Just for a change, I thought I’d blog on something completely away from photography – walking. Yes, we all do it every day of our lives, but I’m talking about cross-country walking. It’s something me and hubbs (Brian) are really into and we’re lucky enough to live just far enough outside London to have loads of countryside around us or at the most a short drive away. One of the best places to walk in the UK is the New Forest on the South Coast, which is just fantastic, not just for the countryside but also the ponies you happen upon and the little places you’d never find in a car (like out of the way country pubs)!

A couple of years ago, a group of friends and I started to walk the Hertfordshire Way, which is a 161 mile circular route around the whole county (and Hertfordshire is BIG). Obviously it’s split into manageable chunks of around 12-16 miles which take the whole day to complete and for that reason it’s best to do it in late Spring or Summer when the light is longest during the day (unless of course you like nocturnal walking)! Well, for various reasons we only completed eight of the 16 legs and the last walk left us at Markyate. The next section is Markyate to Tring, which will lead us through the Ashridge Estate on the edges of the Chiltern Hills and is a beautiful part of the country. It also takes us through a village called Aldbury, which was and still is used a lot in TV and films. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks we can pick up the trail again and look forward to the fact that Spring is just around the corner and the dreaded mud that clings to your walking boots like lead weights will soon be drying up again!

Most recently, Brian and I walked a circular route around Buntingford (10 miles and in deep snow – well, why not?) and Hunsdon, near the Essex border (8 miles). I have on the computer some software called Memory Map, which gives me whole of the South East’s coverage of Ordnance Survey maps. With the mouse, all I do is draw the route we’re going to follow on the screen and plug in my trusty Garmin Etrex handheld GPS via USB – the software loads the route’s waypoints onto the GPS. Having arrived at the start point of the walk, all I do is ask the Etrex to take us to the end waypoint and it literally points the way with an arrow – it’s brilliant and does away with the need to carry a map and compass!

Anyway, walking is great for keeping fit and just makes for a really interesting day out, especially when the weather is right. So there you go – I thought I’d share something different with you – even if I do always carry a compact camera with me on these little trips! By the way, here’s an image from Memory Map showing the next section of the Hertfordshire Way(shown as a blue line) – I can’t wait!

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