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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 (2021)

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

23 December 2021

Well, its been a funny old year. Covid/Omicron dominate all the news. I have been tripple jabbed so like to think I am immune (but probably aren't!). I am unable to understand the mentality of those who will not get jabbed, both for their own sake and to protect others. I am doing my bit to support the local pubs and any that happen to be conveniently placed on my travels.

Having just finished an exercise on this site which involved going through every walk (there are now 370 of them!), I realised just how scarily long it is since I did some of them, which seem like yesterday. My way of writing the walks has evolved and in the introductions, I now give much more information about places than in the early days. I suppose in an ideal world, I would revise the earlier ones but it is unlikely to happen!

I am running down the paid advert section of the Accommodation pages of the site and by April 2022, all the last adverts and the section will be removed. I have given all those that were advertising a free year as a thank you and to help with the Covid crisis, although I think 2021 has probably been something of a boom year for accommodation in this country. I decided to stop accepting paid advertising because then there is an obligation to advertisers, both to keep the site going and to make any changes they need. I am not getting any younger and should I turn up my toes, that leaves others with problems to resolve. I was offered a relatively large amount of money to host an non-accommodation advert for a period, which was tempting but I managed to resist.

I have created a new section giving away free Happy Hiker calendars in landscape and portrait formats. It is so easy to suddenly need a calendar for the following year, then find they have all been snapped up. It has happened to me lots of times. They are PDFs so you can print of all or particular pages as required. I hope to produce some for 2023 later. At least then you will know my toes are still turned down! I hope they are of use.

I hope all visitors to this site have a great Christmas. At least we have been spared lockdown for it but who knows what will happen afterwards.

21 November 2021

I see having promised to "level up" and provide HS2 to Leeds and giving us Northern Powerhouse Rail, the Government have now reneged on all that. HS2, will not now be coming to the east of the Pennines, so disadvantaging Leeds. Even more galling is to find out that the man who dreamt up HS2 intended Leeds/Manchester/Birmingham to be the hub of the system with the London link being described as a "useful branch line". So, we now know that HS2 has started in London with the "useful branch line"  to Birmingham getting priority.

We also learn this week that Northern Powerhouse Rail has been virtually cancelled, with a piecemeal upgrade being promised instead, to the particular disadvantage of Bradford, who are left out in the cold as the largest city in England not to have a major rail link.

Is there any wonder people do not believe they can trust anything politicians say?

Far from feeling leveled up, the North just gets economically leveled! 'Twas ever thus.

5 October 2021

I have been approached by a Harrogate based charity who enable people with disabilities to access and enjoy the countryside who also produce Audio Walks. I do not normally print other people's articles but this seems a worthwhile cause and its in Yorkshire!

Open Country's Audio Walks

'There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes' so the age old saying goes. But as the autumn approaches and the weather starts to turn, there will no doubt be some days to come where long walks in the Dales or Moors will have to be put on hold.

But how do you get your countryside fix when the rain is lashing down and the wind threatens to steal your map from your grasp? By bringing the outdoors indoors with Open Country's Audio Walks.

A 'Covid creation', we began recording and sharing Audio Walks during the first lockdown, mainly for our members and volunteers who were missing our countryside activities. In normal times we lead up to 15 activities a week to help people with a disability to access and enjoy the countryside in North and West Yorkshire. We soon realised the Audio Walks had a broader appeal to anyone who enjoys the outdoors and not just local people.

The recordings are between 20 and 25 minutes long and provide an aural snapshot of the sights, sounds, smells and experiences of a wander through a Yorkshire landscape. There are over 30 to choose from on the Open Country website, featuring places such as Bolton Abbey, Newmillerdam in Wakefield, Otley Chevin and Eavestone Lake near Brimham Rocks. They are recorded by one of our Countryside Activities Officers, Tom, who's wonderful Yorkshire lilt and intonations lend a sense of mindfulness to the recordings. He has an enchanting way of describing the scenes in front of him, enabling you to create a picture in your mind of his adventures.

One of the latest audio walks sees Tom in the most visited spots within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Always a fan of walking next to water, Tom enjoys a sensory wander along the River Wharfe from Bolton Bridge to Bolton Abbey. He also touches on the history, ecology and the wildlife along the way. The question is... does Tom do the stepping stones or does he opt for the bridge? You'll have to listen to the Audio Walk to find out!

So this winter, when the cold wind blows and the rain lashes down, you can enjoy a wildlife walk from the comfort of your sofa and get inspiration for your next adventure into the Yorkshire countryside.

1 October 2021

I received a nice email this week from someone who had done one of my walks thanking me etc. They had obviously enjoyed the walk. They went on to say that they did not have a map but because my directions were "spot on", they had not had any problems. Obviously I am pleased that they found their way and that my directions were accurate However, I would not recommend relying on my descriptive directions, or indeed anybody elseís, on their own. It is difficult to put oneself in the mind of all readers and different people can read the same directions in different ways, although I do my best to make mine Ďuniversalí. Also, some descriptions can seem a little sparse and some might contain errors. I would never claim that my own are infallible although I do my best. Also, as I found in relation to one of my own walks recently, routes change and the up to date map is different to the one I had used a few years ago when I did the walk.

For all those reasons, I urge everyone to carry a 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map covering the area in which they are walking. It will help resolve any queries which crop up and in some circumstances could be a lifesaver, e.g. if you had to shorten a walk for some reason and were looking for an escape route.

24 September 2021

Thanks (?) to injuring my ankle yesterday, I have been unable to go on a planned walk today, so I have finished off the conversion of all the dynamic OS maps to the new system. Phew! Some walks to write up, then attack the photo issue - see below.

23 September 2021

The exercise to switch the dynamic Ordnance Survey maps over to the new system is almost complete. Only Devon remains and I anticipate this being completed within the next week. It has been hard going, as the exercise requires a lot of concentration. With time for holidays and other needs taken out the net result is that I now have a number of walks to write up, which will be the next job.

In other news, I have discovered that a number of photos can be displayed on newer iPads with their orientation switched. Some investigation suggests that this is due to EXIF data (of which I had never previously heard of) stored on the photo files. It is quite easy to delete this and on one photo where I have tried it, this seems to resolve the problem. The difficulty of course is the number of photos involved! As I write there are 360 walks on the site which means visiting each walk folder to make the correction! If you are lucky enough to have a newer iPad and find this is an issue, holding your finger on the offending photo will probably correct it for viewing.

19 August 2021

Just become aware of another site offering free Ordnance Survey route planning software. I had a quick play with this without looking at any of the instructional videos and found it pretty intuitive. For details, see GPS Training.

1 August 2021

Progressing through the updating of the OS maps on each of my walks. Quite hard going because of the need to concentrate of cutting and pasting exactly the correct coding, a) to centralise the map, b) to indicate the start point and c) insert the file name of the relevant .gpx file which informs the route line. Three areas are complete and the next ongoing. So far 121 have been done with 'only' another 237 to go! This means there are a total of 358 walks on the site now - which is quite a lot really! It will take as long as it takes. I like to think I have a life too!

I get emails from people who have done my routes with pleasant comments and everyone mostly seems to find the directions easy to follow, which was the object of the exercise.

16 July 2021

Brilliant day out yesterday in the Yorkshire Dales from Ribblehead climbing Park Fell and Simon Fell. Perfect walking conditions. Never been up these hills before. Could be used as an ascent for Ingleborough though having been up there many times, I stopped short to descend the "steps" to the B6255 before circling round under Ribblehead viaduct. The "steps" are quite a challenge! Very busy at Ribblehead but no matter if you know where to park! I will be adding the route to the website in due course.

26 May 2021

Progressing through the updating of the Dynamic OS maps, as detailed below. It is hard going because the entries have to be spot on. By the time I have done 10/12, I am bog eyed! Still, I have now done about 50, starting with the Yorkshire Dales. Only about 300 to go! Apart from a few recent walks, I have started with 'A' in the Yorkshire Dales and will progress through the rest of them before moving on to another area.

16 May 2021

After 12 months or so of pretty miserable news, one positive has been a resolution of a problem, which would have caused all the OS maps displayed for my walks to disappear round about Autumn 2021, because my IT knowledge was not up to the job of understanding Ordnance Survey's new system. Thanks to a selfless bit of help, from someone who understands the computer coding involved, the problem now seems to be solved.

18 April 2021

On this day in 1936, a group of surveyors gathered around a white concrete pillar in a field in Cold Ashby, Northamptonshire, and began the retriangulation of Great Britain. Happy 85th anniversary to these relics which are extremely useful for walkers. Itís all satellites now!

26 March 2021

I received a complaint yesterday from the resident at a farm that walkers had been trespassing on their land and on enquiry, she discovered they were using my walking directions! When I looked into the matter, it transpires that since I did the walk, the official footpath route has changed. I was able to verify this by checking my original map with the current one. The lady concerned very kindly provided a corrective paragraph which I have inserted in the instructions and corrected the maps.

Footpath routes sometimes do change, notably to divert walkers from the traditional route through farmyards. I don't mind this, if the diversion does not add greatly to the distance, as many farmyards can be a little "messy" to walk through. However, I do not regularly re-walk my routes because there are too many and they are too geographically spread. I cannot therefore be aware of changes unless someone lets me know. If you do, some indication as to exactly which part of the instructions are outdated and some replacement wording would be appreciated.

In this way, the instructions can be kept relevant for everyone.

12 March 2021

For personal reasons, I have decided to discontinue accepting direct adverts from advertisers. These primarily relate to accommodation. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases plus fees for the insertion of Google adverts and this income will contribute towards the costs of the website and incidental costs. I also donate to charity occasionally, most recently to the Just Giving page for the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team member who suffered life changing injuries, whilst on a "shout" to rescue someone who should not have been on the fells at all during the Covid lockdown! The rescued person was one of two campers who were subsequently fines £200 each for breaching lockdown.

The remainder of the site will remain the same and I will continue to add walks, assuming the pandemic rules allow greater wandering eventually. It seems to have been a long haul!

On the plus side, I have had my first Covid jab with no ill effects at all and have some new summer walking boots to break in.

5 February 2021

Unbelievably, happyhiker.co.uk has now been in existence for 10 years. It seems like yesterday when I tried to follow walk directions in a well known newspaper, which were rubbish and thought surely I can do better. An element of conceit perhaps. At any rate I decided to have a go and after some stumbling around what is now some very ancient software, I managed to put something together. I have learned a very small amount about websites but the mysteries of coding remain impenetrable. The website seems to have been a success judging from the lovely emails I receive and people seem to find my directions easy to follow and accurate. There has been the odd query or suggestion and I always reply and consider whether any improvements/corrections are appropriate.

My main regret is not moving with the times and shifting to some better software, probably Wordpress but it is the learning curve and the time to do it which puts me off. The small amount of revenue I derive from adverts does not permit me to employ the services of any experts and in any case, I want to keep control. Maybe I'll get round to it. I know the site does not display ideally on mobile phones and tablets but the directions are still the same.

I have had two or three offers to buy the site but never got as far as the Yorkshire question ('Ow much!) as I have not wanted to sell it. Maybe the time will come, who knows.

Covid has been a pain to say the least and although I have followed the rules, they now seem strict than previously so I am currently restricting myself to walks from my home. Consequently, not many new ones are being added to the site, though have added a short one today.

Many thanks to all those who support my site and I hope to keep adding walks as long as I can put one foot in front of another!

7 January 2021

Happy New Year seems a little hollow, given what is happening around the COVID-19 pandemic. It is alarming the number of "Covidiots" who are claiming it is all part of some conspiracy theory. All Governments want to get re-elected and trashing the economy will not further that end. I think it is reasonable therefore to say that if the Government tell us there is a dangerous pandemic, there is one!

A major downside of the pandemic and the consequent lockdown is that we are prevented from traveling to areas we might like to go to to walk. Although it is tempting to "stray over the edges" of the rules, even if you can get away with it, please stay in your own areas to walk. If you live in the centre of a city with no immediately convenient green space, I think the rules permit a short journey to find some. "Short" is not defined but it sure as hell will not mean you can travel 50 or 60 miles to visit the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales or whatever is your preferred beauty spot. Police are checking number plates to see where cars have come from and anyone who has to be rescued by Mountain Rescue Teams can bet that if they have come from outside the area, the police will be waiting. The more closely we stick to the rules, the sooner the country will get on top of the pandemic and the sooner we can all return to visiting out preferred areas.

On this subject, in case you haven't noticed, it is winter. It is colder, it snows and the days are shorter. Mountain Rescue Teams have already had a high number of call outs resulting from incidents arising from inadequate equipment or knowledge with the usual proliferation of poor clothing, risking hypothermia, slips/falls due to lack of correct footwear/crampons and of course the reliance on mobile phones with no map/compass backup. It is not fair. Mountain Rescue Teams are made up of volunteers, with jobs and families. Call outs put them at risk anyway but there is now the added risk of COVID-19.

Finally, I have made no progress on my understanding of the new Ordinance Survey setup in relation to the little OS maps I have linked to each walk (see Blog 2020 last entry). It still looks as though from about August 2021, these will cease to work.

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.