Brush up your navigation May and June 2018

May 16, 2018


For the Spring and Summer 2018 we have a ‘brush-up skills’ series of Map Magic activities which give you a chance to practise your navigation skills to keep them fresh in a relaxed atmosphere as part of a pleasant walk into Derbyshire country side.


Evening Navigation Challenge 
Friday 25 May 2018 – 19.00-21.00 – meet Duffield Station. 

After a quick revision session we set off on a walk together with everyone supplied with prepared maps you get to use for finding your way round a simple course which will give you a chance to practise your skills.    £15.00 (includes hot drink at the end)

TO BOOK: Text 07847417027  or email



A Walk in the Woods (with a map)
Saturday 16th June – 10.00 – 14.00  meet Ambergate rail station

Our intro session will be a chance for Q and A where you can bring your navigation queries and share your challenges. We will go over some of the fundamentals of good map reading  but very soon we’ll set off for a walk and head into the Derwent valley woodlands where we’ll have a chance to put our skills to the test.
£20 includes elevenses but bring packed lunch.


TO BOOK: Text 07847417027  or email

All sessions led by Alastair Clark, Cert Ed, M Ed,  Hill and Moorland Leader   , approved assessor for National Navigation Awards

I have been running walks and navigation courses for several years and was pleased to be featured in Outdoor Enthusiast magazine. (page 18)  .




Back to Provence

May 16, 2018

A walking trip to Provence never disappoints and this year it was again a delight to lead walks from HF Holidays base at Greoux les Bains. P1010758 The final walk in the Verdon Gorge is certainly the most memorable.

Lunch time on Day 2 we came across this little fellow. If fact he was dead when we found him but still warm – we think he had been dropped from the beak of a bird? Were we right? Any ideas?


Cabo Verde- February adventure

May 16, 2018

It was great to have a chance to explore the volcanic landscape of three of the Cape Verde (Cabo Verde in Portuguese)  in February 2018.  Here we descent from a high pass following a path through cultivation terraces.


A local Kingfisher greeted us on walk one and we were offered local honey in a mountain farm.


The drizzle and cloudy days made for comfortable walking but we did appreciate a couple of glorious days with sea views as we came to the end of the 10 days walking programme as our last walk took us down to the impressive Ponta do Sol on the island of Santo Antao.





Northumberland draws me back

August 20, 2017

Once again I found myself in Northumberland leading walks for HF Holidays   We had a great walking group with people from North America and all over Europe.

I was delighted to lead the walk on Lindisfarne on Day 1. The castle is shrouded in scaffolding but these upturned boats are all part of the atmosphere of Holy Island.


Later in the week we moved inland and my favourite is always the fabulous Simonside walks from Rothbury.  The heather was coming out to welcome us onto the moors.


Derbyshire Connect – a rural bus service to suit your journey.

July 26, 2017

I have just discovered this new bus service which takes you from anywhere to anywhere in the rural zone north of Ashbourne.  You can book up to seven days in advance and at least 2 hours before you travel. You may need to be a bit flexible on times but they even take bikes.  A positive response to rural transport needs!


The leaflet is here

Walk Leader Training

July 19, 2017

It was great to meet 10 enthusiastic walk leaders and potential walk leaders at Shipley park for walk leader training.  We covered a lot of ground in the day – not on a long walk but discussing issues.

Walk - Leadership

Here are just a few follow-on links.


Ordnance Survey web  site

Harveys maps web site

This site offers very good discounts on maps ordered with next day free delivery Dash4it


The national navigation Awards are recognised at bronze, silver and gold level.

See NNAS Web site  or contact Alastair Clark (07847417027) who is a registered provider

Sense of place seminar You can download the event report from  Learning from Sense of Place,:



Navigation awards (see NNAS above)

Courses and walks led by Alastair Clark (you will be invited to join the ‘meetup’ group but it is free)

Details of leadership courses.

Lowland walk leader

Hill and Moorland Leadership 



Several organisations welcome volunteers walk leaders

HF Holidays recruits walk leaders

Ramblers Worldwide holidays

Walking for Health recruits leaders across the country


Railway Walks in Derbyshire

June 24, 2017

I was delighted when HF holidays accepted my idea for what they call a Limited Edition walking holiday based on a railway theme in Derbyshire.

I was also delighted to meet Michael, Alison and Ian who came to HFs Dovedale House last week so that we could try out the walks.

Walkers crossing Ecclesbourne Valley Rly

We had three great walking days on the High Peak Trail, the Monsal Trail and on our last day we walked the Ecclesbourne Valley  and returned in a heritage railcar on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

Dovedale Rly 11

Take a look at the montage of pictures.

Perfect Provence

June 23, 2017

Easter was a superb time to explore more of Provence when I am now Field Advisor for the HF walks in Greoux les Bains.  Before the walkers arrived I did find that one of the footpaths on an easier walk had become so eroded that it really needed a diversion taking us in to Moustieres Ste Marie .

Greoux les Bains








The walks are pretty much varied and the last day takes us into the Verdon Gorge where the colour of the water is legendary.

Cuba again!

June 7, 2017

Yep, despite some challenges with accommodation in 2016 I was up for taking another group to Cuba this year. Lovely group of people (who still stay in touch by email) and some great walks. Not massive distances as it can be hot even in February and there are iconic scenes like this guy ploughing.


We came across the silent valley (Valle El Silencio) and decided to obey the rules!



Refreshing drinks during a farm visit.

Huge thanks to Carlos our highly informed local guide.

Fresh year starts at Freshwater Bay (Isle of Wight)

June 7, 2017

The year 2017 kicked off with HF holiday walks on the Isle of Wight. Lunch stop on first of January was overlooking the coloured sands of Alum Bay


The group was in dancing mood by the time we reached Tennison Down.