Planning a Hike

My Hiking Plans for 2015

2014 was in many ways a disappointing year for me. At least as for as hiking goes. I had planned to hike around England living out of my backpack for at least a year and went so far as to give up my home to do so. However, after only a few weeks on the trail I had to abandon my plan and return to where I lived and find accommodation again due to unforeseen family issues. However, whilst this was disappointing, once I had settled in my new home it did give me time to think and to plan for 2015. My personal hiking goal for 2015 is to walk and hike 2015 miles during the course of the year and I have created a personal hashtag, #hike2015, that I will use across my social media platforms when attributing miles hikes to my personal goal.

Hiking 2015

 

I am lucky that I work for myself and am contracted to work for certain outdoor related companies thus meaning I can make a simple living out of my love of the outdoors. One such company provides baggage transfers and walk itineraries for anyone wishing to hike some of England’s long distance paths. Part of my work for this company involves me hiking those paths to gather up-to-date information of the paths and to take various media related to the path (photo’s, GPX data, video clips etc.) So, this year, I have planned a series of long distance hikes that will not only benefit my work, but also fulfil some of my personal hiking goals and I will be wild camping my way along these routes. I have also been asked to review various items of hiking equipment such as hiking boots, tents, sleeping mats etc this year by another outdoor company and my various planned hikes will give me chance to test these items fully. Below are the routes I hope to hike during 2015.

 

The South Yorkshire Way

The first route I have planned is The South Yorkshire Way or, more precisely, The Boundary Route as there are the two routes which make up the South Yorkshire Way, The Boundary Route and The Central Route. According to the routes website – “The Boundary Route is approximately 171 miles around the edge of the county of South Yorkshire, taking in parts of the Peak District in the west and the Humberhead Levels in the east and passing through wonderfully varied countryside and fascinating villages along the way.”  This is a new long distance path and was created only last year with the aim of being more accessible to walkers of all abilities and I plan on walking this path in February. You can find out more about this route here on  The South Yorkshire Way Website

 

 Map of The South Yorkshire Way

 

The Pennine Way

As this year is the 50th anniversary of the official creation of England’s first long distance path, The Pennine Way, I will also be hiking this iconic trail too. Listed in The National Geographic’s Top Ten Distance Trails I have attempted to thru-hike this famous path twice now – once when I was 15 years old and again in 2013 – and both times I only managed to hike half the route due to injuries sustained. Although I have section hiked all of the Pennine Way over the years, I am really keen to finally complete a thru-hike of what has become my nemesis trail. And what better time to hike what is arguably Britain’s premier long distance path than during it’s 50th birthday year? You can find out more this enduring trail here on The Pennine Way Association Website

 

 Map of The Pennine Way

 

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast

As one of Britain’s most popular long distance paths, the Wainwright Coast Walk was devised by Alfred Wainwright (AW) himself, and set out in his 1973 guidebook to the route and traversed what AW described as “the grandest territory in the North of England” Such is the esteem that this trail is held worldwide, Country Walking magazine named the route from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast the second-best walking experience on the planet. I have been keen to thru-hike this walk for many years and whilst I have hiked parts of the route I have never hiked all of it and those sections I did hike were part of other walks that I have done. So this year I plan on hiking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk, not only to realise a personal dream of walking this famous path, but also as part of my work this year. More information about this can be found here on The Wainwright Society Website

 

 Map of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk

 

The Cape Wrath Trail

Although not an officially recognised long distance path the Cape Wrath Trail is still a very well know trail even if it is not as popular a hiking trail as others I am hiking this year. This is probably due to the trails level of difficulty – the Cape Wrath Trail is arguably the most challenging trail in Britain! It runs from Fort William on the west coast of Scotland to Cape Wrath at the north west tip of Scotland and traverses some of the country’s most wilderness areas. I had initially planned to hike this route in 2013, but chose to hike the Pennine Way with a friend instead so I am very keen to hike this notorious trail this year. There isn’t a definitive route for the Cape Wrath Trail; due in part to the changing conditions of the landscape at various times of the year and it is this uncertainty of the path that draws me to it. It will certainly be a challenge and one I look forward to. One of the best internet resources for this difficult path is The Cape Wrath Trail Guide, a website created by Iain Harper  who has not only hiked this trail many times, but has also written the definitive guide book to the trail. I actually reviewed the first edition of The Cape Wrath Tail Guide some time ago and you can read my review here…Book Review: The Cape Wrath Trail  by Iain Harper – A Cicerone Guide 1st Edition

Map of The Cape Wrath Trail

 

Two Moors Way: The Devon Coast to Coast

Having never hiked in Exmoor and only having two day walks in Dartmoor under my belt I have always wanted to hike both moors and what better way than by hiking this 100 mile path from Lynmouth on the north coast of Exmoor (between Ilfracombe and Minehead) to Ivybridge at the southernmost tip of Dartmoor? This is a strictly personal walk and one that has been pushed to the back of my mind over the years due to other commitments. The Way, the oldest regional footpath in Devon, links the only two National Parks in southern England, and crosses both of them north-south. It passes through landscape of exceptionally high quality including the high moorland of some of the Dartmoor and Exmoor sections as well as the deep and wooded valleys of the moorland edges and between the moors. More information about Devon’s premier walk can be found here The Path That Links Two Moors

Map of The Two Moors Way

 

The Millenium Way

This 100+ walk was bought to my attention via @MILLENNIUM_WAY on Twitter and appeals to me as it’s based in the Midlands, England. The official website describes the route thus:
“The MILLENNIUM WAY – a fabulous walk in the heart of England. The walk offers the opportunity for a diversity of experiences. Each Shire county has its own unique characteristics – Worcestershire with its rolling countryside – Warwickshire still boasts of the Forest of Arden – skirt briefly through the delights of Solihull Borough with its charming villages and imposing castles — enjoy the delights of Northamptonshire shrouded in history – truly a walk of a lifetime, and all yours in 5 days!”
More information on this walk can be found on the official website here The Millennium Way

 

Map of The Millennium Way

 

These are the walks I have planned so far for 2015, however I expect to add more walks throughout the year. There are paths in Wales and Ireland I would love to hike this year and also other trails in England too, but these will be planned as time goes on – further walks will be subject to time and work commitments. I will update this blog post as the year progresses so stay tuned 🙂

16 thoughts on “My Hiking Plans for 2015

  1. Chris, I too had the Two Moors Way on my list for this year, but have since revised the plan to focus only on the Dartmoor bit as I realised that was the bit that interested me. If you want any company, just shout…

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