Thursday, 2 June 2016

Win a pair of walking boots

I recently reviewed the Trespass mens Walker boots. Now there's an opportunity to win a pair of these or womens Serena boots for yourself!

All you need to do is write a review for one of our walks that you have done. Tell us in 25-50 words what you enjoyed about the walk and any tips for other walkers. The review should be submitted as a comment on the facebook post pinned to the top of our page. You can optionally include a photo from your walk. Make sure you include the name of the walk in your comment. You can review as many walks as you have done.

At the start of September we will draw the winning entry. Note that the draw will initially be by walk so you can increase your odds by reviewing walks that have fewest other reviews - this is intentional, to encourage exploration of some of the less heavily-promoted areas of Cornwall.

Terms

  • The competition is only open to UK residents aged 18 or over.
  • The competition closes at midnight on 31/08/2016.
  • You may only enter the competition if you've actually done the walk. The winner should be prepared to answer questions about their walk to verify they have actually done it.
  • You may enter reviews for multiple walks that you have done.
  • Reviews should be submitted as comments on the facebook post pinned to the top of the iWalk Cornwall page.
  • Reviews that do not specify the name of the walk, are too short (<25 words) or are too long (>50 words) will be discounted from the competition.
  • For each review submitted, we reserve the right to use the review text together with the submission date, first initial and surname for our promotional purposes.
  • The winner will be selected as follows:
    • A walk with one or more reviews will be picked at random
    • If there are multiple reviews for that walk, the tie-break will be resolved by picking one of the reviews for that walk at random
  • On notification of winning, the winner will need to provide a postal address, gender and shoe size for the prize of the appropriate model and size to be posted.
  • No cash alternative is available to the prize. The final prize is dependent on the stock, sizing and colours available once the winner has been drawn (an equivalent prize may be offered in the unlikely scenario that the size is not in stock).
  • The winner will be announced on the iWalk Cornwall facebook page.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Review of Trespass Walker Boots

Trespass - the UK outdoor/clothing company, do a range of walking boots and have bravely offered me a pair of their Walker boots to test to destruction. On over 3,000 miles of walking on sharp slate, abrasive granite and through saltwater, previous incarnations of my walking boots have had their soles worn all the way through, pieces of metal sheared off and had their waterproofing reduced to that of a teabag, so these are in for some punishment. When I say I get through boots, I don't mean that entirely figuratively!

Initial impressions

The RRP of around £140 is more than I'd normally pay for my "consumables" but at the time of writing they were on offer at 50% off which brings them into fairly close price competition with some of the half-decent boots of even the budget outdoor shops. A quick look on the Trespass website at the reviews left by "hardcore" hikers looks promising - people who use them day in, day out have good things to say. I don't really want to hop back across Penwith one day in half a boot so that is reassuring.

Amazon?

If you prefer to do your online shopping on Amazon (e.g. to combine with smaller items to qualify those for free postage), the men's Walker boots are also available from Amazon and so are the equivalent women's Serana boots.

First field tests

The boots are real leather which usually needs a little bit of breaking-in. Having said that the first time I wore these was for 3 hours and they were fine. On the second outing I walked for about 7 miles in them and they were comfortable enough to not think about apart from a slight rub on one ankle after about 5 miles but no blisters or anything like that. I’d recommend doing a couple of shorter walks or a bit of pottering around before setting out on a long walk with a new pair.

The boots offer plenty of protection against knocks from rocks which is ideal for moorland or coastal walking. However, the lack of external sensitivity means that I wouldn’t want to drive in them. If you're after boots for nipping in and out of the car then a more lightweight model would be more appropriate. If you're going to do fairly long walks then the extra protection is worth the inconvenience of changing footwear.

Previous boots I’ve had with Vibram soles have sacrificed grip for hard-wearing which has resulted in a few slips, slides and colourful language. These seem to have the balance about right - they seem as grippy as the boots I've had with the softer soles that wore through quite quickly. These feel a bit firmer so I'm assuming they will last longer but time will tell.

The long haul

Over the next few weeks I'll update this blog article with how the boots fare.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Walking for health

Dolphin Holidays at Tencreek Holiday Park have recently published some ideas on some things to try in Looe for the New Year and that includes a bit on the health benefits of walking.

I thought I'd add a bit more on that in case you have a New Year's resolution that involves undoing the effects of Christmas Dinner. Admittedly the weather this year may have delayed that being put into action. It has been said in the Cornish Dialect facebook group that February is the new January for New Year's Resolutions this year (me 'ansomes).

It's generally accepted that if you weigh around 11 stone, you burn around 100 calories per mile when walking on the flat (the more you weigh, the more you burn). You'll have noticed that most of Cornwall isn't flat so you can add on up anything up to 50% again depending on how hilly your walk is.

There's a bit of controversy over exactly how many calories equate to a pound of body weight, but it's in the region of 3000-3500. Before getting carried away and planning a 20 mile walk, it's worth noting that your metabolism stays raised for a period after exercise so the drive home also counts towards your New Year's Resolution!

The NHS has some sound advice about pacing yourself and all the other health benefits, although in of terms of staying motivated there are so many amazing things to see in Cornwall that really isn't a problem here! Apart from the odd steep hill, I completely forget that I am doing exercise when I am walking - there is too much to see and think about.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

West Pentire comes out as favourite walk

Parkdean holidays have produced an article on Cornwall's finest walks. As part of this they invited several authors of walks in Cornwall to share with them a favourite walk. Independently, two of us picked the same one - around West Pentire near Newquay. Due to those not intimately acquainted with the foibles of Cornish place-naming forgivably not realising that Porth Joke and Polly Joke were actually the same place, a little confusion resulted but has now been tidied up.

In the end it all worked out OK as the iwalkcornwall route is a little bit of longer to include Holywell and its Holy Well. So there’s now a long route and a short version to choose from!

Many thanks to Linda Sadler for her lovely photo of the wildflowers on West Pentire used in the article.

The wildflowers are at their best in June. Given the current weather, the footpaths will have had a chance to dry out by then!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Walks by AONB

The Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has the same status and level of protection as a National Park and is subdivided into 12 regions. The walks on iwalkcornwall are now catalogued with these regions (for the walks that fall into them):

  1. Hartland
  2. Pentire Point to Widemouth
  3. The Camel Estuary
  4. Trevose Head to Stepper Point
  5. St Agnes
  6. Godrevy to Portreath
  7. West Penwith
  8. South Coast Western
  9. South Coast Central
  10. South Coast Eastern
  11. Rame Head
  12. Bodmin Moor

The AONB region now appears in the "Walks nearby" section in the right-hand column of the walk page, so that you can easily browse walks in the same region.

You can follow the Cornwall AONB team on Facebook or Twitter for news of what's going on in these areas and they also have a blog. The also run a photo competition (closing end of Jan 2016).

Friday, 23 October 2015

New walks app release

Version 3.5 of the iWalk Cornwall app has just been released this morning:

The latest release includes a few extra features:

  • The summary page now includes links to tide times, bus times, ferry times, opening times, etc. specific to the walk. You'll need a wifi or 3G signal to access these, so recommended before setting out on the walk.
  • There is now a second-level menu (launched by "..." button) which includes a few "handy" items...
  • One of these is a new "Camera" button (thanks to Ryan White for the suggestion) so you can quickly photograph something on your walk (e.g. wildlife) before it disappears, without having to fiddle about switching between apps to use your phone's camera.
  • Another is a "Pause GPS" button. This allows you to reduce the battery consumption of the app during picnics etc. by manually suspending the app's use of GPS (which is one of the more power-hungry bits of hardware on most devices). The app has some other battery-saving measures built-in such as only re-doing all the CPU-intensive maths to recompute and re-render the map when you've moved more than a couple of metres since it did it last time.
  • There are a few other battery saving tips listed in the app's help screen which is also now more easily reached from the new menu.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

New Android walks app

We have released a new version of the walks app for Android. The new app is now on Google Play:

Download the new app from Google Play

This is a single app from which all the walks can be purchased (similar to the current Apple app, where the app itself is free and the walks are purchased from within the app). The walks retail price will be the same as Apple at £1.49 (we charge 87p for each walk to help cover our costs, the rest is charges from Google and VAT).

The new Android codebase also contains a couple of bugfixes and improvements and the unified codebase will allow us to release further improvements much more quickly. The new app architecture will also allow us to release updates to the walks much more quickly if e.g. footpaths are re-routed or we add new research to a walk.

What about any "old" single-walk apps I purchased?

We have removed the single walk Android apps from Google Play to prevent confusion. Any walks that have already been purchased as single Android apps will continue to work. Any that have already been purchased can be re-downloaded from Google Play at any time in the future.

More information about the iWalk Cornwall App