Spring is on its way, there are daffodils and snowdrops out in the garden, and as so many of our guests come to explore this wonderful area on foot (we are, after all, the start of the Pennine Way), I decided to do a little research on walking gear and maps. Because we are located within easy reach of two big cities, we see people who cant believe that walking around here could be in the least bit dangerous, or that they need anything other than flip flops, or wellie boots and a fashion jacket or even smart office shoes and a suit! I am not joking… it might look a little funny to see someone on Kinder Scout or going up Grindsbrook in totally inappropriate clothing, but it isnt so funny when they have an accident and the mountain rescue team have to be called out to rescue them after a totally avoidable accident. It really is important to be properly prepared when venturing out and about. The Peak District is hilly, it has rough terrain in many places (Edale especially), not every footpath is marked, it can snow even in June, it gets very cold at times, it is stunningly beautiful and lush… in order to be green we have to have rain sometimes, the paths can be slippery, we have lots of sheep who have a habit of pooing on the fields (inconsiderate aren’t they?), we have birds of prey who might occasionally leave half eaten bits of animal lying around…. all in all, it is wonderful, and you will enjoy it all the better if you are well prepared.
The minimum that walkers need in this variable climate of ours is stout walking footwear, preferably walking boots, and suitable waterproof clothing… not to mention clothing to keep you warm (we prefer to layer up with several thinner layers), a basic first aid kit, food and drink and I always take a walking pole to help me on rough terrain.
I have found a few websites that give advice on what to wear … some are REALLY boring but some quite useful.
Our favourite just has to be The Outdoor guide. Not just because we have personally been working alongside Julia Bradbury and Gina (her sister and manager) for many many months and are a partner business in the Outdoor guide, but the guide has been written to support and accompany Julias new series due to be shown on ITV shortly. It is well written, extremely well researched and is packed with lots of great information.
Time Outdoors also give good simple advice on basic clothing for beginners.
We sell a few maps and walk leaflets but I realised that not everyone can actually read a map, or if they can, perhaps they are a little rusty…. (I learnt to read a map as a Girl Guide a long time ago and am probably a little rusty along with most people who don’t walk new routes regularly… my regular walks are along well known tracks with the dog so a map isn’t necessary).
Having done a little research I found a series of videos produced by Ordnance Survey and think they are great ….
Have a look, you never know they might just mean that your new found skills (or re found ones) save the mountain rescue team a trip out…
Meanwhile we are teaming up with a local walking guide and will have some walks specially written for us very shortly, so watch this space.
oh, and happy walking….