Friday, 7 December 2012

hiking, biking and kayaking

You don't have to travel to the Alps to enjoy an active holiday hiking, biking and kayaking. 

The National Trust has put together a glorious outdoors tour around its land and properties in the Surrey Hills, getting off the beaten track, enjoying the rolling landscape - and benefiting from expert insight into the history and nature of the area from National Trust guides.

Using a combination of mountain biking, hiking and canoeing, you'll travel through iconic locations such as Box Hill, site of the exciting Olympic Cycling Road Race (remember Emma Pooley, Nicole Cooke, Lucy Martin and Lizzie Armitstead's epic efforts to win Team GB's first medal?), wild Hindhead Common, the dramatic Devil’s Punch Bowl and the historic River Wey Navigation.

Accommodation is in historic inns in the market town of Dorking and the county town of Guildford. Guests also enjoy exclusive access to National Trust properties such as Polesden Lacey, and sample Surrey Hills' famous wine at Denbies Vineyard. Delicious local and homemade lunches are provided every day.

Sam Bayley, National Trust Head Ranger at Leith Hill and Holmwood Common, leads the tour. He says, 'We have long wanted to be able to really take people into the heart of the Surrey Hills, and by bringing all of the places together we can follow an unbroken trail across this fabulous and diverse landscape.  

I’m particularly looking forward to cycling some of the Olympic road cycle race route, although I’m glad we’ll be going down the zig-zag road at Box Hill and not up!'


There are two departures planned for the tour: a shorter three-day version in April 2013, staying in the National Trust’s Henman Bunkhouse at Leith Hill; and a full seven-day tour in June 2013, starting at the eastern edge of the Surrey Hills estate, ending up some 70 miles further west.

The price for the three-day trip is £499 per person including all meals. The week-long activity holiday costs £899 per person to include breakfast, snacks and lunch, plus dinner on two evenings. 

All equipment for cycling and canoeing is included, so the guests need only bring walking boots/shoes and suitable clothing.

For full details of the itinerary and how to book, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/surreyhills

The Lake District - Tarn Hows



Opps, it has been a very long time since our last update/blog and a lot of water has gone under the bridge, I mean that literally.



Since mid summer time here in the UK it seems to have done nothing but rain, rain and even more rain. I know we are known for our green and pleasant land but marsh and wet land seems to be taking over with rivers swollen and lakes full to overflow.


Maybe we should take up boating? Actually, thinking about it that is not such a bad idea. 


Wild camping canoe trips!!!! 


What do you reckon, is anyone into that sort of thing over here in the UK? I would love to hear from you.

Right back to hiking: As you know we were to set off for the glorious Lake District, and we did! However the plan did have to take a little change. I have suddenly found out that I am now asthmatic!

Yes I know! ...... WHAT!


Take this brown inhaler attached to a big Perspex tube in the morning, and at night.  Make sure you carry this blue one with you everywhere you go!  Oh my!


As you all well know when you are out for a few days Wild Camping you get rid of everything except the bare essentials, even the kitchen sink.  So where was I going to put all this medical gear?  I am pleased to say that common sense did prevail after talking it through with my doctor and fellow hikers. “Take the caravan and use that as a base”!   

Actually it worked really well we managed to get out into the wilds of the mountains and could return to the caravan if needed.


We found a great little camping field on a lovely farm not far from Broughton in Furnace.

Moss Side Farm allows camping and caravans, great views over the valley, nice facilities, and a some very unusual fowl roaming around the farm.



We spent most of our time up and around the hills just N/E of Coniston in the beautiful hills up and around Tarn Hows. This is a very picturesque lake nowhere near the size of some of its large neighbours, but even more lovely in many ways.


Like all wild camping you have to pick your spot carefully well out of sight and not conspicuous. There are some lovely spot up in the hills, not so high that it is very cold and rocky, but high enough to be secluded with fantastic views. 


If you are anything like us the one thing that you can’t skimp on is food, we do love our food, wild camping or not.  Now that we have a food dryer we can have very healthy meals with plenty of re-constituted vegetables.


So into the Trangia goes water to boil, dried chicken pieces, lots of dried vegetables, noodles and spicy stock to supply the taste.  Of course a reviving cup of tea to finish.


We were very lucky with the weather we had the driest few days that they had for a while, so the ground under sleeping bags was cuddly and soft, and not too wet for walking. The sunshine in the morning was enough to make the most miserable of people smile with absolute joy.


We did have the one day when the wind was so strong it was almost impossible to make headway, it seemed like one step forward and three steps back.  Even the mountain sheep had enough and were hunkered down behind any shelter that they could find. We won’t mention trying to have a wee in these conditions.


But in its own way that is just how we like it too, it is so invigorating.


Roll on the next time J


Sunday, 19 August 2012

A 6/7 day wild camp - planning


6/7 day wild camping the thought makes my heart thump, wahooo!

We have three weeks to decide exactly where - We know it will be wild camping in the lake district somewhere, and to get everything ready.

As we have done a fair bit of wild camping we do know the main equipment needed for such an adventure. But will always go through a list that we have prepared. No matter how good you are it is so easy to forget either something essential or the special thing you like to take that makes it all the more enjoyable.

I wont put the list in this post but I will upload as another page, it might be of use to you.


When we start planning a wild camping trip like this the two things that always jump to mind to consider, they are WATER and the WEATHER.

The weather we can do nothing about yet but we know we have the right clothing providing the weather stays within it`s normal parameters for the lake district. However if a couple of days before we are due to go the weather forecast looks bad, we stop ans take a re-think.

This might mean a complete cancellation or looking for somewhere else where the outlook is far better and safer. The odd day of rain, fog, mist, gales and freezing nights is fine, but 6 days of blizzard would spoil things a little. Always plan with safety in mind.

If you have good shelter, and the right clothing that you should you need for the trip, the most important thing to consider is drinking water. Especially if the weather is going to be hot and sticky.

But even in lovely mild, cloud covered Sky's, water is a real MUST when you are out hiking. Try and go one day without water and you will be in trouble. Yes we can go three days, and some people even longer, they make the headlines as miracles and wonders etc.

So always plan your trip so that you ALWAYS have good water to drink and cook with.


FOOD! Yes it is true we can go quite a while without food, however you do feel really rubbish and weak way before you die, lol. So food is a good thing to have also.

The main worry we always have is weight. If you are out in the wilds for 6/7 days you will find that you need a LOT of food to carry.

Our answer ?

We cut loads of vegetables into nice small slices/chunks and blanch or part boil for a few minutes. Drain and and allow them to completely dry of excess water. then place them into your drier (see ours here). Then dry them according to your driers instructions.

You will be amazed how so much veg can weigh so little and take up so little room. Of course we do the same with other produce too like mushroom, chicken chunks, small pieces of beef and various fruits.


Then while boiling water for very cheap packets of flavoured noodles pop in some dried meat and veg and you have a great tasting and nutritious meal.
What do we cook on? The ever faithful Trangia, we wouldn't go anywhere without it. See here.

So while we get on and plan our drop off point and our route to make sure that we have water, and while we get all the died food ready. We'll post this blog and start checking through our check list, and make sure we have the right maps etc.

The first decision is made already.

As I was looking for likely place that fit our need I noticed the pub called the WoolPack Inn. Located by the river Esk, Eskdale. So then searching the Internet I easily found their website and dropped them a little email asking if they knew of somewhere that we could camp (start our trek from). I received a lovely reply stating that hey have a Field we can use and that there is a campsite near by to if we would prefer.

Looking further at their website we soon noticed that they have a restaurant with a great choice of menus. Not what you would call “wild camping”, but coupled with the friendly reply it was an easy choice

Furthermore the hiking from here looks fantastic, plenty of streams for fresh water, and the temptation of Scafell pike. We have never been ones climbing the highest, or walking the longest. We are more the “wow, look at that” type of people. Walk slowly with our heads up taking the beauty of it all the way in, and keeping it there. Fantastic, cant wait.


See you soon :) .......


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Hiking and Holidaying in the Lake District


Hikers and fell walkers are always on the look-out for new adventures and one of the top UK walking destinations to explore is The Lake District. The Lake District provides some inspiring panoramic scenery, with incredible walking routes. 

However, the weather can be a bit changeable throughout the year, so if you're going to visit it's worth making sure you find some equally inspiring accommodation to make the most of this tranquil part of Britain.
There are many campsites and caravan parks, hotels, bed & breakfasts and self catering holiday cottages in the Lake District which all offer a relaxed holiday experience.

Walks and Hikes in The Lake District
The Lake District is has a wide range of beautiful walks and the Lakeland region is popular with both experienced fell walkers, hikers, ramblers and also families and those wishing to simply enjoy a relaxed stroll amid the countryside.

Tourists in The Lake District will have a most rewarding experience when exploring the rolling countryside taking in the beautiful panoramic views of the lakes.

For families, there are some fun family outings to be had in the Catbells area by Derwent Water. The views are of the surrounding Keswick fells are some of the finest in the Lakeland area.

For a slightly more invigorating walk, the walking route across Loughrigg Fell (which lies between Grasmere and Ambleside), is without doubt one of the most idyllic parts of the Lake District and should be high on the list for any hikers or walkers.

Probably one of the more renowned features of the Lake District is Scafell Pike. Scafell Pike stands proud as England's highest point. It rises up to 978m (3209ft) above sea level and can be seen for miles around the Lake District.

Scafell is a popular hiking destination for the more experienced, and fit walkers. The surrounding area offers up some of the more taxing but equally beautiful walks, not ideally suitable a casual walk! But for those who make the climb, the views and rural circumspection is something to capture on camera.

A large number of tourists who holiday in the Lakes, just a simple walk along the lower lying fells is enough to satisfy the appetite for views and the wonder of the areas natural habitat. For these less adventurous walkers, there are some quiet routes with extremely tranquil and panoramic views around the north side of Skiddaw, and also the fells around Shap.

All these routes are without exception beautiful, but as is so often the case, with beauty there can also be danger. Fell walking and hiking in the Lake District can be more taxing than your average British ramble.
Walkers in the area should prepare and be aware of how quickly the weather conditions can change on the hills and in the valleys. 

Bad weather can often 'close in' and conditions deteriorate very quickly, especially in winter months. Even spring and autumn the weather can be unpredictable in the Lake District (as with the rest of Britain) so inexperienced walkers are advised to check local tourist information alerts, weather alerts (such as the Met Office) or consult tour guides when heading out for some of the longer more exposed routes.

This truly beautiful part of England is ideal for a UK holiday or even a weekend break. There are plenty of places to stay and explore such as: Ambleside, Keswick, Bassenthwaite, Borrowdale, Braithwaite, Caldbeck, Vale of Lorton and whether you choose Lake District cottages, Lakeland hotels, bed & breakfasts or even just camp sites, the views from much of the holiday accommodation can inspire walkers to get out there and provide a comfortable and relaxing experience to return home to after a day of exploring the Lakes and surrounding majestic countryside.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Dinard, France – the Place Colard market and the Promenade au Clair de Lune


Last month I had a crazy idea in my head about buying a gorgeous and cheap house in the middle of nowhere in Brittany, France.  And so, coming across some cheap flights (£50 all in for 2 people from East Midlands airport to Dinard airport) on a whim I booked them.  Of course I then realised that buying a house in the middle of nowhere where I'd have to fly and then rent a car each time I wanted to get there probably wasn't the best idea...and so a fantastic weekend trip to Dinard was born.

Everyone has heard of St Malo but we'd never heard of Dinard which is the next resort over, across a small channel.  Apparently though Dinard is known as the Cannes of the North and has had a number of famous visitors.  We picked the most stunning weekend to go, the weather was gorgeous and we were able to enjoy some time on one of Dinard's beaches.  It was also really pleasantly quiet, with very few tourists (why am I telling you about it?!) and surprisingly little English was spoken by the people we met, which was brilliant as we really wanted to practice our French.

We arrived late on Friday night (well about 9pm) and almost everything was closed, including our hotel!  They had left us a note in the window though, so we called the number...and then started to panic as no-one was answering.  About 20 minutes later, after following some suspicious French people into the hotel foyer, the completely bonkers Audrey came down the stairs and eventually managed to get us checked in, with keys to our room.  It was certainly an unforgettable welcome to France!  Soon after though we were settled in and down the road at Flo's, who was much saner, and stayed open to cook us some lovely galettes (French savoury pancakes) and to give us our first French conversation.

Our Saturday was already planned out, we wanted to visit the market at the Place Colard which comes every Saturday morning.  Arriving there following an enjoyable walk through the local streets, we found every single inhabitant of Dinard – it wasn't uncomfortably packed but there were so many more people there than we probably saw for the whole of the rest of the weekend.  And we soon found out why...the market is truly unforgettable, like nothing we had ever seen before in our lives...

The first thing of note and what has really stayed with me were the seafood stalls.  Thousands of oysters in their shells, ready to be eaten, huge live spider crabs and lobsters which when disturbed would start to slowly crawl around and plenty of fresh fish.  I've never cooked lobster or crab but would think it would be an interesting experience getting them home from the market!

Of course the stalls we were looking forward to were the cheese stalls and there were plenty of them too.  We tracked down one in a big open fronted van and I took the plunge, asking in French for some 18 month matured Comte cheese (which we had to try having seen it on the Hungry Frenchman with Raymond Blanc) and some tomato and olive gouda.  And that was the start of our lunch. 

Next at a saucisson stall we tasted saucisson with ceps, which was mouthwateringly stunning and purchased 4 different sorts, getting 1 free for being the first customers of the day.  We then bought a baguette traditional, some cider (the favourite drink of Bretons) and some tomatoes and after seeing the rest of the stalls (which included lots of fruit and veg, deli stalls, clothes and household goods and some hot food stalls with pancakes and vietnamese being the most popular) we headed down to the beach for a gastronomic delight of a simple continental lunch.

After lunch we went for a walk along the Promenade au Clair de Lune which is a pleasant stroll around the coastline including views over to St Malo and further round the boats in the Port of Dinard alongside with the fringes of some gardens.  Of course the name suggests that you should walk it in the moonlight, when I believe it is all lit up, and no doubt this would make for a romantic after dinner walk.

I could write on forever about our weekend in Dinard.  But as you can probably tell I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you can get cheap flights and hotels deal like we did.  If we'd had longer there are some great walking and hiking trails around Brittany including national parks and also canoeing trips.  To find out more I'd recommend looking on this site.

Our trip really got us even more hooked on France and last weekend we cooked ourselves a 3 course French meal to relive the memories...blog coming soon at Phil's foodie site www.knobofcheese.co.uk.

P.S. Despite the strange arrival, the hotel we stayed in (the Comfort Hotel, Dinard Balmoral) was perfect for what we needed for the weekend.  Breakfast was lovely and really fresh like all food in France (though not cheap) and we were allowed late checkout to make the most of our Sunday.  I'd definitely recommend it for a stay.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Stanage Edge and Bamford


Wanting to explore a new area of the Peak District we came across SwallowHolme campsite in Bamford, near Hathersage. This was a perfect location for many potential walks, allowing us to explore Stanage Edge and is also a reasonable distance from Ladybower Reservoir.

Setting off on the Friday morning we were lucky enough to have a rare spot of sunshine, adding to the feeling of excitement and as usual it wasn't long before we were amongst the rolling green hills of the lower Peak District. Unfortunately the sunshine wasn't to last and most of the weekend saw the refilling of the local rivers and reservoirs but it was a great start nonetheless.

All that rain meant that the river alongside the campsite was rushing past as though it had somewhere better to be. Both the road and railway line run very close to the campsite but neither really bothered us much throughout our stay. In fact we felt incredibly close to nature, choosing a corner pitch near the river and being visited frequently by the robin and other birds. A hungry mother duck with 3 baby ducklings was happy to eat our bread, with Mr Drake chivalrously refusing to accept any.


Saturday the rain let up for a while so we donned waterproofs and headed out in the car for walk. Parking under the shadow of Burbage Rocks we headed up onto the top towards Stanage Edge. The rocks are gritstone and with the strange smoothed rocks and sandy path it felt very similar to The Roaches. The view though was quite different, much wilder and emptier with huge swathes of brown and cream moorland.

After a short while I did feel it was all a bit same-y, unlike The Roaches which constantly changed throughout our walk. The weather didn't give me much time to change this opinion as the wind blew in chilling everything and black clouds raced across the sky towards us. We hunkered down under a rock, feeling slightly Bear Grylls like (despite the emergency poncho and umbrella!) and sat out the storm before returning to the car.

Back at the camp, tragedy had struck. Only 2 ducklings were now following their mother and unfortunately she didn't seem any more worried or adept at looking after them, so it wasn't really a surprise when another was missing on the Sunday. Nonetheless nature seemed rather cruel that weekend.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

New Welsh Coastal Walk

 The worlds first coastal path for an entire country.

Of coarse you can do the entire country if you do Offas Dyke Path


Finishing touches are being made to the world's first coastal path network to cover an entire country.
Stretching from the mouth of the River Dee in Flintshire all the way to Chepstow, the Wales Coast Path covers 870 miles (1400km).

The network also links into the Offa's Dyke Path - creating a 1030 mile (1660km) route around the whole of Wales.

The coastal network is officially opened on Saturday 5 May.

Coastal access officer, Trisha Cottnam said the official opening marked the end of a five year project to build the network.


"It's a world first. There has never been a nation with a fully linked coastal path all the way around," she said.

Final preparations are being made to open the Wales coastal path. 
 
"We have a fantastic coastal path in Pembrokeshire and the Llyn Peninsular and around Anglesey, and it was the initiative to actually join everything up."
The project was backed by the Welsh government and local authorities, alongside the Countryside Council for Wales, taking five years to complete.
 
Visitor boost
It has cost about £2m a year to fund, with £4m of the cash coming from European grants.
The whole coastal network takes in two national parks, three areas of outstanding beauty, and 11 nature reserves. But not everyone has backed the network of paths, some farmers and landowners say it will hit them in the pocket.

Lyn Jenkins, who runs the Cardigan Island Farm Park, has spent tens of thousands of pounds opposing the project and access to his land.
"It totally finishes our business, it is letting everybody in free" said Mr Jenkins.
"But not only that, it is bringing people into a very dangerous area, that is clearly dangerous where the cliffs are crumbling."

However, Caroline Thompson from Ramblers Cymru said she believed the paths could only have a positive impact for those areas the network passed through.
"There will be increased tourism, increased visitors in the coastal communities and that will hopefully generate new enterprises and further income for those businesses," she said.

However, she also recognised that the network did not have universal access to the shore: "There are certain areas in Wales where there are private estates and unfortunately there isn't the coastal access.
"It would be great if that could be opened up so that the public could access it."

There has also been some concern from some landowners about the effects of allowing access across their land.
The whole network will be officially opened on Saturday, with three events being held at Flint, Aberystwyth and in Cardiff Bay, where environment minister John Griffiths will cut the ribbon to the network.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Carsington Water

A few weeks back we had dinner booked at Kniveton, nr Ashbourne so looking nearby we decided to go for an afternoon walk around Carsington Water.

We were lucky enough to get great weather for our first proper walk of the year and arriving I took the decision that we were going to walk the complete Carsington Water circuit which is about 8 miles.

Carsington Water is a reservoir owned by Severn Trent and is part of a water compensation scheme. Water is pumped in from the River Derwent, stored in Carsington reservoir and returned to the Derwent when the river level would otherwise be too low to allow water extraction to provide our water during the dry summer months.

The reservoir is a great place for anyone to visit and especially has great family facilities. There's a childrens play area, visitor centre, cafe and shop. You can walk, hire bikes, learn to sail or go fishing. It is also a conservation area and as you walk round areas are fenced off to allow the wildlife to thrive, from mammals to birds to plants.

Spring was clearly visible as we began our walk and one of the first things we saw was a small pond, with frogs jumping, swimming and mating everywhere and a huge clump of frogspawn. The trees and bushes were alive with birds, tweeting and chirping their warnings as we passed. I have no clue which birds are which despite my mum and gran knowing them all so if birds are your thing check out Carsington Water on the RSPB site to see what you could see.


It's a fairly easy, waymarked route walking anti-clockwise round the reservoir. For a while you leave the edge of the reservoir climbing a small hill, past some lovely houses. At this point our sausage sandwiches were calling but we were beaten to each bench by other walkers and cyclists meaning it was another hour or so before we got to eat! About halfway round is a really unusual feature – make sure you stop for a quick rest in the small wooden house you come across.

The end of the walk is along the wide, low dam wall. Its pretty exposed to the elements so the jumpers and coats went back on as it was still March and quite windy here. Once back at the visitor centre we enjoyed a well earned cuppa surrounded by sparrows.

Carsington Water was a real unexpected surprise of a walk that I'd definitely recommend. The main car park was around a fiver I think and is a great place to park for the facilities. But if you prefer cheaper park at Sheepwash or Millfields car parks or of course go green and get the bus from Ashbourne, Wirksworth, Matlock or Chesterfield.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Peak District walk that's a piece of cake

A CHANCE to sample the beauty of the Peak District - and its cakes - is being offered next month to raise funds for a countryside campaign group.
The Three Cakes Challenge, on Sunday, April 15, follows a three mile route along the Monsal Trail that includes three cake stops and ends with a treasure hunt in the gardens of Thornbridge Hall near Ashford-in-the-Water.
Among the walkers will be Rachel Rennie, a volunteer with Friends of the Peak District, and her three-year-old son, Bruce.
Rachel, who graduated recently from Sheffield Hallam University, grew up in the village of Litton, and has now moved back there.
“I moved to the Peak District when I was five years old and I have loved it ever since,” she said. “I love the way the landscapes change so dramatically in different weather and seasons. I never take the beauty of this area for granted and I got involved with Friends of the Peak District because I wanted to help protect the Peak District from threats to the countryside and its communities.”
The walk is open to people of all ages and abilities, and proceeds will go to Friends’ work in protecting the local countryside.
“Bruce is a good little walker, so the three mile route should be a doddle for him,” said Rachel. “He is very excited about finding the treasure at Thornbridge Hall! I’m looking forward to seeing the gardens, and some beautiful scenery, not to mention the cakes!”
The Three Cakes Challenge starts from Thornbridge Hall at 11.30am. Entry is £6, and free for under 5s. Tel 266 5822 or see www.friendsofthepeak.org.uk.
It is one of three routes in the Friends’ ‘Magnificent Walk’ day. The others are seven and 21 miles.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Hiking the Wye Valley

The River Wye is the 5th longest river in the UK and it winds its way through the beautiful valleys and countryside of Herefordshire including some Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

There is a very popular 'Wye Valley Walk' which runs from Chepstow to Pumlumon and which takes in a large swathe of rural Herefordshire. The route is 136 miles long and straddles the border between England and Wales, it can be a bit hard going in parts but would probably be classed as an easy grade walk for most hikers.

Hikers and walkers will find plenty of bed and breakfasts in Herefordshire along the way (Herefordshire being the central part of the route). Herefordshire bed and breakfasts vary in price and you can expect to pay up to £90 for a double room. For the slightly better equipped hikers, campsites are plentiful along the Wye Valley route and are never far from the river's edge.

Places of Interest
The Wye Valley route is nearly all rural with only a few towns/villages, and one (small) city, to break up the country landscapes.

Chepstow sits at the bottom of the route and is a quaint town with a large castle and picturesque streets. Near to Chepstow is the historic and touristic Tintern Abbey. Further up stream is the old market town of Monmouth, which is attractive and has some great independent shops to visit.

The walk then follows what used to be the old steam railway route along the river up to Symonds Yat. Symonds Yat nestles on western side of the Forest of Dean and is popular for canoeists, rock climbers, cyclists, hikers, bird watchers, fishermen and cavers. It is classed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with rapids, viewpoint high above the valley and an ox-bow bend in the river which is clearly visible from Symonds Yat Rock.

The magnificent medieval Goodrich Castle perches above the Wye mid way between Ross On Wye and Whitchurch. Here there is the old Flanesford Priory and Kerne Bridge, a hidden, and long disused railway tunnel is situated nearby which runs deep beneath the fern covered Coppets Hill.

Ross On Wye is another picturesque market town with ancient market place and is steeped in history with antique shops and rural farming atmosphere.

The route between Ross and Hereford city is winding and very rural with farmland either side of the Wye. Hereford itself is an intriguing city which is dominated by the enormous Hereford Cathedral with 'Mapa Mundi' (a spiritual as well as geographical map of the medieval world).

From here the Wye continues up to Hay On Wye, sometimes referred to as the 'Book Capital of The World. Hay is a most beautiful border town with a festival of literature which takes place annually. The route beyond this becomes even more tranquil as the river gradually becomes more of a stream deep into the Welsh countryside.

Fauna and Flora
The animal life of the Wye Valley is rich. Salmon and trout can be fished for in parts of the Wye and if you are lucky you may catch glimpse of a predatory Pike. 

Deer, fox and badger and rabbit are all friends of the river valleys as well as mink. According to the Environment Agency, in selected parts of the Wye, the lovable otter is once again thriving.

There are many varieties of tree in the Wye Valley and perhaps the most beautiful example of ancient British woodland is the stretch of river from Monmouth to Symonds Yat. Here the forests almost crowd the river. You can find fir, yew, beech and oak woods to name but a few amongst the dense woodlands.

The Wye Valley teems with bird life. From peregrines and other birds of prey such as buzzards to all varieties of woodpeckers, kingfishers to mute swans, cormorants and grey herons to night-jars and dippers. All these birds make the Wye Valley their home and a hiker is most likely to see at least some of these birds on route.
If you're looking for a lengthy but tranquil walk then the Wye Valley is superb and will offer some stunning scenery and interesting wildlife for those willing to venture along the river's trail.

The Wye Valley is Britain at its very best!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Blog about Holidays

Holiday ideas these days can be easily found on the internet. The days of trudging down to your local travel agents are fast becoming a thing of the past for many people.

There are plenty of websites and organisations where you can get inspiration for a new holiday or even book one without the high street fees that some agents charge. One such place is the useful 'Holiday Blog'. If you're looking for a weekend break hiking around the UK or further afield in Europe or beyond then Holiday Blogs can give you an insight into where your next travel is going to be.

Hiking and camping is popular across the world and what better way to find out about a secret spot or new location to hike than a travel or holiday blog. Holiday blogs are often written by people who have already visited and explored a holiday destination, and they can provide more depth of local knowledge, like where to eat, what to avoid, special trails to try and much much more.

Many people now use holiday and hiking blogs to search out their latest escapade, if you hiking, the costs will be minimal as well, so free advice and a do-it-yourself holiday break equals a win win situation. What's more, if you like writing about your holiday exploits then you could even make money from blog writing yourself.
Many blogs will pay contributors a small fee to write relevant and quality articles which they can then post in their blog or website hence drawing in more visitors to their blog.

Web directories can offer up some great lists of camp sites around the world, they will provide a hiker with the opportunity to pick and choose where they stay, and if you're not into camping, the web will also point you in the direction of local bed and breakfasts or hotels.

One such blog is Blog About Holidays.co.uk, they offer a variety of interesting articles on hotels and camp sites and other camping related articles. There are plenty of holiday and camping blogs out there, you're reading a hiking one right now.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Not Hiking? Stay fit and healthy - superfruits and weight loss.

Want to lose weight, feel great, and improve your health when not out hiking?

The thought occurred to me that for the most part, we hiking type folks are relatively fit and healthy. I say for the most part, because during the winter months the hiking miles fall to nearly zero and the pounds/kilos take a steady hike upwards.

And who can resist all the Christmas pud, cakes, cheese, biscuits, meats and other foods of the devil?
So I got out the laptop and clicked around the web page to page looking for some easy way to keep the weight off while still indulging in the culinary delights of the season. Then bam .... slimming.com with a name like that they must have something to help?

I was very impressed to see that they sell very natural remedies like A Maqui Berry supplement that is a renowned super fruit that is very well known for its super antioxidant properties.  For those of you that don’t know, a fruit like Maqui Berry helps clear the toxins and poisons that gather and accumulate over time in your body. This has the added benefit of allowing you to improve your health and lose weight in a number of ways.
  •   Increase your energy levels 
  • Clear toxins and poisons from your bod 
  • speed up you weight loss.
  • Helps with diets and fitness programs.
This super fruit compares very well with the other well known fruits. Super Foods are given an ORAC LEVEL score. This measures the amount a foods antioxidant performance. The higher the ORAC number the stronger the antioxidant.
See this chart:
You can see from the chart how effective The Ultimate Maqui Berry is an antioxidant, and I thought that Cranberry was the best. Not even close!

Slimming.com does seem to offer just that, all that you need to stay fit, lose weight and  feel great. Instead of idling around getting fatter and fatter.  Mind you it is fun ;)

Anyway, I thought I would give it a try and so far, only a few day I think I am really feeling different, livelier and awake with more energy. I suppose it is a bit too early to tell but early signs are promising.

NOW I FEEL LIKE A HIKE, Coming?

Follow this link to VISIT THE OFFICIAL site and start feeling better!