Written by Neil Gander,
pb Beyond Hamsterley,
Beyond Hamsterley is a slightly odd name for an excellent book that features an interesting selection of routes in an area that’s been largely ignored by guidebooks to date. It’s a lovely package, with a ringbinder folder, a series of removable card pages that feature a route description and map, and even a waterproof envelope to carry these in — although we’d scrap this for a full-on waterproof map cover if you really want the pages to last.
The mapping’s OS 1:50,000, which we like, and the descriptions are tightly written but effective. Each route contains a very short introduction, a gradient profile, distance in km, and total ascent in metres. There’s also information on pubs etc, suggested shortcuts and extensions.
The route selection is good with some classic outings over Hexhamshire Common, High Cup Nick and the northern Dales, as well as some really original ideas in and around Weardale. And we liked the slightly quirky style.
GPS addicts can take coordinates from the maps, or a CD of Tracklog files is available for £4.95, or bundled with the book for a very reasonable £16.95.
This area hasn’t got the pulling power of the National Parks that surround it, but if you live in the area, or have another reason for being there, this guide will definitely help you get the most out of it.
MBR RATING: 8/10