Best Walks in Ireland
When I began researching the first edition of Best Walks in Ireland back in 1992, I was discovering my Irish heritage. Having been brought up mostly in England, I was seeking fragments of my history and culture. I walked 2000 miles and spent more than a few hours in research, reading, visiting, listening; and everywhere, there would be a tornado of conversation followed by a whirlwind of questions. What did I find? What was it like? Dozens of questions born of curiosity and excitement from almost everyone to whom I spoke. Tell us about Ireland is what they were really asking. Tell us about our home over the horizon…
Over the horizon
A year or two, (or maybe five), later than planned (isn’t that always the way), I am, again, venturing over the horizon, and writing about walking and those nuggets of interest I encounter along the way. And as much as the internet is now flooded with facts, figures, opinions and stories, for a writer on heritage there is no substitute for original reasearch. So, I’ll be meeting, listening, chatting and of course walking to try to capture the vital heritage of our land and people, into a revision of Best Walks in Ireland so that you can re-create the adventures for yourself.
And when time and opportunity allow I’ll be visiting old roots, to meet with family and friends in England and Wales to re-find the adventures of earlier days. From childhood haunts scrambling in the branches of Robin Hood’s “Major Oak” to teenage discoveries of Derbyshire where my father taught me the name of every rock, every outcrop, every clough and hillside; to an adolescent adventurer’s enchantment with the hills and moors of Yorkshire and Cumbria; to a younger man’s engagement with the like of the Alps and the Pyrenees.
Over the years I’ve collected enough stories to fill more than one book, most especially from those times before the Celtic Tiger; but I shared them only with family, friends and those I met along the way; a loss perhaps. But new stories may make some pages here, woven in with advice on getting the best from your rambling.
And lets hope there will be occasions to wonder at the grace and beauty of our landscape, tell tall tales of adventures on the hillsides, and have dalliance with brief moments in the sun.
See you out there,
Updated July 2016