Jonathan’s Blog

Access Land, Explore it, Enjoy it

I have just spent a pleasant half day walking and exploring the rarely visited western flanks of Whernside. Heading up from the col between Kingsdale and Deepdale to the summit, I then kept to the western side of the summit ridge wall and explored the 3 Tarns of Whernside. I returned to the col via the scar overlooking Deepdale, mainly on a sheep track although some of the route was trackless. I...

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Enjoyable Snowy Walks

Steep walking above Settle

There is surely nothing better than a winter's walk on a clear day, with snow on the ground. The low sun creates an excellent light which even an amateur photographer can make look good, the walking is easy on the hard ground (as long as the snow is not too thick) and a cosy pub is definitely a great way to finish. ...

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The Hills ARE an Outdoor Playground

I received a letter the other day complaining about the difficulties of one of the walks on Where2walk concerning a climb up Blencathra. He said it was too dangerous and finished his letter with the phrase "the outdoors is not a playground, it is a dangerous place". I nearly fell off my bar stool. Of course it is a play ground. ...

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Navigation Skills and Guided Adventures

Take some exercise, connect with nature, learn a new skill (or brush up on an old one) with our course dates for guided walks and navigation skills now available. We have a full calendar of events to enjoy the outdoors in 2019. ...

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Walking a Long Distance Footpath

There is something immensely satisfying in walking a Long Distance footpath. Travelling long distances across the country (or a number of maps) and finishing in a completely different place is always full of interest and satisfies a primeval need in many of us to explore and conquer. All over the world these long distance walks (trails if we live in America!) are becoming increasingly popular....

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Yorkshire 3 Peaks Debate

Iconic Ribblehead

Roughly 100,000 walkers came to the Yorkshire Dales in 2018 to climb the 3 Peaks (24 miles, 5,500 feet of climbing).  The difficulty and distance make a completion (within the preferred 12 hours) a cause for great satisfaction. As a guide on the 3 Peaks I would estimate 60 to 70% of walkers complete the walk within the 12 hours with a further 10% completing the walk in a slower time. I would go...

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Wild Camping in the UK

Views towards Great End

I have always enjoyed wild camping, whatever the weather. There is a real adrenalin buzz when you can hear the rain hammering on the tent, only inches away from where you are lying or the wind is buffeting the tent and you wonder whether you have put the tent pegs in deep enough.  This year though it has been different, the weather has been superb and the pleasure has come from simply 'being...

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Enjoying our heatwave

The weather really is extraordinary. I do not remember the famous heatwave of 1976 but I can definitely say this is the longest and warmest spell of weather I ever remember in this country. Sunny walks though can be brilliant (despite what some of the doom mongers say). I must admit I treat walking in this heat a bit like walking in the snow. Be prepared and compromise on the type of walk if...

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Why I use a map and compass

With the rapid growth and use of technology I can't help but worry about the use of traditional map and compass. There is little doubt that more people are exploring our higher lands armed only with a handheld Gps or some mapping software on their phone. Viewranger seems the most popular at the present time. ...

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High Cup Nick in Spring..ish

Head wall of the Nick

We arrived in the lovely village of Dufton for a mid week walk up to High Cup Nick. It was Debbie's first mountain outing in the terrain hopper of the year. We roped in Andy (being her husband we could not really leave her behind), Jane, Lesley and a stray man named Dave and his trusty spaniel called Hal. The weather was warm and clear; our only initial issue being the Stag Inn was closed (as it...

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