An introduction to the Walking Englishman .
I love everything about walking. I love reading about it, I love plotting routes, I love hiking in the hills, I love rambling by the riverside, I love the great British countryside. It inspires me and captures my imagination like no other activity. Not for me the football matches, the Horse Racing, the Tennis… not even Golf, no it is walking for me. And in Great Britain we have a spectacle of diverse walking opportunities from the highlands of Scotland to the moors of Devon & Cornwall. In between there are many fantastic sights to behold on the many walks available to us. Each national park has its own characteristics, like the heather moorland of the North York Moors, the rugged coastline of Pembrokeshire, the green avenues of the New Forest and the rolling green hills of the South Downs. And in the middle of it all, in the heart is the jewel that is the Peak District. Widely regarded as the most popular National Park of them all the Peak District is a haven of relaxation for many of the urban dwellers surrounding the park, from Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and Stoke. From further afield they all come too, many visitors are not even from these shores but drawn to the world famous places such as the towns of Buxton, Ashbourne and Matlock. To fabulous houses too like Chatsworth and of course to history defining sites like Kinder Scout, a place of pilgrimage for walkers celebrating the remarkable trespass which led the way for freedom on the hills for all walkers. The Peak District has a lot to shout about, and it does with pride and because of its beauty and its wonderful heritage, I the Walking Englishman choose to visit as often as I can although it is a National Park further afield than ones close to my North Yorkshire home like the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. The Peak District has that draw on me.
Let’s start with a particular favourite of mine, one which I stumbled upon while taking a weekend break at a friends in Leek. I saw a brief newspaper report on a short walk to Lathkill Dale. That walk wasn’t enough for me so I contrived a longer one to include Bradford Dale in a circular of just over 10 miles. Read about my walk at http://www.walkingenglishman.com/peakdistrict11.htm and then wait in eager anticipation for a sunny Spring day to do the walk. It is one of the best there is.
Mike Brockhurst (The Walking Englishman)