This is my little plot on the world wide web. Please understand that this series of web pages are not designed or intended to be recommended routes. Please don't quote them, I am not an authority. I created this web site just as a way of storing some of the walks that I have most enjoyed, and all the details are stored for me to easily access these routes later. The images are just to remind me of some of the interest I encountered on that route. If in making these routes public, it happens to promote the great outdoors as a good place to spend some free time, unwind and improve physical & mental wellbeing, then that can't be a bad thing. Whilst I am mindful of the responsibility of making these routes publically available. Anyone is welcome to use them, but you do so at your own risk, and you are not entitled to quote them. If there is any content that is incorrect and likely to place someone in peril, please let me know by dropping me a line here.
I was introduced to the great outdoors by my dad who, when I was a kid, he use to drag me around Ravenscliffe Wood and Round Wood (though we called them Fagley Woods), and after walks around Otley Chevin, Baildon Moor and Shipley Glen, he'd show me on the map where we had been. I was always fascinated with his knowledge of the vegetation and wildlife - as a kid I was easy to please. He also taught me how to read the map and to appreciate the environment and not to abuse it by leaving litter, he use to pick up rubbish left by others. It is something that I have carried on - it does annoy me how careless and irresponsible some people can be. He always said "always close the gate, don't worry anything grazing, don't pick the plants and only leave footprints". It was a cheap way to entertain me and keep me out of trouble, the only cost was a bus fare. At the time I didn't always appreciate being dragged around the hills, but it had an impact as I joined the rambling club at my school.
Since leaving the Army I still find myself being drawn to the great outdoors. Though the Army's idea of hiking was no-where-near as much fun and the same goes for their take on camping! They can be a bit serious at times, that is not to say that we didn't have some good laughs along the way. Their kit was a bit on the heavy side as it wasn't that technical! as for their colour scheme it is a bit drab! One thing that can be said about their kit, it has been tried and tested, again and again, and it did prove to work in a variety of terrain and conditions. These days my camping tends to be more on having comfort in mind, and my ventures tend to be more leisurely, ranging from easy strolls to some routes that are a bit more challenging, some of them are favourites, that I visit time and time again.
I'm not a serious walker, rambler, hiker or whatever you want to call it, I do it just for the enjoyment of it. I have found that walking is a great way of keeping me both mentally & physically healthy, with the added bonus of keeping the pounds off my waist, so that my belly doesn't exceed the measurement of my inside leg by more than 3-4 inches. I also get to discover some of the beauty that our landscape has to offer, without putting a hole in my wallet. Walking in the countryside is also therapy for the mind, it gives me time to think and ponder without any distractions, and allows me to escape all the hassles that day to day life brings.
Lack of activity destroys the body's condition. After all, having all that wealth of gold and silver is not much use if there is no wealth of health - how will you enjoy it! A healthy mind in a healthy body leads to a sense of well-being. That isn't psychological hog wash, it is scientific proven fact. However, if you think it is hog wash, please allow me, in my own little bubble, to believe in it. Please note, I may be a little bias, as do love my little walking ventures. Hence I am unlikely to have a completely objective or impartial view on this.
Just in case you are thinking of using these guides, please note the times given for each walk are not reflective of the difficulty of the walk as they include stops for coffee, lunch and taking in the views. My fitness level is probably at the lower end of average, I am generally a leisurely walker, though my pace can vary depending on who I am with. My own average pace is about 3-4 miles per hour on easy terrain, or 1-2 minutes per 10 metre map contour and 1-2½ miles per hour on difficult/strenuous terrain, or 3-4 minutes per 10 metre map contour.
The walk descriptions are designed and created for my benefit, though I always carry a paper map and compass, they are an additional aid (to my satnav) to help me navigate the walk. My photography doesn't do the scenery justice, but the pictures remind me of what interests were encountered on the walk, if I fancy a revisit. You are welcome to use these pages, if you think they will help or offer an idea of where to walk - but please don't quote or cite them, as they are not an authority. The images are copyrighted to this website and should not be used for commercial or personal gain.
For a long time I only used an Olympus Tough camera, a cracking all weather-all conditions camera, I was mainly attracted to it because it can automatically GPS tag my images, so it is easy to upload them on to mapping platforms. Plus it is pretty much indestructable, it has been dropped, fallen down scrambles and dropped in peat bog after being 'bleaklow'ed, and it is still going strong.
I also have a Nikon D5300 which I bought a few years ago. It is an entry level camera, I was attracted to it because it has inbuilt GPS tagging so I can plot my images on maps. The main reason for purchasing a DSLR was for better versatility, so I could capture a wider variety of images. I currently use a Nikon 16-80mm f2.8-f4e, which is a good all rounder.Whilst I haven't yet grown into the lens and mastered its full range of capabilities, I've found it is quite good for landscape and wildlife photos, as long as the wildlife isn't too far away or moving too fast, and it's okay for a bit of macro work of the flowers and fungi I encounter on my trips. Though I am more interested in the landscape I encounter on my hikes. That said, I wouldn't mind being able to capture the odd squirrel or bird before they make off. I am getting more creative with my photography, but I won't be winning any awards any time soon. My little Tough camera still gets plenty of use, I wouldn't be without it.
My photography is getting better, I am getting there. As everyone keeps telling me, keep practicing and the quality and a fuller sense of achievement or accomplishment will come. They have been right so far. So much so, I now feel confident enough to share some of my photos on Flikr. Like my walking I'm not a serious photographer. I just do it for the memories.
Discovering our landscape
There is nothing boring about doing the same walk over and over again, at different times of the year, and whether it is raining, sun shining or snowing, each season always has something amazing and different to offer. Life is full of memories and choices, the choices we make today are the source of our memories of tomorrow, and what better place to make them, than amongst our amazing landscape & wildlife. Some of the sights can be mesmerising and breathtaking, with hidden gems not found in tourist pamphlets. The walks covered here, were predominantly covered during the snow and ice free months. It is important to be mindful, that the environment is completely different during the wintering months and so are the risks! Walking in winter often requires an ice axe and crampons along with the knowledge and skills on how to use them correctly, and once armed with that knowledge and skillset don't let them perish. Keep yourself refreshed, and put them in to practice every now and then! Any fool can be uncomfortable and get out of their depth, so be sensible, and don't be a fool by becoming a statistic, be prepared and enjoy your walk.
The beauty of walking
There is something satisfying about having just climbed a hill or walked a set distance. Rather than spending most of my time glued to the television or propping up the local bar putting the world to rights. I try to do a couple or three walks each month.
There are many good reasons to go out walking, here are some of mine:
- It's an inexpensive pass time.
- I find the tranquil settings relieve any tension or stress that has built up.
- The walking also helps me keep myself reasonably fit, my weight in control-ish, so my waist measurement only exceeds my inside leg measurement by 3-4 inches. It also keeps me out of the doctor's surgery.
- It is also a great way to see some of the beauty that our green and pleasant lands have to offer and it is an activity I have grown to enjoy.
- The sense of achievement from climbing a hill or walking a set distance is an incredibly proud feeling.
- You don't have to be a romantic to appreciate the views, but it helps! and sharing some of those moments with pictures can be fun.
I'm not particularly interested in history or geology, but some of the places that I have visited have captured my imagination, curiosity and interest. I walk for leisure and I'm not interested in climbing the highest peak in the shortest time, though if that does become the thing to do and testosterone creeps in, then I always have the option to race to the top and either challenge my last walk or set a challenge to my lesser peers!
Remember - Everything in life is temporary, some thing's last longer than others. Learn from yesterday, to help manage today and plan and prepare for tomorrow.
Appreciate what life brings you, and don't forget - when in the countryside - always close the gate behind you, leave only footprints, take only pictures and memories, (have some respect - don't leave your rubbish and don't pick the plants!).
Note:- food waste doesn't biodegrade as quickly as you think! - dispose of it responsibly and protect the environment.
Oh and by the way, if we bump into each other, remind me to say hi, and enjoy your walk