Mat Banks's guide to sport UK


Fancy Skiing in Scotland ?

If you want some impartial information try my review.

Scottish Skier

Ski Great Britain

The British ski scene is alive and well. One of my best days skiing was on January 1st, 1994 in Glenshee, Scotland. It's certainly not the biggest resort in the world, but the weather and snow were just perfect - a great way to start a new year.

Skiing in Britain is fine, but for the real thing try the good old USA. I've been there a few times now, with some photos and reports from Colorado 1997, Colorado 1998, California 2000 and Utah 2002. Check out the latest snow reports. My favorite resorts so far are Arapahoe Basin (or A-Basin) - lots of steep manic blacks (double diamonds) and excellent snow and Mammoth - just a great place.

OK, Europe is not so bad... Resorts tested in the last 10 years are Bulgaria 1993 - a real eye opener of a place, Pas de la Casa 1994, Montgenevre 1995, Bormio 1995, Valmorel 1996, Val d'Isere 1998, Chamonix 1999.


Striding Edge from Nethermost Pike

The English Lake District

This is part of the infamous Striding Edge, seen here from Nethermost Pike. Try the Lake District Walks site for lots more pictures and detailed route information.


Liverpool University maintains a large Mountain Database of the hills of the UK, with interesting features about Munros and Marilyns!


Watch out for lively beer cans! For more information on the beer featured here, why not try the Heineken pages??? If you more information on the men featured here, well then you are truly weird!

The London Marathon 1997

I managed to complete the 1997 London Marathon and there's a picture to prove it.

The Klix Six 1997

Basically a 10k race around delightful Basingstoke. Mat B and Matt T make their competitive debut in road running. Pictures to follow.

The Tadley Runners Cross-Country 1997

Four relative unknowns in the world of track and field took part in the 1997 Tadley Runners X-Country (it would have been six, but the other two were hungover and too lardy to do it!) The form book pointed to a Matt one and two (Mat B and Matt T - discounting all the other entrants) but Gaz had been training hard and could Parm upset all the lads?

The course was wet and narrow in places and, like all good cross-country courses, quite mixed terrain. Mat B and Gaz set the early pace, Matt T was moving well but once Mat B had broken the soul of Gaz the places were effectively fixed: 1. Mat B 2. Gaz 3. Matt T 4. Parm. The supporters were well pleased with what they saw!

The Ridgeway Excellent route across Southern England

The Ridgeway is an ancient road running across some of the uplands of Southern Central England and along the Chilterns. It has been in use since Roman times as it sits above the marshy ground that use to exist in that area. Therefore it provided a quicker and easier route across the country.

The ancient Ridgeway route has been roughly followed by the new Ridgeway Path. For most of the Western end it is classified as a road(!), but does provide a very enjoyable cycle route. I have completed the stretch from Avebury to Goring (about 60 miles), which takes in several old forts and the White Horse. View of my bike and Uffington Fort.

All you need to do is get a train to Swindon, (timetable) cycle down to Avebury (10 miles), along the Ridgeway to Goring and then you can follow the Thames Path down to Reading for trains etc.. Sorted. By the way this took two days (there is a very handy Youth Hostel en route.)

The South Downs Way Strenuous route from Winchetser to Eastbourne

The South Downs Way (strangely) follows the South Downs from the Cathedral in Winchester to the sea at Eastbourne. The route is about 110 miles long. This is very much an off-road route and fairly hilly, although the trails are generally good.

One day I will try the North Downs Way and the Thames Path

Mat Banks

OK, so I got married