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Dark Peak Walks Book Launch… And two cakes!

23 Mar , 2017  

Paul Besley, author of the Dark Peak walks guidebook, enjoyed his book launch. Although we suspect it was just a good opportunity for a walk and cake! He tells us about the launch here.

The perfect book launch

Lots of people who ordered my book, Dark Peak Walks published by Cicerone Press, from my own blog had suggested a book launch and that they would like to come and collect their book in person.

Dark Peak Book Launch

Typical Dark Peak weather for the Dark Peak Walks book launch

Where else would you have a book launch for a guidebook to the Dark Peak?

There was only one place to have the launch of a book about walking in the gritstone and peat area of the Peak District National Park known as the Dark Peak, that was on the gritstone and peat moorland that make up this unique landscape. I chose Whinstone Lee Tor as the venue, easy access, good views, and on both a public footpath and a bridleway, so people could bring their dogs and bikes too.

Win Hill from Whinstone Lee Tor

The view from Whinstone Lee Tor

It was quite humbling to see 25 people brave constant rain,  quite typical Dark Peak weather, to celebrate the book launch.

Not one cake, but two

Of course you cannot have a launch without cake, Alison from Wapentac baked flapjack and a very nice Yorkshire Parkin.

Plus we had a wonderful surprise where a fan of the book Col Wood of Everyday Adventures had baked a special cake with a picture of the book on it.

The dark Peak Walks cake made by Col Wood

As we ate cake, drank coffee, talked and got wet I looked around the gathering. We ranged in age from a few months to the late sixties.

Some had walked, some had run. Some people were new to the area, some were old friends of the Dark Peak. A few local Mountain Rescue teams were represented, Moors For The Future were there, as was the Peak District National Park.

People had travelled from all the major cities and towns that surround the Peak District and that make it one of the most visited national parks in the world. Discoveries were made too. Debra from Moors For The Future had her first sip of Hot Vimto, an old Dark Peak favourite, which proved valuable of that cold rainy day.

A few of Paul Besley’s favourite things: walking and cake

I like to make a nice presentation of the book when people purchase it from me, all that wrapping had me singing My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music. Some lucky people who had bought early also had a gift of a Wapenmap too, so as I handed the parcels out I hummed the little tune, some people even sang along with me. Then it was time to cut the cake and eat.

It was a magical day. Everyone said how much they had enjoyed it, lots of laughter and talking about days out in the Dark Peak. It has such a great community of people, who love and care for the area deeply. It is wonderful to play a small part in it.

Will you be the next to discover the Dark Peak?

The most marvellous thing though is how young people are discovering the Dark Peak, exploring its delights and having great adventures. It means the story keeps on developing and that’s what should happen to a landscape.

Young adventurers are discovering the Dark peak

Great to see young explorers like Neve out having adventures in the Dark Peak. Photo by Chris Blake, with permission.


The guidebook to Dark Peak Walks by Paul Besley is published by Cicerone

This guidebook describes 35 circular walking routes in the Dark Peak – the wilder northern area of the Peak District distinguished by its dark gritstone – showcasing the rich natural, geological and historical interest of north Derbyshire and south Yorkshire. Ranging from 6.5km to 22km, the walks vary in terms of difficulty: some involve steep ascents and descents, uneven ground and pathless terrain, and demand a good level of navigational competence. The guide also outlines 5 longer routes (3 linear; 2 circular) of 25-45km for those wishing to explore the area further, including a classic ‘skyline’ circuit of the Kinder Scout plateau.

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