Get outdoors with Pokemon-Go

As someone who grew up with Pokémon I geeked out massively when I heard Niantic were bringing out a smartphone app. I downloaded it first thing and was out like a flash in my lunchbreak… gotta catch ’em all!

For those of you who’ve had your head buried under a rock these last few weeks, the Pokémon-Go app allows you to discover the world via an augmented reality map. When Pokémon appear on your smartphone screen simply click on them and start throwing Pokéballs at the cute, little monsters to capture them.

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The day Pokémon-Go was released I walked approximately ten miles looking for Pokémon. The following day I walked seven. That’s a lot more than I usually walk in my working week! Granted, I live on the edge of Dartmoor, haven for walkers, but even the city bound are out and about seeking Pokemon.

Landmarks and places of cultural interests are pokéstops, virtual stations where you can restock on pokéballs and other special items. They are littered all over the city and can be found anywhere from museums and churches to popular restaurants and street art. Children that were previously glued to their computer screens are now exploring their local area, discovering monuments they never knew existed and going Pokemon hunting with their friends.

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As a Pokémon fan, it’s obvious which side of the fence I sit on, but I’m sure you can see the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. So why not give it a go? After all, it’s FREE!! You’ve got nothing to lose.

Nothing except ten minutes of your time catching Pokémon!

Photo credit: PhotoPin and Raymond Clack

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10 reasons to start cycling this Summer

Yes, Summer has arrived! Granted, it’s a very British Summer: rain one minute, blazing sun the next, but it is here. So, why not get out and enjoy the weather while we can. I’ve put together a foolproof list of ten reasons why YOU should get out on the bike today. No excuses allowed.

  • Gain more energy –

If you’re feeling tired and down in the dumps the best thing you can do is get outdoors and start a daily exercise habit. Whether it’s running, walking, cycling or some other physical activity the important thing is you’re out in the fresh air getting your daily dose of Vitamin D. So if you’re having a bad day, feeling bored and lethargic then head out for a spin.

  • Connect with nature –

One of my favourite things about cycling is the fresh air and discovering treasures I’ve never seen before. It sounds cliche I know and I’m as much attached to my phone and laptop as the next person but nothing beats the Great Outdoors and the freedom of whizzing through stunning country lanes.

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  • Save those pennies –

Although there are many ways you can make cycling costly, it turns out to be one of the least expensive forms of exercise. All you need is a bike and there are plenty of inexpensive options out there. AND if you’re looking for a cycle on a tax-free gradual payment basis you should check out the cycle to work scheme. If you are commuting to work you’ll save on travel costs and get fit at the same time (no need for that gym membership after all).

  • It’s a great way to get fit –

Did you know cycling uses almost every muscle in your body? The lower body is used the most, but that’s not to write off the abdomen and back muscles which play a predominant role in keeping the bike upright and stabilising your body. Plus, your metabolic rate which is boosted during the ride will keep burning fat for you afterwards (so take advantage of that with guilt-free snacks).

  • The endorphins –

Cycling reduces anxiety and depression and puts you in a great mood. Endorphins are also known as the ‘happy hormone’ and released into your body when you exercise. So if you’re feeling anxious, depressed or stressed the magic cure is, of course, a bike ride.

  • You’re saving the planet –

Travelling on two wheels is one of the greenest ways to travel from A to B and it turns out if you do something good you get something back! According to a study carried out by Imperial College London city cyclists breathe in substantially less pollution than the unfortunate drivers and passengers on the road. The presiding theory is that unlike drivers, cyclist ride on the edge of the road and avoid the worst of the exhaust.

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  • Cycle with others (if that’s your thing) –

Cycling isn’t something you have to do alone. There are lots of cycling clubs and societies and you’ll easily make new friends. Even if you don’t have that much in common cycling is a common interest. Sharing the pain and joy of an event you’ve just ridden together will be enough of a bonding experience. If you’re interested in cycling in a group then enter your postcode to find a local club near you.

  • Boosts brain power –

Yes, Cycling does actually make you smarter.A study from the University of Illinois  proves cycling increases the hippocampus, one of several parts of the brain attributed to learning and memory. Thus the loss of brain function normally associated with ageing is counteracted.

  • Sleep more soundly –

If you start cycling you’ll notice how much better you’re sleeping at night. This is because you’re exposing to skin to the sunlight and getting rid of the stress hormone, cortisol. So if you don’t get out much then we recommend giving cycling a go. We promise you’ll notice the difference if you just take the bike out for a thirty minute spin.

  • It’s for everyone –

I started cycling when I was three or four and was friends with an old gentleman who cycled every day of his life. The important thing to remember is anyone can cycle. Nowadays, cycling even caters for the disabled with the advent of tricycles and cycling with your hands for wheelchair users. So if you are disabled have a look at this website: get cycling.org.uk  and start cycling today.

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5 reasons to visit Dartmoor this bank holiday!

When you think of coming down to the South West this May bank holiday you’ll probably all be rushing to Cornwall and I don’t blame you. Not only does it have stunning scenery but is has some beautiful features such as the Eden Project and it has hosted wonderful BBC productions like the recent Poldark craze. Our local retailers even sell our little yellow map of the Cornish film locations for Poldark fans who want to explore on foot.

But when you pass through Devon consider cutting your drive short. Live dangerously and try something new, I can promise you won’t regret it. Try Visit Dartmoor for an excellent bargain on last minute accommodation OR pitch your tent because Dartmoor National Park is the only place in England you can go wild camping!

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So, finally, the five reasons you should visit Dartmoor this bank holiday:

  1. The Cream Tea Challenge: Cream Tea crazy Sam Anderson devised a challenge to get people flocking to Dartmoor’s door. Why not set up a Ten Tors challenge but for Creams Teas instead? 68 miles, 16 stops. Cream teas to be devoured at every break. Find out more from this Western Morning News article.
  2. Bellever Forest (Princetown): Walking through this forest is possibly the most serene I’ve ever felt. It can be quite touristy in the heart of the Summer so that’s something to watch out for. Historical areas of interest in the area are Dartmoor Prison Museum. Full of fascinating artefacts and grisly prison stories. For opening times, see here.
  3. Radio 1 Big Weekend (Powderham Castle): The BBC are bringing over 30 artists into Exeter. South West fans of Coldplay, Meghan Trainor, Ellie Goulding and more will be excited to know that there stars will be in the vicinity this weekend. So if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket get on down to the beautiful Powderham castleSee the full line up here.
  4. Open Air Swimming Pool (Chagford): A lovely outdoor swimming pool that is a must visit if you’re holidaying on Dartmoor in the Summer months. The pool is fed by the local river and heated to a reasonable temperature by solar but even still I recommend jumping right in! It opens on Saturday 28th May. For more info on the pool, visit the website.
  5. Dartmoor Hawking (Bovey Castle): Have you dreamt of the ultimate falconry experience? Fly a bird from horseback or even have a bird drop a ring in the lap of your future partner? It’s all possible with Dartmoor Hawking

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So which one of these activities can tempt you to visit Dartmoor National Park this May bank holiday? Whether you will be staying in a hamlet, isolated from civilisation, or a bustling market town, Devonians are a helpful lot and if you ask for help they are bound to point you in the right direction.

Come for a weekend and visit this amazing place! And don’t forget to buy our bargain Ordnance Survey Dartmoor box set from our local retailers: seven maps covering the entirety of Dartmoor, scale ruler and legend included – just £19.99.

4 ways to put a Spring in your step

The Easter holiday is over now and the kids are back at school. But even though the holiday has faded Spring has only just begun! The birds are chirping and the lambs are frolicking in the fields. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be bounding about just like the young ‘uns so I’m giving you four ways to keep yourself fresh in the coming months.

  • Get active; get outside!  Regular exercise is key in keeping you mentally healthy as well as physically toned. If you want to start slowly that’s fine but better to start than do nothing at all. We recommend half an hour of brisk walking as a great place to begin. It’s also important to get your daily dose of Vitamin D so better to exercise out in the fresh air than in a gym.

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  • Eat healthily! If you’re eating junk food every day you’re not going to be the brightest spark in the class. Listen to your mother when she says eat your five a day. Healthy living starts with a healthy diet! You don’t need to completely revamp your diet, start by upping your water intake and adding more fruit and veg in rather than taking things out.
  • Get out and volunteer! Why not give up a couple hours of your time this Spring helping someone out? It could be doing a good deed every day or volunteering at your local wildlife centre. The Wildlife Trusts are always looking for volunteers if you need any ideas. Working with a new group of people can help you make a new set of friends and also puts that Spring in your step.

 

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Photo courtesy of photopin

 

  • Get enough sleep! Did you know how much a good nights sleep can affect your day? You’ll feel more inspired and motivated and your concentration, energy, and focus will be tons better too. It is a lot easier to concentrate on day to day tasks when you’re not dazed from sleep. Experts recommend that we spend less time in our bedrooms and keep to regular bedtimes.

I hope my blog post will be of use to you in the future and I’ll see some of you bounding about this Spring. If I’ve encouraged any of you to get outdoors please let me know in the comments 🙂 Thank you for reading.

3 Easter breaks in the South West

Unless you’re on a diet or have an intolerance to chocolate, Easter will be one of your favourite times of the year. It’s definitely one of mine! I have fond memories of egg hunts with the family, glimpsing the Easter bunny through the window and playing monopoly with cousins, scoffing chocolate.

So I have hand-picked five places that, in my opinion, are a great place to stay for outdoorsy people, that provide a sincere ‘Easter’ theme and are Devon and Cornwall based. (I’ll get round to the rest of the country in time, I promise).

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  • Eden Project Botanical Garden, Cornwall

There are lots of lovely locations in the area where you can stay if you’re coming for the weekend. While the Eden Project has the wow factor it doesn’t take up two days and it would be a shame to be in Cornwall without seeing any of the other amazing sights it has to offer.

The picturesque Charlestown, which featured in the BBC series Poldark as Truro is just round the corner and would make a great day trip. The Eden Project has lots going on this Easter as you can see on their website: click here.

  • National Maritime Museum, Cornwall

Falmouth isn’t only a lovely seaside town, it’s also chock-a-block full of festivity. Come Easter Saturday the AberFest returns to Falmouth and the town will be in high spirits give or take the chocolate eggs. See here for more information on the AberFest.

So if you’re looking for a fun-packed weekend with the kids, Falmouth is the place! Why not take them to the National Maritime Museum for a chocolatey easter treat? Click here to book.

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  • Bovey Castle, Devon

Bovey Castle makes good use of the dramatic location and stunning rural setting of Dartmoor National Park. They offer a wide array of services ranging from the luxurious spa service to the outstanding falconry displays run by Martin (well worth the money if you choose to have a go yourself).

On Easter Sunday you can enjoy an Easter Egg scavenger hunt and egg and spoon races complimentary for guests and £5 for visitors. Click here to find out more about Bovey Castle.

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Please do share your pictures of your Easter getaways with us on twitter and facebook. We are all about getting people outdoors and active 🙂

Wishing you all a fantastic Easter break!

Five easy Cornish rambles

Walking is one of the most popular activities in Cornwall especially during the British summer. We all want to get outside when the sun is shining so why not explore the rich mining history, stunning coastlines and breathtaking views that you can only and will only ever find in Cornwall?

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  • Walk on Gribbin Head

Situated in stunning West Fowey this is a perfect ramble for those who don’t walk often. Gribbin Head is famous for its association with the romantic novelist Daphne du Maurier who has used the area as a setting for many of her books. It offers up a rich historical experience with fabulous views of the Cornish landscape and bay.

We recommend our walking map of The Fowey Estuary which you can purchase at local retailers. Interestingly, that very same Fowey map may be featured on a show about BnBs on Channel 5 soon.

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  • The Lizard Peninsula coastal walk

Slightly longer is this stunning walk along the Lizard Peninsula. The peninsula is famous for its abundant wildlife and it’s quite often the case that you can spot seals when you’re out on a walk.

As the Lizard Peninsula is covered by several of our pocket sized maps it’s difficult to recommend just one but you can find them in local retailers around the area! If you walk the Lizard Peninsula often we advise you take advantage of our box set, which is also sold in some local retailers. It makes a great gift for those avid fans of Cornwall!

  • Tintagel to Boscastle

For those in search of more of challenge North Cornwall is calling. Although the coastal path is steep and strenuous it is well worth the effort when you see the glorious view and stand within the walls of the castle itself.

Our little yellow map of Boscastle and Tintagel is just the thing you need for your scramble.

  • Lands End to Sennen Cove

If you prefer scenic views over myth and legend then this may just be the one for you. The most challenging on the list but some would say the most stunning too. I can promise you spectacular ocean vistas and abundant wildlife throughout the year.

We recommend our Around and About Land’s End to St. Buryan walking map for this particular walk.

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  • Botallack mining walk

And I can hardly mention Cornwall without mentioning Poldark in the same sentence. If you’re a fan of either Cornish mining heritage or the BBC production then we recommend exploring the location where Levant Mine played the role of the fictional Tressiders Mill.

Our pocket-sized, little yellow map of St Just, Pendeen & Cape Cornwall is perfect for exploring the area. It’s also worth noting that if you’re a fan of Poldark then you may be interested in our Poldark Cornish Film Locations map (eight walks for the price of one). Can be found in relevant local area retailers or you can order it on our website.

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Do get outside and walk these walks, they’re beautiful come rain or shine (but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for sunshine). Keep your eyes peeled for next weeks Easter-themed blog post!

5 gift ideas for Mother’s Day

Mothers Day is creeping up early this year. At Yellow Publications we have a great selections of maps, accessories and gift ideas for the mother who loves being outdoors.

Find something special for your mother this year, doesn’t she deserve it?

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  • Dartmoor Box Set:

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Our hugely popular Dartmoor box set is a great gift idea for mothers who love the outdoors. Set at a scale of 1:25 000 we’ve divided the OS coverage of Dartmoor National Park into seven pocket-sized yellow maps, ideal for all activities and splash-proof so you can get outdoors in all kinds of weather.

“I don’t always want to do a 20 mile yomp so having a small map is quite handy if you want to just take one or two maps with you, or say, only have one map in your pocket at a time …” – Smith, Amazon review

A fantastic choice for a weeks holiday. You can find the box set on Amazon or on our website.

  • Bookmarks –

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Whether you prefer our maritime bookmarks or our ‘mapmarks’ these are the perfect gift for the lady who always has her nose in a book. This classy gift will have your mother thinking of you every time she sees her bookmark’s pretty tassle.

Unfortunately, only the maritime bookmarks are available from our website (the bookmarks are still quite a recent product). Your local bookshop may stock the ‘mapmarks’ in which case do please buy them from your local retailer. We do our best to support small businesses.

  • Poldark Film Locations guide – 

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An equally lovely mothers day gift idea if you’re a little strapped for cash is this Poldark Film Locations Guide. If your mum is a fan of the BBC production maybe a trip down to the beautiful South West coast is the answer. Explore Cornwall like never before with this bargain map of eight walks for the price of one as you discover Poldark’s stunning film locations from a completely different perspective.

By far one of our most celebrated products and definitely in-fashion at the moment (thank you Aidan Turner 😉 ). It was featured in the travel section of the Telegraph a couple of weeks ago and is available at the bargain price of £3.99 from our website.

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For more visuals on the Poldark map please have a look at our Pinterest page.

  • Bodmin Moor Box Set –

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Perfect for tourists and and the ultimate walking guide for the local. If your mum is mad about Cornwall this is the ideal gift. At a scale of 1:16 000 (the same as our iconic Around and About range) the Bodmin Moor Box Set comes with a set of four pocket-sized, splash-proof maps, a legend and a scale ruler.

At the moment you have to ring in to order this brand new product but it will soon be available off the website.

  • Forest of Dean Wall Map –

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A classy way to celebrate your mother this mothering Sunday. This wall map is made using OS data as are all our products. It makes a lovely surprise holiday souvenir and is equally wonderful for a mum to commemorate her love for the local area.

The Forest of Dean Wall Map is available for purchase on our website. We also produce a very popular wall map of Dartmoor National Park if you’re interested in something more South-Westerly.

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Even if you don’t go for any of these choices we hope you have a great day, get outside for a walk and enjoy the weather wherever you may be (fingers crossed for sunshine mother nature). You can find us on twitter, facebook, google+ and pinterest. Please follow and like us and we’ll keep you updated with the latest news.