Northumberland X 2 – Almouth walking

August 12, 2016


Dunstanburgh Castle  sits imposingly on the volcanic. Whin Sill

Dunstanburgh Castle sits imposingly on the volcanic. Whin Sill






I was delighted to be asked twice by HF Holidays to lead walks in Northmberland based on their house at Alnmouth. I first ventured north in late May and again in July.

Greoux les Bains

May 2, 2016

Had a great week walking in Provence (France)
with IMG_992018 walkers of different but all very interesting backgrounds.


During our trip  we discovered a lot of wonderful plants (Flax, Milkwort, Broom, Periwinkle Rock Rose to name just a few), heard cuckoos and marvelled at the Verdon Gorge and noted the literary connection with windmills.











The narrow gorge managed to confound my  GPS as signals bounced cheerfully between limestone cliffs. The picture shows how the track wandered drunkenly.



Oh – worth mentioning that before the week started, fellow leader Jim and I watched a stunning 3D film about trip inspired by the first descent of the Verdon Gorge in early 20th Century by a guy called Martel.  Well worth checking out the film  Verdon Secret.


Not getting lost in Derbyshire

March 22, 2016

It was great to send the best part of a week in March up on the Derbyshire Moors with some very motivated map reading students.

This is landscape which never fails to impress and it certainly made an impression! After one dreadful day of bitterly cold persistent rain things looked up and by the and of the week there were patches on blue in the sky.



All the learners put a lot into their sessions and made great progress.





Key points to remember:

  • Thumb on the map
  • Read the landscape as well as the map
  • Don’t hang your map case round your neck – you will strangle yourself as you orientate your map!

Beating Obama to Cuba!

March 22, 2016

February 2016 was the time to make tracks for Cuba and explore the great walking, music and food just before US president’s planned historic visit in March!

What a place?

Where do you start?

Great people, wonderful walking, marvellous music and fabulous food (well some of it was fabulous)

Check out the montage to music

Fresh winds at Freshwater Bay at New Year!

March 22, 2016

Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight never fails to impress and New Year 2016 was no exception.  It was just great to walk with so many nice people.


Isle of Wight New Year IMG_8769


Thanks to Tony and the crew at

HF Holidays Freshwater for making sure we ended the day warm, dry and well fed!




And you know on the day with the worst weather (horizontal rain, mist, wind) – the group was happiest!

Une petite randonnée à  pied – dimanche le 8 novembre

November 6, 2015

A short walk in French open to anyone – beginners or experts
(Adult education students, relatives and friend and anyone else)

French sign

Une petite randonnée suivit d’une visite pub pour le dimanche 8 novembre.

Ouvert à tous. Pas besoin d’être un expert en français.
Une courte randonnée et une longue conversation dans la pub!

Date: Dimanche le 8 novembre

Rendez-vous à 12h30 sur le parking de l’église de Duffield.   Pour la carte

Meteo:  anglais

Ambiance: française

Apportez avec vous : bonnes chaussures ou des bottes. imperméable, un sourire

Pour confirmer – prier d’envoyer un texto  Alastair Clark 07847417027

This short walk in French really is open to anyone who would like the experience of walking and talking a bit in French. You DO NOT need to be an expert to come along. Just meet us at Duffield C of E church at 12.30 on Sunday 8th November 2015. 

Moorland Map Magic

August 17, 2015

Today was ideal weather for the training course I ran on moorland navigation skills. We met near the Grouse Inn above Glossop and made our way to Harry Hut and Burnt Hill on the Kinder plateau.

This was the steepest section we tackled on a barely visible public footpath – Of coure a right of way marked on a map is no guarantee of an easily identified path on the ground.


Tirol Wanderings

August 17, 2015

I was delighted to enjoy two fabulous weeks exploring the walking in the Austrian Tirol around the Leutasch valley .

Local buses provided excellent transport to and from the walks,  and we always found an ‘Alm’ to serve us coffee, lunch or that famous drink Almdudler.











On our our walk from Seefeld to the Moserersee we discovered one of the warmest swimming lakes I have ever found.  Every turn of the road gave us a new view.



Spring walks in Tuscany – San Quirico d’Orcia

May 23, 2015

For the second year I’ve found myself at San Quirico in the UNESCO world heritage landscape of the Val d’Orcia .

I led walks here last year for HF and the landscape and history never fail to enchant.

Our first day’s walk too us along the ancient pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome – the Via Francigena.

Of course we did not do the whole length but we had four good walking days and a day in Siena.


Storm Kettle goes down a storm

April 22, 2015

I have been really impressed with my ‘Storm Kettle.

Storm Kettle with small pot on top! The pot is fine for heating food , but unlike the water jacket it does not boil easily.

Storm Kettle with small pot on top! The pot is fine for heating food , but unlike the water jacket it does not boil easily.


Here the device is dismantled so you can see how the body of the kettle comes off and the small fire area can be adjusted. The lightweight pan and handle is also visible.

It really does boil-up water very fast with tiny amounts of wood fuel.