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Am I Rambling?

January 19th, 2015

footpath-blogYou know how people say, ‘If you’re stuck for an idea and don’t know what to write, then go for a walk?’ Well, if you were really at a loss, you could always try writing about … the walk.

Does that sound daft? It did when I first put it down. But, apparently, it’s not. You see, I’ve just finished reading an article called The Great Outdoors by WB tutor Simon Whaley. It was in an old edition of E-Zee Writer from 2009, and it’s all about writing, then publishing, walking routes.

Simon’s a keen hiker, and a prolific writer. As well as  a regular column in Country and Border Life, he’s published loads of stuff in magazines like Country Walking, Trail Magazine and BBC Countryfile. He’s even done two books: Best Walks in the Welsh Borders and The Bluffers Guide to Hiking – Blimey! I don’t think I’ll ever match him for output. But I do like a bit of fresh air … every now and then.

Personally, I wouldn’t call myself a dedicated, or even a regular walker. But every time I do make the effort, I find myself promising to ‘do more of this.’ It always feels good being out in the big wide world, and it’s great exercise (when you get to my age you have to think about things like that).

So where would you go for a walk? Unless you’re in the middle of a big city like Mumbai, or London, there’s probably somewhere close by worth exploring (though even the cities have scope for walking tours – see Simon’s article).

We live quite close to the Peak District National Park, right in the middle of England, and though we’re not out tramping the hills every weekend, as a family there are a few places we like to visit quite regularly. Edale for one – a lovely little village high in the hills. And Arbor Low – a neolithic stone circle near Monyash that you can still climb on (my kids love it there). Then there’s Cressbrook Dale – a limestone gorge where the Romans used to mine lead and where, in May and June, the steep slopes are dotted with thousands of wild purple orchids.

Actually, just as you’re coming down from Cressbrook Dale, there’s a huge mound that the map calls Peter’s Stone, but which is known locally as Gibbet Rock. This is where the last gallows in Derbyshire stood until 1832, when the body of murderer James Cook was hung in chains to serve as a deterrent to any other would be criminals – cracking story! And there you have it. Simon was right. So, look. I don’t want to be rude or anything but … I’ve got to go now. I can feel an article coming on.

Keep on writing!

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