlife-rich chalk downland is a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, sweeping cornfields and market towns.

Derwentwater, in the northern Lake District, and Conistonwater, in the southern Lake District, offer a great range of walks at all levels, from gentle lakeside strolls to more ambitious mountain hikes. In Dovedale, Peak District, your friendly and knowledgeable guides will bring the landscape of this beautiful National Park to life, from lush limestone valleys to the spectacular scenery on the gritstone edges.

Find out more about the choice of walks, dates and locations at or call 020 8732 1250.

Spring & Winter offers
Derwentwater, Northern Lake District, 15th February, 3 nights from £289pp*
Lulworth Cove, Dorset Coast, 18th February, 4 nights from £375pp*
Abingworth, South Downs, 1st March, 7 nights from £600pp*
Dovedale, Peak District, 18th March, 4 nights from £365pp*
Conistonwater, Southern Lake District, 1st March, 7 nights from £625pp*
*Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability, see website. Offers end 14.12.18

Spanish news
One of our contributors in Spain, Jim Arymar, has added ten walks in a new region, Cuenca, in the mid-southern part of the country. Just to the north of Andalucia, it would make an excellent destination in the spring and autumn.

To the south of Cuenca lies the Serrania Baja which is a vast area of open rolling farming countryside growing cereal crops and wide acreages of sunflowers. In the north lies the Serrania Alta which is a reasonably mountainous area with altitudes of up to about 1400m above sea level.