A Guide to Backpacking

By on October 9, 2013

Many trails and pathways crisscross England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These trails and the diverse terrain provide much for all casual and serious backpackers. Getting to the trails is convenient when simply choosing one of the forms of reasonably priced public transportation options. Additionally, lodging for backpackers in or near civilization is inexpensive in the numerous hostels found within the vicinity of major cities. Backpacking in the United Kingdom is a true adventure, and it is a great way to explore the British Isles.

Footpaths

National Trails – In England and Wales, extra-long trails are well-kept by the National Trails organization. About 15 of these trails are open for trekking. Here are 5 of them:

  1. Cleveland Way skirts North York Moors National Park in England for 177 kilometres.
  2. Cotswolds Way in England covers 163 kilometres of ground.
  3. Pennine Bridleway in England that now reaches over 200 kilometres is one of two National Trails over these scenic mountains.
  4. Two of the trails that follow the coastline are Pembrokeshire Coast Path in South West Wales that stretches 299 kilometres and the longest National Trail that stretches 1014 kilometres over South West England’s Coast, the South West Coast Path.
  5. Scotland’s Great Trails – The Scottish National Heritage is responsible for the up-keep, signs and guides for these wonderful trails. Scotland’s Great Trails range from historic to coastal and include the Highlands and lochs, of course. About the longest of these pathways is The Southern Upland Way at 341 kilometres and running coast to coast.

Guide to Backpacking

Long Distance Paths – Many other trails that are at least 50 kilometres long are found across the countries of the UK. These are found in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man as well as in England, Wales and Scotland. Still, England has the most with hundreds for exploring.

Planning

Backpackers must carry everything that they need to live whilst they hike the paths. Trips should be well-planned considering terrain, weather and distance. Research should be made to understand the costs and budget needed. Safety should be considered, and hiking in groups is recommended.

Lodging

Planning for the trip should include thought to lodging and food. Cities, towns and hamlets have markets and restaurants. They also have some sort of accommodation from hostels to Bed and Breakfasts. Self-catering cottages can be reserved as well. Of course, campsites are found alongside or not far from the trails.

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