Friday, December 28, 2007

As 2007 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the new year.

Highlights for me were seeing my little boy grow up (he's now 2 years & 6 months), gaining my Walking Group Leader qualification, publishing The Inn the Peak District (and it becoming the Mail on Sunday's travel book of the week), setting up (and getting several clients) and going on dozens of memorable walks. The best walks were undoubtedly in the Peak District with Lathkill Dale in late May a particular highlight. However, I also walked and researched the route for my Yorkshire Water Way Vol 2, which charts a route through the South Pennines from Ilkley to Langsett via Manshead End (pictured above).
Objectives for 2008? First and foremost is my family. Then, I will be bringing out two books - Yorkshire Water Way Vol 2 (spring 2008) and Walking Weekends Lake District (Dec 08). I will also be developing my website, pushing my and promoting The Inn Way walks (as always!).
I hope that 2008 brings you health and happiness, and I hope to bump into you perhaps in the Lake District during the summer whilst researching my Walking Weekends book.
Mark Reid

Monday, December 17, 2007

The best walk in the Dales?
Probably the inter-valley walk between Upper Wharfedale and Littondale via Kettlewell, Starbotton, Old Cotes Moor and Arncliffe. Great views, wonderful villages, superb pubs and contrasting terrain. The Falcon at Arncliffe is one of the finest pubs in the Dales and certainly the most authentic. Did this walk last Sunday in crisp, cold and frosty conditions with a soft, misty sky and not another soul to be seen all day.

The best pub in the Dales? Well, there's plenty to choose from and depends what you're looking for. I prefer the traditional Dales inn ... stone flagged floors, open fires, low beams and good local ale. Falcon at Arncliffe is probably top of the list, with the Red Lion at Langthwaite, White Lion at Cray, Sportsman at Cowgill, George at Hubberholme, Queens Arms at Litton, Farmers Arms at Muker, Green Dragon at Hardraw... the list goes on.

What are your favourites?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's been a while since my last blog - over 6 months in fact! Back in May I was just putting the finishing touches to my Peak District book, which was launched at the beginning of July. What had promised to be a great summer for walking and the outdoors with warm, dry and sunny weather in April and May did not materialise during July and August. Floods and disease (Foot & Mouth) did not help things and so my new book launch (which had taken me 2 years to write) was something of a wash-out. Never mind. It was still named the Mail on Sunday travel book of the week.

Since then, I've been working on Yorkshire Water Way Vol 2, which now looks likely to be published in spring 2008 as this has taken me much longer than anticipated to research, partly because of the poor summer weather but also because the walk goes through places I've never been to before so much of the research is from scratch. This all means that my 'Walking Weekends Lake District' will now be published in December 2008.



Friday, May 25, 2007

The Inn Way... to the Peak District is finally complete!

I've walked over 650 miles of paths and visited over 100 pubs over two years... the result: an 84-mile circular walk divided into 6 day stages and passing 51 pubs along the way.

There's about 2 weeks work left to do proof-reading, editing, maps etc and then it will be published during late June (it takes about 4 weeks to print and bind it).

I've been re-walking the entire route over the last week or so and I stayed at the Little John at Hathersage on Tuesday- what a great pub! The food portions were enormous, the beer was great and it was full of walkers/climbers. The walk from Baslow to Youlgrave was particularly memorable as it was a hot, sunny day and there was hardly anyone about. I had Nine Ladies stone circle, Robin Hood's Stride and Rowtor Rocks all to myself; the solitude only added to their mystical appeal. I then sat outside the Red Lion at Birchover for about an hour in the sunshine - another great pub with a traditional tap room and a friendly chef who brought my dog two bowls of water and some biscuits.

Here's the cover:

Monday, March 12, 2007

The route is almost walked, with only Stage 1 (17.5 miles) left to do, which I intend to walk this Wednesday (Hayfield to Hathersage). It is quite sad, in a sort of nostalgic way, that this journey through the Peak District is coming to an end. My first trip to the area was in April 2005, since when I've walked almost half of all of the footpaths. What was once unknown has become an old friend, with many memorable walks in all weathers and some very memorable evenings in some local pubs whilst researching the area. I particularly remember an evening at the Old Royal Oak at Wetton when I had two days of walking during some of the hottest days of the year, exploring the Manifold Valley, Thor's Cave and Dove Dale. Then there was Hayfield when I stayed at the Kinder Lodge and walked, again in warm weather, across Kinder Scout and Lantern Pike. Some of the best walks I have done over the last 2 years include the limestone dales, in particular Lathkill Dale and Monk's Dale, and also my first walk across Kinder Scout with its incredibly deep peat hags and groughs and plunging escarpment. Then there was Chrome Hill, Froggatt Edge, Bretton Clough, Win Hill, Derwent Edge, Stanton Moor, Flash, Pilsbury Castle...

It's almost time to move on to a new area, although I've also got to write Yorkshire Water Way Vol 2 and Walking Weekends: Lake District this year. Here are some highlights from Stages 2 - 6 of my new walking route "The Inn Way... to the Peak District".

Stanage Edge (above), along Stage 2 (Hathersage to Baslow)

The Peacock at Rowsley along Stage 3 (Baslow to Youlgrave)
Stage 4 (Youlgrave to Tideswell) Magpie Mine
Stage 5 (Tideswell to Castleton) Cressbrook Dale
Stage 6 (Castleton to Hayfield ) The Great Ridge
Mark Reid

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I walked the first of the six stages for my new book (The Inn Way... to the Peak District) over the weekend, from Youlgrave to Tideswell. The weather was perfect - cold, crisp and bright - and the views were spectacular. Lathkill Dale was, as always, stunning with a sharp frost lingering in the shadows, fish jumping from the still waters and mist gently rising from the river catching the morning light. The Bull's Head at Monyash was warm and welcoming, as was the Cock and Pullet at Sheldon. The views from Monsal Head were incredible, with a finale up through Monsal Dale and Tideswell Dale.

I'm looking forward to walking the next Stage from Tideswell to Castleton next week!


Mark Reid

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The proposed route of "The Inn Way to the Peak District" is at last starting to take shape. After 2 years of research, I've now decided upon an 83-mile circular walk over 6 days via 53 pubs (give or take a couple!). The route is planned, I'm ready to walk it... I just need the days to start getting a bit longer so there's enough daylight to walk 16 miles! Actually, I badly sprained my ankle playing football at the beginning of December and it has taken 6 weeks to even start to heal, so I'm limited to about 6 miles of walking at the moment. It's getting better every day, so hopefully I'll be striding out across the Peak District by early February.

To give you a taster of the route, it will take in Kinder Scout, Hathersage, the Eastern Edges, Stanton Moor, Youlgrave, Millers Dale, Tideswell, Eyam, Castleton and Edale. Here's an inspiring photo of Kinder Scout...

Anyway, the book is going to be published in April (hopefully!), so keep checking for updates


Mark Reid