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      July 2012 > When turning right simply isn’t enough…
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When turning right simply isn’t enough…

Walking holidays in the UKIt’s that time of year again when our good friends, Linda Lashford and David Lanfear, pay their annual visit to our offices in North Yorkshire.

Linda and David live in Grazalema in southern Spain and have worked with Inntravel for many years: Linda’s superb and evocative photographic images grace many a page of our brochures and website; while David is our ‘route-finder general’ and expert note-writer.

In fact, it is his note-writing expertise that we are seeking to exploit this time around…
 

Walking holidays in the UKAs you might imagine, there are quite a few keen walkers and cyclists amongst the Inntravel team, some with many years’ experience of walking and cycling through the British countryside, and abroad, too. When new holiday routes need walking or current holidays need checking to keep them up-to-date, we are sent forth to walk (or cycle) and write the notes.

In order to expand this pool of route-checkers, David was invited over to advise and instruct a group of willing volunteers in the necessary skills that are required in order to write clear, concise notes that will guide you safely to your destination.

Walking holidays in the UKAs an ex-teacher, David relished the opportunity, and set about creating a comprehensive course that would inform and yet challange those involved. All week the 'classroom' (our main meeting room) has been a hive of frenetic activity, serious concentration – and a few laughs, too. The obvious advantage lies with those who are familiar with maps and map-reading, those who already enjoy walking as a regular pastime and who take an interest in the countryside. Having a good grasp of English grammar is vital, too, as conveying route instructions to someone remotely is far harder than you might think.

Walking holidays in the UKThe course began with the basics: what actually to write; what to put in (as well as what to leave out!); important vocabulary for clarity (do you veer right, bear right, bend right, fork right, merge right – or just turn right?); what standard abbreviations to use; how to take a compass bearing; how to find your location on a map; how to use a GPS (to measure how far you’ve walked and to record your route) and how to get back on track if you happen to go astray.

After undertaking several written scenarios in the classroom (and even some for homework), the twelve candidates were ready to be sent out into the field to embark upon a practical exercise that would put all their training to the test. Six would follow one 5-mile route and independently write directions, while the other six did the same on a different pre-planned walk.

Having written up their notes based on David’s advice and direction in the classroom, the teams were then given an anonymous set of instructions for the route they hadn’t yet walked and they then followed those instructions to see how accurate they were. To make things even more challenging, it rained briefly on the day they went out!

The result is that Inntravel now has twelve more members of staff who are keen, willing, able and ready to undertake the task – should they be called upon to do so – of travelling to some foreign field to check and rewrite our route notes so that by the time you undertake any of our self-guided walking or cycling holidays, you can be assured that our notes are up-to-date, accurate, informative and easy to understand.

Happy – and safe – walking!

Walking holidays in the UK
 

Posted: 19/07/2012 14:06:13 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: opinions, presentations, UK, walking


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