In little more than half a century Britain has developed a remarkable long-distance trail network that now numbers around 1500 paths and ways of all description. Like Scotland's 29 Great Trails, the 15 National Trails in England and Wales are held up as the gold standard, but how did these routes come about, where do they go and what does their future look like? Andrew McCloy recounts the story...
It’s a significant 12 months in the world of outdoor activities. 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the formal inauguration of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk, while 2019 represents 50 years since the foundation of Cicerone Press. Outdoor enthusiasts should celebrate both as milestones, says Clive Darley.
The mountain bike world loves its trends: 29-ers, 650b, 1x transmission and fat-bikes have all stirred the pot in recent years. But Jon Sparks doesn’t think any innovation has stirred up as much talk – and controversy – as e-bikes.
The Canal de la Garonne links the two historical cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse. It passes through countryside laden with charm and culture, all of it haunted by the shadow of wars, persecutions and pestilence, as described by Declan Lyons.
The Anti-Atlas mountain range lies just below the city of Agadir and to the south west of the High Atlas. Here you will find both adventure and tranquillity in the many 7000 ft mountains that run across its varied landscapes. David Wood shares photographs from a week-long trek from Ait Baha to the Ait Mansour or Teneglitche Gorge.
Not far from Geneva, the opportunities for snowshoeing in the Jura mountains of Switzerland are superb. Accessible even for a weekend of winter walking, these mountains can be reached by train via L’Isle, and boast superb views and great food too.
The long-forbidden lands north of the Khardung La were beyond the wildest dreams of Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons when they first met in 1983 in Leh, Ladakh. Now easily accessible, this area, nestling in the shadow of the Himalaya and the Karakoram, hides many startling secrets and is dotted with magical monasteries that reveal a fascinating culture.
In October 2013, Heather McNeice and her friend Krista set off to trek 240km across the Lunana plateau in Bhutan, following the Snowman Trek route. After a wet and muddy start, they enjoyed sunshine, clear skies and stunning Himalayan views. They were blissfully unaware that Cyclone Phalin was bearing down on the east coast of India, causing havoc with the weather in the eastern Himalayas and...
My dad’s a keen hiker and it has always been a dream of mine for us to hike together somewhere in the world. However, the logistics were always tricky; he lives in Australia and has only recently retired and I live in England. So, when he said yes to hiking the Tour of Mont Blanc together this year, I was over the moon (and nervous)!
In an age when nature is constantly being pushed to the fringes – by housing, farming, infrastructure developments and by our own busy, urban-centric lives – encounters with wildlife are increasingly rare and increasingly precious. Vivienne Crow, author of Walking in Cumbria’s Eden Valley, recalls some special wildlife moments in this quiet corner of northern England.
The western Anti-Atlas is known to rock climbers and a small group of road-trip travellers. Its principal mountain, Jebel El Kest, was featured in a Cicerone Extra article by Jonathan Williams (managing director of Cicerone Press) in May 2015. David Wood describes the exploration of the region that has taken place in the intervening years leading up to the publication of his forthcoming guidebook...
When Réunion was suggested to Alex and Alice Stearn as a honeymoon destination, it didn’t take all that much googling to see that it was the sort of place the couple would like. The arrival of the maps from Stanfords only confirmed this – they’d never seen so many contours…
With few English-language guides to the area, and in the spirit of pioneering lesser-known paths, Kevin Thomas describes the Eisacktal chestnut path – Keschtnweg – in South Tyrol to try to get the antennae of other hikers twitching.
Cumbria’s Eden Valley offers walkers a huge variety of experiences: from the hills and limestone pavement of the Yorkshire Dales to the salt marshes of the Solway Firth… and everything in between. Vivienne Crow, author of the Cicerone guidebook to the area, picks five of her favourites.
When Clive and Jennifer Darley were invited by their colleagues Kath and Simon to join them for a trek through the Spanish Pyrenees, they accepted with enthusiasm. Simon is a gifted linguist who speaks Spanish, Catalan and French fluently. The quid pro quo was that they have over 50 years’ trekking experience. It seemed an ideal combination.
A wise man once said you should never let the truth get in the way of a good story – and who should know better than those master storytellers the Irish. Cicerone’s Natalie Simpson recounts two of her favourite walks in East Ulster, the land of fantasy and myth.
Jonathan Cook battles against snow and broken boots in a world of twisted water, towering mountains and shattered stone as he takes on a challenging high mountain circular route in the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees, curiously named the Carros de Foc.
Carroll Dorgan, the author of Cicerone’s guidebook to the GR5 Trail: Benelux and Lorraine, described the highlights of that trail in a previous Cicerone Extra article. Here, he recounts some of the history that surrounds the trekker on the Northern GR5.