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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 (2023)

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

22 December 2023

1) Anyone who has previously visited my Blog page may notice that I have changed my suggestion for a charity to which to donate from the Burley Bridge to Zarach. I have consistently suggested the Burley Bridge for a number of years but although this is something I would dearly like to see, on reflection I think a child's right to a bed matters more.

2) I have now (I think) removed all the annoying Amazon flashing adverts. If you come across one I have missed, please let me know.

27 November 2023

On various pages of my site, I host Amazon links for various walking products, notably OS maps, to provide an easy link for visitors to my site and save them having to do more searches. As an Amazon Associate I do earn a small  commission from qualifying purchases, which I use to offset the costs of the website, so keeping the content free. The majority of the links include an image to clarify what the product is. Unfortunately, Amazon have decided to 'deprecate' (their word) this function with the image and phase it out. In the meantime they have chosen to replace some of the links, on a somewhat random basis, with a rather annoying, orange, flashing, general advert to purchase books etc. This seems to primarily affect iPhones/iPads to my knowledge but may affect other devices.

I am in the process of removing the image links but as there are around 400 walks on the site, all of which have to be visited individually, it is going to take me a while to complete the task. All the map links on the walks will now take you to the complete List of OS Maps, the links on which, to the individual maps, are unaffected.

13 November 2023

Someone pointed out that one of the links on my page for Footpath Closures had ceased to work. I was grateful for that and took the opportunity to check them all and indeed add some more. A lot had stopped working. Obviously, I am not important enough for local authorities to keep me informed of their website changes but it is annoying. I rely on YOU, visitors to my site, to let me know if any links anywhere stop working. I just cannot keep a watching brief on them all.

What also became obvious is that all local authority sites are slightly different. Why can they not all use a common format? Some do not even seem to have a Footpath Closure section at all. The West Yorkshire authorities seem particularly poor. Even if there are no Right of Way closures in their area currently, you should be able to find a page which says so easily.

5 October 2023

I was very sad to hear about some moron taking a chain saw to the famous sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland by Hadrian's Wall, evidently causing some damage to the wall in the process. It was not "just a tree" and it was very  important to many. It was an icon of the area used as an emblem by businesses. Some people had scattered the ashes of loved ones there. It was a very popular and much loved tree, reputedly the most photographed in the country and in fact won English Tree of the Year in 2016.  As I write, a man in his 60s and a 16 year old boy have been arrested and investigations are ongoing. Given the popularity of the tree and strength of feeling, I would not be surprised if any local people found guilty, once identified, feel obliged to leave the area.

8 August 2023

If any of the visitors to my site are using the OS Maps Premium service, all my walks are on there. You can download the GPX files on to your phone and use it to guide you. It is extremely accurate. However be aware that it uses quite a lot of battery in constant use. The age of the phone can make a big difference as I found when I tried to use it on a five year old iPhone. Essentially it was not practical to use it other than for a very occasional check. I prefer generally to use my very old Garmin GPS receiver for the bulk of a walk because it will run for hours on a set of rechargeable batteries. However this does not have a detailed map so on the occasions where I need a bit more accuracy (say on which side of a wall) I check on the phone. However I still carry a paper map as backup.

Finding a particular walk on the OS website is not easy. To find mine, you need to set it on "All Routes" and zoom into where the starting point is. If you zoom in as far as you can, when you click on the icon, a list of walks that start there should pop up. All my walks start with "Happy Hiker walk", then the same name as the walk on my website.

Sad to hear this week of the three deaths of people who fell from the Aonach Eagach mountain ridge at Glen Coe. Take care out there.

23 July 2023

Cannot believe it is so long since I posted anything but I have not had a great deal to report. Holidays so far this year have taken me to County Durham,, Norfolk (where I climbed its highest "peak"!), North Devon and Herefordshire. Herefordshire was somewhere I had never been before, which was the main reason for going. It is a lovely, rural place with some great little towns. I have walks to write up from all these areas but I have got seriously behind with the writing up. I did a little poll on Twitter to ask which area I should do first and County Durham won. Therefore today, I publish my Mickleton to Romaldkirk walk, the last of my Co. Durham walks from this year's trip.

I suppose one bit of news is that I have bought a new car. My previous Kia Sorento, which I had from new, was 11 years old. I loved it and it was good for years yet but perhaps unusually in a family, it was my wife who wanted me to get a new one. I think normally it would be the man agitating. After much research, I opted for a Skoda Kodiaq. It is petrol, automatic and a 4x4, my first automatic. I suppose I am pleased with it but hardly excited. Cars do not interest me as they did when I was young. I need a 4x4 because I tow a caravan and often stay on farm fields. Having been stuck in the past, I did not find that a lot of fun!

Electric was out of the question because I often drive to the other end of the country for holidays with my caravan. Charging facilities are not remotely at a quantity which is sufficient for EVs generally and not likely to be for years yet. Also, the ranges quoted by the manufacturers are basically lies and you can imaging what sticking a caravan on the back will do to them!. Hybrids do not appeal because once the electric power is exhausted, you burn more fuel than if it was not a hybrid, because of the extra weight of the electric motor and batteries. I do not think they are very green at all.

On a more cheerful note, I have had more emails of appreciation for my walking routes and some people seem to be working through them, which is nice to hear.

I have written on two occasions to the relevant footpath officers at local authorities to report problems with footpaths, one blocked and one signposted but does not exist! I would encourage all walkers to report issues. The officials responsible have huge areas to cover. They cannot walk the paths all the time to check on them, there are just too many. The only way they will be aware of issues will be if someone reports them so please do your bit.

16 March 2023

You may have noticed, like many other websites, happyhiker now has an annoying pop-up which you have to click before accessing. It starts by saying:

happyhiker.co.uk asks for your consent to use your personal data to:

Personalised ads and content, ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development

Store and/or access information on a device

It ends with an option to "Manage Options" or "Consent".

This notice is being kindly provided by Google to meet the conditions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There is more information on this on my Privacy Policy page. I find these pop-ups annoying and indeed have ignored the requirement for long enough. Too long really, not least because I needed to get my head round the process for installing it. I always just click "Consent" on these pop-ups and have never noticed anything untoward as a result but there are a fair number of options under "Manage Options" if you want to be bothered.

Happy Hiker itself - i.e.me! - collect no personal information at all about anyone who visits my site. The only information I have access to are anonymous statistics in relation to visitors to the site and which adverts (income from which helps offset the costs, rather than me charging for information) are used.

I fear that whilst there is an obsession with data privacy, such pop-ups will remain with us. Sorry but there it is.

26 February 2023

There is nothing more frustrating that planning a walk involving the use of stepping stones, only to find that when you get there, they are under water. It is especially frustrating when the stepping stones are half a mile from their nearest access point. The stones at Burley in Wharfedale are a perfect example. To help resolve this problem, I reasoned that the river level recorded at the Government measuring station only some 4 miles upstream, at Ilkley, where live data is available, must have a bearing. I therefore carried out a study. In short, the stepping stones at Burley are just passable with care, if the river level at Ilkley is 0.17m or less. Anything more and some of the stones are likely to be under water, with attendant risk of slipping. The Ilkley river level can be seen at https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/station/8106.

Do not under estimate the danger when this river is high. There have been fatalities in the past.

21 February 2023

There is a long ongoing saga about a disputed access from Open Access land at Mill House in Barbondale on the west of the Yorkshire Dales (see Annex to Calf Top Walk and Leaving Access Land at Mill House). Although there is a Right of Way via a public footpath south west from the property, the owner claims there is no Right of Way from the Open Access land to link with this footpath, even though it is a matter of only a few yards. What is now believed to be a substantial gate and notice seek to deter walkers. A local resident, Mark Braithwaite, who lives not far from Mill House, believes there should be a right of access to/from the fells at Mill House. He is applying for a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) and is anxious to receive information from any one who used this route anytime earlier than 2010 or if anyone had used it without challenge. If you can help, please contact him directly at braith8@hotmail.com.

He has confirmed he is happy to have his details published.

26 January 2023


Noted with interest that Natural England are beginning a project to uncover the secrets of Holloways, sunken lanes that can be rich in historical and cultural value. Holloways are lanes/paths that have become 'sunken' through centuries of erosion, due to repeated use by people, animals and carts. Some even go back as far as the Romans. They usually have hedges or trees on each side often leading to a tunnel like effect, especially if the trees on each side become intertwined overhead. Some are as much as 10m deep.

Most of these lanes have become overgrown and are forgotten and unexplored whilst others have become part of the public footpath network. Many have detailed carvings/graffiti carved into rocky sides.

The initial project in Dorset it is hoped will be completed by the end of March 2023.

The project is inviting people to share pictures and details of their local ancient paths via twitter using #sunkenlanes

It will be interesting to see what they come up with and whether it will provide additional walking opportunities.

Using GPS Receivers/Mobile Phones to Navigate

On a different topic, I noticed recently that recent survey by Mountaineering Scotland found that of 4000 who took part, 87% used mobile phones or GPS to navigate on hills and mountains. 40% of those said that their device had stopped working while using them, presumably mostly through running out of battery, though possibly malfunctions or breakage might have played a part. If my maths is correct, that means that 1392 (or 35% of the 4000) were potential Mountain Rescue call-outs! This really is not fair. Mountain Rescue teams are volunteers and are real people with lives of their own, which should not be unnecessarily put at risk.

For God's sake, always carry an OS map and compass and maybe occasionally use them to keep your hand in. OS maps are only around 8. This is probably less than the cost of a round of drinks for two, which I suspect most walkers would not hesitate to spend.

You can get a serviceable compass for under a tenner.


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