Blog updates are only on an
"ad hoc" basis when I have something to say and will not be
particularly regular. Latest entries first.
15 December 2015
So that those who were
interested could be advised when new walks were added to my website, I
started a Facebook page (note the lower case 'p'). Those interested asked to
be a "Friend" and I mostly approved the requests. I say mostly
because there were a few I declined because I was not comfortable with what
I could see about them, the applications seemed totally irrelevant to a
hiking website or were perhaps just "friend collectors". It now
seems Facebook have become tetchy about personal type Facebook accounts
being used for non personal purposes, to the extent of closing some down.
Not wishing to get on the wrong side of them, I have therefore started the
appropriate type of Facebook account which somewhat confusingly they call a
"Facebook Page" (note the upper case 'P'). I don't think this type
existed when I started. If it did, I missed the significance.
To be honest, a Facebook Page
does not seem much different. Would be "Friends" simply go to that
Page and "Like" it to receive notifications as before. The
applications do not need to be approved. I hope fans of happyhiker will
migrate across by clicking the Facebook logo in the left column.
Alternatively, I notify new walks via Twitter as well.
I will be deleting
"Friends" from my personal account in due course and keeping this
account for family stuff.
7 November 2015
I do not normally have the time
or inclination to do reviews. However I am making a rare exception here to
comment on two Dales Highway publications.
Given that I have been walking
for years in the Yorkshire dales and beyond, I was amazed that I had never
heard of this route until I happened upon a couple of new looking signs when
undertaking a walk from Shipley
to Ilkley. Having tracked down the website, I raised a query with the
author and was very kindly sent copies of A Dales Highway - Route Guide and
A Dales Highway Companion.
The route is a 90 mile walk
between Shipley and Appleby-in-Westmorland crossing the Yorkshire Dales, the
Howgills and the Eden Valley. The anticipated time is 8 days.
The Route Guide itself describes
a section for each day and is neatly divided into maps which clearly direct
you with brief, boxed directions, on the maps themselves, based on the OS
1:25000 maps. The instructions seem to be very clear. Separate to the maps
is text which provides interesting information about the areas through which
you are passing. I particularly like the way the information and the
directions are kept separate which I feel helps avoiding losing track of
where you are and indeed is a principle I generally follow myself for my own
walk directions. There are also plenty of photographs of interesting
features along the way. It comes with a weather resistant plastic wallet.
Separate to the Route Guide is
"A Dales Highway Companion". This basically expands greatly on the
information in the Route Guide, with detail about the geology, flora, fauna
and history. I found this very informative. It is probably something to
study before or after each section rather than for constant reference as you
I thought the whole was a neat,
well put together package which encourages the following of a route a little
different to the "routine" Dalesway or Coast to Coast. For more
details and to obtain the guides, see http://www.daleshighway.co.uk/
6 November 2015
Further to blog entry of 10 July
2015, I have now completed the exercise to update all my walk OS map links
to the new maps which include mobile downloads.
3 October 2015
To clarify walk directions, I
often refer to some landmark or other if I think it will help. I recently
retraced a walk to find a dilapidated barn I had referred to had been
3 September 2015
Many thanks to those who voted
for happyhiker.co.uk in the Webtogs Best Hiking/Walking Blog competition.
Unfortunately, happyhiker.co.uk did not win but lost out to treksnappy.com,
a site which records the adventures of a couple as they roam the
18 July 2015
The Ramblers have launched their "Big
Pathwatch" survey. The idea is for people to report problems with
footpaths such as blocked Rights of Way, fallen bridges etc using an app or
on line. They will then take action on the issue via their network of
volunteers and/or local authority footpath officers as appropriate. The
survey runs to 31 December 2015.
30 May 2015
Commencing on 12 June 2015 when
new editions of paper maps start to be issued by Ordnance Survey, they are
going to replace all 607 current map titles (OS Explorer, OS Landranger and
OS Tour series) with a new design, including an additional mobile download
of the map that can be accessed for no extra cost.
26 May 2015
A little while ago I was
approached by Warner Leisure Hotels (along with some other walking
websites), to contribute towards a section about walking which they were
including on their website. They have now published this and the results can
be seen at their page Explore
the UK's Best Walks at Warner!
19 May 2015
I have just returned from a week
in the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales. Very fortunate with the weather so were
able to complete a number of walks. The area is very scenic and reminiscent
of Devon. The walks utilised parts of the Wales Coast Path which is fairly
new as a complete entity and was very well signposted, though not always
where indicated on my brand new OS map! I will be publishing the walks as
soon as I can get them written up.
10 April 2015
Statistics from my webhost
1&1 indicate this site is now receiving half a million visitors a year.
Hard to believe how popular it has become.
Another high has been the
weather this week. I have walked on three consecutive days in brilliant
weather. Sunny and clear visibility as well!
5 March 2015
Becoming a little frustrated by
the weather. The BBC keep promising blue skies and sun but I keep getting
low cloud and getting wet! The main issue is that the photos are a bit
16 February 2015
I recently returned from a
holiday in Lanzarote. Flying into the island, it was noticable how green it
was, in contrast to previous visits. It turned out there had been a lot of
rain towards the end of 2014 which had germinated lots of plantlife. A bonus
was the swathes of wild flowers which I have never seen before, enhancing
the beauty of walks. The weather during my stay was mostly overcast but this
made for better walking conditions than when it is "scorchio". So,
some previous routes were revisited and some new ones completed which I will
describe over the next week or two - La
Geria and Montana Tinasoria now added.
Lanzarote has clearly woken up
to the attraction of walking for visitors. Not only did I see more people
walking than previously but fingerposts seem to be springing up all over the
place. This growing popularity is perhaps indicated by the fact that my Lanzarote
Walks page now features in my most popular pages.
Lanzarote really benefits from
exploration and I find the volcanic landscape fascinating.
On a different subject, visitor
numbers to Happy Hiker continue to grow. January 2015, numbers exceeded
40,000, on a par with many normally busier months. On that basis, it looks
prettty certain that I will pass half a million visitors in 2015.
1 January 2015
Happy new year to visitors. Hard
to believe another year has flown by. Something of a traumatic year for me
following the death of my mother in March and my heart operation in June.
However, I seem more or less back to normal now and a visit to the
cardiologist in February should baseline things. It was nice to get back to
enjoying hiking once more and writing up the walks for others to enjoy.
Visitor numbers continue to grow with no signs so far that they have reached
a plateau, which they no doubt will eventually. For 2014, visits averaged
over 39,000 per month, an increase of 50%.
It has been suggested that I
should have a newsletter but I anounce new walks on Twitter and Facebook. I
am not a compulsive twitterer or "facebooker" like some and do not
use these media for anything else much so if people want to be kept informed
of new walks, the easiest thing is simply ro register for one of these. I
will not be bombarding you with entries.
22 December 2015
I would like to get feedback
from users of this site so have added a 'Feedback' button on the left.
Responses might help with any improvements/changes etc. It should not take
anyone more than a couple of minutes.
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.