Travel A Walking Thread

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Adam Holland, May 21, 2019.

  1. With at least one recent post referencing walking, I thought it might be a good idea to start a dedicated thread. Tips on where to go both here and abroad and how it may loosely intersect with wine and food.

    I’ve spent a lot of time walking in the Alpujarra, south from Granada, inspired originally by Gerald Brennan’s famous book. It’s a place to go to recharge the batteries, with real variety from the orchards of La Taha to strenuous hikes up into the Sierra Nevada. Rustic hotels and guest houses with great character; rustic local wine too in the less positive application of the word.

    Just back from Majorca (sunning, not walking) but noticed that the GR-221 Serra de Tramuntana trail (eight stages, Andratx to Pollença) passes through Deià, home to the Belmond La Residencia with its Michelin-starred restaurant. Could be a good base to walk from with Sóller in one direction and Valldemossa in the other. We dropped in for lunch at their Cafe Miro - very enjoyable and a hefty list with all the Spanish classics.

    Back in the UK, we’re trying to knock off a Wainwright in the Lakes every month which mostly involves day trips and a well-deserved pint at the end. One round-trip, overnight option planned though is to park at Mardale Head at the top of Haweswater (accessed via Shap), head up and over High Street via a great ridge walk then drop down into the Troutbeck Valley and stay over at the Queens Head, heading back next day by a different route. The Queens Head dates back to Elizabethan times but sadly they had a major fire a couple of years back. Still a good place to stay, away from the hordes.
  2. As a lover of walking and an addicted Munro-bagger I think the thread is an excellent idea. Never managed to tie it to great food and wine though.
  3. Not in mountainous territory I suspect, but this app, while seeming to have gaps geographically, may be useful for some - good maps and directions/guides when we have found a relevant location. Not exactly hardcore though: Online Walking Guides and Directions for the UK
  4. We walk most days and more at the weekend. However not really in the trekking way it seems you might.

    I hope to work a lot less very soon and am planning the Stour Valley path in stages, then maybe the Suffolk coastal. There's so much lovely countryside around here to explore.
    Neil Sellen likes this.
  5. I started a thread last year on my planned NWR - Thames Path walk - this is all booked-in for me to do now, in September. Recovery from my knee op took longer than I'd hoped but it's great now so I'm good to go. Ideas for other interesting walks are very welcome.
  6. Great thread. Looking for good walks within an hour or so of London to get my kids out in the country a bit!
  7. I love urban walking - quite often I'll walk from work at Cannon Street back to Blackheath via Wapping, Canary Wharf, Greenwich. You can see so much incredible history around London by taking random twists and turns.
    One of my guilty pleasures is just picking a random route in London and seeing what is there. I also seek out weird brutalist architecture, although Thamesmead was probably a little bit too niche!
  8. The Camino Frances has turned into a bit of a tourist route in the last 20 years but the Via Francigena is still a route one can walk without masses of company. From Canterbury to Becanson it is a bit of a slog but from there to Rome it is much more interesting.
  9. The South West Coastal path in this country offers a lot of good walks (of all difficulties), some with excellent places to stop for food and drink (Padstow anyone?).

    I also just love walking around cities. I walk every chance I get in London as there is so much of it I have never seen.
  10. Just returned from walking trip to Lake District
    Bit underwhelmed by food and wine to be honest
    Large number of pretty awful pubs offering 'pub grub' at a really basic level. Unable to track down anything of interest
    Jennings beer was OK but wines on offer were disappointing.
    Did go for dinner at Sharrow Bay and did have the sticky toffee pudding (like any other STP really)
    Sharrow Bay was a hoot - I felt I'd been transported into an Agatha Christie novel - Chintz drapes, Cherubs, vivid silk cushions, antique furniture, very efficient middle aged staff running the place as if it were their home. A traditional 'country hotel' that feels it's hardly changed since the 1940s.
    Food and drink was good though and I thought good value
    Being on the shore of Ullswater plenty of walks - high and low level are nearby
    Thom Blach likes this.
  11. If I have time I generally just get off at the first Zone 1 or 2 station in London and walk the rest of the way. A great way to discover hidden gems, historic or commercial. You also get a great feel for a city. How it breathes, moves and lives. I tend to do so without the aid of a map as this increases the fun and ensures I remember where places are and how to get there. After having done this for some 10-12 years it's really exciting to come across a street or alley I've not been down before and see what lies beneath. Although apparently I am a bit of a marcher much to my wife's discontent.

    Outside of the city walking in the highlands and islands is a favourite pursuit a least a few times a year. Ideally May or September, but also February to catch some snow. The isolation, beauty and ruggedness are hard to beat, as is the feeling of delight for any form of food after a 20-25 mile hike to some remote top! Part of me thinks that we should just move to Inverness given that you can get a Georgian mansion for a few hundred thousand (we looked at a six bedroom, 280sq/m place in January which was only £220k! and right on the river).
  12. Great areas for walking are the Dolomites and the Val di Non - a mixture of well marked paths mostly in the medium to strenuous range. Great views and you can always plan the walk so that you can lunch or finish at a Gasthaus/rifugio or some such for a restorative beer and snack. Also, there are lovely walks in the Carso and Collio of a far more gentle nature.
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
    Chris Davies likes this.
  13. Nice idea for a thread. Two beautiful easy walks recently in the Sierra de Gredos, one called "Ruta de los Cabreros", where we followed the goat-herders on horseback after whom the path was named, and another called El Trabuquete, following a stream up into the hills, surrounded by lavender. Easily reached from the Parador in Jarandilla.

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  14. I have nothing to contribute but am enjoying reading this, please keep it up!
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  15. A quick stop on the walk from the Passo Mendola to the Santuario di San Remedio in the Val di Non, Trentino. Beautiful views all the way. This was near Don.
  16. Frances26Z2 Bierzo Vineyard 1.jpg
    The Camino Frances in the Bierzo Valley
    Frances8H2 Navarette.jpg
    The Camino Frances in the Rioja
    17 Vineyard.JPG
    By Lake Geneva on the Via Francigena
    In the Aosta Valley on the Via Francigena
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  17. I forgot the obvious one
    On the Via Francigena between Reims and Chalons
    Adam Holland likes this.
  18. Adam, what a wonderful idea for a NWR thread. I am an active walker despite some mobility issues, from City Break flâneur to high mountains (our daughter lives/works in Nepal). I hope to be able to contribute when time allows.

    My favourite walks are varied, but from Arbois in the Jura would be some of my favourite, in the Japanese Alps (ancient forest, a UNESCO Biosphere), in Aosta’s Gran Paradiso, the French Alps, and obviously in the Himalayas all thrill me. But so does hopping on a train up the line and walking home over the South Downs.

    I drove to Santiago de C once, and have always quite fancied doing that on foot. I think my ankles may be past it now, though.
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  19. Lovely pics, thanks, but just wait till I’m limping past Slough and Reading later this year...
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  20. I walked (ish) the bit of the Camino Francés between Astorga and O Cebreiro (i.e the last bit before Galicia) last June. Certainly quite touristy, as expected given that this was some serious cherry picking of the Camino (literally, in the Bierzo!) I did a detour, though the Valle del Silencio and Pedralba de Santiago, that was truly stunning - and Pedralba certainly one of the most beautiful villages I have visited anywhere.

    Also done plenty of walking in the Alpujarra over the years. Not all the wine is "rustic", Adam (unless you mean it in the positive sense, which it is for me!). Surely you tried Barranco Oscuro?
  21. For me the Pyrenees is one of my favourite regions of France. Côtes du Roussillon & Corbières are of course nearby, and plenty of history and Cathar castles to explore. The walking is outstanding with so many of the high routes accessible. I did various segments of the Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne when I was much younger.

    Cirque de Gavarnie


    Abbey St. Martin

    Mas Amiel


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    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  22. Is it just me or is that a Game Of Thrones-sized gap in The Wall.
  23. For the benefit of any Canadian lurkers that backdrop really reminds me of approaching the Rockies from the Calgary side through Canmore.
  24. Yes it is huge, it's called La Brèche de Roland, and the gap I believe is about 100m high.
  25. What a good idea for a thread. Lots of good walking recently but two of my favourite UK walks that stand out for stunning scenery and a true sense of remoteness would be...

    The walk up College Valley in Northumberland taking in the impressive Great Hetha hillfort or the Cheviot via the Hen Hole fills a day quite nicely.

    If a couple of nights in a tent or a bothy is more your thing, walking from Kinloch Hourn to Inverie across the Knoydart Peninsula is a wonderful thing.
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