Planning next year’s trips

Ok, so I can hear you asking why I’m planning for next year rather than actually getting out there and walking now. Well, it’s quite simple really – I have to go back to work and earn the money to pay for the walking. I don’t live anywhere near hills, so don’t have the luxury of popping out for a hillwalk just like that. And, to tell the truth, I’m a bit of a fair weather walker…

Now it’s quite rare for me to do any hillwalking at all once the schools have gone back for the autumn term, and having had six months off from working, I’m not going to get any more time apart from the odd local walk at weekends. So the best I can do is start thinking about what I want to do next year.

Living where I do, I have to plan my trips to get the most out of them and make them cost effective. And even in a walking season where I’m not working like this year, I still find I do my walking in a few large blocks of time, planned around family commitments etc.

In 2011, my trips/walks have been:

  • The Cumbria Way (March-April)
  • Roseberry Topping (April)
  • Snowdonia (May)
  • South West Coast Path (Dartmouth to Plymouth) (May)
  • A stroll on Stanage Edge (May)
  • A section of the North Downs Way (June)
  • A big Lakes trip to bag Wainwrights and Nuttalls (July)

…and that’s about it, apart from odds and ends of local countryside walks.

Next year, I don’t expect to have quite so long off, so some thought is needed as I may only be able to do 3/4 trips max…

First, the last 4 years we’ve done a chunk of the SWCP, so it’s clear that one of my trips will probably be that. That usually takes place in mid-May. So I started thinking at a high level about that one at the weekend.

Second, I always do at least one Lake District trip each year, so that will be one. And looking at my wallchart, it will probably be in the Far Eastern fells, which I’ve barely touched. But that brings its own planning headaches – without a car and reliant on public transport when up there, and the fact that accommodation is scarce in that area, means it looks like a lot of wild camping – not something I’ve done much of.

Thirdly, for the last couple of years I’ve planned to do a whole long distance path, and finally this year I did. And I enjoyed it and want to do it again. This year I had also originally planned to do the c2c, and/or the Cambrian Way (the Cumbria Way was only supposed to be the training walk for those!) , but those were both casulties of planning and higher priorities. Since then, I’ve discovered a couple of c2c alternatives – The Alternative Coast to Coast (ACC) and the Ravenber Way – and I think I’ll make up my own route by combining the bits I want from those two and the “official” c2c.

Finally, I’d like to do another trip equivalent to the Snowdonia trip this year, but somewhere different.  I won’t think about that one for a long time, and if I have to ditch one it’ll be that one.

And I really must finish the North Downs Way which I started in 2006! That’s something I can do in the “off-season” – I just need to fight the lethargy and do it.

Oh yes, and I’ve had an idea for another out of season project – I’m thinking of writing a new guide to a local(ish) path as the official one is out of print. But let’s see how we go…

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