The great passions in life are my wife\family and walking. On the basis that no one would be interested in the former, this site is an attempt to share my love of hill walking.
I first walked in the real countryside when I was doing A level in the mid-sixties. I was born in the industrial West Riding and my family did not have a car. I was therefore very much a townie. The Geography syllabus required evidence of field work and so we went off tramping around the Yorkshire Dales. The hills and the open spaces were new to me and I loved it. The walk around Malham, taking in Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar, the tarn and Malham Cove retains a special place in my affections.
The high spot was doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in July 1966; an epic walk and the first time that I'd got up to 2000 ft. It was also the opening day of the World Cup and we ended up in the pub at Horton-in-Ribblesdale getting updates on the score from the landlord's flat (England 0 Uruguay 0 in case you don't remember). Strangely the second time I walked the Three Peaks was during Euro 96; it was the day of the England-Scotland match and I found out the result near the summit of Ingleborough.
Since then I have always walked on and off.
The odd excursion on to the South Downs when I was a student.
In the mid-70s I was a member of Worcester Ramblers. This was the period when I learned about some hills outside of Yorkshire and first got drawn into the perennial dispute over the merits of the Lake District versus those of Snowdonia (You will see from comments elsewhere that I'm in the second camp) I first walked the Brecon Beacons at this time and they remain a firm favourite.
Then came fatherhood and this reduced my chances to take to the hills (even when I lived in North Wales for three years). I have tried to get the kids interested in walking but this has only worked with one out of the four (Andrew). I remember taking him up the Malverns for the first time. We went up in cloud but this lifted near the top. This meant that when he saw the view it came as a total surprise and this bowled him over; he was hooked.
Divorce in the 90s left me with time on my hands and I returned to walking. Since then it has become an obsession and there are few weeks when I don't have my boots on. I know now that I was still very naive about the hills at the start of this period; I had never even been to the Lake District.
I have however kept a list of all my walks on a spreadsheet (together with lots of really sad details like how many miles I get out of each pair of boots before they die, usually from cracks at the point where the boot bends when you flex your toes)
Click on symbol to get the spreadsheet
For all my love of the hills, I do most of my walking with Stafford Rambling Group and much of this is therefore in a relatively low lying area. I am now the SRG secretary and also am the keeper of its web-site.
I also do a fair bit of walking with a bunch of colleagues from work; for this reason they have their own section on this site.