Peak District Trail Running - Review

14th November 2014

Peak District Trail Running Guide Book - Review

There is no doubt that this guidebook is long overdue and as a big fan of Vertebrate Publishing's mountain biking and climbing guides I was more than a little excited when I heard the news they were going to be writing this!

You might think "How can he write a review for the guide when it only came out 1 day ago?"  - I was hugely fortunate to be allowed to test a number of the routes and descriptions from the guide prior to publishing to ensure the route descriptions and routes themselves were of the highest standard. 

Vertebrate have produced a huge number of exceptional guides to the UK.  Be it cycling, mountain biking, walking or climbing, the guides are always logical, well layed-out, have interesting and varied routes, great imagery and clear and concise route descriptions. The Peak District Trail Running guide is no different.

The guide is small and compact, roughly the size of a standard postcard, it has a lovely feel to it and has been bound in such a way that you can flick through it until your hearts content without worrying about it's durability.

Peak District Trail Running Guide Front Runner

Useability.

At the front of the guide there is a high quality road atlas image with each route marked numerically, this is a great if you're looking for a route that is nearby to where you live or are staying, it's of such detail that is can be used for navigating around the Peak District too (maybe you should leave the guide permanently in your glovebox but then you wouldn't be able to read it at breakfast). Once you've decided on a potential route, it's very easy to check whether it's suitable for your needs (length / terrain / time allowance). Each route has an overview detailing the distance, ascent, approximate duration and the type of terrain covered. If you're still keen, the introduction acts as a wonderful sales pitch for the route, picking out some of the highlights. Should you be suitably impressed by the description you get to gawk at the high quality 1:25000 OS map that every route is mapped on. 

Each OS map has the route clearly marked and is annotated with numbers, which correlate with the route description to identify key way markers and sections. The descriptions are clear and concise, more important points are in bold font;

"Immediately on your right as you go through the gate is a footpath signed to Fernilee Reservoir. Follow this path, turning right after the first 50m, and enjoy the steep descent through the forest to the side of the reservoir. Turn left on to the main path and head north, running the length of the reservoir on the undulating path."

Nikalas has quite clearly gone to great efforts to ensure the descriptions are very clear, so clear in fact that I was able to navigate a number of the routes without even having the OS maps.

Peak District Trail Running Guide Front Runner 1Peak District Trail Running Guide Front Runner 2

There are a number of aspects to Peak District Trail Running that set it apart from other guides for me, the OS map excerpts for each route are really just fantastic, it might be the Mountain Leader or geeky navigator in me but I've always found OS maps  encapsulating and to get one for each route is brilliant. It might be a small thing for many but as a lover of photography the pictures in the book are also wonderful, Keith Sharples has captured some absolutely stunning images. They really do help inspire you to get up and get out on the trails, my particular favourites are Simon Bailey running the Edale Skyline and Jenny and Becca running through the in-season heather over Curbar Edge.

The guide has plenty of other useful information too, whether you're looking for a the nearest cafe, watering hole or if you want to double check something in the Countryside Code then you'll find the information in there.

Summary.

If it wasn't already clear, I think this guide it very, very good. Whether you're a newcomer to the Peak and are looking for a few routes to follow or if you're a seasoned fell runner there will be some ideas in here to help titivate you're (almost) comprehensive list of runs.

The guide is available to buy from our online shop by clicking here Peak District Trail Running

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