I can pinpoint the very day that I became hooked on walking, early March 2010, which makes me a relative novice in the walking fraternity. A trip out into the Yorkshire Dales to try out a new waterproof was enough to set me on the path to where I am today.
I’m fortunate to live in the heart of West Yorkshire; a 2 hour drive can get me into the heart of the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District or even Snowdonia – this makes it very easy to get out as much as I possibly can.
At first it was following routes prescribed in books and on the internet; heeding the words and advice of people far more experienced than I before routes became more self-propelled and adventurous. There was no order or grand scheme to any of my walks, just the desire to see some of the finest scenery this country has to offer.
Things changed a few years ago.
After meeting up with a group of people from a popular walking website I became good friends with a seasoned veteran, a battle-hardened hiker whose passion for the fells of Lakeland was infectious. This coincided in my wife persuading me to start writing about my walks in a blog and I decided that climbing the 214 Wainwright fells was a worthy challenge as my 20s drew towards and end.
I've fallen in love the Lake District. It’s an adventure playground on an epic scale where you can make a day out as easy or challenging as you want, be it the West Wall Traverse on Scafell or a wander around Buttermere. There’s nothing better than opening up my 1970s tourist map of the Lakes and picking an adventure for the weekend.
As I approach the end of the Wainwright challenge (199 if you were thinking) I’ve cast my eyes a bit further afield in search of further excitement. The Lakeland fells in winter. The sweeping ridges of Snowdonia. Dare I say the Munros of Scotland?
We’re lucky to live in such as unique, diverse country and the best way to explore it is on foot.