Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

Nocturnal Adventures on Dartmoor with the Ranger Ralph Club

One of the benefits of moving to Taunton is that Dartmoor, previously far enough that visits needed to be overnight, is now near enough, not just for day trips, but to ‘pop to’ for a few hours. This has finally allowed me our 5-year old to join the Dartmoor Ranger Ralph Club, and on Wednesday in the late afternoon we headed to Hound Tor for her first session – ‘nocturnal adventures’.

Read more

Review of Corrymoor Companion Mohair Socks

At some point over the last year, I have managed to end up on a bloggers list that gets flogged to marketing agencies and PR firms in the hope they can get some free advertising for whatever rubbish they are selling. Mostly this means spam emails but just occasionally something lands in my inbox that piqued my interest.

In this case comfortable, hard wearing, anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking socks….. Mohair socks.

Read more

Making the outdoors accessible for people with different abilities

At the moment (touch wood) my Multiple Sclerosis does not really stop me getting out and enjoying the outdoors too much. Beyond the additional fatigue that follows a weekend outdoors, some balance issues as I tire during a hike and some interesting nerve buzzing when ascending a hill (and post river swims), the outdoors is still accessible to me. Positivity is really important when you have an degenerative disease, but it is sometimes really hard to shake the pangs of fear that my future MIGHT* involve significant reduced mobility and the impact the resulting loss of outdoor time would have to my physical and mental well-being. Because of this, the accessibility of the outdoors for people with different abilities (both as a place and the activities within it) is increasing a topic I am interested in (albeit with currently zero knowledge or experience).

Read more

Plan B, retraced steps and a proper castle – continuing #CountyCastleCaper

Whilst I am sure the National Trust would disagree, Castle Drogo, the last castle built England, is not really a castle. Finished in 1930, this stately home, with mock medieval and Tudor castle features, was always a bit of a contentious choice as Devon’s representative in our County Castle Caper.  We only really choose it so we had an excuse to cross Dartmoor as part of our challenge! Having been forced back off Dartmoor earlier in the day, and after fire-side food, beer and good company in the Warren House Inn (near the bunkhouse we should have walked to rather than getting a lift to) a new plan was needed. Neither myself or Sarah had much inclination to re-attempt our planned Dartmoor crossing the following day – Dartmoor is our regular stomping ground anyway and logistically it would be challenging. There are a few decent castles south of Dartmoor but that would put us much further away from Exmoor – a requirement of our caper thanks to the ‘visit every National Park’ rule. Paul, a resident of Okehampton, suggested his local castle was a ‘proper castle’ – should we return to Lydford on foot then get back on our bikes and rejoin NCN 27 to Okehampton Castle?

Read more

Outdoor First Aid at Powermills Bunkhouse on Dartmoor run by First Aid 4 Life

Last weekend myself and Sarah once again made the (now very familiar) journey from Bristol to Dartmoor. Rather than the usual mix of hiking, camping, tor bagging and outdoor swimming (and beer) our trips to Dartmoor usually involved however, this trip was a little different – we were attending a two day course in Outdoor First Aid, run by First Aid 4 Life, at Powdermills near Princetown.

Read more

Sun, sea, storm Katie and a mis-calculation – the start to #CountyCastleCaper

Day 1 – Tintagel Castle, Cornwall to Lydford Castle, Devon (by cycle)

Considering the level of logistical planning required for the first leg of the #CountyCastleCaper, I could have made a bit more of an effort to check the tide tables! We arrived at Trebarwith Strand ready to get our Cornwall swim in before Tintagel Castle, just up the coast, opened, to be greeted by the sight of the sea smashing into the cliffs just below us. Trebarwith Strand is apparently an excellent swimming beach at low tide – sadly in a few hours time! Our plans already beginning to unravel, we retreated to Tintagel to enjoy a coffee and a second (light) breakfast in the unexpected sunshine as we killed time before the castle opened and the tide retreated.

Read more

We have a responsibility in the language we use to describe the outdoors

To a greater or lesser extent, most people write clickbait (‘clickbaiting’ perhaps?) when posting content online. We want people to look at, like and interact with our stuff, so we are bound to write tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook statuses etc. in a way that will attract attention.

If you have a blog, run a small business, or work for a large corporate, you are probably also guilty of writing linkbait (or ‘linkbaiting’) (subconsciously or on purpose). This is content designed to be linked to by other websites. I will not bore you with the details, but the more your site is linked to, the better it probably ranks in Google (and the more people that will find the stuff you are trying to sell).

We do however have a responsibility in the language we use to describe the outdoors!

Read more

Introducing the County Castle Caper #CountyCastleCaper

I love castles and, for quite a while now, I have day-dreamed about the impossible challenge of walking to at least one in every county in United Kingdom…. in a continuous loop…..

It is clearly ridiculous but it kept my inner mind amused at a time when I started having to accept that, thanks to the temperature requirements of my tri-weekly injection for my Multiple Sclerosis, I would not be able to undertake anything longer than an overnight camp anymore.

I am not sure what I expected when I told Sarah (@PascallSarah) about it…. I certainly did not expect her to say ‘let’s do it’….. with those three words the ‘County Castle Caper’ went from dream to reality.

Read more