Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: trekking

Choosing a Backpacking Tent

We’re almost at the end of February and time is running out for me to make this month’s purchase, in preparation for backpacking the Ridgeway long-distance footpath.

dscn5552

In January, I upgraded to a pair of walking poles. Now, I’m looking for my nightly shelter. A one-person tent that’s lightweight, packs away well and is something I would be comfortable to sleep and cook within.

Read more of this post

Portishead to Hewish

Saturday 29th August 2015

This was our second instalment in a long-distance walk following the Somerset Coast Path, from Bristol, south and then west to the North Devon border at Lynmouth.

As there is no actual coastal route between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare, this is a troublesome stretch for many and, having both read the accounts of other bloggers and coastal walkers passing through here; we were lacking in optimism for what obstructions and obtrusions may lie in wait ahead of us.

Read more of this post

Dorset Coastal Walk (Part 2)

At the end of Part 1, I’d reached Ringstead Bay, at which point I decided to stop and finish off my lunch before negotiating an inland return route and hopefully getting to cross some hills. The temptation to trek back along the same line of the Jurassic Coast was great (in spite of those cliffs) but as someone who spends most weekends climbing mounds much closer to home, I wanted to discover what this patch of Dorset had to offer.

Read more of this post

Time to Climb

This Sunday will be a day I’ve been waiting for, as I’ll finally get to lead the walking group on one of my personal favourite routes. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed each of the previous two walks I’ve led but the ascent up to Crook Peak has been a firm favourite since my first journey almost a year ago. I look forward to seeing how the others take to it, especially for those who may not have even heard of it (several members of this group are relatively new to Bristol). I’ve extended the original route I found by about 5 miles, if my memory serves me correctly. I hope the extra climbs and the endeavour aren’t too much.

Once again, Brent Knoll Hill fell immediately in to my sights upon reaching the car park.

Last Sunday, in spite of a sore throat and a runny nose, I dragged myself down to Axbridge so that I could confidently complete the second half of this route, after a little mis-direction on my first attempt to negotiate the woodlands west of Cheddar Gorge

Read more of this post

The Mendip Hills

Last weekend, I wasn’t at my best. I’m been suffering with a persistent cold/sore throat for a good week and I feared it was going to prevent me from getting out an enjoying what has become a weekly walk at this time of year. But it didn’t and, so that I didn’t push myself too hard, I decided I would finally tackle one of the shortest walks in the book titled 8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills.

Beacon Batch trig point, at Black Down on the Mendip Hills, Somerset.

On paper it’s always looked like a pretty boring, uninspired walk, if I’m honest. There’s probably a lot I’m missing as I’m not much of a geography enthusiast plus, I’d already seen this area of the Mendips too many times. So, while I was up and ready to get going, I decided that I would try to extend the walk slightly, to make it more appealing.

Read more of this post

Preparing to Walk

I’ve only been walking for twelve-months but it didn’t take long for me to learn that it is quite essential to kit yourself out properly, if you’re going to do this seriously. I’m not talking about spending hundreds of pounds on lots of expensive clothing items with breathable membranes. After all, I’m only climbing the local hills. I’m not looking to scale Mount Everest (just yet)!

Craghoppers Kiwi Backpack

Craghoppers Kiwi Pro 30l Backpack

Along with a decent pair of walking boots (much sturdier and more comfortable than trainers – my current ones were about £35), there are a few other items I would recommend to anyone who’s thinking about walking or hiking as a recurrent hobby. After a recent shopping trip to a local outdoor clothing store, I felt that I would share some of this here with you this evening.

Read more of this post

Stone Circle Walk

This walk is another (like the one in Nunney) that I plucked from the pages of one of Geoff Mullett’s Walk West eBooks. Pensford is a small village just south of Bristol (down the A37) that I’m somewhat familiar with, as my sister has a friend that lives in the area and, over the last few years, I’ve played the roll of the taxi driver, long in to the night/early morning at times! But it’s not somewhere I’d previously explored beyond the usual road trips heading east through Chew Magna and so, with the promise to glimpse at nearby Stanton Drew’s own stone henges, I decided that this 6.5 mile walk would be worth of a Sunday afternoon.

Old railway viaduct in Pensford, just south of Bristol, UK.

My first walk along this route took place two weeks ago on the Sunday, while that heatwave was still around us (to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s officially gone or just hidden behind dark clouds of rain at the minute…). It turned out to be much better than I had expected. Along with the stone circles, there was a lot to take in with the surrounding views and a couple of other historic features. One day before this, I’d walked with one of the walk calendar organisers for the Brunel Walking Group and he was concerned by the number of ‘free’ weekends we had up as far as September… It wasn’t long after I go in that evening that I decided to sit down and send him an e-mail; submitting this as my second walk in as many months. 😉

So, the big day for my latest walk was in fact yesterday. Most of the photos you’ll see here were taken with my digital camera on the day that I ‘pre-walked’ it alone. I took a few extra with the group yesterday using my phone, but those were mainly to capture to larger stone circle that I didn’t fully explore on my own.

Read more of this post

A Combe and Castle Walk

This is my walk from last Sunday; seven-days on from the experience of leading the walking group for the very first time (I still intend to write about that but I don’t have many photos with which to spread it out). It was a walk alone, as the group walk, as the group walk on that day didn’t particular interest me (ironically, there are now three to choose from for tomorrow). It’s one that I discovered a few weeks back in one of two eBooks I purchased from Geoff Mullett’s Walk West series (these are recommend by the organisers behind the walking group).

I would’ve preferred a hardback copy (you can occasionally spot older editions on eBay although, the eBooks are MUCH cheaper) but the printed sheets worked fine (provided I kept them in order) and even with a simple sketch of a map, I was able to navigate my way around the route without getting too lost.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: