Top critical review
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Good ideas, nice book but route problems
on 28 April 2008
Things change, particularly in forestry areas. However, we were left wondering if the walks we attempted had actually been done or if they were put together from maps. The suggestions of where to walk and things to see are good but there seem to be better routes established by the forestry commission which won't leave you puzzling over the right way to go.
We first tried walk 16. Some of the problems stem from the building work for the new observatory. The turn off is further on than the book implies and is over a new bridge opposite observatory. There is no path at this point. Head on compass bearing until way forward blocked and turn R thru the bog. Later the route after "the 128 paces" is pure fiction. Following the drainage ditches brings you out too far west and you must turn R on reaching the ride. We would have struggled here if we hadn't got GPS.This was not necessary as we were told the stony road you just left brings you out just up the road...was this put in just to add adventure...there are no views this way. Fortunately a couple of grid refs in the text helped.
We were advised by a warden not to try walk 17 as his wife struggled in several places and he gave us directions that covered essentially the highlights without the route finding problems.
Finally we tried 14. The marker post into the beech wood no longer exists. We walked up and down for 40 min until we found the turn off which is about 100yds before the trees on the R end. However, we could find no path and eventually gave up. Retracing your steps brings you to a public footpath which is a steep but attractive direct route to the base of Simonside From here you can take the broad track to visit Ravens if you want or head up the summit.A new paved track takes you over dove crags and the waymarked red route back to the start.