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John Kelly
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Kindle Books

20 Yorkshire Walks with only one map OL21

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

Kindle Book And A Pub For Lunch

20 Walks in the Yorkshire Dales with only one map OL2

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Blog (2015)

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 walk.

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 demolished!

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 world.

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!

Life's good!

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 disappointing.

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.