Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 is drawing to a close and now is the time to reflect on the year that has passed. I rarely hear people talking about the highlights of their year being things that they have bought or money they've earnt; often it's experiences that money can't buy (such a cliche, I know!).

When I look back over the last year, memories flood back of time spent with my son, friends and family; places I've visited, new things I've discovered and memorable walks I've been on.

Here are my four favourite walks from 2006 (out of a total of almost 1,000 miles of walking this year!):

Winter 2006 - A walk from the Strines Inn across foggy Derwent Moor above the Derwent Reservoir and Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District. Visibility was poor along Derwent Edge but there was a Hoar Frost that had coated everything with the most wonderful icy patterns. And I didn't meet another soul all day...

Spring 2006 - March and April I spent researching, walking and writing my new Yorkshire Water Way book, and had three memorable days walking from Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales to Ilkley. The fell-tops were dusted with snow, the days were bright and crisp and the views were superb. The area around Scar House and Angram reservoirs in Upper Nidderdale makes for fantastic walking country with a sense of wilderness, whilst the reservoirs add interest. From the Summit of Great Whernside, I followed an old packhorse route down across the moors skirting Angram and Scar House (pictured) to reach Middlesmoor.

Summer 2006 - I spent most of the summer walking in the Peak District researching routes for my Walking Weekends Peak District book. I had many memroable times staying away in villages, most notably Hayfield, Eyam, Hartington, Longnor and Castleton. The most memorable time was during the long, hot summer days of July when I stayed at Wetton for 2 days and walked through the Manifold Valley and Dovedale. The pub at Wetton is superb, and the walking excellent...

Autumn 2006 - Some of the best walking can be found in the North York Moors. There are vast swathes of heather moorland, deep green valleys, lovely villages and cosy pubs. It is much quieter than other National Parks, all of which makes for some great walking. One of the best walks I did was on an unseasonally warm October day through Baysdale to the scant remains of Baysdale Abbey (actually a nunnery). The light was perfect with long shadows and an autumnal glow across the dying flowers of the heather.

Hopefully, 2007 will bring just as many experiences.


Mark Reid

Monday, December 11, 2006


Just a reminder... If you are ordering some of our books via our website or Mail Order for Christmas presents, then the last posting date to guarantee Christmas delivery (according to Royal Mail's website) is Saturday 16th December.

After this date, we will still continue to send out books the same day as we receive the order, which should arrive before Christmas as long as the order is placed before the 19th December (although Christmas delivery is not guaranteed).

To order online visit

For Mail Order call 01423 871750 (9am - 6pm)


Mark Reid

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Don't forget to buy this weekend's Sunday Times! I'm slightly nervous at the prospect of my new book ('Walking Weekends Peak District') being featured in The Sunday Times...

Let me know your thoughts and comments about the article by posting a comment below.

Anyway, after a year's worth of planning and procrastinating my new secure online shop is up and running... and the orders are trickling in!

Cheers, Mark Reid

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Launched my new book "Walking Weekends: Peak District" today at the Devonshire Arms at Beeley (on the Chatsworth Estate). Marketing, publicity and promotion is the biggest challenge for any publisher as you are competing with thousands of other titles and also with big publishers with large marketing budgets. My marketing budget stretches to a pint of beer in a Peakland pub! anyway, fingers crossed and hopefully this launch will produce some good coverage over the next few weeks.

By the way, the headline of my press release read... "LEAVE MUDDY BOOTPRINTS INSTEAD OF CARBON FOOTPRINTS. Spend a weekend walking through the Peak District and help save the planet." Not only does this book promote sustainable tourism by encouraging people to spend a weekend walking, eating, drinking and staying locally but for every copy sold I donate a % of the profits to the Peak District National Park Authority to be used for conservation projects within the National Park. No there's a good reason to buy my book!

Cheers, Mark Reid

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm off up to the White Lion at Cray (the highest pub in Wharfedale) tonight for a weekend of walking and drinking with 9 other blokes! Should be fun... We head off twice a year (spring and autumn) for our walking weekends, staying at great country pubs and then doing a full day's walk on the Saturday and an easier stroll on the Sunday.

This is what life's all about... two days spent walking through some of England's finest landscapes in the company of friends and then a convivial evening at a traditional Dales pub with its stone-flagged bar, oak beams and roaring fire. Not to mention the local ale... it's Copper Dragon and Moorhouse's at the White Lion.

On Saturday, we're going to climb up to the summit of Buckden Pike (703 metres) then walk along the ridge down to Kettlewell for lunch. The afternoon section is back up through Upper Wharfedale to Cray via Starbotton (Fox & Hounds) and Buckden (Buck Inn).

cheers, Mark

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Crafts for Christmas Fair at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate: 9th - 12th November

If you're near Harrogate this weekend, pop into the Crafts for Christmas Fair and say hello - I've got a stand selling my books as well as my new "Walking Weekends: Peak District" which is due back from the binders on Friday, so it will be literally hot off the press!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Walking Weekends: Peak District" finally finished today, after 18 months of research, 0ver 400 miles of walking and visiting over 60 pubs! The book is being printed at the moment and will arrive back from the binders next Friday. If you want to know more about this book then visit

Anyway, had an great time in the Peak District with The Sunday Times journalists last weekend. We stayed at the newly-refurbished Devonshire Arms at Beeley (great food, stylish bedrooms, good service but rather too bright decor especially the flourescent pink plastic bar stools!) and the George at Castleton (traditional village pub with flagstone floors, open fires and generous portions of lamb shank!). The walks we did were from Beeley to Bakewell then back via Edensor. Also, from Castleton we walk up onto Win Hill then down to the Yorkshire Bridge before skirting around Ladybower Reservoir then back to Castleton via Hope Cross. The final walk we did was from Edale up onto Kinder Scout via the Woolpacks and Jacob's Ladder - see photo above. The article will hopefully appear in the travel section of the Sunday Times in late November. The best beer was a pint of Copper Dragon Pipkin at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn closely followed by Hartington Bitter at the Cheshire Cheese, Hope.

I finally did the walk around Baysdale last week on a wonderfully warm autumnal day. Elvis enjoyed himself as he loves running across heather moorland (see photo above).



Friday, October 20, 2006

Finished writing the book today... only taken me two years of research! Now's the boring part of editing, proof-reading, page layout etc.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I went out yesterday for a walk around the deep wooded gorge of Causey Burn, spanned by the superb Causey Arch. This giant stone bridge towers 80-ft above the gorge with a span of over 100-ft. This is the world’s oldest railway bridge that was, when it was built, the largest single arch bridge in Britain. It was built in 1725 as part of a five-mile waggonway between the collieries around Tanfield and the Dunston coal staiths along the Rive Tyne. This was the first major engineering feat of the Industrial Revolution. During the 19th Century, the waggonway was upgraded with iron rails and steam locomotives and an alternative route opened from Causey Arch to collieries at East Tanfield. This railway continued to transport coal to Tyneside until it closed in 1962. Today, the section from Sunniside to East Tanfield is operated as a preserved steam railway - the oldest working railway in the world. Read it in this Thursday's Northern Echo.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just got back from my walk around Marske Beck. I didn't take any photos because there was low cloud, mist and drizzle. Apart from that, it was a great walk, especially through Clints Wood as the leaves are beginning to turn - there's also a lovely earthy autumnal smell at the moment as well. Read this walk in this week's Northern Echo on Thursday

Some exciting news. Had a phone call last night from one of the feature writers at The Sunday Times who wants to come up at the end of October to do three days of walking in the Peak District with me for a travel feature about my forthcoming "Walking Weekends Peak District" book. Now there's an incentive to get the book finished! We'll be heading around Hathersage, Baslow, Eyam area taking in the best country pubs and walks. I'll keep you posted...

Cheer, Mark

Monday, October 09, 2006

20 walks down, 4 left to do... and then my "Walking Weekends Peak District" book will be complete! Well, almost. I'll then have 24 maps to draw, proofing, re-walking two routes... This book has to be out by the 9th November as I'm doing the Crafts for Christmas Fair at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

But in the meantime, I'm off tomorrow morning to do a walk around Marske Beck (tributary of the River Swale) near Richmond - I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers, Mark.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

By the way, he's two pictures of Elvis, my German Shorthaired Pointer and walking companion.

It's Wednesday, and I've just written up the walk I did yesterday. I actually walked from Kildale (on the edge of the North York Moors) up to Captain Cook's Monument (pictured) then across Great Ayton Moor skirting around Lonsdale before heading back to Kildale across Percry Cross Rigg. Six-and-a-half miles that took me just over 2 hours. The views from the Monument were superb with the Cleveland Hills rising steeply up from the Cleveland Plain with Roseberry Topping clearly visible to the north. James Cook was born at Marton in 1728 (now part of Middlesbrough) and then went to school at Great Ayton, near Kildale, before being apprenticed in Staithes and then Whitby. During the 18th century, he embarked on three of the greatest journeys of discovery to New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica and the Pacific islands before being killed on Hawaii in 1779. This walk will appear in this week's Northern Echo (

Monday, October 02, 2006

Slight change of plan. Elvis (my German Shorthaired Pointer) isn't too well today as he's been eating some of the apples from our tree which have made him sick. So, I'll be heading off to Baysdale in the morning. I've spent the time finishing off my write-up about Bakewell, which features two walks. One of which heads over across Calton Pastures to Chatsworth Park and Beeley (superb pub - Devonshire Arms), from where it heads up through Smeltingmill Wood to Rowsley then back passing above Haddon Hall and along the banks of the Wye (10 miles). The other walk heads along the Monsal Trail to Little Longstone (great pub - Packhorse Inn) and Monsal Head (famous viewpoint) from where it drops down to Ashford in the Water and back along the Wye (8 miles). Here's an interesting fact that I've just written up...
"nearby is the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop that still makes Bakewell Puddings (not tarts!) from the original recipe. This famous delicacy was inadvertently invented during the 1850’s at the Rutland Arms Hotel when the cook made a mistake and poured the pastry mix over the jam instead of the other way round and so created a pudding instead of a tart! "
I'll let you know how I get on around Baysdale - I might even post a photo, if I can work out how to do it!

Cheers, Mark

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's just turned October 2006 and I've now spent the last 18 months researching my Peak District books, and I still haven't finished them! My "Walking Weekends Peak District" book is getting there, slowly. I've walked all of the 24 routes but I've still got 6 left to research and write up - and they take about 2 or 3 days to do each one. Realistically, I should get the book finished by the end of October. It will be a great book when it's finished as there are some superb walks featuring some great pubs. Because it is such a popular walking area, it has taken me much longer than I thought researching it as I need to be confident that my finished books will showcase the very best the area has to offer.

In the meantime, I'll be heading out tomorrow to do a walk for my weekly column in the Northern Echo. I think I'll head up to County Durham, but I haven't decided where yet! It'll probably be Hob Hole and Baysdale near Castleton. The finished walk will appear in this week's newspaper on Thursday.