Frequently asked questions
Any designated walk over 20 miles (32 kilometres) is considered a long distance path.
The UK has some of the most amazing scenery in the world. Walking provides the best opportunity to experience this at your pace.
This depends upon a number of factors; e.g. do you want to do a National Trail such as Hadrian’s Wall or something more offbeat like the Viking Way through Lincolnshire? Also, it depends upon how much time you have available for your trip.
There are hundreds of long distance walks in the UK, ranging from 20 miles up to several hundred miles.
This depends upon a number of factors (fitness, terrain) but a good rule of thumb is that an average person will cover 2mph. This means 16 to 20 miles per day is perfectly achievable. Nevertheless, it is up to you what you want to do and it is fine if you want to take your time and cover just 5 to 10 miles per day.
It is possible to walk in the UK all year round. However, long distance walking in the winter can be more challenging because of poor weather and limited daylight hours. Therefore, the best time for walking is April – October.
Aside from having a basic level of fitness, the most important thing is to have a good pair of boots that have been worn-in before you start out. We would recommend going to a specialist outdoor shop to get your boots fitted. Make sure you also have proper liner socks and outer socks to help prevent blisters.
Always carry a good supply of blister plasters. You must apply a plaster at the first sign of blister. This should then deal with the problem. You should always seek medical advice if you have any concerns.
Walking is a low-impact activity but you should consult your doctor before embarking on a long distance walk if you have concerns about your health.
We have set out separately a recommended kit list but the key point is to keep this down to a bare minimum. A spanish proverb sums this up neatly ‘on a long journey, even a straw weighs heavy’.
If you have kept your packaging to a minimum, then you should be able to carry your kit easily. However, if you prefer, then it may be possible to arrange a ‘sherpa’ service whereby your main kit is ferried between your accommodation stops.
This depends upon your route but it is usually possible to find traditional bed and breakfast, pubs & inns with rooms, hotels and Airbnb. Camping is possible but limited availability on routes means that it is not normally worth the effort of bringing a tent, sleeping bag etc. when you may only be able to camp for one or two nights.
It is best to have breakfast at your accommodation. You can normally purchase a packed lunch from a local shop. Dinner in a local pub is always a good option.
Although most long distance paths are well sign-posted, it is always worth having a map to hand. Downloading Ordnance Survey maps onto the OS app is a good option. With your route finder switched on, you can track your progress against the path shown on your phone. Guidebooks are available for some of the better known routes.
Public transport is usually the best option. If you then need to get from the train or bus station to the drop-off point, it is advisable to book a taxi in advance. Sometimes it may be necessary to stay the night before in order to make an early start.