Monday, 12 May 2014

Inspiring you to walk

Hello. I've gone through your comments again and picked out the questions which need a reply.
Linda asks, 'What is through the archway to the hotel, in South Cave?' I didn't take any pictures because I didn't have time and I have been there before. If you look at this post you will see the hotel and the pond in the extensive grounds.

Mary asks, 'Which of my walks have I enjoyed most?' Difficult to pick one out, Mary. There's been good and bad parts in all of them. No particular one stands out as the best. I liked the excitement and challenge of the first one, Blackpool to the Humber Bridge, but the last day of 30 miles was a killer. The River Trent walk was the easiest because the B & B's were booked in advance. The downside was walking to a timetable. Morecambe to the Humber Bridge was the longest at 162 miles, and passed through some beautiful Yorkshire countryside. The North East Tyne to the Humber was the most varied, passing through industrial areas as well as the coast and moors.

Lori asks, 'What is an AA box?' The Automobile Association is a recovery service, you pay a membership fee and they come and rescue you if your car breaks down. In the early days, before mobile phones, they had AA boxes all over the country, and the members had a key to unlock the door. Inside was a telephone, so you could call someone for help. Nowadays everyone has a mobile so the boxes are no longer needed.

Kathy asks, 'What has been my favourite part of the walk?' After the Yorkshire Dales and villages, it is the nice people I have met. Everyone is friendly when you travel alone with a rucksack.

Anon asks, 'I should have asked for sponsors for the cat rescue charity?' I love it that people want to help, but at the moment we have enough money to cover our costs. We collect bricabrac to sell at car boot sales and events. Of course if anyone offers money we would gratefully receive it, but I am not happy about asking people for sponsorship knowing that they may be struggling to survive on their income. No one should feel obliged, or be made to feel guilty if they are unable to afford to give to charity. I feel quite strongly about that. Also, I do not donate myself to any request of sponsorship via 'Just Giving'. I do not put my bank or card details into a web site, I don't trust it, so I wouldn't ask anyone else to. If I want to give to charity I give cash locally or send a cheque through the post. Thank you to those who would like to sponsor my walks, I would be happy if you gave a small donation to your local charity, but only if you can afford it.

Gam Kau asks, How heavy is my rucksack?' Sorry I don't know, I haven't weighed it  Heavy ish.

Janey asks for a map of the track I took? I am not technically minded enough to transfer all that information to the blog. I do a rough check of the daily and total miles on a web site called Bikehike, and when I have finished the walk I check exact miles. I could take screenshots from there but it would take hours to do that. 158 miles of walking covers a lot of maps, I could photograph them but you wouldn't get much detail.

Anon asks about hostels. Sleeping arrangements, privacy and security. Hostels have mainly dormitories from four beds to twelve beds. Some now have private double and family rooms. There isn't much privacy if you share a dorm if it is full. Some have en suite, but most are separate shower and toilet facilities. But hey, all girls together, nobody bothers. Some hostels have lockers in the dorms, which are lockable, you need to take a small padlock and key. Those without lockers you keep all your valuables on your person. I use a bum bag and a money belt.  Take a look at Kettlewell Hostel to give you an idea.

Gail asks, 'How do I plan my walk?' First I start with an idea, where do I start and where do I finish. My first ideas were train across the country, walk back. Did that three times. Follow the river from where I used to live to where I live now. River Tyne to the River Humber, some coastal walking. I tend to stick to Midlands upwards. I would like to walk further south, but it would mean two days travelling. When I have the idea I borrow maps from the library and lay them out on the floor, and study them. Looking for footpaths, towns and villages where I might find a bed. Then check distances between places. When I have worked out a possible route I usually go to this site and print out the maps I need. A tip if you use this, change print options to Landscape. I bought some OS maps for this last walk, but not all of them, because I wanted more detail for the Yorkshire Dales. If you are in an area where a lot of footpaths meet you need a clear detailed map. No, I don't use an ipad, or any electronic maps. If you do use these you still need paper maps if you are travelling over long distances. Squinting at a small screen is not the easiest way to work out a route over twenty miles. And it will need charging up.

I hope that has clarified a few points, thanks for asking. I'm pleased to read that some of you are inspired to try some walking, no matter how short the distance to start with, you can always build on it. If it is a nice day, get off the bus a few stops early and walk for 20 minutes. When I travel on a bus I am amazed at how close together the bus stops are. Yes, lots of stops are needed for people with mobility problems, but young able bodied people could easily walk a bit further. Sometimes I come back from town on the afternoon bus full of college students. I often get off at the other end of the village and finish the journey on foot.

Must go, things to do. Toodle pip.


  1. We did a lovely walk today across that took us across the beach and cliffs, you would be proud. Have to say I'm pooped now mind.

    X x

  2. Thanks for answering our questions!
    We have the Appalachian trail close to where I live, but it is more of a strenuous hike through the mountains. I don't think we have many footpaths between towns here in the U.S. so I find your walking tours fascinating. Thanks for sharing your trips with us.


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