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Coast To Coast John Muir Way

March 23rd, 2014

Coast To Coast new John Muir Way is close to opening.

This new 134-mile lowlands trail will officially open on 21st April 2014, during the first ever Scottish John Muir Festival, to mark both the conservationist’s birthday and the centenary of his death. The new trail which runs between Dunbar and Helensburgh echoes John Muir’s own personal journey growing up in Scotland’s east coast town of Dunbar before travelling to the west coast, where he set sail for life in America.  The route has been designed to take in castles, historic towns and villages, stunning coastal scenery as well as Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

The John Muir Way has much to offer and some may wish to undertake the challenge of walking or cycling the whole 215km route.  The route is designed to be accessible for everyone and the terrain is easy-to-moderate and can be done end-to-end on foot or by bike.

For cyclists, it is recommended that hybrid or sturdy touring bikes are used to tackle some of the steeper and bumpier sections, although a few parallel lines or braids give smoother and flatter options. It is estimated that cycling the route will usually take about four days.

The hard work involved in developing the route is being carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).  Ron McCraw of SNH, said, “We hope the John Muir Way will inspire people to both explore and protect Scotland’s countryside. John Muir was inspired by the wildlife and beautiful scenery in Scotland as a young boy, and as an adult in the U.S. he inspired people around the world with his writing.  We’re hoping plenty of other people – from both inside and outside of Scotland – will enjoy this new coast-to-coast route and learn more about Muir’s beliefs.”

To get updates about the John Muir Way route, visit ‘John Muir Way – Slighe Iain Muir’ Facebook page, and to find out more about the John Muir Festival visit ‘The John Muir Festival 2014’ Facebook page. For further information about the John Muir Way, visit – a new dedicated website for the 134-mile route with key information to help people plan their trip. Features include an interactive map and section descriptions, nearby attractions, accommodation, food and drink providers and details on accessibility.


Photo caption: On the John Muir Way by Linlithgow Palace


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The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) Courses And Data Sheets

March 20th, 2014

The BMC organises a range of good practice courses, lectures and seminars, including:

With partners, the BMC produces a range of safety and skills information, including:

The BMC website also contains safety & skills advice, including:

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Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival – Free Guided Walks

March 12th, 2014

Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival (Saturday 3rd – Sunday 11th May) is offering a choice of over 50 free, varied walks in and around the stunning Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, where the Industrial Revolution began over 300 years ago.

From challenging all-day hikes for the more experienced walker to family friendly trails and short informative walks, this year’s Festival has something to whet the appetite of all ages and abilities. With the newly acquired Walkers are Welcome, status a warm welcome is guaranteed in the town.

As well as nearly 20 new walks, the 2014 Festival will be introducing the first 100 Mile Ironbridge Challenge. Those taking part must finish seven specified walks on seven different days with the combined mileage topping over 100 miles. Walkers completing the challenge will receive a certificate and woven badge for their rucksack.

New walks include an early evening family outing on 7th May to explore the nature and wildlife in the enchanting woods at Loamhole Dingle, Coalbrookdale with a surprise for all and an opportunity to learn about the variety of wild flowers in Lodge Field under the guidance of an expert from Shropshire Wildlife Trust. There will also be additional nature walks with information to help identify trees and birds and an early evening ‘quiz walk’ around Coalbrookdale finishing at a local inn.

Popular tried and tested walks being repeated explore historic trails and the part played by The Gorge in the Industrial Revolution. There’s also a gentle two-hour family treasure hunt suitable for pushchair and wheelchair users, alternatively experienced walkers can join a strenuous 15 mile circular hike over the Wrekin, ideal for walkers happy with steep climbs and rough terrain.

For those wanting to discover more about the heritage of the area there is a walk that take in the history of the river bridges and a 15 mile circular walk skirting the edge of the World Heritage Site. Three walks explore the many churches and other places of worship in and around The Gorge on 6th and 9th May.

All walks are free however pre-booking is essential; well-behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on most walks but check before booking. To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at; details at

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National Trails Website

March 9th, 2014

 National Trails – showcases 15 National Trails offering over 2,500 miles of some of the best walking, riding and cycling experiences in Wales and England. The new website has been developed by Walk Unlimited – previously known as Walk England – and is the result of an innovative partnership with Natural Resources Wales and Natural England.

The site uses high quality mapping, thanks to support from the Ordnance Survey, which will show the Trails in great detail as well as the attractions and facilities nearby. Day walks, itineraries and ideas for activities including geocaching trails are all easily downloadable to help families and visitors plan days out based around the Trails.

The new interactive features mean that for the first time businesses can upload details of the services they provide to visitors. This can be anything from accommodation to outdoor equipment shops, or pubs and cafes.

Trail users and local residents can also add content including events, photographs and provide recommendations, to give an insider’s view on their favourite places to eat or their most memorable views and attractions. The site can even be used to report any relevant ‘breaking news’ issues – making the website a topical, as well as useful, resource for planning a Trail visit.

The 15 National Trails in England and Wales are: Cleveland Way, Cotswold Way, Glyndŵr’s Way (Wales), Hadrian’s Wall Path, North Downs Way, Offa’s Dyke Path (Wales), Peddars Way / Norfolk Coast Path, Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Wales), Pennine Bridleway, Pennine Way, South Downs Way, South West Coast Path, Thames Path, The Ridgeway, Yorkshire Wolds Way. Interested in the trails and their development? Follow the National Trail Twitter (@NationalTrails) and Facebook accounts (thenationaltrails).

Photo: Manorbier beach. Copyright – Pembrokeshire Coast NPA.

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is part of the Wales Coast Path.

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Ten Reasons Why You’ll Enjoy Walking in Jersey

March 4th, 2014

Walking in Jersey allows you to discover the islands heritage and natural beauty that otherwise would be missed when driving a car. In a series of free guided walks designed for you whatever your age and experience, the Walking Weeks offer almost 40 walks to choose from – over 1000 participants usually take part in both Walking Weeks.

Put a spring in your step as Winter starts to draw to a close but don’t relax your guard on staying warm and dry. A snug baselayer combined with an insulating mid layer under an outer layer to protect you from wind and rain will ensure flexibility and comfort.


Top 10 Reasons For Walking In Jersey


1. Green Lanes

Jersey’s famous ‘Green Lanes’, found in all but two of the Island’s twelve parishes, are identified by a special road sign. Walkers, cyclists and horse riders love these tranquil, highly scenic byways. And – for once – walkers have priority, not the car, since the maximum speed limit is just 15mph (24kph). In other words – this 50-mile network of narrow, tree-lined lanes are a walker’s paradise.

2. Coastal Walking

The Island is also renowned for its fifty miles of coastal walks with splendid views of Guernsey, Sark and Herm from the north coast, and of France from the east. On the north and south coasts you’ll spot big differences. The north is rocky and rugged, with a curtain of spectacular 400ft/120m cliffs that slope to a south coast fringed by vast expanses of sand.

3. In the Country

Jersey may be famous for its coastline, but the Island is also a rural paradise of green lanes and hidden valleys cloaked in wildlife-rich woodland. Jersey Tourism also has a selection of pub walks that combine great walking with good food, heritage trails and parish trails.

4. Wildlife Watch

Red squirrels still live and thrive in the woods and the Island is a stopping-off place for many migratory birds. Other residents include the green lizard and the rare agile frog (not found anywhere else in Britain). You may even meet the brown or olive toad that gives local residents their nickname, ‘Crapauds’ (a Jèrriais or Jersey-French word).

5. Two Feet; Four Wheels

At nine miles by five and with an excellent public transport network, the Island is easily accessible for walking with only a bus timetable as a guide. Linear and circular walking routes are easy to put together. The local Connex bus service operates all year, and in summer there are additional ‘Island Explorer’ buses bringing even greater frequency and coverage, enabling you to link up services with added convenience.

6. Warm Walks

The Island’s southerly location and its protected position in the Bay of St Malo result in an attractive, temperate climate that makes Jersey one of the warmest and sunniest places in the British Isles. In the warmer months, walkers tend to head for the coast, tackling the cliffs and beaches. In contrast, the colourful and sheltered valleys, woods and scenic reservoirs provide an entirely different atmosphere in autumn and winter.

7. Walks for All

Jersey suits all kinds of walking. If you’re ambitious try the ‘Around Island’ walk that can be completed with the aid of an OS -style map over three or four days or as part of a guided group during one of Jersey’s two Walking Week Festivals.

8. Naturally Speaking

In 1997, Jersey became the first Island to gain Green Globe status. There are many designated ‘Sites of Special Interest’ and four internationally-recognised wetlands known as Ramsar Sites, covering the south-east coast and three offshore reefs.

9. En Route

You’ll encounter Jersey’s rich and diverse history on paths and trails everywhere. Fort Leicester and L’Étacquerel Fort, both located at Bouley Bay, were built to keep out the French. Look out for the Island’s iconic Jersey Round Towers and ghostly remnants from World War Two.

10. Get Yourself a Guide

Jersey Tourism’s programme of escorted walking tours with experienced Blue Badge guides takes in the Island’s unique history, heritage, landscapes and seascapes – see the latest ‘What’s On’ guide for details. Best of all are the Island’s two annual walking festivals – the Spring and Autumn Walking Weeks, with a huge choice of guided walks for all abilities.



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Rock Pound the Bounds Registration Open

March 2nd, 2014

Registration for the popular Worcestershire walking/running event Rock Pound the Bounds is now open. Taking place on Sunday 4th May 2014, Rock Pound the Bounds offers walkers and runners of all ages and abilities a great opportunity to exercise amongst parts of Worcestershire’s beautiful countryside. The event also enables participants to raise much-needed funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Starting from the village hall in Rock near Kidderminster, entrants can join the 25, 18, 12, nine or six mile walks; for youngsters who want to get involved, there’s a three mile treasure trail.

Henk Buzink, one of the organisers of Rock Pound the Bounds, said, “This is the fourteenth year we’ve organised the event and the third time we’ve teamed up with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to organise the Pound the Bounds. No matter if you’re an experienced rambler or are just looking to increase the amount of walking you do, our event is a great way to enjoy a walk and fundraise for charity.”

Registration and sponsorship forms can be downloaded from the Pound the Bounds website. To find out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, visit


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The Ramblers Festival Of Winter Walks

September 15th, 2013

For over 25 years, through snow, sleet, rain and under clear winter skies; in parks, forests and on mountain tops, the footsteps of thousands have dotted the countryside each year as family, friends and avid walkers step out to enjoy the Ramblers’ Festival of Winter Walks.

This year, the Ramblers is once again providing wintery walks for all to enjoy with two weeks of festive wanders, led by volunteers, from 21 December 2013 – 5 January 2014. It’ll be here before you know it, so why not bag a winter warmer now? Baselayers, mid layers, softshells and other outer layers, hats, gloves and socks will ensure you make the most of days out however cold it is. Whether it’s a merry jaunt to the pub on Christmas Eve you’re after, a festive Boxing day walk to burn off the mince pies, or a lengthy hike to start the new year on the right foot, there are hundreds of free walks to suit everyone across England, Scotland and Wales with the Festival of Winter Walks.

Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth said, “There is something wonderful about walking over the festive season; the company of family and friends, exploring beautiful winter landscapes under clear skies or the fun of being the first to make tracks in the snow, all of these things make getting out and about at this time of year even more of an adventure. Our Festival of Winter Walks is as popular as ever after 25 years. So, put on your winter coats, wrap up warm and join us again as we head out to enjoy the season the way we know best, on our feet.”

This year for the first time ever you can also download one of their expert walking routes from Ramblers Routes to try on your own or with friends and family this winter, visit for info.


For more information on the Festival of Winter Walks and to browse the festive walks on offer visit


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Careful Preparation Encouraged To Enjoy Walking In Snowdonia

September 9th, 2013

Walkers in Snowdonia are being encouraged by the MountainSafe Partnership to take advantage of the large number of walking trails as an alternative to the summits. However, with the unsettled weather, preparation is essential.

Mair Huws, Head of Wardens and Access at Snowdonia National Park Authority explains, “Walking on mountains can be very difficult if the weather’s hot, especially when you can’t shelter from the sun. Also, taking tired young children to a mountain summit isn’t fun and it can result in children having very negative attitudes towards walking for the rest of their lives! Please remember that you don’t have to venture to the high summits to enjoy the beauty of Snowdonia. What about taking one of the lowland routes or some of the forest trails – Coed y Brenin near Dolgellau or the Fisherman’s Path near Beddgelert or the Aber Falls path near Abergwyngregyn?”

There are plenty of suggestions for family walks on the Snowdonia National Park website,

Once you decide where you’re going, remember that you need to prepare for your journey to be safe, even in summer:

  • Prepare beforehand – take a map, compass and make sure that you take plenty of water
  • Dress suitably – sun hat, sun cream, waterproofs and thermal baelayers – just in case!
  • Weather – take a look at the Met Office’s forecast for Snowdonia and don’t be afraid to cancel your walk if conditions are unsuitable
  • Respect the mountain and local communities, follow the Countryside Code and remember to take rubbish home.

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Long Distance Walkers Association

September 1st, 2013

The Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA) is a national association for people who have the shared interest of walking long distances in rural, mountainous or moorland areas. By joining, you can meet other long distance walkers and have access to information on walking events and long distance walking routes all over the UK. It also organises many challenge and local group walks, as well as having details of many more organised by other organisations. Challenge events are usually 20-100 miles long and, generally, should be completed within a set time; group walks are normally led walks of around 20 miles. Membership of the LDWA is open to all, with individual members paying just £13 per year.

For more info, visit


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Walk With The Ramblers

August 26th, 2013

The Ramblers is at the heart of walking in Britain; working to promote walking and protect the places where people walk for over 75 years. It has helped build and protect Britain’s 140,000 mile long path network, it runs over 45,000 walks a year, and campaigns for better walking routes and more walking opportunities.

Follow Ramblers on Facebook – and Twitter –

Group walk

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