Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

We have not released a music album!

June 7, 2017

Just a quick note to say that a band called the Brian Jonestown massacre have just released an album called ‘Don’t Get lost’ . It’s not Alastair Clark on keyboards – honest!

We are quite separate and still focussed on exploring the outdoors.

8 for the 8 Proud Walkers!

October 17, 2016

It was great to meet eight enthusiastic walkers at Belper Adult Learning centre on Thursday 13th for an excellent day of map training.

The day was funded as part of the Derwentwise landscape partnership project  with support from the National Lottery.

The weather offered us grey drizzle but no-one – yes no-one worried. Instead we had an excellent indoor session and then we set off for the hills in great spirits counting our paces and noticing every wall and footpath!

Lots was learned – many talked about increased confidence. Some of the group share the key learning points:


For more information on Map Courses


Len Clark- countryside campaigner 100 years young.

August 22, 2016

It was g100reat to celebrate the 100th birthday of countryide campaigner Len Clark. Len grew up in London in the 1920s and 30s and escaped the city to discover the countryside through the newly established YHA . He gave back a lot to the Association by serving in several voluntary roles eventually becoming national chairman and a vice president.



fightAs a Council member of the National Trust he was ready to remind  the charity that its roots had been in enabling access to open spaces. After retiring from public service in the 1970s he became active in the Open Spaces society, the Campaign for National Parks and was a consistent supporter of the moves to obtain National Park status for the South Downs.

Len Clark’s Blog

Kate Ashbrook dubs Len a  living Legend 


Oops did I mention that I am one of his three proud sons? (Neil and Stuart are the others two! )