The original purpose of the blog was, and still is to a large extent, to document my progress and experiences whilst visiting every English Nuttall from the point of view of a novice walker. Back in April 2013 I achieved that goal by climbing Catstye Cam (NPR) the 253rd English Nuttall with family and friends. (The first was Simon Fell back in October 2008.) As I approached completion I began to ask myself what next? The obvious answer was to move on to the Welsh Nuttalls and when they were complete start on the Scottish Munros.
The summit party on the last English Nuttall - Catstye Cam - 20 April 2013
Originally the scope was to document routes to the Nuttalls, which were not readily available on the internet in those days. 

I did find an inspirational website to log each of my visits which I still use to this day and learnt the definition and quantities of other hill types to anorak proportions.

Five years on the hill walking community has moved on a pace and as well as all the obvious social media sites available others including provides an excellent platform for sharing routes, some photos and social media postings. On top of all this there is an option to do all this live.

During the 4½ years since the first Nuttall I like to think I have progressed past the novice phase now but know I still have a lot to learn. The purpose has now been extended, to being part of the extensive and growing community for hill-walkers on the web and shares these experiences to:- 
  • link up with like minded people. 
  • show that with common sense and not going outside of your skill-set anyone can enjoy the hills. 
  • demonstrate opportunities available to extend your skill-set to enjoy the hills safely even more.
  • maybe meet up on the hill and go on walks you would not necessarily do, or are capable to do alone.
  • share routes - let me know the hills and/or mountains, as well as the URL and I will link to that page. 
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Soon after my first trip to Wales in August 2013 where I made a good start on The Brecon Beacons and The Black Mountains, I was invited by my good friend John Parkin, whom I met at Kettlewell Youth hostel on one of my Nuttall bagging trips to the Yorkshire Dales. In just over one week in Sept 2013 we managed 12 Munros in the Southern Uplands, all documented in my Scottish Munros Peak Bagging blog, based on the same objectives as the English and Welsh Nuttalls. I then walked The Great Glen Way in October 2013 with my wife and our friend Joss Johnson which was also documented as part of the Scottish Munro blog. 
Proud as punch on my first Munro - Ben Vorlich - 06 Sept 2013
However in spite of all the pleasure I had gained over the previous five years, there was just one thing missing. I was not being joined regularly by the wife and love of my life and therefore:-
  • not sharing the fantastic experiences I was having, 
  • going to many parts of the country we had never been before
  • finding things of interest you never knew existed or at least could be found where we were. 
While I have been joined by her on a number of occasions; completing 27 peaks, including 6 Nuttalls and 1 Corbett, she really does not like the unpredictable nature of the weather we all enjoy in the UK above 2000’. The final straw for her was our visit to our first Corbett Am Bàthach back in January 2013. Although we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day the 60mph winds and spin drift blowing in our faces as we traversed a solid frozen snow drift on the Bealach between Am Bàthach South Top and the main Corbett summit, really was a sensory overload for her. She coped admirably, continuing on to the main summit and difficult descent down the heavily snow drifted northern flank to Bealach a’ Chòinich and less than straightforward finish across the frozen bog over An Caorann Beag. As I admired the frozen mucus dripping from her nose on to her chin, spreading to her buff whilst crossing Allt a Chaorainn Bhig filled with pride I thought to myself “...I hope this as not put her off?”
Our very first Corbett together. All smiles on the summit of Am Bathach - 18 Jan 2013.
Well it did. It seems for now I have blown it. Although she did join me with friends for my final English Nuttall, there is no way I will get her above 2000’ with only me for company.

So what can I do? My passion for peak bagging and hill walking is getting stronger but while it is great going out on your own, for the same reasons as mentioned earlier it is great having company to share the overall trip experience. We both enjoyed The Great Glen Way and both got the same level of satisfaction for setting an objective, organising ourselves and seeing the plan through to completion of the goal. Not to mention non-walking related activities like a train ride from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. Also stopping off at Killin on the way home, for a few days to see the Falls of Dochart and a circular bus ride to include Aberfeldy, finding the Falls of Aberfeldy. So that is what we are going to do. Walk at least one National Trail per year as well as joining the LDWA and do more local walks as well as the free style walks we already enjoy locally. 

Finally based from our new campervan we will be working our way round the various County Tops and smaller peaks below 500m (for now) concentrating on the Marilyns, Humps and County Tops below 500m. Who knows we may both end up on the MHoF.

This will therefore be the final thread of the blog to document these walks in a similar style as I have done the English Nuttalls, continuing with the Welsh Nuttalls as well as Scottish Munros and National Trails.

Not only will this be more inclusive for the wife the blog may even appeal to a wider audience of all abilities and capabilities. Whilst I find it highly motivational to challenge myself and extend my limitations, not everyone, including myself, needs the walk to be “hard core” to achieve the health benefits and pleasures from walking.

There will therefore now be five threads to the blog:-
Each walk has its own page with:- 
  • a statistics section including distance, ascent, times, speed, start point etc. 
  • a peaks visited section showing total number of peaks and personal progress count
  • a route map. 
  • photographs giving a photo diary of the walk, a walk summary, including walk highlights and lessons learnt
  • a walk description giving step by step instructions and some photos at key stages. Whilst these are not intended as a definitive reference I hope it gives some information for people to refer to or look out for.
  • links to other walks done by others where available. 
For me, it is not about completing a list. It is the personal challenge to set yourself a long term objective, not sure if you have the skills, knowledge or fitness to complete but being able to acquire skills and do things you did not think you were capable of doing.

The fitness benefits of walking are obvious and well documented, personally in the 4 years from Oct 2008 I lost 3 stone I needed to lose and now have a regular routine in the gym to keep me fit and extra targeted sessions to prepare me for my trips. This results in a progressive improvement in my fitness levels and building new muscle to the point where I feel fitter than I did 10 years ago. In my book, although I am grayer and possibly more wrinkled, that is reversing the ageing process. The weather? We live in a country with fantastic scenery, we also have a unique climate where the weather does not seem suited to any consistent activity. Well the answer is to find something where the weather is not an influence. Hill walking fits the bill; as long as you have the clothing, equipment and skills to deal with any conditions. As they say there is no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothing.

I had/have a fear of heights before I started that I thought may stop me completing some routes. As it turns out it is not really a fear, it is a natural self-survival response that you should never lose.

Always, always maintain that respect for the environment you find yourself and use that 'fear' to keep yourself safe and away from unsafe situations while NOT letting it stop you doing things.

According to Wikipedia:- "An adventure is an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome", suggesting there is an element of danger and/or jeopardy. Well that is true, but could be said about crossing the road. As for that you need the proper skills to minimise any risk to a safe level. The same is true of hill-walking and providing you have planned your route, have the proper experience, kit and know how, to use it in a situation you expect to find yourself that risk can also be minimised. The website is an excellent web site packed with need to know information about safety in the hills.

Having said this it still does not mention visiting fantastic parts of the country/kingdom where we live as well as discovering things in the areas you would not have found had you stayed away.

Neither does it mention the new friends and acquaintances you meet along the journey.

I am sure these are not necessarily reasons for everyone and equally sure there are other factors which I have not mentioned or indeed not benefited from yet, but they do go someway to answering the unanswerable question about why you go walking in the hills.

At this point I am reminded of a quote from the excellent book, Cairngorm John by John Allen, who was team leader of Cairngorm MRT for 25 years during its early formative period. The quote is something like:-

"For those that do not walk and ask why we go walking in the hills - there is not really an answer. For those of us that do go walking in the hills - there is not even a question."

As a peak bagger living in East Anglia it is a continuous source of frustration, especially now we are both retired and blessed with good health, that I have to plan an extended period away to get anywhere near the 2000’ tops.

After Derbyshire I reckon The Brecon Beacons and easterly Welsh summits west of Birmingham are closest. Not very close when at least a five hour drive is required. Therefore short of moving house to the mountains, inclusion of the lower UK summits is a way of bringing the hills closer to me. With only 6 peaks (excluding TuMP’s) within a 60mile radius of home, including the long distance walks gives me something else to write about and share when even the nearest hills to home have been visited. Similarly when visiting other parts of the country that are not blessed with “lumpy” ground, long distance walks provide a more than adequate substitute to draw us to the area and along with local heritage provides the excuse, if ever one was needed, to return.

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If you have visited any of the peaks, places or areas mentioned on this page/post and have photo albums, routes, blog or web page please put the URL here.
I will then include link on this page.
The aim is to provide alternative routes for all visitors (be they new or regular visitors) giving information about places of interest or features to look out for whilst out on the hill.
Like-wise if you have a similar facility on your page I would appreciate a link to this page.