[A] Yorkshire-based mountaineering and guided walk leader is ready to capitalise on the weakness in Sterling post-Brexit, by creating walking holidays that will appeal to North American and Antipodean outdoor and literature enthusiasts and help them explore some of Cumbria’s rich literary connections.
Mark Killala, whose business, Northern Guiding, has allowed thousands of walkers to explore what it has dubbed the ‘Floor de Yorkshire’, as well as other walking routes leading into and out of the county, has already announced the dates of two experiences in 2017 that will tick the boxes of those who are trading dollars for pounds.
One of these is a ‘Cumbria Way Walking Tour’, which takes place between April 8 and 14 2017. The tour starts in Ulverston – birthplace of acclaimed comic, Stan Laurel, and home to the Laurel and Hardy Museum – on day one and departs, on day two, for Coniston, traversing a landscape, over the course of the next 15.5 miles, that gave the literary world the ‘Swallows and Amazons’ series from author, Arthur Ransome, and the speed-related exploits of Donald Campbell.
On day three the group walks from Coniston to Langdale, again exploring Ransome country, as well as land inextricably linked to children’s author, Beatrix Potter, before tackling the wild Stake Pass. This should provide the group with one of the most stunning views in England on a sunny day – that of the Langstrath Valley, whilst international tourists are bound to be wowed by the Potter connections, just before they cross ‘Wordsworth Country’ on day four, as they walk to Keswick.
A more modern literary hero comes into focus the following day, as the walk leads participants close to Wigton, where author, Melvyn Bragg, grew up. This is followed on Day 6 by a walk of 14.5 miles between Caldbeck and Carlisle – a city with masses of Roman history for overseas visitors to soak up, as well as being the home city of Man Booker Prize-nominated author, Sarah Hall, who wrote ‘The Electric Michelangelo’ and the birthplace of Melvyn Bragg. The cost of this tour is from £680 per person, according to accommodation and any single person supplements that need to be paid.
To complement this, Northern Guiding is also offering a ‘Herriot Way’ experience that will appeal to all the worldwide fans of the books written by the fictional ‘James Herriot’ in the ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. This will see Northern Way’s team of experienced guides leading walkers along the 52-mile long distance path named after the author, which runs through the Yorkshire dales of Wensleydale and Swaledale.
This guided experience is scheduled for May 14 to 19 2017, taking those booking this walk through high fells, rolling, heather-clad moorland and charming Dales villages. This will deliver an authentic Herriot experience to those wishing to tread in the footsteps of the author and the landscape in which his veterinary adventures took place.
Accommodation en route has been arranged in authentic English guesthouses and inns and walkers need only carry a day sac, as there will be a daily luggage transfer that will enable each walker to send a bag, weighing up to 20kg, ahead of them, to await their arrival at each stop-off.
This tour starts and finishes in Aysgarth, an area of waterfalls and follies, where wildlife includes roe deer, treecreepers and warblers, not to mention wood anemones, violets and the strange herb, paris, in its ancient woodlands. Stop-offs during this six-day tour, priced from £500 per person according to accommodation requirements, will be Hawes, Keld and Reeth.
Northern Guiding’s Mark Killala says: “We recognise how attractive England will be as a tourism destination for as long as exchange rates prove highly favourable to foreign visitors and have, therefore, created tours that take in some of England’s most stunning walking landscapes, along with remarkable literary connections.
“We are looking forward to welcoming many American, Canadian, Australian and Kiwi visitors in particular, knowing how popular literary heroes such as Herriot, Ransome, Potter, Wordsworth and Bragg are overseas. We also hope to boost tourism spend in both Cumbria and Yorkshire.”