Here we are, ten days in to a new year and I’d like to spend some time looking ahead to potential aims for my time spent outdoors in 2018.
I’m really hesitant to use the term ‘adventure’… I’ll be writing more about that in another post
Leading Walks and Camping with Group
It goes without saying that I’m committed to walking with Brunel Walking Group for the duration of 2018. Aside from the fact that I am now the group’s Footpaths Secretary, I aim to continue leading walks, going away on camping trips with the others and keeping an eye open for other activities that become available.
In 2017, I think I led a total of eight walks and went on three away weekends… Despite saying to myself a year ago that I wouldn’t lead any more than three! We can I’ll be leading at least half-a-dozen in 2018.
The Ridgeway (backpacking)
I still have an interest in backpacking some of the UK’s National Trails and, although The Ridgeway didn’t happen in August of September, I’m currently pencilling it in for mid-to-late May 2018. I’ll be writing (and vlogging) more on this in time.
I have very recently joined the Long Distance Walker’s Association, under the recommendation of two friends who are existing members. This opens up greater opportunities for long day walks, meeting people and exclusive discounts.
Dorset / SWCP
It’s been almost three-years since I last spent an entire weekend in Dorset. In 2014, Dorset was the basis of my first ever ‘solo trip’ and I’ve completed many of them since (including a return visit in 2015).
I’ve walked a good number of miles along the South West Coast Path through Dorset but I know there are still some gaps to fill in. Breaking the SWCP down in to regions seems like my most practical way of completing the coast path.
I’ve only been to Cornwall once (as an adult) and that was in the midst of a mid-July heatwave in 2016. I’ve been itching to go back and add to my fifteen miles of hiking along the Cornish coast. Depending on what becomes available in the walking group’s calendar, I’d really like to go back.
There’s talk of a small number of us heading to Snowdonia for a few days in April… The Snowdon Horseshoe and Tryfan have already been discussed! I’ve been to the region twice now, in recent years but have yet to even attempt Snowdon.
Even if it’s overcrowded and the views from the top are non-existent when I do get there, I’d like to be able to tick it off. I’d also like to do Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike in time but I feel Snowdon is ‘overdue’ for me, personally.
I’ve been curious about the Cambrian Mountains for a while. Not far south of Snowdonia and west across the marshes from Shropshire. Within these mountains lie the source for the River Wye and River Severn. I get the impression they’re not as frequently visited as other parts of Wales and, well… They’re a range of mountains!
My first visit to Shropshire in August 2016 was an all-round great experience. I do get the impression that too many people make the mistake of bypassing the area en-route to other areas, north and south.
I’d like to go back and bag a couple of other summits, including the region’s highest point. There was casual talk, a few months ago, about going away with someone but I’ve no certainty of the idea, at this present moment.
I haven’t been abroad since July 2004. Only a few months ago, I bothered to renew my passport. A small group of us were talking about a ‘hiking holiday’ to the Nordic island and we postponed initially, in the interest of allowing ourselves more time for planning.
Word on this front has been very quiet for several months. I could be the brave one to stand up and ask the question but that’s not really in my nature!
I mentioned the River Severn earlier and, although you’ve yet to read about this in my posts, I’d started walking more of the Severn Way, locally; a long-distance footpath (over two-hundred miles) that follows the river from the centre of Bristol all the way to the Cambrian Mountains.
In recent years, I’ve already walked short sections of it around Severn Beach and in Gloucestershire. I’ve been plotting circular walks as far north as Tewkesbury – beyond there, I’ve found it harder to plot circular walking routes. But it’s enough to keep me interested.
Several times, I’ve told myself that, once I have completed The Ridgeway, I could attempt to walk the Cotswold Way in one go.
But, I’ve already covered a fair portion of it in circular walks and, instead of backpacking, I’m not aiming to commit to walking it at weekends, using circular walks and public transport where practical. It’s mostly the northern end that I’ve barely covered.
East Mendip Way
I’ve walked the West Mendip Way a number of times and, until only three days before writing this, I had not completed the East Mendip Way… You’ll get to read about it, soon!
I’ve not set even a single foot on this land and yet, over Christmas, I’ve become addicted to a YouTube channel called Summit or Nothing. Lots of people have made videos about walking and camping there but, through the experiences of Trevor and Nathan, I find myself feeling less intimidated by the prospect of walking a boggy and arid landscape.
There’s a slim possibility I’ll do my first wild camp or ‘overnighter’ there, this year… It will largely depend on how confident I’m feeling. I’ll probably get a couple of walks in, first.
I feel sorry to realise that I haven’t set foot on Exmoor for over a year now! August 2016. Despite making a pledge last year, I’m sure; to invest more time exploring this moor in 2017. There’s also an urge to continue walking the South West Coast Path through here.
Two Rivers Way (Video)
The Two Rivers Way (or 2 Rivers Way) is a local long-disance linear path (albeit, only twenty-miles long) that follows the rivers Yeo and Chew locally, from the village of Congresbury out to the town of Keynsham.
I’ve already completed the walk in sections but I’d like to try and raise awareness of it by filming the route as well.
Somerset Three Peaks (Video)
I have a similar interest with the Somerset Three Peaks path; a sixteen-mile circuit that climbs no mountain but, it does warrant some excellent views, a good workout and I’d like to share that with people in video format.
Quantock Greenway, North (Video)
One third idea for a video is the walk the Northern section of the Quantock Greenway circular route. A good introduction to the hills, perhaps. Also a challenging walk, from memory.
Along with the walking videos, I’d like to maintain a regular stream of uploads to my Olly Outdoors channel. I reached the one-hundred subscribers mark before Christmas and will be doing a one-off video to commemorate that. Kit reviews and vlogs of items I’ve purchased will also feature.
Another intention of mine is to find myself a workshop in 2018. How that will happen, where, when and how that will affect these ideas… Right now, I’m unsure!