By: Blonde Two

I don’t know about you but, although I’m still enjoying my local lockdown walks, I’m also dreaming of walking routes that include post-lockdown big hills and wide empty spaces. Lonely Glen Etive in Scotland perhaps, or the historical majesty of Northumberland’s Hadrian’s Wall.

Dartmoor sits temptingly distanced outside my bedroom window. Out of reach but displaying all her weather moods, she whispers walking routes to me in my sleep. Last night I ‘visited’ Hangingstone Hill, a lonely (some might say godforsaken) spot, surrounded by peat bogs and somewhat creepy at dusk but definitely the stuff that imaginary lockdown walks are made of.

New walking routes to explore

My recent thoughts of walking routes have expanded beyond Dartmoor. Like so many people down here in the south, I’ve been dreaming of heading north to higher hills. These dreams have been aided by the arrival on my doorstep of two most excellent walking books (both by Vertebrate Publishing).

Day Walks in Fort William & Glen Coe – Helen and Paul Webster

Day Walks in Northumberland – David Wilson

Walking route books give you ideas

Although I always use a map as my first exploration tool, I also enjoy walking books, especially before I embark on my trips. I am fussy though and have a few requirements.

  • A walking book should be written by someone who really loves and understands their local landscape
  • A walking book should give precise but brief instruction including, where necessary, information about compass bearings
  • A walking book should provide a range of distance and terrain options

These two day walking books both fulfil all three criteria. Helen and Paul Webster are the authors of the fabulous Walkhighlands website, which I’ve used many times in the past, and David Wilson is a fellow GetOutside champion, and the most enthusiastic advocate of his region I have ever met.

Your day walk might not be the same as mine

The ‘day walk’ is of course an elusive thing to write about, and throws up any number of questions. How long is a day? How far can a reader walk? How far does a reader actually want to walk? Both books have done a grand job of offering timing and terrain options (despite Scotland’s steep slopes and Northumberland’s wild ground). I’m already looking forward to trying a couple, and feel the bones of a holiday plan coming on!

Plan now enjoy later

Both these books are so readable I am currently enjoying them as bedtime reading. When holidays and road trips are once again allowed, they will be coming with me in the camper van, and will hopefully inform some most excellent adventures.

From time to time we Blondes are sent free outdoor products to test and promote. We will always be honest about our findings and many products we don’t keep for ourselves find their way into our expedition stores. Great for us, great for you, and great for our youngsters!


A walk with surprises – Hadrian’s Wall and Sycamore Gap

Mountain Weather – Check MWIS before hill walking in Scotland