Long Distance Path 2010

Until just a few days ago I had no idea where I was going to walk next year – normally by this time of the year I know what I’m going to be doing and I’ve even started planning it and booking it. This year I’ve been busy doing other things in what would normally be a quiet part of the year for me walking wise – the weather is normally pretty dreadful and I tend to do less walking in the autumn – not quite proper winter walking and not pleasant summer walking any more. I’ve been writing a guide book for one thing, which has held my concentration and I’ve focussed on little else for the past seven or eight weeks.

However, last week, the people at Trailblazer Guides asked me to review a couple of their new titles. One of these was the new edition of the Pennine Way and after browsing it for a while and picturing some of the scenery in my head from day walks I’ve done along it, I decided! Next year it’s the Pennine Way for me.

I’ve looked at how much holiday it will take and if I put aside my remaining days for this year, I can probably manage 13 or 14 days leave in one lump, which should give me enough for 17 days walking and 2 days recovery before going back to work.

I’ve decided to walk in May again, but I’ve pushed the date back a week from my usual “last couple of days in April” start date and I aim to begin on the 5th or 6th of May – or thereabouts. That is usually a good time of the year to walk – it’s not too busy – no school holidays or anything – weather is generally quite good – not too warm, not too cold and it gives me something to aim for at the beginning of the walking year; a target to get fit for, which generally sets me up for a fine summer of walking with fit legs beneath me.

I’ll be walking solo again – I did the C2C with Tex Gore this year and although walking as a pair has some great advantages and I really enjoy the crack – I did miss some of the “solitude” time I get when I walk alone. I just hope that I can steel myself to some of the rigours that Pennine Walking can throw at you when I’m walking alone.

I’ll be doing a 17 day schedule, probably including the Bowes alternative as this allows me to take an extra day and have three short days in the middle of the walk, rather than 2 much longer days. I will also be attempting the final 27 mile stage in one go – which will be the longest single day walk I’ve done to date (unless I somehow manage to finish the Lyke Wake between now and then).

Anyway – have to go now, I’ve got to book Keld Lodge! I’ve been looking for an excuse to return there ever since our C2C in May. I’ll update with more planning activities as they take place.

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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9 Responses

  1. Kevin Potts says:

    Fantastic website. Love reading about your walks and experiences. Did the Pennine Way in 1996 (15 days) and 2004 (13 days) and am itching to do it again. Have got at least one more in me!

    • lonewalker says:

      Thanks Kevin, the Pennine Way is a very special walk and I have the great honour of updating the next Trailblazer guide book for the walk. I hope I’ll still be walking it in 20 years!

  2. Devin Matlock says:

    Thanks for the great write up. I am considering the Pennine Way for my next LDWA in April next year.

  3. Gregg Neilson says:

    Glad to see you have found the right boots for the walk. A good pair of boots is like having a trusted companion along. I see you are staying at Woodland House in Cowling, a great place and hosts and a superb restaurant down the road.

    I’ll be in Keswick when you are in Dufton, so near yet so far, especially when walking. Too bad I won’t see you this trip; I’m starting from Ulverston 3 days after you leave Edale, paralleling you up to Carlisle. FYI, my b&b/hostels average £31.90, not too bad, even though the most expensive is £69 at the Royal Oak in Rosthwaite. I would have been happy with one of your 45 pounders.
    Have a great walk and eat well. I’ll read your blog when I return.

    • lonewalker says:

      Gregg – hope you have a great walk. I may get the bus into Carlisle on Tuesday 18th – I only have a short 7 miles from Greenhead to Once Brewed and thought it would be a good opportunity to spend a half day relaxing. £69 sounds like a small fortune for a walker – I hope the place is a luxurious as it deserves to be at that price.
      If you want to add this journey to your site I will be more than happy to accommodate it of course.
      Fingers crossed for good weather for both of us 🙂

  4. lonewalker says:

    At the end of the day Dean, this is my holiday so I intend to enjoy it and using B&Bs is one way of doing this and hang the expense 🙂 and so is using a baggage courier. I do take my hat off to you for the way you did the PW and to all the others who backpack it. Maybe if I was 10 or 20 years younger 🙂

  5. Dean says:

    Hi Stuart,

    Staying at B&Bs along the whole route is definitely the sensible thing to do. I personally love hostels though… but that could be because they’re like heaven after a few days camping. It still looks like this is going to be costly. I think when I did the PWay it cost between 2 and 3 hundred squids. Not bad as there were some hostels thrown in there… Then there’s the phenomenal calorific intake. There’s something undeniably satisfying about throwing any old crap down the food shute knowing you can get away with it. 🙂

  6. lonewalker says:

    Martin – thanks on both accounts – I am planning on being much fitter by the last day, so that should make the task easier in theory. I have just emailed the Ancient Unicorn for availability – fingers crossed. 🙂

  7. Martin Rye says:

    Pennine Way is a fantastic walk. The last day is not hard. Just a long day. Time you do it you are fit from all the walking to get there. Bowes has the Ancient Unicorn so go there. Still my best long walk I have done. Enjoy it.

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