Memories of the South Yorkshire Moors

I recently asked my Dad for his memories about the moors around Sheffield for my new book The South Yorkshire Moors. I was interested how his experience of the moors growing up in Greenhill in the 50s/60s compared to mine growing up in Oughtibridge in the 80s/90s. Though on opposite sides of the city, the … Continued

The Hunt for Shirl Fork

In the course of writing my books, there are places I end up going back to repeatedly, normally because I have missed something first, second and third time. Chatsworth Moors, the furthest straggle of the gritstone peat moors of the Pennines down towards Matlock, hold their secrets close. While the moor directly above Chatsworth is … Continued

The Brontë Stones

Over the early part of this year, I have been involved in a side-project created by Michael Stewart, writer and senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield. He devised four great walks around a series of stones carved with new poems about the Brontës and asked me to provide the maps and route … Continued

In Search of Houndkirk

Houndkirk Road is a fantastically named ancient highway across Burbage Moor between Ringinglow and Longshaw, but seems something of a barren trudge across a lonely shoulder of moor. My school used to use it for its cross country races, bussing the whole year to the far end of the track and then letting us race … Continued

Bleaklow: In the Bleak Midwinter

Bleaklow is the wildest of the Dark Peak’s moorland expanses, stretching up from Alport and Ashopton all the way to Longdendale, 40 square miles of deep valleys and barren peat plateaux. While Kinder Scout’s tableland is renowned for its disorientating qualities, in truth it is hard to go too far wrong there Bleaklow on the … Continued

Woodlands Awards Winner 2017

Well, thanks to the good folk at Woodlands.co.uk I have recently been the proud recipient of a 2017 Woodlands Award for one of the Best Woodlands Books of the Year for The West Yorkshire Woods: Part 1. It is particularly satisfying as this is a respected woodland management organisation and my layman’s guide to woodland … Continued

The Kentish Coast

The Kentish Coast (or should that by the Old Coast of Kent) is a surprisingly varied affair, combining dizzying chalk cliffs with golden sands and endless shingle beaches. I began at Broadstairs in the middle of Folk Week, but before nine in the morning there was little sign of it on the streets. The tidy … Continued

The Changing Face of Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout held a particular thrall over me when I was younger, the highest point in the nearby Peak District but respected to the point of reverence. Its featureless plateau was something to be wary of. I only remember crossing it once, when I was considered old enough for this undertaking and I emerged on … Continued

Memories of Powys

I have been back in Powys recently, conducting a survey of the Public Rights of Way network that has had me reminiscing about doing this particular job over the years. Since 2004, I have walked 5% of the paths in the county of Powys on half a dozen occasions. It has taken me to all … Continued

The Rhiangoll Valley

There is an intriguing and beautiful valley between the western flanks of the Black Mountains and their offspring outliers, Mynydd Troed and Mynydd Llangorse. From above, it is a gentle green valley of woods and scattered farm buildings far below the great broad shoulders that the table topped peaks of the Black Mountains thrust out … Continued