Heading out to the NEC

Only two weeks ago we finished up at the excellent Giving and Living Trade Show and now we’re heading out to Birmingham for the Spring Fair. Our entire workforce is very excited for the trade show and are just finishing prepping the new products for the fair today.

We now have over 1000 titles to our name and the production staff have worked tirelessly to make sure we have them all ready for the show.  Our creative director and the team have redesigned and revamped a number of our fixtures to give the stand a refreshed feel for what we know will be a very busy Fair.  Meanwhile our admin co-ordinators are gearing up for an influx of orders from new customers, to be processed alongside the many that are already coming in for existing contacts who are stocking up for half term! It’s all go go go at the moment 🙂

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But this rigmarole is something we are well accustomed to. We have been exhibiting at the Spring Fair for a few years now. In 2014 our Around and About little yellow walking map was placed in the top 3 in the ‘Under 10’ category receiving a highly commended. Quite an accolade seeing as the Spring Fair is the UK’s number one gift and home trade event!

To see Yellow Publications exhibitor page on the Spring Fair website, click here. If you’re visiting the NEC we’ll be in Hall 5, Stand 5BB54, so please come and say hi and experience our maps in person.

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Our innovative Yellow Atlas series is also a finalist in the accessories category in the UK Outdoor Industry Awards. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of our fab atlases so please do vote to be entered. You will also have our heartfelt thanks when we win and we will mention you, as a collective, in our speech when we claim our award. Maybe the prospect of a free atlas is better though? (see below)

Thank you very much and you’ll hear from me next week on how we did at the Spring Fair! This is the last of the trade fairs until Harrogate and the OIA conference in March when the Outdoor Industry Awards get announced so vote your socks off!

If you want to keep in touch with current events follow us on twitter and like us on facebook or you could just check our website out.

 

5 top tips for walking in the wet

Despite the Met Office and their new storm system predicting the worlds end every other week nothing beats battling the elements. There’s really nothing more thrilling than stepping outdoors when mother nature is having a little fun!*

So here are my top five tips on how to enjoy a walk in the rain:

  • Walk with a friend. Two is often better than one and safer too when you’re walking in bad weather. In addition to walking with a companion you should always notify someone of your whereabouts in case you get injured or lost (much more likely in wet weather). You should always take a waterproof map with you and plan your route beforehand. We recommend you use our local area walking maps as they are conveniently pocket sized, waterproof and use OS data at an easy to read scale. Click here to be taken to the website.IMG_3387.jpg
  • Visit a river or a waterfall. Walking in the wet can get depressing if you don’t enjoy one of the main benefits, the views. Water in turmoil is wonderfully dramatic and gives your walk a purpose. Obviously don’t walk too close for obvious reasons 😛 I don’t recommend climbing up too high in bad weather as it can be very dangerous and you can get quite chilly with the rain and wind blowing up a hoolie. Stay on conventional paths and under trees for protection from the weather.
  • Walking boots for wet weather. Unfortunately walking and running shoes are not water resistant. Waterproofed hiking boots are available or you could wear gaiters over the top of them to prevent any rainwater seeping in.
  • Keep your walk short, but not too short. Walking in the rain can become disheartening as the damp starts to seep in and you begin to feel depressed. We recommend you cut your walk relatively short to avoid the harshest of the Winter walking blues! Be sensible when cutting down your mileage and keep those miles up; we don’t want you cutting your walk in half. 🙂Cat_and_Fiddle_public_house_-_geograph.org.uk_-_40707
  • Finish up in a great pub. The idea of that meal will get you walking that extra mile when you’re wet and tired. There’s nothing better than drying off next to a roasting log fire and eating steak pie and chips (or whatever you fancy).

But most importantly make sure you have fun in the rain. Splash in some puddles, catch raindrops on your tongue, release your inner child and remember rainy days are fun days 🙂

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*I’m not encouraging you to walk in 80mph winds. You need to consider personal safety at all times especially if you live in the more Northerly parts of Britain where flooding is prevalent.

 

How to make a Giving and Living

We’ve had a great week at Yellow Publications. Not only did we receive great news on a personal level but, as I’m sure you’re aware, we’ve been at the Giving and Living Home and Gifts trade show at Westpoint, Exeter which went exceedingly well.

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Many customers old and new visited us on Sunday through to Wednesday. We had a wonderful time, talked a lot about the great outdoors and made lots of new friends as well as welcoming old faces. Just to mention a few regular customers: Dartmoor National Park, Ocean Blue and South Devon Railway dropped by to reorder and, as always, it was lovely to see them again in addition to many other regulars who know who they are 🙂 We love you all!

We look forward to working with all our new customers in the future. Seaton Jurassic and Shakspeare Glass and Arts along with others were particularly enthusiastic about the maps and ordered on the day! The historical Jurassic Coast is not only a UNESCO world heritage site but an adventure in itself if you choose to venture forth and explore. Shakspeare Glass and Arts is based in Langport and in addition to the entertaining glass blowing lessons they run on site Langport is a scenic location and a haven for both walkers and cyclists. The Langport walking festival is run annually and a great deal of fun if you live or are on holiday in Somerset county.

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All in all, Giving and Living was a successful endeavour. I recommend it to all small businesses based in the South West dealing in the gift trade. Next on our radar is the Spring Fair on the 7-11th February, a much larger fair based in Birmingham at the NEC. If we’ll see you there feel free to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. We like to keep in contact and we’re up for a chat about maps and the great outdoors!

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Our Yellow Atlas is also a finalist in the accessories category of the UK Outdoor Industry Awards! I realise this is getting a tad annoying but the fair is coming up soon so it’ll all be over soon *sigh of relief*. If you’re a long distance walker our Yellow Atlas is by far our best product, with the best coverage at a bargain price. Take for example our Brecon Beacons atlas, it covers the entirety of the Beacon Way at 1:40000 for £11.99. 

So please vote here and be in with the possibility of winning a free sample! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five ways to lose those Christmas calories

We all eat a little too much over Christmas and New Year: seconds and thirds of Christmas Dinner and we mustn’t forget numerous tins of chocolates and nibbles, which you never count at the time but regret terribly come January. Here are five simple ways to shed those pesky Christmas calories:

  • Walk it off! Did you know walking is the number one way to trim your waistline? It’s better than working out in the gym or even a daily jog for losing that muffin top, so if you intend to shed those pounds get outside and start walking. Remember to set realistic goals however, one or two pounds a week is a reasonable target.

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  • Stay hydrated. A lot of people often mistake hunger for thirst so will eat rather than drink water. If you’re craving a snack of some sorts ensure you’re not dehydrated by having a glass of water and seeing if you’re still hungry twenty minutes later. If you replace sodas and other sugary drinks with h20 then not only will you start to feel healthier but you can lose up to 5% of your body weight
  • Eat early. There is a myth that eating late at night will make you pile on the pounds. If you eat dinner early then not only will you feel more energised in the morning leaving time for early morning walks but you won’t suffer bloating and you’ll sleep a lot better… leading on to my next point.

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  • Catch enough ZZZZs. A regular adult needs 8 hours of sleep a night. Any less or any more and you will be suffering “metabolic grogginess” – an awesome term coined by the researchers at the University of Chicago. The idea here is if you have one bad nights sleep it increases the likelihood of having a bad nights sleep the following night until you become severely sleep deprived. And do you really think you’re going to be wanting to go out for a ramble after a bad nights sleep?
  • Go easy on the alcohol! Everyone drinks a lot over Christmas. Few know how many liquid calories they’re consuming however and be willing to pay the price. Two standard glasses of wine would take fifty two minutes to walk off and two pints of cider would take one hour and forty two minutes to burn off.  I recommend you cut you alcohol intake in half. While losing inches off your waistline, you will be saving your hard-earned dosh and preventing further liver damage. All in a new years resolution!

If you slip up don’t fret, just take it a day at a time. As I’ve said prior to this anything is doable in twenty-four hours. If you do take my advice please check out our website for local area pocket walking maps and if you like what you see you could click here to vote for the Yellow Atlas in the UK Outdoor Industry Awards (we’re a finalist in the accessories category).

Keeping to your New Years Resolutions

We make them and break them and props to you if you’ve made a New Years Resolution and kept to it. I’m about as good as keeping my resolutions as I am at flying an aeroplane (terrible if you must know). So when making my resolutions this New Year I decided I needed some advice. I talked it over with family and friends, as they were relatively more successful than me in keeping to their goals. The tips and worldly wise tricks I received are listed below:^9FCAE47D44FED578E517FC79352EF6C4CD7FBD5825B8F15D8A^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Be realistic in your choices: Don’t reach for the stars. If you’ve never run in your life then you can’t run an ultra-marathon in a month. It’s likely the immensity of your goal will overwhelm you and you won’t get anywhere if you aim too high. If you want to run a race take baby steps, build up slowly and you’ll be running that ultra-marathon in no time at all.

Reward yourself: And I don’t mean binge on fast food if you’re giving up McDonalds and KFC. There are plenty of ways to reward yourself without letting yourself go. Celebrate your victories without breaking your resolutions! You could go surfing with your friends or out to the cinema to see a film you’d all enjoy. You’ll find there are plenty of ways of having fun without forfeiting your resolutions.

Stick to your guns: Don’t give up at the first hurdle! It takes a little over twenty days for a new habit to form so it’s not going to be second nature overnight. Be persistent and realistic and you’ll find it gets easier as time goes on. Take it one day at a time and don’t get hung up on your mistakes.

New years resolutions are all about giving up bad habits and picking up something new but in the midst of this in can be quite easy  to forget the one most important thing. Have fun 🙂

Ten great reasons to walk in Winter

It’s winter and snow has started falling already. Even though it is a little chilly outside that is no excuse for not getting outside and going for a good long walk!

  1. Vitamin D – Whatever time of year it is, rain or shine, your body needs a little Vitamin D. Did you know you get Vitamin D even though the sun isn’t out? Without it, your body can’t regenerate skin and absorb calcium to make strong bones so when you get injured you don’t heal easily and quickly. All you need to do is to get outside two or three times a week.15499431823_dea83cfd5e_b
  2. Walking is good for your little grey cells – as Poirot would say. Did you know walking can increase your mental fitness in addition to your physical fitness? A recent UK study told us that whatever your age you can improve the impact of ageing on your brain. So get up and start moving, you could be one of the lucky few that retains your marbles.
  3. It kick-starts your immune system – Winter is the worst time for getting sick. Whether you get the flu or a runny nose, I can guarantee you won’t be able to shake it off quite as easily as you would in the Summer. Walking boosts oxygen levels and blood flow to the brain and  makes you more resistant to infection by giving your immune system a boost. A little fresh air in your lungs doesn’t hurt either!
  4. Walking in a Winter Wonderland – If you’re lucky enough to live in a Winter Wonderland then why are you not out enjoying the view? Make sure you wrap up warm and stay safe because ice is slippery stuff! We don’t want too many broken legs this Christmas!^5BCA306788E3DBE91172353E1054BA483BF0A1C82A61E03628^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

  5. Walking improves your mood – Ever had that thing where you’re arguing with someone and you storm out of the house, go for an hours walk (sometimes longer), come back and you feel fine? Walking releases serotonin – the happy hormone – into your body relieving you from stress, and helping you feel a lot better generally. So if you’re overworked, tense or just need a little energy don’t pop a pill, go for a thirty minute walk and I promise you, you’ll feel a lot better.
  6. You’ll burn more calories – Winter walking is more difficult than walking along a pavement or field in Summer. Walking through the snow requires a lot more energy and thus you burn more calories. It helps keep your fitness up during the Winter months and builds up your walking stamina.
  7. Make new friends – Walking doesn’t have to be solitary, it can be social too. If you own a dog then you know how much attention your four-footed friend will get on a walk. If you’re not then there are plenty of websites you can sign up to where you walk somebody else’s dog for the day. Borrow my Doggy is a great example of this. If you don’t like dogs or this just doesn’t ring your bell (you prefer humans to canines) then there are plenty of walking groups you can join. Find a group near you at: www.ramblers.org.uk.^7413F13DB94E296EEE0CF43385CD33E0A6B0A6EDD44DE49404^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr
  8. Just as good as running – Maybe you don’t need to drag yourself out of bed for a run every morning. Walking is safer than running in the Winter and, according to US researchers, just as beneficial if you follow their instructions. They say that rather than the intensity of your workout it’s the energy expended that counts.  So next time you go for a walk, rather than wandering along keep it brisk and you could be lowering your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Sound good? Sounds good to me!
  9. More inspiring than the gym – Not only is it more inspiring but results from studies show that it is in fact better for you. Well, no surprise! Adults who walk at a brisk pace for more than thirty minutes a day tend to have slimmer waists and a lower BMI than those who use the gym. Breathing in all that fresh air has to be good for you in more ways than one and a definite improvement on the alternative.
  10. You’ll live longer – Sitting and working at a computer all day long is generally accepted to be detrimental to your health. Too many deaths in Western countries are contributed to lack of exercise and obesity. You only need to walk briskly for twenty minutes a day to reduce chances of an early death. So why not start today?

Purchase one of our local area walking maps here or at your local retailer and start walking. What are you waiting for?

 

 

A puppy for Christmas, a companion for life

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Thanks to PhotoPin and Flickr for providing this photograph

Looks adorable doesn’t he? And you may be hankering after a puppy for Christmas yourself… but the Christmas season is the worst time to introduce a puppy, or even a full grown dog, into a new home.

A new dog shouldn’t be a surprise! Christmas time is a more chaotic time than usual and your usual routine has gone out the window. A puppy needs to be able to trust it’s new surroundings to settle in easily. So although the idea of receiving a puppy on Christmas Day is very exciting, it is a lot of stress on the dog and when taken into consideration, more practical to plan the event in advance with the children. It can still be just as thrilling – just different and most importantly less stressful on the puppy.

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Make sure everyone understands the consequences of introducing a dog into the family. While puppies are cute and cuddly they don’t stay cute and cuddly for long. It also involves a lot of work and if you as parents have handed over the responsibility to your children make sure they understand what they’re in for. How to prepare and details on more puppy madness can be found here.

Is it worth it? Dogs are famous for their loyalty, companionship and intelligence. Once you’ve won a dogs heart you’ve won it forever. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to train and care for a puppy properly then you have a dog for life.

Please consider carefully before taking the final step and bringing that lovable ball of naughtiness home with you. Remember, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

3 best Winter walks in Devon!

I was in Scotland a couple of years ago, torn by the part of me that just wanted to go out and explore and the more sensible half that said I’d just end up in a bog (a rather more frequent occurrence on Dartmoor).

So are you here on holiday, or just looking for a new take on your New Years walk this holiday season? I can help! I live in Devon and having lived here for most of my life can give you, in my opinion the 3 best walks in the county.

Now, in no particular order…

  • Circular walk in Teign Valley

The Teign Valley is gorgeous in any season and this walk is popular with both locals and tourists given it’s stunning location. It’s simple, short and sheltered for the most part so you don’t have to worry about the wind in your face. Plus you can finish up in Castle Drogo (the local National Trust property) for tea. Always good in the wintery months when it’s a bit nippy outside!

Teign Valley walk

Explore the Teign Valley Gorge

  • Circular walk from Woody Bay to Heddons Mouth

You have to include a good coastal walk if you’re talking about a ramble in Devonshire and this walk has a coastline to die for! Barely a stones throw from the dramatic Valley of The Rocks, it takes in part of the South West Coast Path and did I mention the Roman fort and breathtaking view?

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Ramble round Heddons Mouth & Woody Bay

There’s always the Hunters Inn or a National Trust cafe at the halfway point if you’re flagging, both of which are lovely places to stop for a light lunch. To shake things up you could start at Hunter’s Inn (as you may have noticed from our map there is parking at both points).

  • Circular walk through Wistmans Wood to Crockern Tor and back

For those fond of myth and legend this is the walk for you. It is an atmospheric place and well worth a visit even if you don’t believe in the legends as it is a beautiful wood and lovely tor. Locals won’t go near it once the sun has set and travellers swear they’ve heard howling of hounds at night. If they tell the truth then possibly the legend of the hell hounds and their master, the cranky Dartmoor spirit ‘Old Crocken’ is true.

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Discover the real Wistman’s Wood & Crockern Tor

If the woods are just a bit too mysterious for you then you can always pop back to the Two Bridges Hotel for a cream tea. The best in Devon I’ve always thought! If you’ve had better please do let me know – I’m always on the lookout for a good cream tea!

At the end of this week I’ll be posting best three walks in Cornwall. If you are Cornwall based and have a favourite walk please send photos in with the name of the trail and your pictures could be featured in the blog post :).

View all of our Devon Around and About maps.

 

How to ride a tandem

I guarantee you it’s not as easy as it looks! But it can be if you take my advice into account. As a seasoned tandem rider myself I can help you out and pass on some words of wisdom. 🙂

What is a captain? What is a stoker?

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“A bicycle built for two” – Harry Dacre

A tandem team only works completely if the pairing have total trust in one another. The Captain (the rider on the front) is the stronger cyclist and takes charge of the less experienced cyclist on the back of the bike, the Stoker. The Captain is responsible for the steering, the gears and the brakes and the Stoker has no control over any of these elements so it is very important that the Captain is someone the Stoker can trust. If you want to get back in one piece, injury free! :/

Your first ride on a tandem is always memorable so make sure you have someone to witness your hilarious first attempt.

So we’ve got the bike! How do we start/stop?

The Captain and Stoker should be stood over the bike, legs apart. For both of them to get into this position I recommend swinging your legs over the saddle. There are other ways of getting into the starting position, but there’s a possibility  you may scratch the bike and/or strain a muscle! 😉

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Thanks to State Victoria Library for providing this lovely photo

The pedals of a Tandem move round at the same time as I’m sure you’ve noticed! Starting is the captains call, they decide which foot stays on the ground and which foot is on the pedal you’re going to push off on. When you’re both ready (tandem riding involves communication) you push off at the captains says so. It is of primary importance that the Stoker gives it their all at this stage!

When stopping at lights, etc the captain put his foot down and the Stoker stays in place. When stopping at the end of a ride the Captain puts his foot down and the Stoker dismounts and then the Captain dismounts.

It may be the case that the Stoker and Captain have different cycling styles. Stokers being less experienced often prefer to coast and have a slower cadence (pedaling rate) than the Captain. So it is the captains responsibility to look out for their stoker, warning them of upcoming bumps in the road, etc. Keeping the bike balanced is also very important so it is essential when starting out that the stoker doesn’t move about. If they have to, for instance if the Stoker is thirsty, it’s fine, but warn the Captain beforehand.

I hope my top tips on how to ride a tandem were helpful. I hope you have success in all your cycling endeavours.

 

 

 

What are your favourite Devon Christmas Walks?

“Walking is man’s best medicine”

– Hippocrates

 

Whether it’s stumbling through snowdrifts, clambering over rocky outcrops or wandering around Dartmoor blindly in the fog, a walk is always best when it’s taken after a sumptuous Christmas dinner.

Devon Xmas Walk

Despite being cold outside, Devon remains one of the most beautiful counties for a Winter walk. Just remember your scarf, coat and gloves and enjoy the stunning countryside and picturesque coastline (depending on where you’re walking, of course)!

Tell us what you love most about your annual Christmas walk and send in your favourite Devonshire walk. We will send a complimentary map to the contributors of the six chosen walks. Once we have created the map of the six Christmas walks it will be available to buy from our website at a special discounted price of £1.99 (plus p&p).

Email your walk to: christmaswalks@yellowpublications.co.uk

To learn more about the Around and About Map please visit our website here.

Closes Friday 4th December 2015