Walk the Dales Walk the Dales
by Brian Spencer
pub. HarperCollins, 2001 (reprint)
Paperback, 64 pages, 5.99
ISBN 0 00 448930 6

This is one of the first walk guides that this reviewer really feels comfortable with... It is top spiral-bound like a reporter's notebook (handy A5 size) but is comfortable to handle rather than being a book format which may split at the spine and require opening or indexing with a thumb. The only drawback with the notepad format is that it is a bit flimsy.

Originally published by Bartholamew - of maps fame - it is not surpising that hand-drawn walking routes are dispensed with in favour of good simply coloured cartographic layouts. That said, the maps themselves give no indication of the steepness of terrain, although the categorisation of walks by 'easy', 'moderate' and 'strenuous' helps. The header of each circular walk also gives its length in miles (and kilometres for those of a metric disposition), an indication of map scale since these vary from walk to walk, plus an indication of any stressful climbs involved (a climb of 531ft in the case of the Askrigg walk). One thing which is not obvious, but one assumes given that there is no indication, is that all the maps conform to a north-facing direction.

Generally there is one map per A5-size page, yet the layout is clear and orderly. A small introduction overviews each walk, 'boxed' text provides traversing instructions, while waypoint letters and corresponding text descriptions highlight viewpoints to be had or historical, geological and other specific information.

Bottom line...
This is one of a series of Walk Guides published by Collins and although a bit spartan pictorially it is a very practical and at six pounds isn't pocket-wrenching.

Copyright © 2002