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Kindle Books

Kindle book - My Lanzarote. 10 walks and a personal view

Kindle Book And A Pub For Lunch

5 Walks In The Yorkshire Dales


Blog (Current)

Blog updates are only on an "ad hoc" basis when I have something to say and will not be particularly regular. Latest entries first.

Blog 2011 Blog 2012 Blog 2013 Blog 2014 Blog 2015 Blog 2016

My Cabbage and I (an everyday story of heart surgery folk!)

Pinned Blog Comment

It has been suggested to me by several people that I should charge for my walk information and indeed I have had unsolicited offers of payment (declined) from people who have used my directions. I am flattered that people think it is worth charging for but I have deliberately chosen to keep the information free to encourage walking.

For those who would still like to make a donation, you may have seen from the "My Cabbage and I" page that I was unexpectedly admitted to Leeds General Infirmary in 2014 and had a double by-pass heart operation. I had to wait between 16 May and 6 June because an operating slot was not available. This was a very trying, “stir crazy” period, because although I felt perfectly well, I was evidently "too close to the edge" to be allowed to leave. Preservation of my sanity was well assisted by facilities provided by a charity called Take Heart (the link will take you to their website). They provided:

  • Free television to each cardiac ward bed (which normally costs around £5 per day)
  • Free phone calls to land lines
  • Free internet access
  • A TV lounge area with a wide screen TV
  • A roof garden with stunning views over Leeds which provided somewhere to sit in the sun pre-operation and a gentle exercise facility after the operation.

It would be appreciated if you would make any donation to them. Go via their "Can You Help" page. Even if you think my site is rubbish, they would still be grateful for the donation!

Alternatively, if you are buying anything from Amazon, if you do it via the search box on my Hiking Store page, I will get a small commission at no cost to you.

29 August 2017

I was recently asked for a contribution to an article for the Raven Hall Hotel, at Ravenscar on the East Coast of Yorkshire. The results can be seen here http://goo.gl/U7fG4d. There is a circular walk on my website which takes you to Markenfield Hall - the Markington Circular Walk

7 August 2017

Along with others, I was recently asked by the company Gala Tent to contribute to this article entitled "8 Breathtaking Walks in Yorkshire". . It contains some useful information, in conjunction with links to the walks themselves.

7 August 2017

On 6 August 2017, Grough Magazine reported on a call out for the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, to rescue a number of walkers on the summit of Helvellyn who were suffering hypothermia. Because of worsening weather and the number of walkers involved, the rescue mushroomed to involve Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Team, plus a helecopter - and this is AUGUST! It demonstrates that even in summer at even the relatively modest altitude of Helvellyn, the weather should never be taken for granted and warm clothing, waterproofs etc should always be carried.

13 May 2017

Last Friday, I joined a walk led by a friend of mine. There were four of us in the party. The walk involved quite a long trek across moorland, with no clearly defined path, following a line of boundary stones, when we could see them! Unfortunately, our leader twisted his knee. Initially he elected to carry on but the chosen route involved continuing this terrain to the top of a low hill then down eventually to a track In effect, two sides of a triangle. The walking proved very tiring and extremely boggy.

I suggested that as we were walking over this sort of ground anyway, given the knee, it might make sense to "walk the hypotenuse" over the moor to reduce the overall distance. This was agreed but meant finding our way across pretty featureless terrain in the hope of finding the end of the proper track.

Although I had my Garmin receiver, the route was not programmed but of course it did permit an accurate determination of where we were. Having got that far, I decided to get out the compass and use that to navigate for a change. I could probably have triangulated our position with the compass as there were some identifiable rocks and the hilltop to take bearings from but not wanting to mess about given the knee, I used the GPS to identify our position. Taking a bearing from there on the OS map, we proceded to walk the direction indicated. Finding markers to maintain the line was not easy, it being heather clad moor. It was a case of selecting lighter coloured bits of grass or particular tufts of heather and making sure I did not lose sight of them. Each item probably 100 yards apart

After lots of wet feet, we hit the track spot on. I don't know why I was surprised but I am always amazed such a simple bit of kit can be so accurate. It is some time since I used a compass in earnest, as I use the GPS mostly but it proves the worth of carrying a map and compass.

The knee seemed much recovered after a pint!

1 May 2017

Just returned from Shropshire. This is my second visit there and once more I was impressed by the area. Beautiful countryside with innumerable hills to walk. It is also a very quiet, peaceful place. If you are looking for somewhere a bit different to walk, without the crowds, it is well worth a visit. Expect some more Shropshire walks on Happpy Hiker soon.

3 April 2017

As the walking season starts to get seriously under way it is worth a reminder about the fast approaching 2026 deadline, when public Rights of Way which are not recorded on the Definitive Map held by each local authority, will cease to be Rights of Way, in accordance with the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (the 'CROW' Act). Although 2026 seems a long time away, in reality, relative to the importance of ensuring all historically used ROW are recorded, it is tomorrow!

Although it is perhaps expecting a lot for people to check the local authority maps at random, it is important at least that if you know of, or come across, any historically used paths which are not recorded on an Ordnance Survey map, that you check the Definitive Map. Once we get past 2026, it will be too late and any unrecorded paths will be lost forever!

More information on The Ramblers website plus what to do if you know of such a path.

3 March 2017

I have lost count of the number of mountain rescues which have occurred this year due to people getting lost because they did not have a map or compass and/or were relying on navigation with a mobile phone which failed for some reason, or were caught out by bad conditions. The latest were a couple stranded on Sharp Edge because ice conditions were worse than expected. They were too scared to continue and phoned for rescue.

Please remember all the Mountain Rsecue Teams are volunteers and their lives shpould not be put at risk just because you choose to venture to risky places, or in bad weather conditions, without the right skills and equipment. Always - as in really always - have a 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map with you and a compass and know how to use them. If there is snow and ice on high peaks, do not venture on to them without crampons and ice axes. Do not take silly chances. The mountains will still be there another day.

10 February 2017

Just returned from a holiday in Chile. It was somewhat "full on" as including the flights there, we had 9 flights in a fortnight! The country is over 2,600 miles long, so in a limited time, flying is the only practical way of seeing iis best parts. The scenery ranges from glaciers and the most amazing mountains in the south, a more temperate climate, similar to England, with green pastures etc in the Lake District to the Atacama Desert in the north. The latter is exceptionally arid but has a large geothermal area with spectacular geysers. The capital Santiago is in the centre, a huge city. On the coast is Valparaíso, a somewhat dilapidated city following a massive earthquake in 1906 and virtual abandonment following this and its decline as a port after the Panama Canal opened. However it has had something of a revival after the historic quarter of Valparaíso was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chile definitely worth a visit!

22 January 2017

Now completed all the ascent/descent figures to help assess walking times for the Cumbria and Shropshire walks plus some other popular walks.

7 January 2017

Slowly progressing with the addition of ascent/descent figures to help assess walking times on my Walking Time Calculator.

Ramblers Scotland are mounting a campaign to get Ordnance Survey to properly map the main footpaths of Scotland. If you have ever looked at an OS map for Scotland you will know that marked paths are few and far between yet on the ground there are lots. You can add your support by visiting http://goo.gl/a6N1MQ

2 January 2017

The New Year got off to a good start with the following lovely email from James, on 1st January.

Hey John, I wanted to thank you for the information on your website.  We are here in Lanzarote for the second time and found your website. 

It’s a fantastic resource and we have walked about 4 of the walks. 

Thanks very much.

If you are ever up in Scotland drop me a line.



Although it has been suggested to me more than once that I should have a "Testemonials" page, I do not post them, as it smacks too much of conceit. However as this was at the very begining of the year, I thought I would make an exception. I have replied directly (as I always do) but thanks again James.

If you recycle your Christmas Cards at M&S, for every 1000 they get, they will plant a tree, in partnership with the Woodland Trust.


All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.