Blog

Why you should Book Direct

We all go to booking sites for accommodation, however I add another step and I think you should too…   I use the booking sites to find suitable available accommodation, then I google the accommodations name, look past all the Ads and I place my booking direct. This has led to some startling results over the years. 

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why should i book direct

Tip, the brave little collie, and her 15 week vigil, on bleak Howden Moor

Here is the story of Tip the dog, who stayed for 104 days with the frozen corpse of her master on the hills above the Derwent Dams. Joseph Tagg, the shepherd who got caught out on the moors, used to stay occasionally in a lean-to at the end of the old barn on Lockerbrook Farm. The barn was demolished in the 1970s, but last month one of Lockerbrook’s volunteers rescued a little stone drinking trough and returned it to Lockerbrook to mark the 65th anniversary of the discovery Tip alive and by her masters side. If you bring a group to stay at Lockerbrook Outdoor Centre you can visit Tips grave and sleep in a room named after the loyal collie.

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Lockerbrook Farm and the memorial to Tip the loyal collie on Howden Moor

The Wicked Ways of the OTA’s

If I could only say one thing in this blog, I would say beware of booking.com.  Be aware that the minute you list a single bed with them, direct bookings from returning guests and word of mouth referrals will start to come to via booking.com.  You lose 15% and booking.com gets the upper hand.   

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Why not to book on booking.com

Summits in Shropshire.

I’m in my sixtieth year and am planning on climbing 60 summits to celebrate. There are no criteria about height, and I can do more than one in a day. It’s half way through the year and I’ve knocked off 50! Last weekend a small window of opportunity opened up to escape to Shropshire for a couple of days and I jumped at it.

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Running Long Mynd from All Stretton Bunkhouse

The Lonely Tree of Llanfyllin

A story of a local landmark and the attempt to save it.  The Lonely Tree was an iconic part of the community and the fact it was horizontal was not stopping anyone!  It was entered into the competition to be Welsh Tree of the Year in the October after it blew over, and won! Then in 2015 it was entered into the European Tree of the year competition.  This is a story of community endeavour, tenacity and wishful thinking.   It only needs a Hollywood ending to finish the tale.  

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Llanfyllin lonely tree sign close to llanfyllin Workhouse Bunkhouse

Farewell to Jaffa

Our many readers who have enjoyed reading about Alex and Jaffa’s adventures while testing out various of our dog friendly hostels will be saddened to learn that Jaffa is no longer at Alex’s side.

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Jaffa while staying at Star Bunkhouse Bwlch on the Beacons Way, Wales

Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival

The Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival runs from 19th May until 3rd June 2018 and offers 100 walks over 16 days in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The Wolds are one of the driest areas in the UK, with a golden rolling landscape of easy gradients and wide skies with stunning views.  So if you enjoy walking the Lincolnshire Walking Festival is an  ideal way to explore and discover what Lincolnshire has to offer.

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Lincolnshire Wolds walking festival spring fields

The Bob Graham Round for Walkers.

For years I’d heard talk of the Bob Graham Round, and I was intrigued by it. I knew that it was impossible for me to travel 66 miles and climb 42 peaks (27,000 ft of ascent) in 24 hours. So I decided to do it my way, take it much slower and stay overnight in hostels along the way.

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A summit on the Bob Graham Round

Yorkshire Three Peaks Fell Race

Ever since I started fell running almost exactly 3 years ago it had been an ambition of mine to run the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Fell Race – the ‘Marathon in the Mountains’ and the blue-riband event of the fell running calendar. The races takes on three highest mountains in Yorkshire – Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough over 23.3miles and over 1600m of ascent, quite a daunting prospect!

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Yorkshire Three Peaks Fell Race

Running Hadrian’s Wall

Maria from Uruguay suggested running Hadrian’s Wall when we were at 4000m in Nepal. It had never entered my head. Anyway, as it was a chance for a reunion and 50th birthday celebrations with some runners we’d met in Nepal, I offered to organise it.

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Hadrians Wall. Hostel or Bunkhouse accommodation at Slack House Farm & Florries Bunkhouse

Gower Peninsula, Beaches and Castles

The Gower Peninsula juts out of the south Wales coastline, westwards from Swansea. It was the very first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is well know for the many beaches along its coastline. I have also discovered a handful of glorious castles , much less well known, but brilliantly adapted for visitors. This combination of good facilities and emptiness make these castles feel like a personal discovery, set as they are in atmospheric rural locations.

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Rhossili Bunkhouse Gower Beaches

Fresh air holiday on the Isle of Mull

An opportunity for me and my family to spend five super days on a fresh air holiday on Mull, which is fast becoming my favourite island. We did see Eagles on three separate occasions but sadly, look as we did, the shy elusive otters evaded our attention. What better reason to come back.

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famous tobermory Cat Isle of Mull

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

On a summer holiday in Northumberland we were staying at The Hides in Seahouses and had taken our bikes across the causeway to Holy Island. The tide was coming in but the romance of the island was luring us to stay longer.

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Lindisfarne Causeway by bike

Falmouth Hostel Holiday

I plan on spending around 6/7 days on my Falmouth Hostel holiday. My intention is to explore this area of the Cornish Riviera by walking, assisted by various train journeys where and whenever required. My base is Falmouth Backpackers Hostel five minutes stroll from the town’s rail station.

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boats in the river harbour viewed on a Falmouth hostel holiday