From time to time a book arrives and it is a perfect combination of things I like to do.
The book this time was ‘Wild Pub Walks’, published by CAMRA. For me, that’s a perfect match.
A damn good walk followed by a pint or two of the local ale. This is the first of the Peak District walking routes we followed.
Having just completed the ‘Dark Peak Challenge’ the weekend before, it was a good time to return with Penny (my wife) to try out one of the walks in the book.
The book contains 22 more challenging or interesting walks than the usual thing you find around your ‘Local’. The routes vary from a handful of miles to more demanding walks into mountains and hills which will build up a thirst for that beer at the end of the hike.
We picked a walk from Hayfield over a high point in the Peak District, Kinder Scout. The route is about 10-miles long and has enough ‘elevation’ in it to make your lungs wonder what the hell you are doing to yourself. The author of ‘Wild Pub Walks’, Daniel Nielson, says the walk should take between 4 and 6 hours.
It’s amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it.
After many years of walking no more than 10 miles in a single walk, it was time for me to get back into more challenging hikes in Britain. Having completed the first challenge (The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge) in May this year with two pals of similar age (we are in our early-50s), we decided to follow it up with a second hiking challenge.
But, finding a circular walk which would be long and challenging enough was a little trickier than I expected. There are plenty of linear, long-distance hikes, but not so many circular routes in Britain which you can complete in a day.
Thank goodness for Google. After an hour or so searching online, I came across The Dark Peak Challenge on ‘The Walking Englishman’ website, run by Mike Brockhurst. It’s 21-miles long with 1,286 metres to climb. It would take 8 or 9 hours to complete. Perfect.
The route is in the Peak District National Park, which is about two hours from where we all live in Lincolnshire. Being just east of Sheffield makes it easy to access.