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Country Walking April 2019

Country Walking Magazine shows you the best of British walks: the biggest views, the hidden gems, the sea cliffs and the mountain summits. All our features come complete with superb writing, inspiring photography and step-by-step instructions so you can follow every footpath yourself. In every issue, you’ll find: - In-depth stories of amazing walks - A booklet of 25 pull-out walks every issue - with OS maps! - Information about hotels, pubs, cafes, tearooms. - Clear, jargon-free tests of walking kit And... every issue our readers tell their walking stories, help us devise new walks and shape the places we go to. If you love walking, this is the magazine for you.

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This won’t surprise anyone who’s left their waterproof trousers in their pack until there’s no sodding point in putting them on, but the human animal is a shortcut-finding machine. Our brains look for patterns, form habits and make assumptions which allow the complexity, unpredictability and mystery of life to be minimised. That’s simple efficiency – we can’t afford to all be rooted to the spot in wonder at the rising of the sun each morning, or to be spellbound by the world-within-world of the cashier’s left iris while we’re meant to be paying for pump number 4. But it’s efficient the same way a train makes a wonderfully efficient form of mass transit, yet a terrible off-roader. Your brain doesn’t really want you to have an interesting life, but to run…

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find a great walk near you!

SOUTH WEST Hexworthy, Devon Take a tor-topping figure of eight route across Dartmoor, exploring the long history of these granite uplands. TURN TO WALK 1 EAST Knapwell, Cambridgeshire Walk from the unspoilt village where Thomas the Tank Engine’s creator was rector, visiting a wildlife-friendly farm. TURN TO WALK 15 WALES Llanrhystud, Ceredigion Warm up on the Wales Coast Path before turning up a wooded valley to twin hillforts with a bloody past. TURN TO WALK 22 SOUTH EAST Storrington, West Sussex Follow ancient chalk paths up onto the beautiful, view-yielding South Downs, where early Britons mined for flint. TURN TO WALK 6 NORTH WEST Fairy Glen, Lancashire Pootle through a beautiful wooded clough, brimming with bluebells and pungent ramsons in spring months. TURN TO WALK 16 SCOTLAND Loch Ard, Stirlingshire Look out for woodpeckers, red squirrels and deer in the mixed woods cloaking the banks of gorgeous Loch Ard. TURN TO WALK 24 MIDLANDS Bolsover,Derbyshire Sally…

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britain in blossom!

IF SPRING IS an assault on the senses, then surely our blossoming fruit trees are the heavy artillery. They look gorgeous, the aromas are beguiling, they’re soft and delicate to the touch, and they’re sonorous as the wind blows through and showers you with little flakes of loveliness. And taste? Well, you have to wait a bit longer for that, but at least seeing the blossom is a reminder that come autumn, the best ciders and jams in the world come from these same trees… APPLE Did you know? Johnny Appleseed (real name John Chapman) was an American pioneer who travelled all across the USA planting apple trees “so that none would go hungry”. In his pocket he always carried apple seeds and a Bible. Show me the blossom: Use the Wychavon Way…

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novel ideas

BASED AT THE foot of the Brecon Beacons, the Hay Festival is probably the most walker-friendly literary festival in the UK. The 11-day celebration of words and wordsmiths includes walking events (see panel), but it also attracts writers who love a good walk themselves. To prove it, here are the walking thoughts of seven acclaimed authors who will be speaking at this year’s festival… ‘I THINK ON MY FEET.’ Lindsey Hilsum I think on my feet. Words form subconsciously as I walk. For me, it’s an intrinsic part of the writing process. When I was working on In Extremis: the Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin, I spent four months on Long Island, New York, where Marie grew up. Every morning I walked along a beach for at least 40 minutes, the shingle…

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about the festival

The Hay Festival takes place from May 23th to June 2nd 2019 in Hay-on-Wye, Powys. In addition to all the talks, panels and workshops, there are walking opportunities too. Farm Walks offer farmer-guided tours of real working farms on the hillsides around Hay, including a cider orchard, a dairy farm, and a sheep farm on the banks of the River Wye. The Mountain Warehouse Wayfaring Walks take readers up into the hills accompanied by acclaimed nature writers and artists, or expert local guides. Destinations include Llanthony Priory and Hay Bluff. Earlybird events are on sale now, with the full programme – including all the walks – available from March 29th. www.hayfestival.org.…

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the gentle art of tramping

This ode to the sweet life of walking the open road is the work of Stephen Graham, who tramped across America, Russia and from London to Jerusalem. First published in 1926, it is rich with advice on how to hike – and live – that is still an inspiration today, like these five gems on.... ...going slow “I listen with pained reluctance to those who claim to have walked 50 miles a day. But it is a pleasure to meet the man who has learned the art of going slowly... to listen, to watch, to exist. Life is like a road; you hurry and the end of it is grave. There is no grand crescendo from hour to hour, day to day, year to year; life’s quality is in moments, not in…