Trekking Archives

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It’s here- the Cornish Challenge!!

CornwallToday’s the day! I am packed, I have triple checked my stuff, I have packed sweets in little bags for each day’s walking (vitally important!) and will be shortly setting off for Cornwall, dropping the cats off at their holiday accommodation (AKA the cattery) en route…

Our itinerary is as follows…

Friday– Day One- we will be walking from Carbis Bay through St Ives and along the South West Coast Path, passing Zennor, Sennen Cove and Cape Cornwall to our overnight stop at the Youth Hostel at St Just. We will be walking around 21 miles and apparently this part of the Coast Path is some of the most challenging due to the amount of climbing and descending! It is gonna be quite tough for a first day- but then we don’t like to do things by halves…

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forest of bowlandI was staying with my sister in Blackpool for a few days, in preparation for the Manchester to Blackpool Cycle Ride, and after spending a day in the Lakes I decided that I’d love to see more of the Forest of Bowland, which is virtually on their door step.

We have walked over Nicky Nook Fell many a time, but I had a hankering to explore a bit further afield, and picked out a walk up Grit Fell and Clougha Pike- a fell overshadowing the City of Lancaster.

Now, don’t expect lots of photos of trees because although the Forest of Bowland is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it isn’t actually a forest, but ‘forest’ in the traditional sense of Royal Hunting Land. It is a wild Pennine landscape of heather, sweeping moorland and rocky outcrops not unlike the Dark Peak. But forest it ain’t.

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lake districtI had driven up to Blackpool for the Manchester to Blackpool Cycle Ride, but as I found myself with a couple of free days with my sister and brother-in-law both working, I took advantage of their fairly close proximity to the Lake District and took myself off for a day’s fell walking.

As I pointed my car towards Coniston, it looked like it was going to be a lovely day, and it felt so good to be in the Lakes again- it’s been far too long! Going back was like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen for years, but that old familiarity is still there and once you start talking it’s as though you were only in each other’s company yesterday…
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A walk around the Roaches

roachesI haven’t done as many challenge walks as I should have this year, so when a friend suggested we take on the 23 mile Hadrian’s Wall Trek in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society I jumped at the chance, particularly as we both see first hand the devastating impact this cruel disease has on sufferers and their families through work.

My friend hadn’t done any longer walks for a long while and as it happens neither have I, so we have been planning some training walks. This is actually great for me as I usually have to do these mad and crazy things by myself!

Our first walk was to be a 13 mile route out of John Merrill’s Long Circular Walks in the Peak District, which takes in the long rocky spine of the Roaches. It was dull but dry as we parked up at Tittesworth Reservoir and walked across fields to Upper Hulme before taking a lovely little path past an old mill.

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Follow the Tram!!

Saturday 18th April was absolutely gorgeous… clear blue skies and sunny- it seemed almost criminal not to go on a little adventure.

I had had an idea floating around for an unusual little challenge for some time, and as I have a dodgy knee at the moment I decided that walking would be much better for me than trying to run. So I fired up Google maps and scribbled out a route…

My little adventure was quite simple and possibly quite nuts. You may have heard of people challenging themselves by following the route of the London Tube lines through the capital’s streets… well I found this quite inspiring, but given that it is quite time consuming, not to mention costly, to get to London I decided to see if there was a similar challenge I could do right here in Nottingham instead. Sadly Nottingham lacks an Underground, but it does have one other interesting transport system.

Trams!

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Here’s To 2014!!

2014The chocolates are finished, the cards are in the recycling bin and the tree has been unceremoniously shoved back into the under stairs cupboard for another year… and so now is the time to turn our thoughts towards 2014 and the adventures that the year has in store…

I do love this time of year. It is a perfect period for pausing and taking stock of the year that has passed, and making plans for the year to come.

So without further ado here are my plans for the coming shiny New Year;

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Lost in Sherwood Forest…

Sherwood ForestIt was getting dark. I was having trouble seeing the faint sliver of path as I fumbled my way along it, overshadowed by the tall pines of the forest. I could just make out the silhouettes of the trees surrounding me, black against the dark inky blue of the sky, the slightest sliver of daylight still visible on the horizon.

Soon, very soon, it would be gone and I would have real difficulty finding my way. I stomped along the track as fast as my aching muscles would allow, hoping that this was finally the path that would lead to where I had parked my car, several hours before.

If it didn’t, I was hopelessly lost.

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The Norfolk Coast Path- Day One

Norfolk Coast PathMy Peddars Way adventure ended with me ensconced in the Bed and Breakfast in Hunstanton, contemplating the rather ruinous state of my feet and my swollen ankle…

My next challenge was the 47 mile Norfolk Coast path, which I had decided on walking in just two days… but after slogging it along the Peddars Way for the past three days, with constantly wet feet rubbing blisters and twisting my ankle for good measure, the future of the walk was in serious doubt. I had decided to concentrate on getting a good night’s sleep and dealing with tomorrow as it comes…

The next morning I reinforced the compeed dressing covering my blisters with zinc oxide tape and headed down for a hearty breakfast. I was joined by a couple who told me that this was their fourth visit to the Bed and Breakfast; their first coincided with a hotel inspector’s visit, and they were rather perturbed when he pulled out a metal probe and proceeded to check the temperature of his breakfast sausage!

The owners had kindly dried my shoes for me, and as my comfy socks were still wet I had to put on a pair of the new ones, hoping that the dressing would keep them from rubbing too much. As I took my first tentative steps, the blisters and the ankle didn’t feel too bad, and looking at the sky I hoped I was going to be able to keep my feet dry today!

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Peddars WayI was quite excited about packing for this adventure as it was my first taste of independent long distance walking! So- what did I take for a plod along the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path…

Rucksack
I decided to use my trusty old battered Raidlight pack- mainly because it’s the only one I own! I was going to use a bum bag but like all my kit mine is fairly old and has a tendency to loosen every few minutes, needing constant tugs on the belt to tighten it, which gets very annoying very fast.

Camera
I am a bit of a camera buff and like to take my bulky DSLR. I reasoned that at least I could shove some stuff in the large camera bag.

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