Country Walking

Country Walking Spring Issue 2020

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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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1 min.

When the universe burst into existence 18 billion years ago, in what could have become known as the Colossal Kapow, it taught us one of life’s most valuable lessons – that something can come from nothing. Which is reassuring when you’re at one of those points in life when you see nothing but a featureless, even meaningless, wasteland around you. It’s a position many, perhaps most, of us find ourselves in at one time or another. And there are many who’d say walking – the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other – is about as close to ‘nothing’ as makes no difference when it comes to taking decisive action to improve your outlook. But walk for 20 minutes and already something’s coming on stream in your…

1 min.
find a great walk near you!

SOUTH WEST Swimbridge, Devon Stride out across rolling hills from the North Devon village where the terrier-breeding ‘Sporting Parson’ was vicar. TURN TO WALK 1 EAST Castle Rising, Norfolk Sally forth from the impressive remains of a castle keep through the woods and commons characterising West Norfolk. TURN TO WALK 14 WALES Manorbier,Pembrokeshire Follow clifftop paths around hidden coves from the ‘pleasantest spot in Wales’ where a castle guards the beach. TURN TO WALK 21 SOUTH EAST Bradwell on Sea, Essex Swing by one of England’s oldest and loneliest churches amid mudflats and marsh on the otherworldly Essex coast. TURN TO WALK 7 NORTH WEST Hallin Fell, Cumbria Walk a circuit of the characterful fell on the shore of Ullswater – ‘the best views for the least effort’ in the Lake District. TURN TO WALK 16 SCOTLAND Carrbridge, Highland Be enchanted by the Highlands’ oldest stone bridge on a forest loop with…

2 min.
the season of madness!

IT’S ONE OF the defining sights of early spring: adult hares engaged in one of the weirdest, most frenetic and occasionally most violent rituals in the calendar of British wildlife. There are all sorts of variations, but the general gist is: a pair of hares (sometimes two males, sometimes male and female) square up and lash out at each other with their forelegs, boxing until one lowers its ears and backs down – at which point, the ‘loser’ sprints around in crazy circles, until suddenly they both stop and look into the distance, as if waiting for someone. We think of it as a March thing, but some experts reckon it isn’t confined to this month: they may be doing it in February (but it’s too dark for us to see them)…

4 min.
music from the dreamspace

‘I was going out on the Downs to walk with the dogs every day, and these melodies would come into my head as we walked.’ “I KNOW IT will sound pretentious when I say this, but the South Downs wrote this album.” Damian Montagu is verbally kicking himself after saying this, but I urge him not to. Because I’ve listened to said album, A Walk into Reverie, and I know exactly what he means. He’s not the first composer to translate walking into music; he’s part of a proud lineage that includes Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Eleanor Farjeon and (more recently) Ludovico Einaudi. But what marks out Damian’s work is that it is hitched to specific set of landscapes: the South Downs. Since moving to the Hampshire end of the Downs a few…

2 min.
‘one sold, one given’

ONCE IN A while, a new gear brand comes along with a game-changing idea. Dark Peak is firmly in that class. Launched last year in Sheffield by passionate walkers Allen Holland and Will Parsons, Dark Peak (named after the local landscape) makes just one product: the NESSH insulated jacket. It comes in two variants, one using responsibly sourced 850 fill power goose down, the other using vegan and allergy-friendly 3M synthetic insulation. Both cost £175 and are available in a range of colours for both men and women, and according to Dark Peak they are designed and manufactured to compete with top-end insulators from the likes of The North Face and Arc’teryx. But the big difference is this: for every jacket sold, Dark Peak donates a partner jacket to the homeless, through a…

1 min.
get set for keswick!

Love great walks? Enjoy beautiful films about mountains? Quite like moshing along with Britpopera superstars? Then you need the Keswick Mountain Festival in your life. The three-day event returns to Crow Park in the heart of the Lake District from 15th-17th May, boasting a huge range of walks as well as running, cycling and open water swimming events, live music and guest speakers. Walking events (sponsored by Fjällräven and Hanwag) range from a Three Peaks Challenge (an 18-mile hike around Derwent Water summiting Cat Bells, Walla Crag and Latrigg) to a puzzle-solving Family Challenge. Post-walk, you can take in a screening of Life of a Mountain: Helvellyn, the third and final film in Terry Abraham’s trilogy of beautifully-shot mountain movies (with a star turn by our very own Stuart Maconie) or wig…