(Not So) Grand Walking Plans 2012

Published 12 April 2012

At the summit of Wansfell

It’s become a bit of a tradition that at this point in the year, I blog about all my amazing walking plans for the year to come. I say a tradition. I did it in 2010 and again in 2011, so that’s how traditions start, yes?

In 2010 I planned (and did) the South Downs Way, the Dales Way and finished off the remaining third of the Pennine Way. Oh and the Coast to Coast.

Then in 2011 the plan said the Southern Upland Way, the Glynd┼Ár’s Way, the Ridgeway and a mystery walk to the Lake District. I actually went to the Lakes twice last year and got wet whilst trying to grab a few Wainwrights.

In previous years though I had lots of time. I could buy an extra weeks leave from work, pick a trail and head off in to the sun. Then in the summer of 2011 I was made redundant giving me even more time. Now I’ve got a new job, and don’t have a lot of annual leave this year. And some of what leave I have has been eaten away by other commitments.

All of which means I don’t have a huge amount planned this year, and it’s going to be difficult to complete any full trails.

That’s not to say I won’t be walking this year; far from it. And there are some things that got put on the 2012 list, such as…

(Finish) The Ridgeway

If you read my 2011 walking plan post you would have seen that in 2011 I intended to walk all 87 miles of the Ridgeway. And we did do most of it, but for various reasons we never actually finished it in 2011. It got left with about 17 miles still to go. And those 17 miles were the only bit I didn’t succeed on doing from last years plan.

The goodness is that Goal 1 has already been achieved! We finished it a few weeks ago. Expect a write up soon.

The Limestone Way

Going across the White Peak in Derbyshire, the Limestone Way was one Catherine wanted to do, and having never explored the White Peak, I readily agreed. The 50 mile route can easily be walked in four days and in a very snowy and icy February we did the first two between Castleton and Matlock.

My hope is that we’ll do the remaining two days some point in May or June as after that other commitments will get in the way.

You’ll be able to read about my very snowy, icy exploits on the first half, next week.

(Finish) the North Downs Way

Being unemployed and hunting for a job is an awful, demoralising time, especially if you’re having to go to the Job Centre to sign on. So last year I started doing day walks on the North Downs Way to give myself a break and to keep myself going.

In August, September and October I did seven days on the route, doing as many day walks as I could fit in. I did the last couple just before starting my new job.

The North Downs Way has two route options at its eastern end. Both go to Dover, but the northern route goes through Canterbury, whilst the southern one heads near Folkestone and along the cliffs. Each option takes about two days, and whilst you don’t have to, I’ve decided I’ll do both. Because they’re not easy for an overnight stay, I’ll probably do it either as two sets of two-day walks, or as a four day walk.

No idea when I will do it. Maybe late summer, near August. Possibly early Autumn. But finish it I will.

The Scottish Enigma

Later this summer Catherine’s brother and his wife are moving to Vancouver for a few years and before they go there’s a large family holiday in the West Highlands, near Loch Tay.

Originally I’d thought we’d be able to combine that with a long distance route (thus killing two birds with the one proverbial stone. Unfortunately so far we haven’t managed to find one that fitted in with our timings, where we’d be, and how we’d get home.

Undeterred, our current plan is to do various day walks and walk between various places. So far we’re hoping to visit the Isle of Mull and Rannoch Moor, as well as getting some walking in around Loch Tay itself. So not much that will end up on this site. Well unless we nab some Munroes whilst we’re there anyway.

The Mystery Lake District Walk 2012

Last May I took a trip to the Lake District. It rained and was really windy. Later, in September, I did another trip. It rained. Heavily. Still I managed to do eight Wainwright fells even in such terrible conditions (if I’d had the weather I would have probably done about 20 in the same time.)

Despite the fact that the weather is always terrible, there’s something about Lakeland that keeps me going back for more and I’m planning on heading up over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. The intention is to get my tent out and aim for Eskdale and Wasdale as I’ve never been to that part of the lakes.

Should the weather go well my three day trip should take in Harter Fell, Green Cragg, Illgill Head, Whin Rigg, Slight Side and Sca Fell. And maybe even Scarfell Pike and Lingmell. Although those last two might be a tad optimistic. Especially if it chucks it down like it probably will do.

Indeed the whole trip’s up in the air until I get a better idea about the potential weather for the weekend. If the weather may be grim, I’m not sure I want to be in a tent, and so I may check in to Eskdale YHA instead. Well if it has any room left by the point anyway, and that’s not for sure. Otherwise it might be a trip to some other hostel in the Lakes and a few different set of fells. Or perhaps just sitting in a hostel room doing some writing instead.

We’ll see.

So anyway that’s the plan. And now I’ve written it down it’s time to make sure it all happens. Now, how do I do that again?

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