Showing posts with label peak district. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peak district. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What we did last Summer!

As we look forward to a gr8 summer this year, we thought to reflect on some golden moments in 2012. Which started with gr8trails filming its first video in the cold and crisp Dark Peak, Derbyshire. You can watch the fruits of our labours http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nULokc63sY on our very own YouTube channel.

Pre Easter we managed to get out walking in North Wales to experience the most spectacular cloud inversion around Snowdon and the Glyders. We experience cloud inversions quite rarely, but to walk along the top of the Glyder range above the clouds and look across at Snowdon, Crib Goch & East/West Peak as if they were islands in a sea of cloud, was something special.
April, saw us return to Scotland with some beautiful  snow covered tops. Walking with stunning views over Loch Tay and down Glen Lyon. We found a great little hotel on the shores of Loch Tay, the Ben Lawers Hotel, which made some fantastic full Scottish breakfasts, gr8 for a full days hill walking.
Somehow we managed a quick bike round the North Face trail at Grizedale with its wide fireroads and tight technical singletrack and northshore, this is a mountain bikers playground, whatever your ability and experience. And from the tops of the forest you are rewarded with views across to Coniston and over Lake Windermere.

Late April, caught us walking a well known route round the valley of Nidderdale, Yorkshire Dales, which is also gr8 mountain biking territory. With some cool views of the dam at Scar House Reservoir. If you ever head that way, there’s a remote walk around both this and Angram Reservoir.









Early May saw us in the Lake District for a spot of walking and mountain biking. We know a great little route round the Elterwater and Langdale Valleys which we just thoroughly enjoy. Add to that a little wander up the ridge onto Coniston Old Man from the 3Shires Stone for some awe inspiring views over south Lakeland and the Irish Sea.



At the end of May we came back to one of our favourite haunts in the Lake District; Waterhead and Ambleside. From there we walked the Fairfield Horseshoe and got the bus back into town! (after rehydrating at a local establishment at the bottom of Heron Pike. A well earnt dinner in the Priest Hole, Ambleside was much appreciated by all.

The Island of Skye beckoned us in June, and we were blessed with the weather. To be honest, we’ve never experienced such consistently good weather on this Isle in all the years we’ve been visiting (and the midges weren’t biting too bad then either!)






We were headed Wales direction also in June, staying at the lovely hotel the Gwesty Gwernan Hotel and Fishery. We can’t recommend this little, hidden, boutique hotel enough. From its doorstep you can walk the slopes of Cader Idris or bike down the estuary from Dolgellau to Barmouth.



We returned to more local hills and the Peak District in July, with an easy walk from Jane Eyres Hathersage. This is a history rich, beautiful area within easy reach of a lot of the UK’s population but sadly most people don’t make the most of what they have on their doorstep – we guess that makes it more special for the people that do visit! gr8 for walking, biking, climbing and caving.





High Summer at the end of July, we ventured back to the Lake District. This time staying in the hidden Newlands Valley at the working Littletown Farm Guest House. From here you can venture straight onto Catbells and High Spy to look down on Derwent Water & Buttermere. A days biking at Whinlatter Forest (which also has Go Ape high ropes), finished the weekend away. Don’t forget the sensational ‘thunder and lightening’ homemade ice cream you can get with their homemade chocolate brownies at Littletown Farm (which has since been renovated).

Our Autumn months had us biking back in the Lake District around Rydal & Loughrigg Terrace, the Yorkshire Dales up and down Wensleydale before turning north again to Scotland, for some early winter walking in the Cairngorms over the New Year.











We hope that a little of this has inspired you to get out there this Summer to enjoy what truly is our green and pleasant land. Or, if you don’t have the confidence as to what to do, where to stay or where to go, then join us at one of our recently announced Summer 2013 weekends, on our events blog, clickhere.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

What to pack this Spring for your outdoor adventure?

With the vagaries of the British weather, the only thing you can guarantee is that the weather during a weekend in the great Outdoors could very well vary from wind and rain to glorious sunshine. So, for a walk in the countryside this Spring don’t forget to pack a few of those essentials.

A waterproof coat and trousers are invaluable. A good set of waterproofs will not only keep you dry but also act as a brilliant windproof, keeping you nice and warm inside.
Plenty of layers underneath will keep you warm but also allows you to remove a layer or two if you get too hot or the weather turns out for the better whilst you are out and about. Layers also trap warm air between them, acting as additional insulation.

Layers made from high wicking fabrics and fibres (wool & synthetics) are recommended, since these do not hold moisture as you perspire during activity. We wouldn’t recommend cotton tshirts or jeans, these get heavier when wet, do not dry quickly and denim also chaffs, ruining your day out.

If you’ve seen the forecast and it looks to be staying fine, new fabrics jackets made from softshell are far more breathable than your waterproof and yet insulating at the same time. They would weather well in rain showers too, but perhaps not so well in persistent rain!

Even at this time of year, the weather can be cold, especially with the effect of the wind, so don’t forget to pack your gloves and a warm hat in your pack. Most forget that you can loose up to 30% of your body heat through your head, so you can very easily control your body temperature through the use of a good warm hat.

A good pair of walking boots would be recommended. If you have ‘worn these in’, perhaps around the home before your weekend, this will ensure that you don’t develop any sore spots or blisters once out and about. A good pair of socks, or a double pair, will ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable day out.


Whether it’s forecast to be warm or not, don’t forget to pack a drink. Hydration bladders, that can be carried in your backpack are great, since they allow you to drink little and often, keeping you hydrated throughout your day. As well as your lunch, remember to pack a few extra snacks (flapjacks, raisins, nuts are good energy foods) for Justin (Case!)

The weather can be exceptionally warm here in the UK, especially in the Spring months, when the sunlight is more direct. Make sure you have extra water, sunglasses and sunscreen when the weather is forecast to be good.



gr8trails offers, all inclusive guided mountain biking and walking short breaks and weekends away, throughout the UK. Bringing ‘adventure to everyone’, no matter what your age, experience or ability.

Our short break and weekend destinations include the stunning Lake District with dramatic mountains, endless lakes and golden wooded meadows. Alternatively, history-rich North Wales and Snowdonia or hiking amongst the wide green views and rugged edges found in the Derbyshire Peak District or Yorkshire Dales. For those willing to venture a little further and wish for greater challenges we offer week long breaks to our Scottish destinations.

gr8trails founders, Rick and Adrian are passionate about the outdoors, with over 10 years of successful group guiding in the UK.

Whatever your inspiration, your ability or experience, contact us to tailor make your perfect break.

07786 343990       info@gr8trails.co.uk or complete our online choose your own adventure form.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Gregory Z35, an understated, lightweight hillwalking pack, again with cavernous versatility!

Gregory do it again!, from off the shelf, the Z35 sets out to impress. Just like the Gregory Miwok18 action pack, loading the Z35 with gear from my old hillwalking pack, it still had more than enough room to spare.

Like most good sized daywalking/guiding packs the Z35 follows the typical design, of main compartment with drawstring top access and flip over top hood. The additional feature is the front zip access to the main compartment, allowing you to retrieve/stow gear without having to release the hood buckles and drawstring. A great idea when you need something in a hurry eg waterproof top and trousers!


The main compartment is expansive, fitting at least the quoted 35litres of gear inside. The hood follows the same voluminous theme, with 1 internal and 1 externally accessed zipped pocket. We like, the under hood pocket zip, opening in such a way that all the contents don’t fall out when opened!, like in some other packs available in the market – something to look out for. Nice addition of a key loop in the top pocket too!

The main compartment also has a top tensioning webbing strap and quick release buckle, allowing quick stowage of a loose fleece or to keep the contents of a half filled pack closer to your pack and maintaining your centre of gravity.

Hydration bladder can be stowed within the main compartment in its own pocket, with a fabric port for your drinking tube on both sides of the pack, allowing you to route down either shoulder strap.

There’s also all the normal things you’d expect to see on a pack of this quality; haul loop, high vis hits back and front,  adjustable chest strap, high wicking mesh on all contact areas, mesh side bottle pockets, walking pole loop, hard wearing diamond ripstop fabrics etc, etc.

Whilst out walking, the shoulder/waist straps & unique Jetstream Dynamic Transfer System keep the pack close enough to your back, whilst not impeding movement or knocking you off balance. The Jetstream system keeps the pack off your back to allow airflow, but not too far off to unbalance you when walking. Forward pull/quick release waist straps/buckles are intuitive to use and ensure a snug comfortable fit round your waist. The integral zipped waist compartments on both! waist fins, allow easy access to snacks on the move too.

This pack also features an expandable, easy access front pocket for stowage of a map or waterproofs whilst on the move, ensuring there is no need to stop whilst out on the hill. There is also a zipped pocket for stowage of the inclusive waterproof pack cover.

Overall, again very impressed with this Gregory pack. It looks sharp, is understated in its capacity, is lightweight and offers abundant versatility.

Enjoy your walk! Don’t forget the rest of your essentials on our recommended kit list.

A broader range of Gregory packs & Source hydration bladders are available from our retail partner Ellis Brigham, Mountain Sports. Click here to find out more about the broader Gregory pack range our recommended pack brand partner and hydration partner, Source.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2011: a year in review

gr8trails began 2011 with Rick mountain bike racing the Terra Australis ‘down under’. An amazing 7 day stage race through the Victorian Alpine region also known as the Snowy Mountains. Starting in Falls Creek and finishing in Beechworth 7days later crossing 550km of high country along the way. Rick and team mate Stuart finished 7th in category, against a very competitive and experienced field.

Whilst Rick was away, Adrian headed to Scotland for a weeks Winter mountaineering. Although the conditions weren't as good as the previous year, gr8trails still managed to bag a few snow capped Munro's, only another 224 to go! check out our Facebook and Flickr pages for some gr8 images!

gr8trails opened the UK Spring walking season with several weekends in the Lake District around Wasdale, Grasmere and the Langdales. This included kayaking on Lake Windermere and biking at Whinlatter Forest. Set in the beautiful area between Windermere and Coniston, our preferred accommodation providers in Hawkshead are The Kings Arms Hotel & the Queens Head Inn & Restaurant

May saw the gr8trails team support, guide and sponsor the Yoxall Dads 3Peaks Challenge, with a successful day walking Scafell & Wasdale in preparation for their 24hour Challenge, you can see how they got on at, Yoxall Dads.

gr8trails was also proud to support the annual Pike View Hike for young people in the Scout organisation, by participation in the events safety team. A safe and fun event marked the anniversary of the 10 years of this successful event.

Our second race of the year was in more familiar territory, Eastor Castle and the Malvern Hills for 24hours of Mountain Mayhem. gr8trails sponsored several teams in solo, 4man and 10man categories, you can see how we fared at OSMountain Mayhem.

June also saw us visit the hills and valleys of Wales for another of our short breaks. With stunning early summer weather our walk round the Snowdon horseshoe was very rewarding, followed by a days biking at the little known Penmachno trailhead. gr8trails recommends staying at a variety of accommodation in Wales including The Eagles in Penmachno.
 
July saw gr8trails announce their partnership with premium UK outdoor retailer Ellis Brigham, the UK’s favourite mountain, trek & travel store. With over 75years of expertise, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports are an established and trusted name when it comes to offering the very best advice and latest equipment suitable for your next gr8 adventure. Stocking innovative outdoor brands such as Gregory packs, Source hydration and Meindl footwear in their 23 stores, it was a logical step for these brands to pledge their support for gr8trails in August.
Meindl have been producing quality handmade, durable, comfortable and award winning walking boots for over 300 years. Gregory is committed to making the most comfortable outdoor backpacks available and Source’s unique, care free antimicrobial hydration products provide a clean, healthy and easily accessible solution for clean water on the move.
August saw the gr8trails crew visit the off road, manmade biking trails of the 7Stanes in the Scottish Borders. Staying at Glentrail House, with days spent at Ae, Innerleithan and Glentress, groups built upon their own existing skills reinforcing their confidence on their bikes and these fantastic trails.

Friends Plush Hill Cycles, Church Stretton celebrated their first full year of trading earlier this summer and the gr8trails team joined up with them to give our support and promote mountain biking in Church Stretton and across the UK. ‘Plush’ is a combination of enthusiasm and mountain biking experience from around the world, dedicated to all that is biking. Big on service, Al & Kate offer a wide choice of well known brands as well as fixing and upgrading your bike, they offer a bike demo and hire service too.
The onset of Autumn saw the gr8trails team walking and biking the leafy, golden valleys of the Peak District. For our short breaks and outdoor activities here, gr8trails recommends our guests stay at the award winning, 5 star B&B, Underleigh House or the only 4 star hotel within the Peak District National Park, Losehill House Hotel, both hidden along a leafy lane in the Vale of Edale. Ensuite accommodation, allows you to relax and unwind in comfortable surroundings with your group of family or friends, after your days activities with gr8trails.
Winter is now all about the planning for the exciting weekends gr8trails will be running in 2012. Short breaks to cater for you, whether you are a large group or on your own wanting to meet new people, whether you are wanting to participate in a new sport or build on previous experience, gr8trails hopes to cater for you.

Looking forward to sharing your next gr8 adventure with you.

Adrian and Rick.

Directors & Co-founders

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, the UK’s favourite Mountain, Trek & Travel store partners with gr8trails.


With over 3 quarters of a century of expertise, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports are an established and trusted name when it comes to offering the very best advice and latest equipment suitable for your next adventure.

Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports’ 23 stores stock the world’s best brands and amazing products that will make your time spent in the mountains with gr8trails even more rewarding.   Across the UK they have fantastic shops with friendly, knowledgeable staff who are all enthusiastic about the outdoors and understand implicitly your needs. Ellis Brigham’s shops really do bring the spirit of the mountains to the high street so check them out, they have mountains of experience!

gr8trails founders, Rick and Adrian are passionate about the outdoors, with over 10 years of successful group guiding in the UK. Wishing to bringadventure to everyone’, no matter what your age, experience or ability. Your gr8trails experience includes food and accommodation, transport during your short break, fully organized and guided activities, all tailor made to your own requirements.

Whatever your inspiration, your ability or experience, contact gr8trails to tailor make your perfect break.

On behalf of gr8trails and ellisbrigham we all look forward to creating a gr8 outdoor experience you’ll never forget & one that you will wish to share in years to come.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

gr8trails has teamed up with 2 award winning, prestigious accommodation providers in the Peak District National Park.

For our short breaks and outdoor activities in the North Peak, Edale and surrounds, gr8trails recommends our guests stay at the award winning, 5 star B&B, Underleigh House or the only 4 star hotel within the Peak District National Park, Losehill House Hotel, both hidden along a leafy lane in the Vale of Edale.

The prestigious Losehill House hotel has 21 beautifully appointed 4 star contemporary en- suite bedrooms and suites. All with TV, DVD facilities and extensive views over the beautiful valley of Edale. After a day’s activity with gr8trails in the surrounding area, you will be able to relax in the hotels Drawing room and enjoy afternoon tea or drinks from the bar, whilst taking in the views. Alternatively, the hotel offers something unique to the area, an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and hot tub on the terrace with those fabulous views and Spa treatment rooms for you to relax. 


Once you have freshened up from your day out, you can join us in the restaurant, offering a delightful table-d-hote menu, prepared by the Head Chef and his team. Using locally sourced produce, they create superb, genuinely home made, cuisine befitting of this lovely location.

Alternatively, the multi award winning, 5 star homely Underleigh House offers 5 ensuite bedrooms on a more personal and private scale, allowing you to relax and unwind in comfortable surroundings with your group of family or friends, after your days activities with gr8trails. Vivienne will ensure that you are made exceptionally welcome to her B&B, offering an award winning breakfast to get you ready for your day out.

Dinner out can be arranged for you by gr8trails at nearby Losehill House or at a variety of other local establishments (transport provided).

Whichever style of accommodation suits your pocket, we can guarantee that the owners of both our preferred accommodation partners will make you feel very welcome to this beautiful area and will ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay with them.

Post dinner, at either location, kick back and relax with your friends, family or group, as the sunsets in the beautiful valley around you and enjoy sharing your experiences of the day, whether that be guided mountain biking, walking or various other activities gr8trails can provide.


Both partners are located within 35 minutes drive from Sheffield, an hour from Manchester or 70 minutes from Leeds on the Hope to Edale road. Alternatively let the train take the strain, you are 3 hours from London to the local Edale station, where gr8trails will collect and transport you to both our preferred accommodation partners.

On behalf of gr8trails, Losehill House Hotel and Underleigh House B&B, we all look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful Valley of Edale.