Hope Walk, Peak District

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Peak District in Derbyshire is the second most visited national park in the world. It’s a paradise for walked, bikers, adventure seekers. This weekend we went back to Peak District to spend sometime in the Hope Valley and do some pleasant walks. This was a last minute plan, browsed 100 of pages for an accommodation and luckily got few beds available in a bunkhouse for the weekend.

We stayed in the village of Hope at Pindale Farm & Outdoor centre. A not so cozy but clean bunkhouse at £15 pp for a night was a great deal. It has everything for a weekend stay – a small kitchen, dining table, chairs, baths & toilet.

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We then headed for a circular walk from Hope to Castleton Village.To the north stands Win Hill and Lose Hill and the heather moors of the Dark Peak, to the south the limestone dales of the White Peak. A part of Hope Village valley was once a part of Royal hunting reserve.  There is a cement factory which has been the source of employment in the village since the 80s. The railway arrived in 1892 and opened up employment prospects for local people with easy access to both Manchester and Sheffield.

Hope (meaning “a valley’) is one of the very few Derbyshire villages to be mentioned prior to the Domesday Survey of 1086, the earliest surviving record dates from a charter of 926 AD which tells that King Athelstan won a battle nearby, and purchased land at Ashford and Hope from a Dane. Hope is also unusual for having kept its name with the spelling unchanged for over a thousand years. Now a days hoarded with Tourist, this village is a home to fantastic pubs, tea rooms and a plenty of walks all around it.

With clearly marked routes and a bit of detour via public footpath, you can do a circular walk from Hope to Castleton. In my next post I will be writing about Castleton.

But here are some pictures of Hope Village and our walks till Castleton.


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Forest of Dean

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Taken from Internet

Taken from Internet

We spent a weekend away in small cottage in the Forest of Dean. A fun filled weekend with a lot of walks in the forestry area, steam train rides and scenic drives.  And to add the cherry on the top, everything nights was spent away near a fireplace with wine, good food and great friends.

The Forest of Dean is in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It is a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye, Herefordshire, the River Severn and the City of Gloucester. This area is rich in its history dating back to Roman time. The area was occupied by the Romans around 50 AD. They were attracted by its natural resources which included irone ore, ochre and charcoal. For Tudor Kings, it was a royal hunting ground. With mid 20th century mines have now disappeared into the forest and the area is characterised by picturesque scenery accentuated  by remnants of the industrial age and small towns.

Forest is reach in ecology and is composed of evergreen trees. Predominant is oak, beech and sweet chestnut has grown here for many centuries. The forest is home to foxgloves and other wild flowers. Deer are predominantly found through out the forest. This is also a home for wild boar (luckily we did not come across any of them during our visit).

During our visit we opted for a very famous sculpture trail in the forest of Dean. It is a beautiful walk in the dense woodland showcasing a unique collection of contemporary sculpture within the whole trail. Something unusal and very different that you do not often see on your trails in the woodland. Unfortunately we reached late in evening, and winter days being short we could just do a little and promised to come back again 🙂

We might have not picked the best time of the year to visit this beautiful place, but there is a lot to do in this exotic place. A lot for adventure seekers right from mountain biking, kayking, zip wires, boating or just easy family walks.

Few pictures take on the trip, some of the photos are taken from internet (we could not click many) due to less day light.

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BlackPark Country Park

Comments 5 Standard

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It was a cold Saturday morning, looking at the gloomy clouds we decided to go for a  walk at Black Park. Me and ash did not want to become a winter potato couch, so we push each other out of bed to utilize whatever day light we have got and ofcourse before Monday begins again J

Black park is a country park in the Wexham, Buckinghamshire. I have stayed closer to this area for almost 3 years now, and I visited it recently. Not a surprise, we all do that, manytimes we miss visiting a place thinking we are closer and can go anytime. But nevertheless I am glad Ash took me out there.

This park is a house for pine trees, an orienteering course, a lake and café. This park is adjacent to Pinewood Film studios, and is a very famous filming location, movies like Harry potter, James Bond Gold Finger, Batman, Sleeping Hollow, Captain America and many more have been shot here. Such ignorant me, I had no idea about this until I visited it.

It is very well maintain park with signpost for various routes, you can come here to cycle, or for a small stroll with kids and dogs. Mountain biking is popular in this area as well due to it’s dense woodlands, many other technical & narrow sections making it an exciting and adventurous cycling trip J

A bit of history I got to know after a google search- During both World War One and Two the Park saw service for the Empire with Troops from the Canadian Forestry Regiment helping to farm the Park and harvest the wood, for use in the Trenches of France or building Air strips in France for the Royal Flying Corps. To this day the lines of trees they planted can still be clearly seen. [ Taken from Google/Wikipedia]

In recent years, GO Ape group have also opened one of their tree-top adventures theme in this park. With long pine trees, it is absolutely fun for both kids and adults to try those activities. I have not done it in this Park, I did Go Ape in the lake district and belive me it’s so much fun. That adrenaline rush you get at the top of tree is amazing.

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Weekend in Brecon Beacon

Comments 11 Standard

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Brecon Beacons in Wales is one of many paradise for outdoors adventure seekers. This famous national park offers hill walking, hill climbing, gorge walking, caving, horse riding, mountain biking and so many other activities.

We visited Brecon Beacons for a camping and relaxing holiday, no hikes, no climbing but just little walks around the Beacon village.

Wales has so much to offer when it comes to natural beauty and serenity. There are numerous mountain ranges to get that dose of adrenaline rush into your body, camping sites to sit back into rustic nature and taste the fruit of beauty around, poised and elegant waterfalls. Brecon Beacon is a mountain range in south of wales, name refers to the range of Old Red Standstone peaks. The Brecon Beacons are said to be named after the ancient practice of lighting signal fires (beacons) on mountains to warn of attacks by invaders.

Some recommendation if you would like to visit.

Where to Stay- The Brecon Beacons National Park covers 519 square miles and encompassing four main regions – the Black Mountain in the west, Fforest Fawr(Great Forest) and the Brecon Beacons in the centre, and the confusingly name Black Mountain in the east. There a lot of hotels, hostels, campsites, b&b in this area. For our visit we stayed in camping site at Brecon- Bishops Meadow Camping & Caravan Park (http://www.bishops-meadow.co.uk/). A very popular site with good tent pitched and beautiful view of mountains with clean basic facilities like bathrooms,toilets. They also have a outdoor swimming pool open for summer season. very affordable- 15 pp/night. I loved another camping site but unfortunately it was fully booked – Priory Mill Farm(http://www.priorymillfarm.co.uk/).

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What to do?-  There a lots of walk for each ability in Wales,  but on this occasion we choose to keep it light and relax more.

Grove Walk – We went for small walks near to the Brecon village that is called Groove walk (4kms return). You can start this walk right from the camping site, initial bit of the walk in through road but then soon it turns into a wood and canal walk, leads you to a an old cathederal and then to brecon village centre. Take some rest, drink some local beer or some nibbles will do too. I loved this beautiful short walk with a lot of greenery around, the soil smell and blooming flowers.

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4 Waterfall Walks – It is a very famous 3.8 miles walk near Ystadfellte and can start this walk from Gwaun Hepste or Cwm Porth car park. Highlights of this walk are a cave, 4 waterfalls, riverside walk, woodlands walk 🙂 It is an easy and doable walk of 4 hours in total, only advice on safety will be during rainfalls path can get muddy and slippery so do take care while near to the waterfalls.

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I will be visiting north part of Wales soon to hike Snowdon Mountain. Yey!! I am just waiting for my knee to recover from a sprain I got in my last hiking trip. As soon as I am fit, I will be on the mountain once again.

Amsterdam- City Of Canals

Comments 9 Standard

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Last Summer we went to Amsterdam with our friends and spent 3 wonderful days in this beautiful city.

Amsterdam- This word rings a bell for lot of words isn’t it? Night Life, Marijuana, Red Light District, very famous Space Cakes. Oh Yes! it will be a lie if I say these words did not fascinate me, it did and I wanted to see for myself after all what is this all about. And hence hopped onto a National Coach(cheapest option to travel across Europe), a ferry ride from Dover to France, and again back to National Coach to Amsterdam.

My this post is not going to talk about the bells I mentioned above, but I want to let you know how I fell in love with this place, by its poise canals, exquisite bridges,a pleasantry party of barge people who are in the boat, and people sitting/walking near the canals.

Amsterdam is a home to 150 canal and 1250 bridges. I always thought Venice is the city of Canals ( well It is) but did not know this Dutch city can give me that flavour or essence too. The best way to explore is this place is to walk or hire a bike or take a canal tour on a boat.

I discovered the canals via a boat ride and exploring through different alleys of the city that always links you to different bridge. I am sharing some pictures to show the beauty of this place.

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Am I high on Duvel or it it just the joy 🙂

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My Gang :)

My Gang 🙂

 

A checklist for a Day Hike

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What to Pack!!!???

What to Pack!!!???

As you start to explore places around you, the excitement and love for walking keeps on increasing. Over the years from a walk in the park, it changes to a passion for walking into villages, coastline walks, mountaineering and hiking.

Out of personal experience I thought of coming up with a checklist for day hike essentials to help myself in future and my fellow reader and hiking lovers.

So how to prepare yourself for a Hike:
1. A good walking Boots – Without a doubt it is a must. Make sure it fits you properly and is light weight. Remember on a long hike pushing yourself to hike with a heavy boots will bring in tears. Never a trainer,flip flop or heels. (Believe me I have seen people coming for hikes in those, No idea if they ever completed it)
2. Walking trouser– A cotton walking trouser that will allow easy movement up and down the hills. Those fancy jeans will not help you and your legs will plead you for some oxygen.
3.Waterproofs– A pair of trouser and jacket.
4.Warm Clothing– Fleece,Caps,Gloves. If you hiking a mountain or a costal hike, weather cant be trusted.
5.Water Bottle– A must even if it is a short distance hike.Keep some water purifier tablets in case you have to drink water from a stream. You will not fancy anything more than water while on a hike. You can also keep instant energy mix that can be added to water bottle.
6.Food– A packet of sandwich and a mixed nuts packet. Nuts will give you instant energy when you are tired.
7.Map,compass,torch and whistle
8. First aid kit.
9. Sun glasses, sunscreen and a Cap.
10. Walking pole– only if you think it is necessary.

Carry a phone and contacts of emergency services, just in case you find yourself seeking for help.

Ofcourse I know you are taking camera along with you 🙂

Pack everything in a waterproof and breathable backpack and Get Set GO.