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Latest News & Blogs

A selection of the latest walking news and blog posts.

Tuesday's Ten - Types of Seaweed It continues to be stormy down here by the Devon seaside, which means that, as an outdoor swimmer with a serious sea swimming addiction, I have been wading through rather a lot of seaweed in order to find a patch of water flat enough to swim it.

Monday Mash Up Anything goes on a Monday so, as you all head back to work, here's something a little bit Blonde and a little bit outdoors to get you thinking. The practice of swaling on Dartmoor is a necessary burning of vegetation which encourages new growth to be grazed by livestock.

The List of Missing Treasures I have an add-on to the list of missing treasures; the stolen regiment box. A stolen treasure consisting of the British army’s wages is reportedly buried under this old oak. A treasure which…

Sale Fell - Excellent Skiddaw Viewpoint Recently I've been doing Sale Fell by Bassenthwaite quite a few times. The first time I forgot my camera on a beautiful day - it was another great day the next day too so I went back again to do the fell properly - with my camera!

John Muir Trail Photos 2018 I aim to hike it every two years for the foreseeable future - whether that be doing either the JMT alone or as part of the PCT or something. I love the blues of the Sierra Nevada sky, the many lakes, the awesome rock, the big battered trees, the ample hammock hangs, the cool nights and much more.

B2's 50 Outdoor Sleeps Challenge… Complete! There are few things more satisfying than a challenge completed, even if it is a challenge that you have set yourself, that plays to your strengths and encompasses one of your favourite hobbies.

Restoring Spirits in Glen Feshie Some places are special, guaranteed to raise my spirits and remind me that there are good things in this world. Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms is one of those places and a visit always raises my spirits.

Nativity On another occasion they needed someone to play a queen, wearing a revealing dress and a long blonde wig. None of his male classmates were keen but Zach grabbed it. Why? I asked. "It was the best part." As for his school reports. You and I with our distinctly spotty education could only stand back and marvel.

Foo foo deep in seaweed After an idyllic summer, November in Devon turned out to be a month of storms, disrupted travel and copious seaweed. We have had seaweed everywhere, on the railway lines, across the road, on my bathroom floor and yes… all the way up… there!

Our 10 Favorite Things - 2018 Hiking Season Even though we have hiked a lot of miles, each trail and each year seem to teach us something new. We decided to compile a list of our “favorite things” from this past hiking season. Some of these things will be old hat to some hikers, but they are new to us this year.

An Outbreak of Inaction and Delay It's not that I've not been walking, because I have, but there's been an outbreak of inertia at Pietowers since the crushing of the knipemobile's door by the X1 Arriva bus to Tow Law.

Walk home from work… I have recently started walking home from work, which sounds entirely normal for someone who enjoys walking but maybe a bit unusual when you remember that, for me, home is also work.

Classic Gear: The MSR XGK Stove The original MSR Stove as pictured in the 1973 MSR catalogue Next in the Classic Gear series that first appeared in The Great Outdoors last year: a revolutionary stove design. The remote burner stove with a fuel tank at the end of a long hose is now a standard design.

Bang Pa-In After a few walks in the city I was keen to go somewhere a little quieter for my next outing and so I took the train in the other direction from normal to go to Bang Pa-In, a small village about an hour north of where I live. Predominantly this was so I could visit the Summer Palace there and walk around the grounds.

Dartmoor's underrated lichen Dartmoor hosts an amazingly rich landscape which includes fascinating rocks, trees and wildlife. I recently had a little bit of time waiting at a checkpoint for a team of Ten Tors trainees when I was admiring the absolutely fascinating lichen that covered my cold hard seat.

Grayrigg Pike At Last Thu 15 Nov 2018: I was super-excited to get up this hill despite that most people would probably find it tame, bland and boring. Why? quite a few reasons really… Firstly, although I'd done around four very tame and easy Lake District hills since my hip replacement, this was a much tougher proposition.

Helicopters buzzing around Paranoia almost set in recently as we spent an idyllic afternoon exploring a little corner of Dartmoor being watched over by a helicopter buzzing around overhead. It spent the whole afternoon with us and did feel as if it was following our route on several occasions.

Still Missing the Nifty Ninety Haze from Camp Fire - 11/18. We are still taking a timeout from the Nifty Ninety, but the challenge is not forgotten, and we are explori…

The Great Outdoors January issue The results of the 2018 Great Outdoors Awards feature in the latest issue. They are split into the Readers' Awards and the Gear Awards, which were judged by a panel of five, of which I was one. We had long discussions over this and all the gear was tried out, making for a rigorous process.

The beech trees I have never seen beech trees become so big. The trees form a tunnel which is wonderfully cooling on hot summer days.

Evening Air The evening settled in such a calm way on a late November walk with Blonde Two that it was almost tangible. It had been a still day anyway: so much so that I had commented how still the air was. As the day grew dimpsy I noticed that the air seemed to draw close and definitely feel different.

If you're looking for an outdoor Christmas present…. It's also very lightweight. I've been trying Haglof's… Sony NEX 7 with Sigma 30mm f2.8 lens I've had the Sony NEX 7 for six months now, during which I've taken nearly 3,000 photos,… Sheltering in a bothy after a day of heavy rain on the Southern Upland Way in February.

Teesdale Overnight The knipemobile's little tiff with the X1 Darlington to Tow Law bus last Monday has interfered particularly with Lucky The Dog's outdoor activities, mainly in view of the fact that he's Not Allowed to ride in the huge and sinisterly black minibus that they've given me as a courtesy car.

One Word Wednesday One word but then, being Blonde, we always have a bit more to say… Dartmoor's rivers are often in spate. They are at their finest at this time. Lucy and I would be this happy… …if you chose to VOTE BLONDE in the Go Outdoors. Outdoor Blog of the Year Awards.

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