5 winter walks to try around Great Britain

Couple Walking Dog Through Winter WoodlandFor some, winter is a time of hibernation, staying in and never straying too far from the fireplace. For many others, though, it’s a time to get out the scarves, gloves, earmuffs and woolly hats which themselves have been hibernating for most of the year, and head out into the fresh chill outside.

Keen walkers know that the some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes really come into their own in the colder season. A touch of frost here, a layer of snow there; it all adds up to make some of Britain’s most stunning scenery. So if you’ve got your layers on and fancy a stroll, here are some of our favourite winter walks around the country. Continue reading “5 winter walks to try around Great Britain”

Walk of the week: Scenic Windermere walk and boat tour

Today’s walk is a guest blog from Digital Outdoors, a network of over 60 camping and outdoor holiday websites. Their mission is to connect UK campers with great campsites and inspire and nurture a love for the Great British Outdoors.

Length of route: 3.1 m
Starting point: SD 413 987
Suitable for: Walking
Maps: OS Explorer Map OL7 The English Lakes: South-Eastern area
Download our OS MapFinder app and record your route
Use OS getamap


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Plan a visit to a National Park

This week is National Parks Week, a seven-day celebration of Britain’s wildlife. It sees events organised across Britain’s 15 National Parks and encourages all Brits to head out and explore open areas right on their doorstep. There will also be a photography competition (on the theme ‘Space to Grow’) and overnight stays to show off the Parks’ dark skies.

So for those planning a visit to one of Britain’s National Parks for the big week ahead, here are some of the goings on you can look forward to.

Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons

Pen y Fan View To Cribyn, © Douglas Law

‘Take pART’ is an arts and crafts scheme aimed at allowing children to get creative, learn a new skill and make something tangible, especially if this can be done with natural materials. This year’s National Parks Week will coincide with two Take pART workshops: pottery and felt pictures.

Both workshops will take place at the National Park visitor centre, with pottery on the cards on July 29 and felt the following day. The cost for each will be £5 per child. Adults or families looking for more physical activities, meanwhile, may be tempted by the Walk, Talk and Tea stroll around Mynydd Illtud. The family-friendly four-mile stroll will take in industrial sites, spiritual centre and Iron Age hillfort (depending on time). Space on the walk cost £4 but this includes a cream tea. Continue reading “Plan a visit to a National Park”

Walk of the week: Ennerdale Water

Today’s walk is from Peter Naldrett, author of the Trigpoint Walks series of books, and now the Lake District Dog Walker’s Guide.

Length of route: 7 miles
Starting point: NY 085 153
Suitable for: Walking
Where to park: There is a free car park at Bleach Green car park, Ennerdale.
Maps: OS Explorer Map OL4 The English Lakes: North-Western Area
Download our OS MapFinder app and record your route
Use OS getamap
Download the GPX file


Dog factors
Road walking: None.
Livestock: A sensible approach is required and dogs should be kept under control as sheep may be encountered during this walk at the base of several fells.
Stiles: None.
Nearest vets: West Lakeland Veterinary Group, St Bridgets Lane, Egremont, CA22 2BB. Tel: 01946 820312 www.westlakelandvets.co.uk
Nearby dog friendly pubs: The Fox and Hounds at Ennerdale Bridge is the nearest pub and is a lovely place to relax after a walk around this wonderful lake. The pub was bought by villagers in 2011 and the owners welcome walkers with muddy boots and dogs. Tel: 01946 861181 www.foxandhoundsinn.org Postcode: CA23 3AR Meanwhile, The Brook Inn at Cleator is a small terraced pub a little further away with a warm welcome for dog owners. Tel: 01946 811635 Postcode: CA23 3DX. Continue reading “Walk of the week: Ennerdale Water”

A guide to Scafell Pike

Today’s guest blog comes from Doug Belchamber at scafellpike.org.uk – the website that provides a complete guide to England’s highest peak.

scafell pike viewPush yourself to your limit by conquering one of the greatest challenges in England – Scafell Pike! As England’s highest mountain – standing at 978 metres, this is a brilliant way of challenging yourself to beat your personal best. Located in the stunning Lake District National Park, Scafell Pike is steeped in beauty and history, and offers a fantastic experience for climbers of all ages. Continue reading “A guide to Scafell Pike”

Walk of the week – Hartsop

A guest post by Ordnance Survey’s Gwyn Hughes-Jones

This is a great walk to do on a crisp spring day. It has fantastic views over the Eastern Fells of the Lake District.  This walk is on Explorer map OL6 – The English Lakes North Eastern Area.

The walk starts at Hartsop, a small hamlet in the Patterdale Valley. There is plenty of parking available at Cow Bridge, a short 600m from Hartsop. To start the walk you go through Hartsop and take the right hand fork: this is signposted as a Bridleway up High Street. Stay on the left hand side of the river and follow the path as it starts to climb gently up towards Hayeswater. After 600 metres, cross the river and follow the path around the bottom of Gray Crag. After a kilometre you cross the river again just before reaching Hayeswater.

Once over the river, the path starts to zig zag slightly as you gain height.  The cairn on the Knott can be seen after about a kilometre of easy climbing. This is a great place to stop and appreciate the view towards Hartsop. There is a handy stone wall providing shelter (if required) and a place to rest your flask of tea.

Continue reading “Walk of the week – Hartsop”

A walk around Grasmere and Elterwater

The Lake District is a beautiful area and there are countless different walks to follow to suit walkers of all abilities. When I was there last year, on an unseasonably warm and sunny March weekend, I had a lovely 6-mile walk around Grasmere and Elterwater that I’d like to share with you. There are some spectacular views from high above Grasmere and you also pass a pub or two along the way. You’ll need OS Explorer Map OL7 The English Lakes South-eastern area.

The starting point is Grasmere, a beautiful village to have a stroll round beforehand, or to enjoy a cream tea in afterwards. It was once home to the poet William Wordsworth and you can visit two of his former homes and see the Wordsworth family graves at St Oswalds Church.

The church is the starting point for the walk. With St Oswalds on your right, head along the road, taking the first left onto a small lane. You’ll pass the garden centre car park and should follow the lane for around three quarters of a mile. There are some lovely views over Grasmere as you follow the lane.

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Welcome to January!

Start the new year with a fantastic on screen wallpaper showing the beautiful Walna Scar in the Lake District – look at it daily on your desktop or mobile phone and feel inspired to start planning your next outdoors adventure in the popular Lake District.

Walna Scar is a restricted byway which can only be used by walkers, horse riders, cyclists and pony and traps. This decision was reached in January 2011 after a protracted discussion about whether access to motor vehicles should be allowed. Looking at this image, I wouldn’t been keen to drive over it!

It is located on OL6 – The English Lakes – South Western area near to Coniston Water where Donald Campbell broke the water speed record in 1955, and was killed attempting to regain it again in 1967. The nearby Ruskin Museum has more information about him, although the Bluebird café on the lake is clearly a lasting reminder of him and visitors can take a variety of boats out onto the lake – although they won’t be likely to achieve the speeds he did!

Continue reading “Welcome to January!”

Looking ahead to the Kendal Mountain Festival

The days are getting shorter and the weather is certainly getting colder but these are not reasons to stop celebrating all that it great about the outdoors. Later this month is the annual Kendal Mountain Festival and today on the Ordnance Survey blog I thought we’d have a look at what is planned.

Running from 17 to 20 November, the Kendal Mountain Festival is one of the largest and most varied outdoor festivals in Europe. It brings together a varied programme of films, lectures and parties with some fantastic names from the outdoors present including Andy Kirkpatrick, Cameron McNeish and Kenton Cool.

The centre point of the festival is the Kendal Mountain Film Festival where over 50 films are screened (from over 200 entries). They are all hoping to be able to walk away with one of the ten awards that are up for offer. Who will win??

The festival really does seem to have something for everyone – no matter what your activity of choice is to enjoy the outdoors. There’s a bike night, snow sports, climbing and endurance sports events to whet the appetite for your own future adventures.

If you’re headed to the festival and planning to go walking – don’t forget your Ordnance Survey maps. You can also plan your trip on OS getamap before you go.

Are you heading for Kendal for the festival? What are you looking forward to the most?