Yearly Archives: 2016

South Downs Walking – On Kindle and Paperback Book

Available online from Amazon UK / USA, as either a Kindle download or a full-colour paperback book.

Buy Online for Kindle:

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Buy Paperback Book – Full Colour 344 Pages

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ISBN-10: 1537013831
ISBN-13: 978-1537013831
Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.1 x 27.9 cm

South Downs Walking is a collection of motivational locations, inspirational photos and wellbeing words from the soul. Follow my personal journey as I discover a love of hiking England and writing. Through the changing seasons I walk the ground, listening to the landscape.

Some of my favourite West Sussex and East Sussex South Downs Way hikes for all abilities.

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Princetown to Great Mis Tor

Ever since I first visited Dartmoor on my motorbike, back in 1990 I was always fascinated by the tall TV transmitter visible for miles and miles around. For the residents of Princetown this monument to modern communication has stood looming over the town since the mast and TV transmitter station came into operation on 7 August 1956.

Princetown TV Mast

A look on my trusty OS Explorer Map of Dartmoor showed a path running north-west from Princetown to Great Mis Tor, seemed to me like the basis of a great circular walk, with some stunning views. A date was set, I parked in the centre of Princetown close to the Dartmoor National Park visitor centre.

I walked away from the centre of town, alongside the Dartmoor Brewery and Fire Station, it was dry and the sun was attempting to shine a light.

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Watergate Bay Cornwall – Beautiful Beach

Now that I am living in Devon I have to remind myself that locations in Cornwall are now no longer 6+ hours drive away. Where as a trip to Newquay would be a weekend event, it is now just over an hours drive out of the holiday season.

Watergate Beach With Dave

My parents had mentioned Watergate Beach to me, so without doing my usual pictorial research on Google I took a chance and headed off early January to see what it was all about.

Parking was free, as the charges only apply during the main holiday season from mid March to the end of October, though do check on arrival to make sure these dates haven’t changed. The car park was literally a minute walk to the beach! With Dave my border collie raring to go we set off for some fun on the sand!

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Basic Equipment for Hiking Moorland

This is a basic list of what you should have/wear when hiking. The list will evolve!

A plan. Check how much daylight you will have, your route, your fitness, are the MOD firing ranges closed to the public, check the weather forecast but the weather can be VERY wet and VERY VERY windy on Dartmoor. Equivalent of being out to sea.

Have a plan b for when you need to get off of the moor and onto safer terrain quickly. Plan food stops, never walk tired and hungry. Shelter behind tors / strong walls if the weather becomes severe. It does.

Well fitting waterproof hiking boots or sturdy footwear. Such as trail shoes. Ordinary trainers are NOT suitable at all. They don’t offer the grip and foot/ankle support you require.
Well fitting, walking / hiking socks. To stop your boots rubbing and keep your feet warm yet not too hot.

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Princetown to Leather Tor Bridge #Walk1000Miles

Did your new year dawn with a fantastic list of New Year resolutions? As 2016 began here in Plymouth Devon I made my usual list of resolutions;

  • Eat healthily in conjunction with slightly less delicious chocolate
  • Hike more miles in new places
  • Hike old places to see the new changes
  • Set myself a challenge to beat

It was the last bullet point item that I was struggling with; I could try to beat my daily best, a reasonable 40.8 miles hiked on a humid day in June 2015. No, it didn’t appeal, I needed an excuse to get my hiking boots on every week when possible.

#Walk1000Miles Challenge – The Hashtag

It was whilst I was online on various social networks catching up with the news from my adventurous friends that I started to see the hashtag #walk1000miles mentioned.

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Widgery Cross Dartmoor Landscape

Dartmoor’s weather can be something of a mystery, promising brooding clouds but delivering piercing sunbeams. The moorland landscape delivers the same pictorial promises; mist hidden crosses and tors rising high above brightly illuminated pasture.

Dartmoor Inn – Widgery Cross

For this mid winter walk I parked just off the main A386 road near the village of Lydford, a small lane runs eastwards from beside the Dartmoor Inn to a gated moorland car park. The car park was busy, the raindrops pounding the windscreen didn’t dampen the urge to walk!

No sooner had I put on my waterproofs then the rain abated and Dartmoor once more laughed at my attempts to judge the micro-climate; moorland 1 – human 0. A short walk north east from the car park,

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