What is a long distance walk anyway? A guide for beginner walkers and hikers.

Hiking in Mountains

The definition of a long distance walk is any walk that is completed over most of a day or over 20 miles in length. Another way to look at it is a walk that will take multiple days to complete.

There are lots and lots of walks available and you can find out about them from the Long Distance Walkers Association website. But do we define a walk by the time taken per day, the distance per day, or the distance over the whole trip?

There isn’t really an answer to this, but what every you deem to be a long distance, is a long distance walk. For me over 20 miles is a long distance. The next question is stamina. Do you have the stamina to complete a long distance day then repeat it again. This is my current stage of development.

The next stage you need to think about are breaking long distance walks into manageable and more importantly, enjoyable sections. I’m planning to complete the Weardale Way [https://durhamcow.com/walking/weardale-way/] in 2020 and need to spend time reviewing sections that I want to walk and where I want to make stops and camps.

The reason why this is important is because if you are a beginner, then you don’t always know wether you are walking enough to be a “proper” long distance walker. I’ll let you into a secret, no one knows, and even less people care.

Examples of Long Distance Walks in County Durham

EasyThe Consett and Sunderland Railway Path
MediumThe Weardale Way
HardThe Durham Round – find out all about that here.

These are all walks I want to complete.

3 Tips and Reminders for Long Distance Walks

  1. Don’t compare yourself to other peoples distances and times. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  2. Enjoy the time you are spending, the outdoors is a fantastic place to relax, recharge and extract from the stress of daily life.
  3. Plan a walk, but have a back-up plan. Tell people where you are going, leave your planned route with someone, arrange a pick-up point or even use modern technology to tell people where you are.

There are some fantastic walks that are accessible to almost anyone in the North East, as well as challenging routes for those that have the navigational skill and sense of adventure to tackle them. The main thing is to start, get off the sofa and get the miles in.

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