Kit Review – Columbia Silver Ridge Shirt 

Above Cwm Penmachno Hike

I’ve had a couple of trips out recently where I’ve worn a Silver Ridge shirt made by Columbia, supplied by http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com.
This is the disclaimer part: the very friendly Marta, representing Cotswold Outdoor, got in touch with me as part of her blogger outreach work and arranged for the shirt to be sent to me.

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Three day hike on The Ridgeway National Trail

West Kennet Avenue Avebury

Last year I spent a couple of days on The Ridgeway  but jumped in (for logistical reasons) part way along this ancient route and started at Wallingford. This time though I started at the very beginning* (a very good place … ) and had company to boot in the shape of friend Jeff and my brother-in-law, John (who joined us on the 2nd day for some of the route).

* The ‘beginning’ is maybe a moot point in that the actual ‘Greater Ridgeway’ is some 362 miles long and starts in Dorset then heads up all the way to Norfolk. We walked about 45 miles of the 87 mile long ‘middle bit’ known as the Ridgeway National Trail that starts at Overton Hill.

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Kit Review – technical shirt from Aldi

A short post to mention that Aldi UK are bringing in some walking gear as part of their ‘Special Buys’ programme this Thursday 17th April.

I was contacted by the Aldi PR guys and asked if I’d like to try out the Technical Shirt.

Having been out with the shirt once I can only offer a limited review – but I have to say that for the retail price (£7.99) it’s a really comfortable shirt and wicked nicely. That seems like a good price.

I like the look of the green version (I was sent the blue) so for that price I might go and buy myself a ‘spare’ one if I can get to a store on Thursday.

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Let the dice decide – a walk around Marsden

I had a couple of hours to spare this afternoon to get out for a bit of a walk with the hound.  Actually, I never have time to spare, too many projects in the go, maybe ‘allocated’ is a better phrase. And yes I did *some* chores, although not as many as I *should* have of course.

Anyway – with a couple of hours to hit the hills, I was wondering where to go. I considered one of the Walkers Are Welcome  walks I haven’t done yet or maybe heading straight up the hill to the Heritage Trail to get some views?

The subject of how / why I choose one walk over another has been front of mind for a couple of days, as I’m taking part in a long-range survey (over August). I can’t say anything much as have been asked not to by the organisers but suffice to say that the act of being observed must have impacted my behaviour!

And impacted it to the extent that the idea of using a dice to decide where to go came to mind. Not something I’ve ever done before. I’m not sure why it popped into my head other than I was musing “head out through back of the house and up the hills, or head out the front door and towards the canal and the hills? hmm” and to let a dice decide seemed an interesting idea. I read the Dice Man years ago (now that’s a teenage thought provoker of a book ..) and I know there’s also a school of travel (and an old TV programme?) that uses dice to decide where to go next. My ambitions were less, well, ambitious. Mooch about with the dog on a 2 hour journey, with any major intersection maneuvers decided by the roll of a dice. Or the tap of my phone as it happened – there’s an App for everything!

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Swellands hike – checking a Walkers Are Welcome new route

Colne Valley Circular Walk Hike Marsden Moors

On Saturday I did the last of my route / map check walks for the soon to be published Marsden Walkers Are Welcome guides. Despite really strong winds on the exposed parts of the moors the weather was great. No actual rain, for the walk or indeed the whole day, amazing 🙂

The overview of the walk from the WaW site is : “This 6.5 mile walk will take you from the Marsden centre into the scenic Wessenden Valley, containing ancient woodlands and deep upland reservoirs, then onto sections of the Pennine Way and Standedge Trail close to the watershed and above Swellands Reservoir. This walk contains some sustained ascents, descents and rough terrain.”

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