The #1 Guide To The Hadrian’s Wall Baggage Transfer

The #1 Guide To The Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer

The Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer article we have put together below is aimed at helping you choose between the various business who offer their services on the popular Coast to Coast trail stretching 190 miles from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay. To find out more information on the Coast to Coast visit our walk page here

Many popular long distance trails in the United Kingdom are now supported with Baggage transfer, which opens the trails up to individuals of all abilities, rather than hardened backpackers or lightpackers.

With any of our articles, we encourage you to contact the companies we suggest to see which works for you.

Ok! Here are our pick of Coast to Coast baggage transfer companies.

Sherpa Van

Sherpa Van provide luggage transfer services on a number of long distance walks, either as part of their excellent accommodation booking services, or as a stand-alone service.

Sherpa Van offer an online booking element to their business making it particularly easy to make arrangements without having to pick up a phone, or to-and-fro with emails. The online system does require some tedious inputting of details in order to share your accommodation information for each day of bag movements required. However you have the assurances of booking with a well regarded business who employ local drivers to move your bags.

The terms of their Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer are as follows:

£9.45 per bag per movement
A minimum of £25 per booking
A minimum 1 bag for walks duration with a maximum of 20 kg per bag
A £25 non-refundable deposit is payable at checkout
If you only need 1 – 2 moves please contact the office for pricing

Coast to Coast Packhorse

A fitting name, for a business who specialise in moving bags. If you are looking for a luggage transfer business who know the trail well, and can provide an unparralelled service on the Coast to Coast walk then look no further than the Coast to Coast Packhorse. 

Of course packhorses would be a slow way of moving bags, and likely the prices would be higher. So instead your bags are moved by able bodied drivers and their trusty vans. 

In addition to providing baggage transfer, Coast to Coast Packhorse also offer the following:

Passanger Transfers, Car Parking, guided and self-guided cycle tour packages (including GPS and bike hire), running tours, again both self guided, and guided and of course walking packages. 

The terms of their Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer are as follows (copied from their website).

Excellent working relationship will all accommodation hosts
Regular as clockwork and fully reliable
Tags and labels sent out to you in advance
Excess baggage storage and delivery to final destination
Prices for walkers from £10.00 per move OR £140 for up to 16 moves (whichever is lower)
If booking less than 24 hours before first transfer – £11.00 per move

Lake District Baggage Transfer

Lake District Baggage transfer are a new business, started in Late 2020. We did a piece about them here.

They offer baggage transfer on a number of routes, including the Cumbria Way, Cumberland Way, Eden Way, and all versions (cycling, walking & running) of the Coast to Coast walk.

The terms of their Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer are as follows.

Prices from £24.00 (£12.00 per bag)
Maximum transfer distance per bag, per day is 30 miles
Bookings made within 24 hours of pick up are subject to a 10% surcharge
Maximum weight per bag is 20kg

The 10 Essentials of Hiking/Backpacking

Whether you’re going on a day hike or a thru-hike there are some things that should always be in your pack. These are known as the Ten Essentials, and was originally complied in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organisation for climbers and outdoor adventurers, to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors.

These days the original list has expanded in to categories, rather than specific items, and everyone has their own preferences for each item. So, want to know what you should be taking with you when you venture into the great outdoors?

Here’s my take on what the essentials should be:

Shelter

You should always ensure that you have a shelter of some kind, incase you get stuck out in the wilds or caught in horrible weather. For a backpacker this will be your tent/tarp/hammock, but for a day hiker this could be a lightweight bivvy sack.

What I have: NatureHike Cloup UP 2

My NatureHike Cloud UP 2

Navigation

Kinda goes without saying, but getting lost is a bad idea. Carrying a paper map and compass (and knowing how to use them) could save your life, and is an essential backup to the electronic navigation options. Most people will have a smart phone, and there are some great apps out there for finding trails (Alltrails, Gaia, Hiiker, OS maps are all great options!), but even these will only work if you have battery and phone signal. The next step up, would be a personal locator beacon, like the Garmin InReach. I don’t have one of these yet, because they generally require a monthly subscription, but it’s definitely on my ‘to get’ list.

What I have: Paper OS map and compass, Komoot app, Hiiker app

Light

A head torch is the go-to for most on the trail, simply because it leaves your hands free. Essential if you’ll be doing any portion of your hike in the dark, or setting up camp after sunset. I also have a small backup torch, and of course, my phone has a torch option (but remember, if you are using your phone for navigation, that you have limited battery life).

What I have: Cheap head torch from Aldi, pocket torch and phone.

First aid

Always carry a basic first aid kit. Plasters, anti-septic cream, insect repellent. When walking for miles, you need to take care of your feet! If you’re a larger person, like me, anti-chafe powder or cream could make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the trek. I also keep a silver foil ‘space blanket’ in my kit.

What I have: Plasters (various sizes and types), anti-septic cream, roll of leukotape, safety pins, paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-histamines, gloves.

Sun protection

Kinda self-explanatory, but getting sunburn (or heat stroke) would be an unpleasant way to remember your hike. Sun protection isn’t just sunscreen, it can also be a hat, sunglasses and UPV protective clothing. Most importantly, don’t forget to reapply often!

What I have: SPF 50 sunscreen, baseball cap, hiking shirt with UPV protection

Repair kit

Having a way to repair kit is extremely important, especially on longer treks! Your kit could include patches for tent repair or to patch punctures in your inflatable air bed/pillow. Duct tape for repairing pretty much anything. A small sewing kit for torn clothing. A knife or wire-saw to be able to prep wood for a fire. Safety pins. It’s up to you, but take a look at your kit and try to think of how it could break, and what you would need to patch it up long enough to get a replacement.

What I have: duck tape (small amount wrapped around a straw), patch kit for my airbed and tent, sewing kit, small Swiss army knife.

Fire

Having a way to start a fire, for warmth/light/protection, can be the difference between life and death in an emergency. I always carry at least two different ways of started a fire, normally a ferro rod and a lighter. But waterproof matches, tinder and/or a stove, are also good options.

What I have: Ferro rod, lighter and cook stove.

Food

It goes without saying, but walking for miles is hungry business. Always carry more food than you expect to need. Even if its just an extra backpacking meal, or a couple additional chocolate bars.

What I have: I always have an extra ration and snacks.

Water

Water is heavy. So it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to carry enough for a multi-day trip in your pack. But even on a day hike, it’s a good idea to have a way to purify water in the event of an emergency. If you drop your one and only water bottle and spill its contents, you need to be able to safely refill it from a stream/river/pond. There are lots of options for making water safe, from a life-straw, Sawyer water filters, to tablets, always have at least one method with you.

What I have: I have a Sawyer filter, and I also keep sterilisation tablets in my emergency kit.

Clothes

 At the least, always carry a spare pair of socks. Your feet take a beating, and having something warm and dry to put on when you stop can be a life saver. Hats, gloves, bandanas, waterproof jacket and trousers, buffs. Anything that might add a bit of extra warmth and keep the weather off. Hypothermia is never a joke, and can happen even in the summer months. (I’d recommend learning the signs and symptoms of hypothermia, so that you can spot it in the early stages.)

What I have: a full change of clothes, separate sleep clothes and at least one extra pair of socks.

So that’s it. The essentials. Whether you carry them all on a short day hike is up to you. But definitely make sure you have something for each category on a multi-day trek. The worst time to realise you need something is in an emergency, so plan ahead and stay safe out there!

What else do you carry that you consider essential?

The #1 Guide To The Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer (2022 Update)

The #1 Guide To The Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer

The Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer article we have put together below is aimed at helping you choose between the various business who offer their services on the popular Coast to Coast trail stretching 190 miles from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay. To find out more information on the Coast to Coast visit our walk page here

Many popular long distance trails in the United Kingdom are now supported with Baggage transfer, which opens the trails up to individuals of all abilities, rather than hardened backpackers or lightpackers.

With any of our articles, we encourage you to contact the companies we suggest to see which works for you.

Ok! Here are our pick of Coast to Coast baggage transfer companies.

Sherpa Van

Sherpa Van provide luggage transfer services on a number of long distance walks, either as part of their excellent accommodation booking services, or as a stand-alone service.

Sherpa Van offer an online booking element to their business making it particularly easy to make arrangements without having to pick up a phone, or to-and-fro with emails. The online system does require some tedious inputting of details in order to share your accommodation information for each day of bag movements required. However you have the assurances of booking with a well regarded business who employ local drivers to move your bags.

The terms of their Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer are as follows:

£9.45 per bag per movement
A minimum of £25 per booking
A minimum 1 bag for walks duration with a maximum of 20 kg per bag
A £25 non-refundable deposit is payable at checkout
If you only need 1 – 2 moves please contact the office for pricing

Coast to Coast Packhorse

A fitting name, for a business who specialise in moving bags. If you are looking for a luggage transfer business who know the trail well, and can provide an unparralelled service on the Coast to Coast walk then look no further than the Coast to Coast Packhorse. 

Of course packhorses would be a slow way of moving bags, and likely the prices would be higher. So instead your bags are moved by able bodied drivers and their trusty vans. 

In addition to providing baggage transfer, Coast to Coast Packhorse also offer the following:

Passanger Transfers, Car Parking, guided and self-guided cycle tour packages (including GPS and bike hire), running tours, again both self guided, and guided and of course walking packages. 

The terms of their Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer are as follows (copied from their website).

Excellent working relationship will all accommodation hosts
Regular as clockwork and fully reliable
Tags and labels sent out to you in advance
Excess baggage storage and delivery to final destination
Prices for walkers from £10.00 per move OR £140 for up to 16 moves (whichever is lower)
If booking less than 24 hours before first transfer – £11.00 per move

Lake District Baggage Transfer

Lake District Baggage transfer are a new business, started in Late 2020. We did a piece about them here.

They offer baggage transfer on a number of routes, including the Cumbria Way, Cumberland Way, Eden Way, and all versions (cycling, walking & running) of the Coast to Coast walk.

The terms of their Coast to Coast Baggage Transfer are as follows.

Prices from £24.00 (£12.00 per bag)
Maximum transfer distance per bag, per day is 30 miles
Bookings made within 24 hours of pick up are subject to a 10% surcharge
Maximum weight per bag is 20kg

10 Long Distance Hiking Trails In the North Of England

The North of England, whose physical boundary is much debated, depending on how ‘North’ you reside. Regardless, Northern England beautiful part of the country, which so much to offer those traveling on foot. For the purpose of this guide, we are looking at routes from the Peak District to the Scottish Border.

The countryside in the North is home to 4 National Parks, from the rugged mountain scenery of the Lake District to the gritstone moors, and limestone dales of the Peak District. The Yorkshire Dales, and Moors grace the county of Yorkshire with much interest, yet very different landscapes, and the Northumberland National Park further up North is abundant with forest.

It’s no surprise that a number of well-recognized long-distance trails have emerged over the past 20-30 years in the North. In this guide, we will be looking at the top 10 long-distance trails in the North of England.

The Coast To Coast Walk


First and foremost on this list is the Coast to Coast walk.

Wainwrights Coast to Coast walk spans 182 miles and can be walked over 12-19 days. The route takes walkers from St Bees on the North West coastline and finishes in the quint Yorkshire village of Robin Hoods Bay.

Walkers are in for a treat with the Coast to Coast, with cuts through 3 National Parks, starting in the Lake District, before going through the Yorkshire Dales and finishing in the Yorkshire Moors

The route has been made famous by the well-known gentleman who first devised, and walked the route – Alfred Wainwright, who trespassed for much of the route prior to well-established paths and rights of way being in place for walkers. The appeal of the Coast to Coast and many UK long-distance trails is the sense of exploration you get.

The Dales Way


The Dales Way runs 84 miles from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere on the banks of Lake Windermere in the Lake District. The route follows riverside paths and travels through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and then the rolling foothills of the Lake District.

There is much to see on the Dales Way, including a couple of spectacular viaducts, the ruins of Bolton Abbey, and a number of quaint villages along the way which really give you a sense of that idyllic village life.

The beginning of the route will see you walking along rivers, which will feel steady and enjoyable. Do be aware however that the middle section will be over more remote moorland which will require a little more concentration as you keep tabs on where you are.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way

The Yorkshire Wolds way is ideal for those who are looking for a relatively straightforward, well-signposted route, but with almost nobody else walking it.
With the Yorkshire Moors in close proximity, the Yorkshire Wolds AONB remains a little unknown gem of English countryside which is so often overlooked by walkers. This makes an excellent reason why you should walk the Yorkshire Wold’s Way National Trail. 

The Yorkshire Wolds Way starts in Humber and finishes in Filey. The route ambles through dales, woodlands, and agricultural countryside. The walk is ideal for those wanting to wild camp due to the absence of tourists. However, those wanting to stay in nice places will be treated to quite a lot of choice.
For a summer walk away from the crowds, here is your pick.

Derwent Valley Heritage Way

The River Derwent is an 80km long river which starts in Ladybower, at its source in Ladybower Reservoir, and finishes at Shardlow, south of the city of Derby. The Peak District is a busy National Park but much of the route is serene riverside with some busier sections through the towns and villages you pass.

Much of the route is downhill too as you are following the direction of the river. The highlights are the historic spots on the way. The river is rich with natural, and industrial history – being a key route to many exports of old and an engine to many old mills on the route.
If you are looking for a straightforward, and highly enjoyable route to walk with lots of history and interest this one not to be missed.

Peak District Boundary Walk

The 190 mile Peak District Boundary walk is a circular long-distance hike that loosely follows the boundary of the Peak District National Park, starting and finishing in the historic spa town of Buxton. 

The walking itself is incredibly varied, with a lot to offer, from walking through a number of pretty boundary villages, such as Hartington, and Thorpe, to enjoying views over Chatsworth House. The walk is however harder than some. It’s not particularly well recognized as it’s only been recently developed therefore luggage transfer isn’t readily available. That being said, it’s fully waymarked, with a good guidebook to assist you on your way. A set of two OS Maps are essential purchases and cover all areas of the walk. The route follows established footpaths with generally good levels of accommodation.

The Northumberland Coast Path

Castles and long beaches. That neatly sums up the 74 mile Northumberland Coast Path that stretches from Cresswell to Berwick-upon-Tweed. This relatively flat walk will be of great appeal to those who want a coastal walk, untainted by the busyness of some other coastal areas in the UK. Expect a number of really interesting historic waymarks on the route, such as Bamburgh Castle, and The Holy Island which is cut off from the mainland daily due to the causeway which drops below the sea when the tide rises.

The Northumberland Coast Path is an ideal long-distance walk for those looking for a coastal walk without the ups and downs along high and unforgiving cliff edges. Instead, you will be treated to unspoiled wild coastline with steady terrain throughout the hike.

St Oswalds Way

The 97 mile St Oswald’s Way Pilgrimage runs from Heavenfield to Lindisfarne and is plotted along the same trajectory of the king St Oswald, born in the 7th Century. 

Hikers start at Heavenfield under a wooden cross erected by Oswald before he defeated the Welsh and Mercian forces. The end of the route at Lindisfarne is the burial place of Oswald, well at least his head…

The route itself follows part of the Hadrian’s Wall from Chollerford, before heading across open countryside to the Northumberland Coast Path. Highlights include medieval abbeys, neolithic sites, sites of scientific interest, heather moorland, and of course the Northumberland Coast Path

The Hadrian’s Wall Path

This article would not be complete without the inclusion of the famous 84 mile Hadrian’s Wall Path. After all, how could you miss the great wall in the North? The original wall, designed to keep those pesky rampaging Scotts out of Roman Britain.
What was a fine fortification built from sea to sea, stretching from Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway is now a ruin for much of its length, but it has some well-preserved sections along the way. In addition, it also has some well-excavated settlements, garrisons, and fortresses.
History aside, the Hadrian’s Wall Path makes for some excellent countryside walking. Along the route, you will pass through several small villages and larger cities such as Carlisle. There is an abundance of B&B’s and campsites on route making this a walk that suits walkers of all preferences.

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a fantastic route running through one of the UK’s best loved National Park, The Lake District. The route was created by the local Ramblers Association back in the 70s. Walkers start in the town of Ulverston and finish in Carlisle.

 The start of the route is low-level walking. After Langdale, hikers will start to gain height with some breath taking mountain walking over Stake Pass, Skiddaw, and High Pike. Finally, you will drop down into easier walking through woodland and fields before walking into Carlisle. The walk is an incredible way to experience the Lake District National Park, and the wider county of Cumbria. It’s a bucked list essential walk for hikers of all experience

The Cleveland Way

The 109 mile Cleveland Way National Trail runs between Helmsley and Filey, cutting through the North Yorkshire Moors. The route is 110 miles in total and was actually the second National Trail in England and Scotland to officially open. You will start il Helmsley and cross farmland and heather upland before meeting the coastline ad Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

 At this point, you will head south down the Yorkshire Coastline. You will pass several quaint fishing villages and towns such as Whitby, and robin Hoods bay before finishing the route in Filey.

Must-Have Advice, Tips, and Info for First Time Long Distance Hikers

Walking your first long distance trail? The only thing that can match the thrill of your upcoming adventure is the feeling of overwhelm which comes with attempting to plan and prepare for your trip.

From how to get to the start of the route, and what to take, to what to expect on the way, and even what essentials to pack. 

That’s why we have taken the time to round up a full rucksack load of tips and tricks for walking your first long distance trail in the UK. Partially put together with the help of our experienced community of long distance hikers. 

This article is designed for walkers staying in hostels and B&B’s rather than camping or wild camping.

Plan Early

Long distance hiking is only growing in popularity. UK trails are some of the best in the world and despite our relatively small size as a nation, we have a lot of walking on offer. That being said, there are some trails which tend to attract a lot of attention, and its perfectly OK if you have planned to walk one of the busiest routes. For example the West Highland way, Hadrian’s wall Path, or South West Coast Path.

Rooms sell out quickly on these routes, so to avoid lengthy transfers to and from the trail, in a hotel several miles from the route, plan early. 6-12 months in advance is ideal for getting availability in the hotels you want, but if you can plan easier than that, you have the first pick.

Book Direct for the best price

To get the best room rate in a B&B, Hotel or Hostel, book direct, especially if the place you want to book with is showing availability on Booking.com, Expedia etc. Often these sites take a big commission, and your accommodation will be delighted to offer a small discount for your direct booking. 

Book online for speed

That being said, if you don’t have time to call around and book direct then most places can now be booked online. Be sure to double check that the accommodation you are booking is in the right location, and make sure you are aware of some of the different cancelation and payment policies before you commit. Most B&B’s are pay on arrival or departure, but many will also want to take card details as a backup, or a small deposit. 

Be careful of AirBnB

I’ve not got much against AirBnB. I’ve used it myself lots of times. However luggage transfer companies do sometimes struggle to deliver to unmanned accommodations. Make sure that if your AirBnB is a remote access accommodation, or is a homestay, that somebody is there to receive, and hand over your luggage if thats being moved for you. 

Make table reservations

If booking your own trip, be sure to make table reservations at local restaurants. Some destinations and overnight stops get very busy, and with only one or two restaurants available the spaces fill up quickly. To avoid disappointment, call in advance and book yourself a table. You will thank yourself for it later. 

Compare luggage transfer costs

On most of the major long-distance trails, you will find a range of luggage transfer options. Compare costs and weight limits as they all vary a little. On all of our walk pages, we offer a luggage transfer comparison to help you get the best rates and prices. 

Don’t skip the travel insurance

If coming from overseas don’t skimp on travel insurance. Our health service is free for some services to international visitors, but not all. 

Shop around if you use a tour operator

You may have come across a number of tour operators on you way to this article. Thats great, and I imagine you may be considering booking with one of them. Be sure to do your homework on tour operators. Some are better than others. 

Buy train tickets early, but no too early. 

The optimal time to buy your train tickets is 12 weeks ahead of travel. You can buy all train tickets online, which is cheaper, and easier than buying them at the stations. Also, many rural stations, which are often the gateway to the start of your walk do not have ticket machines so buying tickets here is not possible. 

Don’t expect nice trains like in the EU

Our trains are old and outdated, especially on lesser-used lines. Don’t expect them to be modern trains like in the EU unless you’re on a long journey on a mainline. 

Check parking arrangements in advance

If you are planning on arriving at the start of your walk by car, be sure to pre-book a car parking space in advance. If you are staying at a B&B or Inn sometimes this is available. Alternatively, there are car parking apps that allow you to rent a private space on a driveway. 

Carry cash

The vast majority of businesses will take card payments. If you are traveling from overseas make sure you have a debit card, such as a Visa Debit. Also, have a float of cash for grabbing an ice cream or hailing a cab in an emergency. 

Call your B&B’s ahead of time

If you are staying with B&B’s it’s really helpful to give them a call ahead of time to let them know when you will be arriving. The difference between a hotel and B&B is the host will be expecting you and will be concerned if you don’t show. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your breakfast options with your host.

Expect to be offered a full English each day

A full English breakfast is a typical offering at most accommodation. You may well get very fed up with them after 14 days of walking. Don’t worry, cereal and toast are also on offer. 

Don’t pack your laptop

The best advice here is to keep it simple. And unless you are planning on incorporating your hike into a work trip, leave the laptop or tablet at home! Enjoy the opportunity to disconnect from the world and save yourself the risk of expensive electronics being damaged in transit. 

Pack light

Talking about your day pack here assuming your having your bags moved. Pack light during the day. You don’t need as much as you think you do.

Look after your feet

I recommend bringing a lightweight first aid kit. As part of that kit have some foot care kit. Fix up hot spots before they turn into blisters, and give your feet room to breath on longer days (taking shoes off during lunch). Also keep stones out of your boots. 

Go slow

There will be lots to see on your trail. From the many varieties of trees, streams and rivers, distant views, wildlife, beautiful stone-built cottages. Your walk will be rich in history and culture and the people you meet will be friendly and welcoming. Take it slow, enjoy it as if you’re sipping on a well-aged wine or enjoying some decadent chocolate.

Expect bad weather

Optimism is important, and here at DistanceHiker we have an optimistic outlook on life. However when it comes to the british weather, verge on the side of caution with the weather. Even if your not walking on higher ground, be sure to pack essentials for bad weather such as waterproof trousers and jackets. We can get bad weather in the middle of th summer months, despite increasingly warmer temperatures year on year. 

Pack sunscreen

As the previous point it is getting warmer each year. Pack sunscreen. Theres a good chance you will need it if you are walking in the summer months. 

Plan miles you can manage

A lot of guidebooks will be broken into 10-15 mile sections. Don’t feel you have to tackle your walk based on the suggestions of a guidebook. Most walking routes have a number of ways you can tackle the trail. If you need alternate daily breakdowns of milages and overnight stops look at the itineraries on walking holiday companies websites. They often give you an accurate idea of milages, and overnight stops where your likely to find accommodation. If you are comfortable walking 8 miles a day then walk 8 miles a day. If you only want to walk 3-4 then walk 3-4. After all, this is your walk. 

Bring an umbrella 

Lightweight hikers may scoff at this. There are some good quality, strong and lightweight hiking umbrellas out there. They serve two purposes. When it rains, you stay dry and when it shines, you stay cool.

Read your guidebook, and explore your maps before you go

I strongly recommend reading your guidebook from start to finish, and exploring your maps before you go. Therefore, you will be well prepared for any difficult sections but also features along the way. 

However don’t over plan

This advice is personal. Don’t over plan to the mile. There’s something to be said about taking things as they come and simply enjoying the walk without having every detail planned out.

Pack wholesome food

It’s important to pack good quality wholesome food to keep you going while on the trail. Dried or fresh fruit, nuts, good quality cereal bars. It all helps, eat little and often as you go, refuelling for a good lunch in the middle of the day. 

Hydrate

I recommend a good quality bladder over a set of water bottles. And I mean good quality – don’t cheap out on a bladder. You will regret it when your pack is soaked with the contents of your bladder. That aside, a good quality bladder will allow you to have cool water on hot days, on tap as and when you need it. They hold a good amount of water, and centralize the weight of the water on your back, making the heaviest thing in your bag more comfortable to carry.

Hike your own hike

You have probably heard this before. Hike your own hike. Quite simply, don’t worry about the fast packers hiking past you at a lightning pace, caring the lightest kit on the market.

Money-Saving Tips For Your Long Distance Hike!

I have spent a lot of time thinking about putting together the ultimate money-saving long-distance hiking resource for everyone who wants to hike the UK. The Ultimate Money-Saving Long Distance Hiking Guide is my attempt to put all of my knowledge into one place and make it easy for other hikers to do their research with less effort. There are many places on the internet that cover long distance hiking in general, but I wanted this to be another tool that long distance hikers could refer back too.

Travel

1. Plan Your Travel To/From Your Destination In Advance.

If your using public transport, or even a hire car to reach the start of your trail I suggest planning and booking these services in advance. Don’t leave it until the last minute to get your bookings in, otherwise, the prices hike, especially for trains.

Travel Off-Peak

Off Peak travel is almost always cheaper. It’s quieter too, so try to plan your travel around Off-Peak Times. Off Peak in the UK is any time other than mornings (commuting hours), afternoons and weekends.

Bus Travel Is Still Cheaper

For the ultimate budget, experience travel by bus. National Express or Megabus are two reasonable options that often offer open returns to allow you to be more flexible with your arrangements.

Hitch Hike

Ok, ok not for everyone but if your really keen on saving the pennies hitch hiking may be for you.

Booking Accommodation

Book In Advance

The same rule applies to accommodation as it does for travel. Let me put it this way. If you make arrangements 4 weeks before you start walking all the cheap rooms will have gone and the price of your walking break will go up.

If however, you plan ahead the price will be a lot better since the budget rooms will still be available.

Stay In Hostels

Hostels still offer a great choice for budget-conscious travelers. Don’t be afraid to jump in a dorm room too. Often they offer an opportunity to get to know other hikers walking in the same direction and therefore a bit of company the next day. Just don’t forget to pack earbuds. There’s always a snorer ZzZzZzzzzz…

Book Out Two Nights

If public transport is adequate you will often find the rate for two nights is better than a rate for a single night, especially on weekends. Essentially B&Bs would rather you book for two nights so its always worth asking if they can offer you a better rate for an extended stay.

Book Out More Than Two Nights

Again, if you can make use of public transport why not book 3-4 nights, such as on sections of the Hadrian’s Wall Path where buses are available to take you along sections of the walk.

AirBnB

Airbnb isn’t quite what it used to be but some good deals can be found there. It should still be on your radar.

Camp! 

It’s cheaper than the rest, however, you do need to carry your kit.

Or do you… Check out Hadrian’s Haul luggage transfer services.

Saving Money On Food & Drink

Bring A Thermos Flask

Instead of stopping at each coffee shop you find bring some coffee or tea with you. That way, whenever you get a nice view you can stop for a brew.

Buy Lunch From Your Accommodation

Most B&Bs offer a packed lunch for about £5.00. It’s often far tastier and better value than the pre-packaged lunches you can buy from a Tesco express. It’s also more portable and lighter on the stomach than a heavy pub lunch.

Skip Dessert

Desserts are always the most overpriced, yet nutritionally lacking part of any evening meal. By all means enjoy eating out, but skip dessert.

Eat In

Most B&Bs will be happy for you to order in a take-away (if available in your area), or better still will cook for you. Often much cheaper than going out to the pub for an evening meal.

Visit Your Chippy

Fish and chips are always a winner and often the cheapest option

How To Hike With A Baby

Although my quality days on the hill are limited at the moment and have been for the past couple of years, my experience of hiking with family in tow is growing.
Sure, hiking with the limitations of kids can be frustrating. However in other respects, it makes you think a whole lot differently about your level of preparedness, and route planning.

Without kids, you can, for the most part just plot a rough route of sorts, and just go. So long as you have the essentials (food water, first aid kit, layers, map, compass), you are adqauately preparared. Getting lost is fine, as it just offers you a fun opportunity to find yourself again.

However with kids its different. Their time on the hill will be limited, their tolerance to being lost (and possibly cold) is also lower, and their need for more stimulation than just straight walking for hours on end is also high.

I hope this guide helps you to get the most out of hiking with your baby, toddler, or young kids.

Buy A Good Quality Sling

I’m guilty of cheaping out when it came to buying a good baby carrier and I regretted it. Babys are heavy, moving objects, which unlike static items on your back, like to shift their weight. Baby carriers come in many shapes and sizes, but don’t got for an excessively engineered one. You want to be looking for a carrier which has the baby as comfortably close to your back as possible.

Slings are great for this, as they keep the baby tucked right in to your back, and therefore stop you from getting pulled back with the heavy baby seated at the top.

Also, don’t buy one of these shoulder baby carriers. They may look great, but I can guarantee that having baby sat on your shoulders for several hours of hiking is not good for your spine.

Treat carrying a baby like carrying any other heavy load.

90% of the weight needs to be on your hips, and 10% on your shoulders.

The Littlelife Adventurer is probably one of the best carriers out there, simply because it keeps baby quite close to your body.
I personally rate, and use the ergo-baby which allows me to keep baby really close to me, and has a lovely thick velcro band which fits around my waist, keeping the weight evenly distributed.

Bring Snacks And Water

The first time I took my little boy out on a proper hike I was woefully under-prepared. 

I took him, with a couple of friends on an 8 mile look of the Strines in the Peak District on a grey, wet and windy day. 

I had packed some flap jacks, which were more for me than Noah, and some sandwiches. His cold little hands couldn’t eat the sandwiches very well, and he really wasn’t into the fap jacks. 

What he needed was sweets, dried fruit, warm drinks, and simply lots of little snacky bits and pieces rather than the manwich (man sizes sandwich) I had made for him. 

He was hungry, cold, and not happy. 

Fortunately he fell asleep after I wrapped him up in my insulated layer, and woke up in sunshine feeling much happier with himself. 

I had learned my lesson, and that was to pack an endless supply of snacks rather than a big lunch. Think of snacks like motivation to keep going. Kids march on their stomach.

Some snack suggestions are:

  • Dried soft fruit, such as rasins, berries, figs, apricot
  • Chocolate
  • Jelly babies
  • Mini picnic foods, such as small pasty’s, sausage rolls, boiled eggs
  • Fresh fruit such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas
  • Things you can forage on the trail such as blueberries and blackberries 
  • Breadsticks and crackers
  • Biscuits

You get the idea. Anything packable, exciting and snack worthy is great for kids. Have food prepared for a lunch stop, but don’t forget to pack food to eat throughout the day.

Give Your Kids Their Own Packs

I remember when we first purchased Noah his little life backpack. It had a stripy black and yellow bee design on it and allowed Noah to store his own little bottle of water, hat gloves. 

Giving him ownership of a few essentials was, and still is really exciting for him. 

Now he is older, he has a hiking bag. This bag is filled with his water bottle, waterproof, hat (sun hat for summer, warm hat for winter), gloves etc. He also carries a pocket knife too. 

This works great for us as it makes Noah feel like a grown up, wearing a pack like mummy and daddy, all the while taking some weight of our backs. 

Prepare For The Weather

Preparing for the weather, especially with children is really impotant. I’ve got this wrong on occoason, and the anxiety aroudn our changing british weather can cause you to pack too much.

This is an issue in the spring and autumn months, when its still likely to be hot, but also likely to rain.

The consequencei s that you end up taking everything you think you need but you only use 10% of the kit. 

My advice here is to invest in two things. 

Lightweight Layers

Buy lightweight waterproofs, and insulation layers rather than big heavy things. If you do need to carry everything at least make it lightweight kit. 

Storage Bags

Instead of rummaging around at the bottom of your pack for your kids sunhats devide up your family kit into seperate bags. That way you can easily access what you need.

Storage Bags

Instead of rummaging around at the bottom of your pack for your kids sunhats devide up your family kit into seperate bags. That way you can easily access what you need.

Pick And Awesome Route

You probably already know that kids love variety. 4 hours of walking along flat canal paths is just not going to cut the mustard.

Instead pick routes which offer adventure.

Remember ‘We’re going on a Bear hunt’?

Forest, stream, mountain if your kids are ready.

And if you don’t have these things close by at least mix it up with some woodland, some views, and somewhere that the kids can be let loose to climb, crawl, and generally be messy. 

Top 10 Hadrian’s Wall Self Guided Walking Tours

There are a lot of businesses offering Hadrian’s Path Walking Tours which is unsurprising given the popularity of this iconic walk. 84 miles of excellent and varied walking along a UNESCO World Heritage site lends itself to walking tours and customer demand. Tours of the wall vary from business to business, with some offering self-guided routes, and others offer guided walking holidays. Here I will focus on self-guided tour operators offering a standard 7 Day itinerary along the wall. Ok lets go.

The Natural Adventure Company

The Natural Adventure Company, founded by Blue Peter Presenter, Peter Duncan, and aims to be an affordable, yet ecologically sensitive tour operator who offer self-guided walking holidays throughout the UK, and the rest of the world.

The Natural Adventure Company, are also a member of Responsible Travel, which only boosts their eco-credentials.

Useful Information

Price for an 7 Night Itinerary: 

£590.00 Per Person (2021)

Send The Natural Adventure Company an Email

Contours Walking Holidays

Contour’s Walking Holidays, founded in 1996, boasts the largest offering of UK based self-guided walking tours. Within that offering, they sell Hadrian’s Wall self-guided walking tours to customers from around the world. Contours provide excellent personally visited accommodation options in 3-4 star mid-priced accommodations, along with maps, guidebooks and discounts for repeat customers.

They are a safe pair of hands for first-time walkers looking for an established business to help book up a walking holiday.

Useful Information

Price for an 7 Night Itinerary: 

£595.00 Per Person (2021)

Send Contours an Email

Macs Adventure

Macs Adventure is a well know and trusted provider of self-guided walking and cycling holidays in the UK and beyond. They have a few offices dotted around the world but are based in Glasgow. Macs Adventures Hadrian’s Wall offering is similar to Contours in both price and materials.

Book with Macs Adventure because – They have the best customer service.

Useful Information

Price for an 7 Night Itinerary: 

£575.00 Per Person (2021)

Send Macs Adventure an Email

Hillwalk Tours

Hill Walk Tours are a relatively new tour operator based in Ireland. They originally started offering walking breaks in Ireland and are slowly branching out from there. They now sell tours in Scotland and England too, and include the Hadrian’s Wall Path in this offering.

Hill Walk Tours have excellent feedback, and like Contours and Macs Adventure benefit from having a full team of individuals behind the scenes making the magic happen.

Useful Information

Price for an 7 Night Itinerary: 

£729.00 Per Person (2021)

Send Hillwalk Tours an Email

The Difference Between Hiking and Walking

What is the Difference Between Hiking and Walking?

I’m going to come clean with you. On Distance Hiker you will hear both the words ‘Hiking’ and ‘Walking’ used. In this article we look honestly at the difference between Hiking and Walking with the aim to clear up any confusion.

I’m really sorry if this causes any confusion, but Distance Hiker just sounded so much cooler when I registered the Domain name than ‘Distance Walker’. I mean, anyone can walk – you learn that at 1-2 years, but hiking? Now there’s a whole different story, after all, who doesn’t want to be a self confessed hiker? 

Here in sunny Britain, we generally tend to call any activity which involves putting two feet in front of each other in steady succession walking. We have walking club, walking trails,  walking holidays, walking tours, walking shops, you get it, we generally call it walking.

But to add to confusion we also walk to the shops in addition to walking up big hills for several miles, and even walking for multiple days. 

We even have an organization called the Long Distance Walkers Association who are there for Long Distance walkers like you and I.

Despite what some will tell you, that there is a difference between walking and hiking, I can assure you that there really isn’t

Walking and hiking both involve the very natural action of moving forward only using your feet – going at a pace which isn’t running or jogging.

However hiking does conjure up images of you going up mountains, through forests, and being in the wilderness. It’s a more inspired word which I believe sums up what you are doing with no further explanation. Lets face it, hiking sounds more romantic. 

For example, a wife tells her husband:

“Honey, i’m going for a walk, i’ll be back in a few hours!”

Husband replies:

“Ok! Are you walking to the shops, we have run out of bread, and grab me a beer?”

See? Walking can mean you ar going anywhere which involves walking? Who hikes to the shops?

Not me. 

So there we have it. 

Proof (perhaps not) that there is no difference between Hiking and Walking. Any article which tells you otherwise is talking nonsense and/or way overthinking things. Now don’t get me started on ‘Rambling‘. I guess us Brits just needed a word to rival hiking?

Now, where are my boots? I’ve run out of milk.