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Recommendations for beginners

Recommendations for beginners


Postby Father and son » Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:27 pm

Next summer, my son will be 11 years old, and I will be 54.
We love walking in nature, but we don’t do it nearly enough.

Here is my dream vacation with him:
-Between 7 and 10 days in Scotland
-Sleeping in small inns or B&B’s
-Routes that go through beautiful nature, but also the odd little village, where you can enjoy a lunch on the village square
-And maybe a castle ruin here and some other attraction there
-Someone to transport our luggage from place to place

This is something we want to do for pleasure. It is not supposed to be an exercise in self torment. I work in an office, I am NOT very fit, and I'm afraid we're not really up for walks that are longer than 10 km TOPS, maybe even shorter.

And I feel like all the trips I find are longer than that.
Maybe my dream vacation doesn’t exist?
Any suggestions/recommendations?

Kind regards,
Tue Gaston
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby jmarkb » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:22 pm

Welcome to WH!

Most of the standard long distance routes will involve much more than 10km per day. If you want to organise it yourself, then staying in one place for 2-3 nights, doing some local walks (maybe using public transport or taxis), and then moving on somewhere else might be easier than trying to find accommodation every 10km on a continuous route and sorting the baggage transfers.

It would not be the cheapest solution, but there are companies that will design customised walking holidays for you, and organise the all accommodation and baggage transfers, such as https://www.wildernessscotland.com/ or https://scotlandstrails.com/ .
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby allanglens » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:55 pm

If you are looking for an ''off the shelf' route, the Speyside Way looks like it could be broken down into 10k sections pretty easily.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby DopeyLoser » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:06 pm

Menu Walks > Search all walks
grades 1-3
max length 10km
within 100km of Inverness

returns 332 walks. They are shown on the map and there is a route description for each one.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby Tringa » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:26 pm

I'm probably misunderstanding but when you say, "Someone to transport our luggage from place to place.", does that mean you do not have your own transport and you'll be relying on trains and buses?

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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby al78 » Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:12 pm

Are you looking for a point-to-point long distance walk with daily distances restricted to 10 km, or are you also interested in circular walks that involve getting to a start/finish point? When you talk about wanting someone to transport luggage for you, it sounds like the former, and there are companies which will organise long distance walks with luggage transfer between overnight stops, but doing a long distance walk and restricting yourself to 10 km/day is going to be logistically hard. The long distance walks that I am familiar with that go through some of the beautiful parts tend to have one or more remote sections that involve a double figure mileage between overnight stops. The Scottish highlands are one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe, and there can be considerable distances between settlements with facilities.

The Speyside way would be good to look into as Moray is not so sparsely populated and there are plenty of villages that are quite close together which will have accommodation and places to eat. Another option is one of Julia Bradbury's railway walks starting in Callander and ending at Killin, going via Stathyre, Lochearnhead, glen Ogle, and Killin. From Killin you could continue along the south shore of loch Tay via Ardenoaig, Kenmore, then follow the Rob Roy way to Aberfeldy, Grandtully and finish at Pitlochry.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby davekeiller » Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:33 pm

10k per day is a bit restrictive!
Bear in mind that an averagely fit adult walks at between 3 and 5k per hour, so you're talking about a 2-3 hour walk each day.
In other words, if you take it easy and start walking at 10am, you'll be done by lunchtime.

Given that you say you already enjoy walking, why not spend winter weekends building up a bit of fitness, so that you can walk more like 20k per day. That then opens up lots more options, like the West Highland Way or Great Glen Way, both of which are "standard" long distance walks that are popular with beginners.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby al78 » Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:59 am

davekeiller wrote:Given that you say you already enjoy walking, why not spend winter weekends building up a bit of fitness, so that you can walk more like 20k per day. That then opens up lots more options, like the West Highland Way or Great Glen Way, both of which are "standard" long distance walks that are popular with beginners.


This is a good idea. Being limited to 10k per day sounds like an endurance issue, so building up your endurance will allow you to go further and open up more options. I would recommend going for a walk once or twice a week and going a little bit further every week. Your legs will initially be sore the next day because they are not accustomed to the distance, but the leg muscles will strengthen to take the load (muscles adapt to increased workload, that is how bodybuilding and strength training works). I would also recommend walking with a loaded backpack to strengthen the core muscles, get yourself used to carrying a load, and free yourself from having to have luggage transported.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby Father and son » Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:13 pm

Thanks for your replys, all!
This is very helpful!

And yes, maybe we could go on a little longer if we built up a bit of extra stamina before we went.


Follow-up question:
A friend I talked to came up with a solution so simple I don't know why I never thought of that myself: We could just call a taxi, when we feel like we've gone as far as we can for the day.

Is that doable?
Can you actually call cabs to come and pick you up out there, far away from everything?

Kind regards!
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby jmarkb » Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:20 pm

Father and son wrote:Can you actually call cabs to come and pick you up out there, far away from everything?


Yes, with some qualifications. Obviously your route needs to cross or be near roads sufficiently often. Depending on how close to civilisation you are, a taxi may take some time to arrive and may be quite expensive if it has had to come a long way to pick you up. You could also have some problems describing your exact location if you are not near obvious landmarks.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby al78 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:39 pm

Father and son wrote:Can you actually call cabs to come and pick you up out there, far away from everything?

Kind regards!


Yes up to a point. I did some trecking across Fisherfield and reached the Dundonnell hotel, at which point I didn't feel like carrying on with my planned route (due to very cloudy dull weather), so I called a taxi from Ullapool to pick me up and take me there, which is a fair distance but my destination was the same as the origin of the taxi so it worked ok for them. Scotland isn't that big a country and it is difficult to get a very long way away from at least one settlement with a taxi firm you can call. If you know where you are likely to be in advance on a day when you know you will need a taxi, look up the nearest moderate/large settlements and google taxi firms for those places. Pitlochry, Aviemore, Inverness, Fort William, Perth, Ullapool for example you can call for a cab.
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Re: Recommendations for beginners

Postby davekeiller » Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:03 pm

In theory you can.
However, in some areas taxis are used to take children to and from school. This means that if it's term time in that area, it will be very difficult to get a taxi between about 2pm and 5pm.
I'm not sure where you're coming from, but the holidays in Scotland are different to the holidays in England. Generally, July and the first week or two of August is the school summer holiday in most of Scotland.
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