Walks And Walking – Essex Walks Moreton Walking Route
I had been chatting to Tim @ukjeeper on Twitter about using the ViewRanger software on my SmartPhone and he very kindly offered to go for an Essex walk to test it out properly and go through the various different types of online maps and websites. I’ll keep the results of our chat at the end of the post after I have written out the walking route from our 10 mile circular walk in Moreton.
The weather at the start was fairly decent but kept a waterproof jacket in my rucksack and I had hoped to wear my new Scarpa walking boots but I still hadn’t broken them in and didn’t want to risk it today.
Moreton is a lovely village just off the A414 and we parked our cars at the Nags Head pub and had a quick go through the various online mapping options before setting off with my Ordnance Survey map still in my rucksack and me feeling a little out of my walking comfort zone at not being the one leading the walk. I soon settled in to the routine and we had quite brisk pace with plenty of chat being exchanged.
From the Nags Head we headed west along the road to a footpath on our left at the bend of the road that curved northwards through open farmland to buildings and a delightful Tudor house to the road where we turned left to Ashling Cottages and another footpath on our right where we walked for a short while before cutting across the field to our right hand side joining Pole Lane track where we turned left heading west over Mill Mound before bending left to the road. We then turned right joining the Stort Valley Way left at Spinney Farm and Great Wimores through farmland to the road where we turned right down to Faggotters Farm where we turned left up the footpath with the lake on our left hand side to the edge of More Spring woods where we turned right by the edge of the wood down to the road turning left at the next footpath signpost crossing over the next road to the footpath and across to the next road at Olive Spring and the church at Little Laver.
We then walked right down the road turning left across farmland to the road turning left along the road and then right down the footpath following this track all the way down as it then bent round to the right to Newhouse Moat where we then turned left and walked all the way down the road and back to the Nags Head pub. Sadly, it was closed for renovation so we popped across the road for some very welcome pints of ale and some very decent pub grub. By now the skies had opened and it was bucketing down so we had finished our 10 mile walking route just in time after quite a sprightly 3 hours.
Ordnance Survey Paper Maps vs ViewRanger Online Software
So it seems I had set up ViewRanger correctly on my SmartPhone but the enormous Wikipedia instruction manual had scared the life out of me! What’s lacking from ViewRanger is a simplified version as I outlined in my previous St Albans walk. The faffing about is worthwhile albeit a little confusing. Tim also ran through some other options with me and how to use the ViewRanger store. I currently have the OpenStreetMap version which gives a basic overview of the walking route but if you buy the Ordnance Survey version you get far more detail and it is worth purchasing it if you just want to use digital formats.
Tim brought his entire portfolio of gadgets, tablets and SmartPhones to show me how each one operates. Tim also went through Backcountry Navigator and Social Hiking sites. Social Hiking is powered by ViewRanger and enables you to geo tag your photos, videos, tweets and Facebook posts as you walk. Quite nifty really if you have embraced the digital age as well as Tim has.
I think I’ll stick to ViewRanger for the moment until I get more used to how it all works then I may move on to Social Hiking. In terms of simplicity, you just open up ViewRanger on your SmartPhone, menu, trip view, reset, start. GPS then calculates your position and you’re ready to go. It is also worth double checking Beacon & tracker to make sure Beacon repeat on. Then lock the phone and make sure the application is still running in the background. Then when you are home, go to my.viewranger.com and log in to your account, open up ViewRanger on your SmartPhone, menu, organiser, tracks, menu, synchronise and then refresh your web browser and up pops the walking route.
So, for the benefit of the Walks And Walking readers I think I am going to use ViewRanger and buy the Ordnance Survey Maps so you can see a good outline of the walking routes. I will still use the OS paper versions to explain the walking route in finer detail as I do find it reassuring when I can read “Turn left at the signpost for…” and “Turn right at the Yellow Waymarker to….” so I know I’m on the right tracks.