Sunday Walk: Froghall Wharf & Harston Woods

Sunday Walk: Froghall Wharf & Harston Woods

This week’s walk was around Froghall Wharf  which is in the Churnet Valley, at the end of the Caldon Canal. It wasn’t so much the canal and wharf we were interested in, but the surrounding woodlands. The wharf itself was busy at 11am, not surprising since it’s a pretty spot with picnic tables, two parking areas, and toilet facilities, plus Hetty’s Tea Shop (which we didn’t sample). I liked the look of the circular walk up and around the wharf, and we weren’t disappointed. Crossing the canal, we went up the valley past ancient iron ore workings. ‘Look for conical depressions’ Dez read out from the map, and Liam warped that into ‘chronical depression’… so questions #5 and 6 of the day were all about depression. There were a lot of questions today. We missed the right turn down to the little lake, but after backtracking we found it (no signs!) and went down past the lake then back up onto a ridge and a beautiful woodland glad. Another small bridge took us up to farmland, where we followed the fence and hit the track which lead to the main road down from Foxt. Passing a dead sheep fired up more questions, and it wasn’t long before even my patience faded, and I told Dez the next 10 questions were all hers. We curtained the official route by taking the track down next to New Cottages which lead through Harston woods down to the old railway track, and on back to the car park. Details: 1hr 20 minutes 2.75 miles Climb about 400 feet   Tips: There are 3 ‘marked’ routes around...

Sunday Walk: Dimmingsdale & Croxden

Dimmingsdale was possibly one of the muddiest walks we’ve done, but has potential so we’ll be back when it’s drier. Fine meal at the Rambler’s Retreat afterwards (sorry about the muddy shoes, guys!). Croxden Abbey was a delight – atmospheric, massive and very...
Making use of an old smartphone

Making use of an old smartphone

I’m always thinking of how to use an old device. When you’ve given old phones to son and family, how else can they be used? And then in a eureka moment, I hit upon a perfect use, at least if you’re a cyclist. So here’s a recipe for re-purposing an old smartphone into a smart cycling computer. Get a bike phone holder. I tried a couple, and this one is perfect, at least in dry conditions! Take you old phone and install Strava, Google Fit, or similar. Set it up with your home wi-fi, and connect before you set off. Also install DigitalHud from the Play store – it’s a great way to get live ‘movement’ data as you’re cycling. And Bob is your uncle – a smart, no-hassle odometer for your cycling!...

Quick & Easy PPC Tips

I’m a big fan of a focused PPC campaign. Focused on conversions. Here’s are some tips to achieve that. Always remember that the beauty of Adwords PPC over other channels is that you are reaching potential customers at the exact point at which they are making a decision to buy a product like yours.  Or at least starting to think about it. Always use negative keywords. Review the Search Terms used to show your ads. What keywords are being used that do NOT relate to your product? You’ll probably be surprised at keywords that slip in that lead to keyword combinations that bear no relation to your product. Lose them. Always look at your keyword Quality Score. Regardless of the impact it might have on your  bids, it’s such a good indicator of the relevance of a particular keyword to your campaign (and landing page). If the QS is 5 or below, do something: lose the keyword, or work it into your page somehow – Page Title, body of the page, just somewhere it can be seen by the system.  If the keyword doesn’t match the page,  people aren’t going to convert, let alone click. Utilise Sitelink Extensions – they’re such a good way to enhance the ad.  For free. You can find more PPC tips at...

Liam on ballet

We’re reading a Horrid Henry story where he’s doing ballet, so I say “hey, maybe you should try that?” Liam say “Ballet’s for girls.” “Some boys do ballet,” I said. “I’m not the sort of boy who does ballet,” was his...

Sunday Walk: Laddersedge Country Park, Leek

A little different this one – mostly along side  what seems like a stream but is I believe a canal feeder canal on one side and Leek golf club on the other. Still, pleasant enough. Where it gets a little interesting is when you cross the stream and climb up into the woods – there’s a beautiful woodland  (lots of bluebells in Spring!). Parking is either on the left or lower down the hill on the right. Both are signposted off the A53 south of Leek. More details to...