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Hiking 101

Hiking 101

Hiking is making a bit of a comeback recently with people of all ages reaching out for their long laced boots and a pack of plasters before setting off up mountains, round gorges and through the Great British countryside. But what if you’re interested and you’re not sure of where to go, what to do or even how to get started? Look no further, help is at hand!

Hiking Al_HikesAZ / Foter / CC BY-NC

Start by getting together a basic kit. If you’re not sure what you need or how much to take then ask an expert in an outdoor shop, visit a specialist website such as nightgear or even perform a simple internet search asking your question. Even Wikitravel has something to say about it so you’ll be sure to find some advice if you start searching in the right places.

Next, research areas that might be of interest for your hiking trips. Start locally and work out around the UK and even abroad for when you get confident and addicted to the walk! Popular destinations in the North of England include the Peak District, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire Moors.

Personally, I would recommend starting off with a local route that is well travelled, popular and relatively easy. A good example of a starter hike would be a section of Hadrian’s wall. In its entirety the wall spans over 135 kilometres which might be a bit too far for your first hike! There are many walks both circular and linear around the wall, you aren’t expected to simply walk the length of the wall and be done! Pick a section carefully and make sure that you have someone to pick you up at your end point, (or that your end point has a train/bus station) so that you don’t get stuck if you are walking a linear route.

Hadrians Wall Hiking
Hiking Hadrians WallSam and Ian / Foter / CC BY-NC

The walks themselves range from very easy strolls following the line of the wall to more challenging hikes through the nearby countryside. The surrounding landscape is stunning and immensely varied, providing a fantastic backdrop for your first hike. In addition, the whole area is steeped in Roman history and there are fascinating facts, stories and legends to discover along the different sections of the wall.

As far as starter hikes go, you could do a lot worse than a Hadrian’s Wall hike but if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, try researching your local area and see what is there. You might be surprised to discover the perfect hike is right on your doorstep.