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mid walking boots

Advice on choosing the best type of walking footwear. Source: Flickr by Janet Ramsden

Would the Proclaimers be willing to walk 500 miles, if after half an hour their boots were rubbing and their soles had just come off right in the middle of a cold wet puddle? I doubt it! Especially as they knew they had to do 500 more!

Joking aside, and it may seem the obvious thing to say, but when buying walking footwear it is vital to get the correct fit and the right shoe or boot for the types of walk that you will be going on.

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Last September, whilst on holiday in Ireland I was able to get my hiking boots out and do a bit of hill walking. Knowing that I would have one day available near Sligo, I did an internet search to see what was around. There was no doubt that I’d have to have a crack at Benbulben (Benbulbin). Steeped in local legend, this 526m limestone hill looks hugely impressive due to the cliffs that surround most of the summit. Situated near to the coast, I imagined that there would be excellent views in all directions.

Benbulben has steep sides topped with cliffs

The impressive steep sided Benbulben near Sligo

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Well, we did it! We got round the Yorkshire 3 Peaks’ course despite Martyn falling into a bog, losing the path, and myself and Daniel detouring to “save” a sheep. But the main thing is that we have raised almost £300 for St. Rocco’s Hospice, and we had a great day in the process and no blisters!

4am – The Middle of the Night

Getting up at 4am is my idea of hell, so it was a surprise to me when my alarm went off that I actually shot out of bed as if it was on fire. Despite this I still managed to pick Daniel up 15 mins late. I needn’t have worried as he had expected me to be late so was just ready as I arrived.

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After my last post explaining why we are doing a charity hike for St Rocco’s Hospice. I thought that the next logical step was to look at how we are training. However it seems that events have overtaken me with our local paper taking up the story and sending down a photographer.

Making Headlines

Resplendent in our St Rocco’s T Shirts, we strike a pose for the Warrington Guardian

It was quite a nervous experience on Tuesday (18th June) when arriving at our shop for the photo shoot with the Warrington Guardian. I was, being a “prima donna” disappointed to find that I had not been allocated my own changing room or make up artist, however I did remember the hairbrush to sort out the remaining few strands of my hair.

The photographer arrived and duly made myself, Martyn and Daniel pose with our St Rocco’s T Shirts in front of a tent, holding rucksacks and walking poles, in a set up akin to early big game hunters. Indeed, all that was missing to create such an image was a couple of dead animals, although Martyn does his best by looking like he’s just been stuffed! Paul the final member of the team managed to hide during all the fun, and missed out on getting his picture in the paper.

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This was an enjoyable 11 mile walk in Mid Wales. The main thing that stood out being the differing types of scenery which included farmland, pine forests and moorland. With about 400 m of height gain there’s not too much uphill!

Starting from the car park in the village of Llangurig, there was gentle introduction to this walk along a short section a flat road. Crossing over the River Wye, the single track road lead us towards Clochfaen. Once off the road, the footpath climbed up Pant-gwyn Hill. Looking back, the village of Llangurig with its church can be clearly seen. Llangurig is said to be the highest village in Wales.

The village of Llangurig in Mid Wales

Llangurig, the highest village in Wales and the start of our hike.

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Whilst on my recent hike to Carnedd Llewelyn I saw across the valley a mountain that had an intriguing pyramid shape. Looking on my map I discovered that it is called Elidir Fawr. Due to its interesting geometry I decided that it would be my next objective. So I returned to Snowdonia for some more hiking.

The summit of Y Garn from near Llyn Idwal

The summit of Y Garn can be seen in the background,
just right of centre


The route from Llyn Ogwen goes up Y Garn (947 m) then drops down to about 800 m as it passes below below the summit of Foel Goch before finally heading up to the peak of Elidir Fawr (924 m).

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At the weekend we were blessed with some sunny weather, so with the mountains beckoning I headed over to Snowdonia for a hike up to Carnedd Llewelyn. There had been quite a bit of snow previously and I was hoping that there would still be some left. From the valley I could see small patches of snow but most of it had thawed. Ever hopeful I left my crampons in my rucksack just in case.

Pen yr Ole Wen mountain, Snowdonia

The route up Pen yr Ole Wen is climbs steeply from the outset

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Blue Plaque at 86 Crofton Avenue, Timperley

The blue plaque commemorating
Benny Rothman

It is hard to imagine now, that in the past, wealthy land owners would not allow the general public on their land. Yet without direct action taken by Bernard “Benny” Rothman and others, we would not be able to enjoy walking and hiking in the British countryside to the extent that so many of us do. As you may or may not know, Benny Rothman was instrumental in the 1932 mass trespass on Kinder Scout. A detailed account of the trespass, its place in British history and how it led to the formation of our National Parks and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act can be found on the Kinder Trespass website.

In April 1932 over 400 people participated in a mass trespass onto Kinder Scout, a bleak moorland plateau, the highest terrain in the Peak District.

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the ramblers association

The Ramblers Association

With the Olympic Games just a few days away, we want to share some great news. The Ramblers Association are encouraging walking to and from Olympic venues in London.

Over the fortnight there are dozens of walks to be taken, all led by The Ramblers, and all Free of charge.

The Ramblers Said:

We are leading walks to and from selected Games venues across London, Lee Valley, Hadleigh Farm, Eton Dorney and Weymouth. The walks provide a healthy and sustainable way to get to events while taking in some of the many sights around the venues.

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Back in May we published a post letting everyone know that the 2012 OMM location was still a mystery, and that the OMM 2012 will not be in the Kielder Forest. Last week (14th July) OMM announced the location of the 2012 OMM to be the Howgills.

Omm 2012 race gathering

OMM 2011 Racers – Image: OMM

Howgill Fells

The Howgills Fells can be found between the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District, with southern parts lying within the Dales. The Howgills Fells include 2 Marilyn’s, The Calf at 2,218ft (676m) and Yarlside at 2,096ft (639m) in addition there are also many smaller peaks.

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