Circular walk from Beddgelert

Circular walk from Beddgelert

This is a beautiful, enjoyable and not too strenious (well moderate) circular walk from Beddgelert. The walk goes along the exciting Pass of Aberglaslyn, then up the hill overlooking Beddgelert, before droping down sharply to the lake Llyn Dinas, and finally making it’s way back to Beddgelert, via the Sygun Copper Mine.

This walk gives an excellent taster to Snowdonia – part scenic gorge walk, part upland boggy moorland with glimpses of Wales’ mining heritage and with beautiful views across the valley to the mountains around Beddgelert. It is perfect to escape from the tourist trap of Beddgelert, or if you want to avoid the higher mountainous areas (due to weather or fatique!)
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Bodmin Moor – King Arthur’s Hall, Brown Willy & Rough Tor from Churchtown

Rough Tor, Bodmin MoorAfter our first Jamaica Inn themed walk on Bodmin Moor, it was time to take on Brown Willy – the highest point in Cornwall, and visit Rough Tor, where the dramatic ending of the book takes place.

The walk starts and ends in Churchtown near St Breward – Churchtown meaning, unsurprisingly “that settlement in a parish where the church stands” (what did I expect?).
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Bodmin Moor – Minions, Stowe’s Hill (& the Cheesewring) and Kilmar Tor

The description of Bodmin Moor with its granite skies, howling winds and stark isolation are an appropriate background for a story that includes drunkenness, theft, smuggling, wrecking, murder and madness.
From a review of Jamaica Inn

Kilmar Tor - Bodmin Moor

Jamaica Inn is a Gothic horror adventure written by Daphne Du Maurier in 1935, based around Jamaica Inn, a famous base for smugglers, situated in the middle of Bodmin Moor between Bodmin and Launceston.

On a recent Offa’s Dyke 4 MS training weekend, and after quite a lengthy planning process, we did two Jamaica Inn themed walks across the moor.

This post covers the first walk – from the former mining village of Minions, up Stowe’s Hill (and the Cheesewring) before dropping down into a more desolote part of the moor and a climb to the summit of Kilmar Tor, which towers over Tewortha, home to Jem Merlin, the brother of the landlord of Jamaica Inn.

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Planning where to walk (the Bodmin Moor example)

You can never have enough maps!

After an enjoyable weekend of walking on Bodmin Moor, I thought now would be a good time to share how I go about planning where to walk. You see, when I am off walking (or is it hiking?) in a new place, I have a bit of planning regime. It is a bit sad, but please indulged me.

[This was orginally going to be about the walks themselves, but I got a little distracted – I promised to blog about them tomorrow!]

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Snowdonia (part 2) – The Cnicht

The distinctive shape from the south-west has earned The Cnitcht the deserved title of ‘The Welsh Matterhorn’

It’s distinctive shape from the south-west has earned The Cnicht the title of ‘The Welsh Matterhorn’.

It is an interesting steep ascent, with some scrambling at the end, followed by a gentle walk along the more wilder ridge beyond to the disused Rhosydd and Croesor slate quarries before descending back into Croesor.

It was a beautiful sunny day, the day after climing the Nantlle Ridge, that a group of friends and I arrived in Croesor, ready to climb The Cnicht. Continue reading “Snowdonia (part 2) – The Cnicht”

Snowdonia (part 1): The Nantlle Ridge

View from Rhyd-Ddu upto Y Garn (right peak) and Drws-y-Coed (left peak) - looks easy?

Often described as a classic ridge walk, The Nantlle Ridge has a fairly strenous climb, some great views (especially across to Snowdon), some exciting scrabling (Grade 1 apparantly), and a ridge with some dramatic sheer drops.

The Nantlle Ridge, well at least the part including the peaks of Y Garn, Drws-y-Coed and Trum y Ddysgl, has been my nemisis. The walk isn’t too difficult (I think it is classed as “Moderate”), but the last two attempts I have made I have been forced back by the weather.
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Offa’s Dyke National Trail GPS Data

Having just received all the Viewranger OS (Ordnance Survey) maps for the Offa’s Dyke National Trail on my N95 mobile phone, I decided to make a start creating the GPS routes in Viewranger to get a better feel for the trail.

I have broken down the trail into the same legs used in The National Trail Guides (in reverse from North to South) – these will probably not be how we walk the route – but is a good starting point.

You can download the GPS data for each leg from the table below. I have also given the length, height gain / loss and maximum height for each leg.

UPDATE: Due to the blog move, these files are no longer available to download – if you would like to receive them, please use the contact form at the bottom.

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Salcey Forest Woodpecker Trail (slightly extended)

Small path and little bridge over a steam in Salcey Forest

As it was such a beautiful day on Sunday, I decided to walk the Woodpecker Trail in Salcey Forest – a 6 (ish) mile walk that circles the whole forest.

Salcey Forest is a remnant of a medieval royal hunting forest situated near the village of Hartwell in Northamptonshire, between Northampton and Milton Keynes.

The walk was less of a training walk for the Offa’s Dyke 4 MS challenge and more a chance to give the dog a nice long walk. That said I tried to keep up a good pace to build up some stamina on what is a fairly unchallenging walk. I also wanted to play around more with Viewranger – especially with the integration with my phone’s camera (most of these photos were taken on my N95 phone via Viewranger).

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Circular walk from Hartwell via Grafton Regis and Stoke Bruerne

The White Hart - Grafton Regis

This was a filler walk, so I won’t go into too much detail. The walk goes from Hartwell, via Salcey Forest and the tip of Long Street Hanslope to Grafton Regis – with a slight detour to make sure we didn’t get to the pub before opening!

After a lovely lunch at The White Hart, we followed the canal, up the locks, to Stoke Bruerne. After another pint, we visited the entrance to Blisworth tunnel (since when did it become a tourist attraction?) and then made our way, across the fields, back to Hartwell via Roade – ending in the Rose and Crown in Hartwell for a final pint!

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Walking and camping on Cannock Chase (the return)

Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyA business meeting in Cannock gave me the opportunity to fit in the walk around Cannock Chase I have been wanting to do. The meeting was on Monday, so the plan was to come up on Saturday, stay at the Camping and Caravanning Cannock Chase camp site Saturday and Sunday nights, and do a full day walk on the Sunday.

The walk has the following highlights: Castle Ring, RAF Hednesford, Katyn Memorial, Glacial Boulder, Sherbrook Valley, Shugborough Park, Essex Bridge, and Wolseley Arms.

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