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Walking England October

Discussion in 'United Kingdom & Ireland' started by Lisa in Ottawa, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    We're enjoying walking in NZ so much I'm thinking of a walking holiday in England.
    Pauline, is October too late. Where would you suggest for the fall. We've never done Inn to Inn. I think we'd like to try.
    Here I am barely half way through this trip and thinking of the next one.
    artnbarb and Pauline like this.
  2. Hi Lisa!

    We're actually planning an inn-to-inn walking trip on the Southwest Coast Path in Cornwall in late September/early October... we were there last October a bit later in the month and it was cool (jacket weather) but fine then. Pauline will now more to advise you, but it would be fun if somehow we were walking at the same time. We LOVE the long distance walking in England (have done five inn-to-inn walks there plus day hiking in several areas).

    What areas are you thinking about? (I can give you some info about self-guided tour companies if you're interested in taking that approach.)

  3. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Dorset, UK
    October can be a very good month here.

    How about the Cotswold Way? 102 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath. We've done it 2.5 times, @Kathy has done it. I love that trail. You can do it in 7 days but I think that is too fast. 10 days is good. Our first time we did it in 13 days. The best company for walks in the Cotswolds (there are a few other long distance routes) is Cotswold Walks. I worked for Andrew for awhile and met him through Kathy who had him book her trip. He books the hotels/B&Bs and luggage transfer and gives detailed route notes. (You hardly need route notes for the Cotswold Way because it is so well marked.)

    I have a page about the walk on Cotswolder. We used to live in Painswick, the mid-point on the walk. This page lists all the long distance walks in the Cotswolds.

    This website shows you all the National Trails in the UK. These ones are the best maintained and marked.

    For non-Cotswold walks, I think Kathy used Celtic Journeys.

    The South West Coast path is 630 miles from Minehead (Somerset), along the north coast of Devon, all around Cornwall, back to the south coast of Devon, past us in Dorset, ending in Poole, Dorset. You could walk our section from Exmouth to Poole in 9 days.

    And, to get ideas for long distance walks all over Europe, I love to look at Inn Travel.
  4. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    Thanks, Kathy. Here I am in beautiful NZ and I'm writing about England. Right now I have the most idyllic scene unfolding at my window of boats bobbing in Marlborough Sound.

    Back to England. One of the reasons I asked about October was worry about rain. Cold isn't necessarily a problem. I don't think we want to do Cornwall area. I think of Cornwall as being cold and rainy. Or The Cotswolds as want to explore another area.

    We've never done inn to inn and it is appealing. Self guided for sure. Recommendations are welcome. Of course, would love to see you again.

    This is just the germ of an idea. Lots happening between now and then.
  5. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts


    I know you lived in Painswick. We visited you there:). I want to move beyond The Cotswolds. I read your Cotswolder many times when we were in Oxford and we did some of the walks.

    What do you think of October for other parts of the country? What about where you live now?
  6. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    After our walk today, Ron and I realized that with his arthritic toe issues, he can't due long walks each day. He'd be happier doing walks every other day and controlling the length. Plus he has to be able to make his morning coffee, of course. I like doing that as well.

    We've moved around with our luggage a lot on this trip in NZ and Australia we are currently on and having someone organize all of that was appealing. But we also love staying in cottages and doing our own thing.

    Kathy, I remember when we were in Cornwall many years ago how beautiful it was but I think we were there in June. We stayed in the village where the Doc Martin series was filmed. I forget the name. It was gorgeous.
  7. Cornwall is the warmest area of England... a subtropical environment... palm trees and beautiful gardens. We loved it there last October. (You stayed in Port Isaac... we did a day trip there.)

    For our upcoming walk in Cornwall, we told them we didn't want to do more than 10 miles a day. (Some days will be less.) But it sounds like that's more than you want to do. Maybe you'd be better off staying in an area where there are lots of possible walking trails as well as other things to see and do, getting a vacation rental and a car, and doing circular walks on some of those days with the help of a good guidebook.

    We like the discipline of walking every day from inn to inn and the adventures you have along the way. But we don't enjoy the longer distances any more (or maybe we never did), especially when there are lots of big hills. We also like staying in the different accommodations, especially the B&Bs where you really get to know some local people because you're staying in their homes. Those are some of my favorite memories.

    The walking in Provence is wonderful... and would be great in October. I know you've been there, but maybe something to consider... perhaps a different area of Provence?

    Just FYI (and for anyone else who may read this thread in the future), we've used and would recommend these companies for self-guided walks in the UK:

    Cotswold Walks (Andrew Guppy) - mentioned by Pauline above. An expert on the Cotswolds.
    Sherpa Walking Tours - we did both of our Coast to Coast walks with them, plus walks in Ireland (not good), Alsace and Switzerland
    Celtic Trails - located in Wales and organized our Offa's Dyke walk. We'll do our South West Coast Path walk with them too.

  8. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    Thanks, Kathy. Very helpful. I'm going to look at Celtic Trails. We've been doing a lot of walking here up and down and Ron seems ok after his foot loosens up. I'm not sure why I have this image of Cornwall being cold. I'm geographically challenged but think of Devon and Kent as being warm spots. I'm going to study a map.
    I've just read about Inn Travel recommended by Jonathan.
  9. jonathan

    jonathan 100+ Posts

    That Inntravel holiday that I reviewed recently was based on staying in a cottage and doing our own thing, but with the booking of accommodation & travel, & rental car, all fixed by Inntravel (useful when it's a new area for us, as was La Palma), plus a really comprehensive folder of walks, cultural & historical info.

    As you'll have seen from their website, they also do inn-to-inn walking holidays in lots of locations: we've never done one of these, but have seen good reviews.
  10. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Dorset, UK
    I thought we saw you in Oxford and Bath. I forgot you came to our house! Geesh - what a memory I have!!
  11. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Dorset, UK
    We did many trips to the UK before we moved here, always renting a cottage and doing walks from there. It is my favorite way of walking because you can take a day off when you need it, you can make your own coffee every morning and I can cook our dinners. I can see the appeal of Inn to Inn walking, but it isn't for us.

    The warmest part of the UK is London and the southeast (Kent, Sussex, Hampshire). The next warmest is the southwest (Dorset where we live, Devon and Cornwall). Devon can get a lot of rain in the winter - more than Cornwall I think. Dorset is dryer than Devon and Cornwall. Our neighbor has a palm tree.

    There is a lot of walking in our area and the local buses are good. You could be based near Bridport and walk the coast path from Exmouth to Poole using your car and buses or taxis to return to it. We did this on the Cotswold Way and we have done this for parts of the South Coast Path here. Plus there are many circular hikes off the Coast Path, or inland.

    I would love to see you both again and we could do some of the walks together.

    Here is a cottage that we rented and liked: Sweetbriar Cottage from Dream Cottages. Here is my list of agencies for Dorset.

    If you decide to come here, I can do some searching and checkout cottages. I think there are some in our village (Bothenhampton). From here you can walk into Bridport (30 mins) or to West Bay on the sea (30 mins).

    I post photos nearly every day on Instagram and they share with my Slow Europe page on Facebook. You could have a look back to last October to see what the weather was like.
  12. Eleanor

    Eleanor 100+ Posts

    October is a lovely time of year for walking and the autumn colours will be at their best. You still have reasonable daylight as long as you avoid visiting after the clocks have changed. The weather can also still be quite warm then too.

    We regularly used to go to Northumberland in October and I have to confess this is my number one choice for that time of the year. . There is marvellous walking along the Roman Wall and South Tyne Valley, which includes part of the Pennine Way. Haltwhistle is a good place to stop. Alternatively there is Keilder Forest (the largest man made forest and man made lake in the UK) and the North Tyne valley, basing yourself around Bellingham. Or else you could head for the eastern edge of the Cheviots either in the Coquet valley or a bit further north around Ingram. There are wide open views and tremendous vistas. Compared with some other parts of the country, this receives fewer visitors. They all rush through on their way to Scotland, not realising just what they are missing...
    artnbarb and Pauline like this.
  13. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Dorset, UK
    That's a good suggestion. I have an article about Northumberland:

    The College Valley in Northumberland, by Colin Corlett, August 2014
    A Visit to a Forgotten Wilderness in the Cheviot Hills
  14. Eleanor

    Eleanor 100+ Posts

    That is a great article and really catches the atmosphere and feel of Northumberland.
    Pauline likes this.
  15. PatrickLondon

    PatrickLondon 100+ Posts

    I've done a self-guided walk with baggage transport along part of Hadrian's Wall, with Contours, and would certainly recommend them (and second the advice above about Haltwhistle if you prefer a fixed base). Contours do walks just about everywhere. Some people I met were using a firm called Mickeldore, and they seemed pretty content with them. There are so many companies in the same sort of business, I suspect they're all about as good as each other.
  16. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    Not only that but you and Steve visited us at our place in Oxford. Guess I'm forgettable.
  17. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    I think I'm keen on your area. I checked out Dorset cottages and they have some in Bridport.
    I like Celtic Trails and they have some walks of just a few days.
    I know Ron would be happier renting a cottage.
    As we still have 1.5 months to go Down Under, this may have to wait till our return and we assess things.
    Pauline likes this.
  18. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    OMG, Pauline that cottage looks gorgeous and reasonably priced. I would book it now if I could.
    Ron has a book to write before January and is afraid all this travelling will prevent him from doing it.
    Pauline likes this.
  19. Ian Sutton

    Ian Sutton 500+ Posts

    Norwich, UK
    ... and if you want dry, heads over to East Anglia. Everyone else takes the rain before it gets to us!
  20. Lisa in Ottawa

    Lisa in Ottawa 500+ Posts

    Does Sweetbriar have wifi? It must if you stayed there but no mention on website. I sent an email and got an auto response that individual who responds is away till March 14th. Bizarre. What if I wanted to rent now. I guess one could phone.

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