This book, written by Honorary Member Ron Scholes, is the third edition of a book first published in 1997. Its full title is Walking in Eden: Circular and Linear Routes in the Eden Valley. Detailed in its 224 pages are 45 walks of varying distances ranging from I mile to 14 ½ miles.
This third edition contains a number of new and updated features, including revised walk descriptions, extra walks, new references to other long-distance walks in the area, re-drawn and more detailed maps, additional photographs, a description of a Poetry Path at Kirkby Stephen and an updated accommodation list.
Ron Scholes is a prodigious walker and is well known for devising long-distance routes that often take weeks to complete. However, in this book the walks are more manageable, being mainly wholeday or half-day excursions into the landscape of the Eden Valley and the surrounding hills. The River Eden begins its 75-mile journey in the wilds of Mallerstang and flows into the Irish Sea at the Solway Firth, west of Carlisle.
Six distinct areas have been identified as the locations for the walks in a variety of different landscapes: Mallerstang, the Howgill Fells, the Westmorland Plateau, the Eden Valley and Appleby, the high Pennines and, finally, Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall country.
Each walk has a detailed route description supplemented with a very clear hand-drawn map in Ron's distinctive style. But, as Ron points out, they are certainly not substitutes for Ordnance Survey maps, the I: 25000 series being recommended for the invaluable detail they include for the walker. Essential information is summarised at the start of the chapter and gives the reader an overview of the route to be followed, the distance and total ascent and an indication of the terrain to be encountered during the walk.
However, this book is so much more than a walking guide. What comes through in his writing is Ron's love of the landscape in all its infinite variety, with its diverse flora and fauna, and woven into the narrative are the stories of the people who have made this valley their own over the past two millennia.
It's a pleasure to be in Ron Scholes' company as he explores the lovely countryside that lies to the east of the Lake District and easily accessible from the M6. And whether you are an armchair rambler or have this book tucked into your rucksack as you stride out on one of Ron's walks, your knowledge of the area will be enhanced through its pages. And if you have never walked in this area, you will probably be inspired to pull on your walking boots and get out there!