Circular walk from Lulworth Cove to White Nothe beach along SW Coast path – #walkwednesday

This weeks #walkwednesday route is a proper work out along the South West Coastal path. Coming in at 8 miles, you have some fairly serious hills and all the wild beauty that the Jurassic coast has to offer. So far I think you’ll agree it’s been a funny old summer, I’ve not had the chance to get out and about to do as much walking as I would ideally like to, but a couple of weeks ago, my friend Chris and myself finally managed to head out for a stroll. Chris was worried about his fitness, so we decided to test it and get a solid days walking on along the SW Coastal path. Not only was it a good test of fitness, but Chris had not even heard of Durdle Door, so I was quietly looking forward to seeing his reaction when we came to it.

The day started out with a little drizzle and after we had parked at Lulworth Cove it was heads down to get up over the first hill, strolling on in silence. The rain seemed to keep some of the tourists at bay and it wasn’t long before Durdle Dor was in front of us, and Chris had a huge grin on his face. It’s a classic sight, and I will never tire of seeing just what our planet is capable of creating.

durdle dor

Leaving the crowds behind, we carried on along the path, and began drinking in the cliffs and sea ahead of us. It has a fair amount of up and down, so we stopped on Bats Head for a spot of lunch and a breather. There were few people on the path and we felt privileged to have such a beautiful environment to ourselves.

The weather forecast had been for a cloudy rainy day, and although we could see the clouds inland, the day gradually brightened to reveal a child’s picture of what the coast should look like with cloudless skies, a rich blue sea and white sailing ships dotting the waves. It was pretty much the only day this summer that’s been like it! There wasn’t much talking, but the grins came readily and easily to our faces. Reaching White Nothe Cottages, we spied the smugglers path down to the sea and set off down a seriously steep path to the beach. It’s not for the faint hearted, but if you do trek down there you will be rewarded by abundance of wildlife, and at the bottom a stunning beach that we had to ourselves.

bats head beach

Taking a rare opportunity for this summer with the heat, we stripped off for a dip and then basked in the sun to dry off before the long hard slog back up the path to the top. The stroll back to the car was across the fields affording us a larger vista of the coast, and a flatter journey for our tired legs.

Most of my walking encompasses hills and mountains and I need to make more of an effort to visit our coast. The feeling of space, along with the challenge of the inclines along the SWC Path made it a day to remember. The route is shown on the Social Hiking map below, it’s also available to download on Viewranger or you can right-click and download the GPX file here.

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Mayhem of mud

Well the teams are back and there are some fairly shattered folks after the Mountain Mayhem this weekend. The story of the weekend seems to be Mud. Oh and then a bit more on top. Cycling proved tricky in the conditions with folks pushing their bikes for up to a third of the course. There’s been a few negative vibes on Facebook to do with the gloop but the guys & gals here have had a good time, despite the best endeavours of mother nature.

We’ve pulled together our best photos of the weekend along with a couple of videos to give you a taste of what went on.

Camp mayhem

Team Webtogs

Lucys team

Bottom of one of the hills

Unicycle nutter

Charlie shows a bit of leg

Charlie keeps smiling

The Islabikes team racing on kiddy bikes

Post race gloop

To all those who went and participated – we salute you! If you went, how did you get on and is anyone planning on tackling it next year?

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Mountain Mayhem this weekend

Five of the Webtogs team are off to do the Mountain Mayhem this weekend in weather that’s looking a bit iffy to say the least! Mountain Mayhem is the largest and the most prestigious 24-hour mountain bike event in the world, where teams of up to 10 cycle off road for a total of 24 hours around a 10 mile circuit in Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire. There’s a lot of night riding as a result, so the guys are really looking forward to testing out some of their Silva head torches, particularly Tim with his Silva Sprint plus.

Mountain Mayhem at nightWe’ve got two teams entering, Charlie, Keith, Mike & Tim are in one and Lucy has teamed up with other friends to cycle with another. So far today, everyone appears to have been huddling over computers nervously watching the weather forecast. Early reports have said the site and course resemble classic Glastonbury circa 1997 – not pleasant….

Best of luck to everyone who is entering this weekend, if anyone has entered previously or is taking part, we’d love to hear how you got on or what you think of it, so please post up in the comments below.

Photos courtesy of Nic R & Andy Armstrong on Flickr

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Walk Wednesday in the New Forest – Hawkhill round walk or ride

This weeks Walk Wednesday route is a straightforward walk that can also be cycled. Near the village of Beaulieu in the New Forest, you start off at the Hawkhill enclosure which you get to by taking the B3054 from Beaulieu or the B3055 from Brockenhurst.

At the Hawkhill Car Park you follow the dirt track south before zig zagging your way to Round Hill , then following tracks North through the Forest to New Copse & Stubby Cope Inclosures before circling Denny Lodge and heading back.

New Forest horsesStaying in the forest you head down to Frame Wood eventually leaving the woods at Furzey Lodge before heading back along the road to the car park.

All in all it’s nearly 12 miles with a little up and down and is perfect as a cycle with the family, a blast after work when short of time, or a long half days walking.

As always you can download the route on Viewranger, have a look at the Social Hiking Map below, or right click and “save as” the GPX file here to download for your Sat Nav device of choice.

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Our New Blog Home

For those of you who have never read us before, howdy! For those of you who have followed us previously welcome to our new home at http://tog-blog.co.uk We’ve been busy shoving the old site in to the theoretical moving van and here we are.

If you really want to know why we’ve moved, we’re making changes to the main site and want to ensure that it runs faster than a speeding bullet.  Moving the blog to a new domain helps us do this. We’ve also realised that this blog has been going for nearly 5 years now (phew) and there is a shed load of good stuff here. It deserves it’s own place, so pull up a pew, hit the subscribe link on the right or add our RSS feed to whatever programme tickles your fancy and we’ll pour the tea.

As for what you will see now you are here, well we are going to include the following;

  • There will be pictures of kittens from time to time
  • We won’t take ourselves too seriously
  • We won’t just turn this in to a blog where we go blah blah blah product blah blah blah product, buy buy buy all the time.
  • We’ll post useful stuff you want to know about the outdoors.
  • We’ll post routes of stuff we have done and let you download them and use them however you want.
  • We’ll try to sort out World peace in the next 18 months and post random words and numbers like 92Z5CYCA9FKD to confuse you.

One of those is a fib. Guess away as to which one. If you want to see something specific apart from rude pictures, post up below and we’ll see what we can do.

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#Walkwednesday Route – 2 Day Circular walk from Corfe Castle via the SW Coastal Path

We’ve got just the route for you for this Walk Wednesday, with a spot of sand, sea and hills on the glorious Isle of Purbeck. Starting at Corfe Castle, you’ll head out for a stupendous 2 day hike. The routes first day (14 Miles) takes in the Purbeck Hills, Swanage and follows the South West Coastal Path for some time, before heading up to camp at Tom’s field camp site. For the second day you’ll again follow the South West Coastal path before heading inland at Kimmeridge bay to follow the downs back in to Corfe (15 miles). We’ve also got alternative routes for the second day with a shortened 5 miles or 12 miles if you need to get back early, or fancy a more relaxing return to Corfe Castle.

Corfe CastleThere is plenty of Parking near Corfe Castle. Our recommendation is to turn left at the bottom of the castle mound heading uphill by East Hill to the walkers car park at SY 963 821. It states no overnight stays, but that’s for motorhomes. Head out of the car park to take a stroll over the Purbeck Hills towards the coast. Follow the Purbeck way along the ridge path on Ailwood Down and Nine Barrow Down. Keep going along Ballard Down and head back along the SWC Path in to Swanage where there’s plenty of scope for luncheon stops should you fancy.

Toms FieldAfter Swanage, follow the SW Coast path out through Durlston Country park, past the castle, caves and lighthouse until you get to Dancing Ledge. Stop a while to watch the one of the best sport climbing spots in the country, there should be quite a few people on the rocks. Leave the sea behind and head uphill to take the path to Tom’s field and relax in the general loveliness of one of the best campsites in the UK. Consistently voted one of the top campsites in the Uk by Cool Camping & The Guardian it is a stunningly beautiful campsite with great views over Swanage Bay from the top field.

Swanage BeachDay Two you have a couple of options, the route we would suggest is the one in pink on the map below. Head out from Tom’s field down to the coast, following the SW coastal path along to Kimmeridge Bay before heading up to join the Purbeck hills and back along to Corfe Castle. If that’s a bit too much for you after day one you can do a shorter route at 12 miles that heads along the SWC path to Rope Lake Head before heading up to Corfe Castle. Finally, a good half day option is to simply head cross country straight back to Corfe which comes in at 5 miles – perfect for those who have a longer journey home or want to be back in plenty of time.

All the routes are available to download on Viewranger, but we’ve also included links to the GPX files below as well (right click on them and select “save link as”) if you want to take them for your favourite device. As always, walking can be hazardous so we would recommend you walk within your abilities and check the route thoroughly before heading out.

Day 1 Corfe Castle to Toms field GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 15 Miles GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 12 Miles GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 5 Miles GPX file

 

Photo Credits:- Corfe Castle Photo – David Bunting – Flickr,  Swanage Beach – R Schofield – Flickr,  Tom’s Field – Treehouse 1977 – Flickr

 

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Keith’s cycle & camp from John O’Groats to Lands End – Stage 1

Our MD Keith is well in to the first week of his epic trip  cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End, camping as he goes. He began riding on Sunday 20th May and since then he has done 300 miles, 14370 feet of ascent, 0 midge bites, 27 near death misses by caravans, has a bit of sunburn, less fat and a good sweat pong!

He’s doing it all in aid of the Alzheimers society, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in the UK. Keith’s a prop forward so cycling a 1000 miles isn’t going to be easy for him…. If you would like to support him he would be absolutely made up,  just click here to visit his Just Giving page.

He hit Loch Ness last night after cycling down through Glen Coe yesterday and sent a long update with photos of his journey so far. True to his word, he’s kept it hardcore and hasn’t stopped in to a B & B yet, camping or wild camping all the way……

more John O'Groats

hitting the road south

near Stac Mor

Wades Military Road - great riding

Bridge to Inverness

Canal Tow Path

Camping in Glen Coe

Buchaille Etive Mor

Long Climb - Loch Ness in the distance.

As soon as we get any more updates, we’ll put them up here. If you’ve got any questions about his route, gear or anything else in the meantime, post up in the comments below!

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How to look after leather walking boots.

Leather boots need more looking after then most, so it’s key to make sure that you take care of them – unless you want to be replacing your boots each year. If you leave your boots too long, every time they take a step you’ll be grinding dirt further in to the leather. This then has an effect of a grater, destroying the leather until it splits or cracks. Mud also sucks any moisture out of the leather leaving it old and tired.

All is not lost though, just follow our simple guide and your leather boots will serve you for many years becoming best friends with your feet. If there is just one simple thing we would like you to remember when you have bought from us it’s this.

Never ever forget to clean them!!!!

If you’re too tired on the day having just got back from the Aanoch Eagach or some other monster day out, just clean them the next day. Just don’t forget to clean them!

Muddy BootsStep 1) Clean

  • Take your laces off your boot and take out the insoles too.
  • Wash the outside with a gentle brush to get rid of all the mud. Make sure the brush is soft and gentle – no wire brushes please.
  • Every couple of weeks rinse the inside of the boot as well. You might think that’s a bit strange, but the reason goretex linings sometimes fail is because of dirt that gets in to the boot. That dirt then punctures the Goretex from the inside of the boot as it’s forced by your feet in to the lining. Warm water is the best when cleaning, but don’t worry if you’ve only got cold.
  • Don’t be tempted to use anything like washing up liquid or any other detergent as they leave traces that end up attracting water and leaving a residue.

Step 2 ) Dry

  • Under no circumstances use heat to dry them. That means no airing cupboards, radiators, camp fires or hairdriers people. You’ll weaken both the leather uppers and any glue that’s been used in making your boots.
  • Leave your boots to dry naturally with the insoles out.
  •  If you have to dry them quickly stuff them full of newspaper (we prefer the Western Gazette….) and be sure to change paper every couple of hours.
  • Dry them upside down for the quickest results.
  • Store them at room temperature.

Most of the time these steps will be enough, but sometimes your boots will need a little more care. If your boot is not beading water properly on the outside, you will need to reproof it. We recommend Nikwax as the best solution . Don’t attempt to reproof your boots however until you have cleaned them, it doesn’t work if they’re dirty and you’ll just be grinding that dirt back in to the leather.

Step 3 ) Reproof 

  • With leather boots the wetter they are, the better the application will take. Nikwax say that you can apply their reproofing to both wet and dry but they think wet does a better job. If you have just come back from a soggy walk and have cleaned your boots it’s probably the best time you can do it!
  • Apply liberally and make sure it gets in to all welts and seam.
  • Pay special attention to the seams as these are your boots weak points – particularly the join between sole and upper.
  • After 2 minutes, remove surplus with a cloth and allow to dry before use.

As your boots get older they naturally lose some of the moisture that they have within them. After cleaning and reproofing you might notice that the leather feels dry or it may even be starting to crack, it may also look grey and discoloured as well. Left like this it could well cause long term damage to your boots. When your boots get like this, you need a conditioner to help bring moisture back to the leather. We would recommend Nikwax conditioner. It works well with breathable linings such as Goretex & eVent and it’s majorly friendly to the environment too. It also helps restore boots that you think may actually be past it.

Step 4 ) Condition Looking new again!
  • The conditioning treatment works best with wet leather so make sure you have followed step 1 to clean above.
  • Apply liberally and make sure it gets in to all welts and seam.
  • Polish any left overs off after a couple of minutes.

 

And there you have it. Follow these top tips and your leather boots will give you years of happy use yomping the hills. If you’ve got any boot care tips or questions fire away in the comments below!

 

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#Walkwednesday – East Knoyle round walk via West Knoyle

East KnoyleWell after the weather of the last week or so you’ll definitely need your boots for this one, it’s a 7 mile round walk through prime Dorset countryside. From the birthplace of Christoper Wren, East Knoyle via it’s sibling West Knoyle, you’ll go through Nature reserves, get great views over the Blackmore vale all with some gentle up and down.

Parking can be found in the church car park at East Knoyle,  following the route up towards Milton you’ll soon find yourself heading through the beautiful woods on Haddon Hill, and if you’re out this week you’ll get a wonderful view and smell of the bluebells. Mackintosh Davidson woodsNext head to the top of Cleeve Hill with stunning views across the Blackmore Vale and head down towards West Knoyle church following the road for a bit. You then head up to The Middles before coming back to East Knoyle via the Mackintosh Davidson Nature Reserve.The homeward stretch towards East Knoyle can have a detour if you fancy to the pub on The Green.

The walk can be downloaded via Viewranger for your mobile phone and is FREE to download as all of our routes are.

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Farnham round walk or off road cycle – take your pick!

The Museum FarnhamThis weeks #walkwednesday route is one we have created in Farnham, Dorset and is either a challenging 13.5 miles of walking, or a quick hour and a half on the Mountain bike – whichever you prefer. Set in an Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cranbourne Chase, this is a walk or ride that takes in downs, ancient deer parks before delivering you back to a pub of course!

Parking starts at the Museum in Farnham (do make sure you stop in for a pint afterwards, it’s a cracker) and there’s a little bit of up and down to whet your appetite. You start off heading past Chettle Down where you can take a detour to look at an abandoned ancient settlement. View of Chettle Down from Dunspit LaneQuite a bit goes through Harbin’s Park which was once a Medieval deer park covering, more or less rectangular in shape and surrounded by a bank up to 16 feet (5 metres) wide and 5 feet (1.5 metres) high and a ditch over 15 feet (4.5 metres) wide. See if you can spot any of these features as you head around. You come back through Chettle which has been described as the perfect English Village before heading back to Farnham.

Chettle churchWe’ve put a map of the route up beloow, but if you’ve got Viewranger you can download this route for FREE on to your mobile and follow it around. Please note Walking or MTBing can be challenging activities, so do check out the weather and be honest about your level of fitness before setting off.

 

 


© CC The Museum Farnham by Bert 23 – Flickr 
© CC Chettle Church by jfarnhill Flickr
© CC Chettle Down by Toby

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