Hiking Highlights on Walking Stories
This page is especially for new visitors to the site, to give you an idea of some of the range of walking stories and the type of content. There are lots of hiking themes, a great range of walking routes, and links to news about walking and hiking.
There are walks to suit everyone, from relaxing strolls through the historic Scottish village of Culross, and routes suitable for the disabled such as Lady Mary's Walk in Crieff, to a tour linking three hotels in Switzerland and an ascent of the highest trekking mountain in the world, Mera Peak in the Himalayas.
Among the best known hiking locations, there are walks on the Great Wall of China, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and to the volcanic summits of Mount Fuji and El Teide. Find out what it's really like to go there! There's the fullest account of a climb of Kilimanjaro anywhere on the web! And a story and photos of the highest trekking mountain, Mera Peak.
Several walks have unusual themes, including the settler wars in New Zealand, the Jugglers Walk in Perth (Scotland), the Public Health Pioneers walk through Glasgow and the Make Poverty History March in Edinburgh.
There are many different writing styles as well. Why not sample Colin Wilson's account of his attempt at the Cuillin Ridge in Skye, Paul Fisher's dash around Lochnagar and her little sisters, or Robin Cole's struggle to cross the Serengeti? There are several perspectives on walking in China, including Gong Ying's hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, Mike's alternative experience on the Great Wall, and Catriona's collection of stories such as the distinctively shapped Moon Hill.
Some locations provide unusual walking conditions, such as the concrete route (made to look like timber) through the gorges at Qingcheng Hou Shan, the sand dunes of the Sahara in Morocco, and a tunnel through the trees at Sami on Kefalonia. A real tunnel gives access to the view of the Falls of Acharn in Perthshire.
Among the historic locations described are the Japanese temples at Nikko and Kamakura, the Peace Park at Hiroshima, the Terracotta Warriors in China, Machu Picchu and Rosslyn Chapel (featured in the Da Vinci Code).
There's even a special section of historic and literary stories, with several colourful Scottish characters described by Norman Watson and some exhilarating extracts from Matthew Parris's book "A Castle in Spain".
There are some reflective stories and passages, such as Colin Wilson's thoughts on Hedonism and Mountaineering; a contemplation on walking alone; further thoughts on walking alone on Ben Chonzie; thoughts on the ethics of climbing Kilimanjaro; and early reflections on being a tourist in China.
And many different walking experiences are described, such as:
- trouble lighting a fire in a Scottish Highland bothy
- a sentimental journey to Watendlath in the English Lake District
- experiencing the same mountain in different ways (Ben Lawers)
- 3 stories about the same mountain, 35 years apart (Kilimanjaro)
- being stuck in a mountain gully in the Serengeti without any water before being arrested by the police!
- experiencing the draining effects of altitude on Mount Teide and Kilimanjaro
- trying to help a climber with altitude sickness on Mount Kenya
- tricky encounters with a patch of snow (Ben Vorlich #1), (Daisetsuzan)
- climbing lots and lots of steps in China and Scotland
- a lonely climb up Mount Fuji - before getting stuck in a human traffic jam!
- experiencing a volcanic landscape - Mount Teide, Tarumaesan, Daisetsuzan
- enjoying a visit to a street market - Dali
- exploring Chinese parks - Dali, (Chongqing and Beijing to follow)
- visiting a rural school and a banana beer brewery in Tanzania
- encounters with various insects and snakes in Tasmania
And there are encounters with strange and memorable characters, particularly in China:
- the Chinese hawker who could sing Burns, at Lijiang
- a strange old doctor in his surgery in the foothills of the Himalayas, owing much of his fame to Michael Palin, followed by a Robin Hood impersonator!
- staying with a family in the depths of Tiger Leaping Gorge
The coverage of the site is extended by linking to stories from other sources, particularly the New York Times and the Guardian. See especially the collections for the United States, and Greece, and the walk with a tribal family in Morocco. You can even read the blogs from the medical team and cameramen who climbed Everest.
The main links page currently focuses on Scottish websites, but others will be added in due course. However, many stories provide links to relevant websites. The News page also links to various walking news stories.
One of the strengths of the site is the collection of photos from many different locations around the world. The Gallery includes additional images for many stories - just scan down the list of galleries and click through to the images and the descriptions. It's an alternative way to explore the site. For example, see the many images by Bill Cook of the climb of Mera Peak (these may take a little longer to download).
There are walking news stories as well, from the UK and overseas, including the dramatic case of the fire on Table Mountain, the threat to Tiger Leaping Gorge, the health benefits of walking. See the full list on the news page.
If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know by e-mailing email@example.com. Better still, why not become a member and add comments to individual stories, and submit some of your own!