[AD] While the only action most of my travel books received this year involved being dusted; I think it is time for some gentle planning for 2021. The darker, cooler, nights feel just right for cosying up with a book or two.
With the way things are at the moment, it feels safer to plan UK trips. My recent reading and planning session was accompanied by two new books from Vertebrate Publishing: “The Beaches of Wales” and “Big Trails, Great Britain and Ireland“. Both of which have been the perfect partner for a blanket and a mug of tea.
Planning UK Walks
While I have really enjoyed my local walks and exploring my neighbourhood and nearby districts, I do miss longer trips. Whether by car or by train, there is something quite exciting about taking the day to explore somewhere away from home. Something I love to think of as ‘day holidays’ (you can read about some of my past ones here)
With the whole COVID situation throwing in all kinds of unknowns, it feels like a safer option for travel is to plan UK based trips. I thought I knew of plenty of places to visit until I started reading “The Beaches of Wales”. Now I have a bit of a mini personal challenge to visit plenty of beaches in 2021.
The Beaches of Wales
“The Beaches of Wales” book is the kind of book that I love to pick up mid-week when I am in the mood for planning something for the weekend. I also love it simply for the pictures of the beaches as they are taken in all seasons. As a lover of beaches in the colder months, this is a real joy as most books only feature the sandy places in the bright sun of summer time. I love the off season as you get the place to yourself. If you fancy a giggle, you can check out one of my very old posts about Llandudno.
I grew up on the Wirral with family living in North Wales. It was also in the 80s, which meant that our holidays would be spent in different parts of Wales. My sister and I loved beaches and the water, so were in our element while on our family trips. I has been fun looking through the book and recognsising how many of the places I have visited. Not that I remember many, of course, but it is a nice place to start when planning where to go.
Jit hasn’t really seen much of Wales, so I enjoy choosing some of my favourite places to take him to see. You never know, we might actually get out in the big tent next year, which would be fantastic! I am quite tempted to take us back to Harlech, where Jit’s camping experience began. I took him for his birthday with some cheap eBay kit, and he enjoyed it so much that we upgraded the kit and carried on with the cheap and cheerful travel.
Snippets of Information
I really like “The Beaches of Wales” book as the pictures tell a thousand words, but the words included help to build the picture. Each beach has the grid references for finding them along with some informaion about amenities. Something I find an absolute must, expecially if I am doing a bit of a wandering kind of day. There is also information about refreshments, access to other places of interest and some fact about the area.
While day trips to beaches and camping trips around Wales are perfect for the smaller, more relaxed, getaways, a chunky hike is also a hit. I have a few friends who have recently done some long distance hikes. While I would love to do one in one go, it is useful to know the routes so you can plan to do them piece by piece. With so much going on in my life right now, being able to do these things in bite size pieces is a handy way to make progress.
The other book I have to enjoy from Vertebrate Publishing is “Big Trails Great Britain and Ireland“.
While some of the further afield trails seem a while off yet, with unknown restrictions on the cards, I have been inspired to make a dent on the Pennine Way. With some of the route within walking distance of my house, it seems like the perfect starting point.
I really like the way that “Big Trails” has been written. There is a description about the trail, with details for each of the towns you come across on the route. Even more handy is the tips section at the end of the route, which makes planning to do the trail that bit simpler. You can see how long it will take each kind of walker and some tips on climate – note, it is the North so rain is probably more likely than not! They even mention this in chapter!
The London Loop
As well as the dells and fells kind of long-distance walks, there is also the London Loop. Another of my bucket list walks. To be honest, depite wanting to walk the loop, I didn’t know much about it until I read this book. Did you know that the ‘loop’ part is an acronym for London Outer Orbital Path? No? Me neither.
I think having the opportunity to learn a bit more about a walk is a great way to spark the excitement inside you. I have seen books which are soley about each long-distance walk. Although, I am sure they are good, I think in the planning stages, less is sometimes enough.
UK Travel Planning
I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a funny old year. It hasn’t been the most travelled, or the most blogged about. Not on my blog, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that we should hand up our boots and give up on holidays altogether. With books like these, we can dip our toes into the virtual waters of the Wales coast. Plan out some parts of a long-distance walk or simply enjoy the pictures and writing while drinking a cuppa at home.
None of us know when travel, either in the UK or abroad, will be easier. So my advice to you is to keep your thinking caps on, enjoy learning about this amazing set of countries we have access to and get lightly planning some trips for 2021 and beyond. And, if in doubt, choose the ones close to home and build up from there. That is something we can definitely do now.
Both books are available through Vertebrate Publishing’s website, along with some other inspiring adventure books. In fact, in the process of writing this post, I have just purchased another of thier books: “Way Making – An anthology of women’s adventure wtiring, poetry and art” which I am now also looking forward to reading. If you can’t treat yourself to a new book or five during a global pandemic in winter, when can you?
Have you been doing and UK travel planning?
Have you got some ideas for places to visit next year?
Let me know in the comments.
And if you need inspiration, I recommend these two books to get you started. There is sure to be something near you to get you started (lockdown or no lockdown!)