– Guest Post

I have been using for around about 2 years now, It’s a great website designed by a very talented web developer called Phil Sorrel. I was invited by Phil to write a guest post on the blog and you can find it here too.

Social Hiking in the Upper Derwent Valley
Social Hiking in the Upper Derwent Valley

How I got into Hiking.

I spent a lot of time in the Lake District as a child, We used to holiday with friends of the family in the north western area of the Lakes around Cleater Moor. Ennerdale water and Eskdale are wedged solidly in my mind and I look back with fond memories of the times I spent there. I always knew that I loved the mountains, I loved being outdoors in general and while growing up we were never indoors. We would be out from dawn until dusk on our bikes, playing in trees and generally enjoying the hell out of life. Then after school the need to drive kind of took over and the freedom of having a car ment that we never walked anywhere at all 🙂

If I think about it I can pin point a moment in the last 10 or so years where I knew I wanted to ditch the car and go off walking. It was while watching the opening sequence in the film Braveheart. Mel Gibson is stood atop a huge hill looking out along a Glen in a North Western corner of Scotland. I was in Australia at the time visiting my father, I knew when I returned to the UK I needed to stand there and see that view for myself or at least something just like that.

When I returned home I hit the internet and begun planning the trip, my friend Howie and I kitted out the car and headed north. it was to be a tour of Scotland.. Seeing the Filming locations from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Driving to John O’Groats and eventually ending it all with a climb/walk up to the top of Ben Nevis to hopefully see something similar to that view I was craving. I suppose you could say that it was my first actual “Hike”. I’d never really been on a walk/hike like this before and it was that first foray into the mountains that got me hooked. When we returned home we basically went mad buying everything we thought we needed, reading magazines and generally thinking of nothing else but when the next trip was going to happen.

Since those early days I have wandered in a lot of areas, the Highlands of Scotland, Snowdonia, the Lake District and more frequently in the Peak District. I have developed a great love of the Peak District in the last 5-6 years, I have spent a lot of time tramping through bogs, enjoying the glorious heather topped moors, to the point where I now have withdrawal symptoms if I stay away too long :-).

When did I first discover Social Hiking.

I suppose I have got one person in particular to thank for helping me stumble across Social Hiking. It was back in early 2011 and it was the awesome Social Hiker Pilgrim Chris, who is @PilgrimChris on twitter and on Social Hiking. He tweeted out a link and I knew that I had to have a look and find out more. Like others I had been playing around with google latitude but had never found anything suitable to track my walks.

I was excited by the features that Social Hiking contained, it looked perfect for my needs so before I knew it my iPhone was loaded up with ViewRanger, my beacon ID had been set up and I was off to the Peak District to have my first social hike.

How I use Social Hiking now.

I love sharing my experiences and I’ve been writing walk reports on my website for some time. Thanks to the great embedded maps on Social Hiking I can now include a fantastic looking map with every entry. As a result of Social Hiking I decided to sign up for AudioBoo. I have now been bitten by the audio bug, I have continued to use AudioBoo for Social Hiking and for many other things. I have got a lot to thank Social Hiking developer Phil Sorrell for, through use of the site my social circle has expanded greatly. I have met some great people and if it wasn’t for this fantastic site I doubt I would have come up with another idea I have now implemented…

I was Social Hiking one day in the Peak District early in 2012 near a spot called Madwomens Stones, it’s located up on the north-eastern corner of Kinder Scout and is a lovely spot. I was sat there with my friend Andy having lunch and it suddenly dawned on me. As I surveyed the view in a 360 degree radius I realised that I had walked up every hill, along every edge and through every valley that I could see from that spot. I thought it was high time that I grouped all my Peak District Social Hiking maps, posts and information together in one place. That place was to be and so the site was born. If it wasn’t for the great Social Hiking embedded maps feature I’m not sure if the site would ever have come about.

So once again thank you to Phil for creating this amazing site which has bought me new friends, introduced me to AudioBoo and helped me create


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