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#43002 - 13/08/08 08:19 AM Dales and Cumbria Ways
Kate's Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/06/05
Posts: 274
Loc: Derbyshire
Just back from doing the Dales Way then the Cumbria Way.

We found the DW pleasant, but not great. The first 20 miles were nice but busy. Very touristy, as you would expect. The Cam House bit was superb. The long road walking through to Dent was dull as was the endless slogs through fields, over stiles and avoiding cattle. A number of the paths before Burneside were seldom used and overgrown. Sorry, on balance not a fan of the DW. I recall comments made about the Offas Dyke Way about endless farmers fields, cows and bulls, stiles etc. We found the DW similar but with chunks of road walking added. OK but not a classic. Just our opinion! Talking to others on the Way or about the Way opinion seemed to be split 50/50. Those new to long distance walking liked it, those more experienced found it lacking challenge.

By contrast we found the CW fantastic, in particular the Langdales, Stake Pass and Back o' Skiddaw. Despite it being Lakeland we saw very few people, although the weather - we spent 5 days on each and only had one day without rain - may have helped. Superb stuff!

We tried to follow the Cumbria Coastal Way to link the 2 up - Don't!! At Greenodd the path vanishes and you are left walking on a very busy road.

Perhaps having previously done the Coast to Coast and Pennine Way meant we have higher expectations as to what we expect from a long distance walk!

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#43025 - 13/08/08 06:34 PM Re: Dales and Cumbria Ways [Re: Kate's Dad]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
I like the Dales Way, but it is a coutry walk rather than a remote walk. It is, a challenge, when you do it as a non stopper, in 29 hours, however I agree the Cumbria is more interesting but it does take an hour longer. Seriously though, I think the one to do, going off your preferences is the Cambrian Way, the toughest British long distance walk by far. Only problem is you need about 3 weeks to complete it, and not many have!
Dave.

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#43039 - 16/08/08 09:43 AM Re: Dales and Cumbria Ways [Re: Slogger]
Bliss 60 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: Birmingham
I actually quite enjoyed the Dales Way - but that may have been because it suited what I wanted at the time (something relatively easy because it was my first time walking and camping) and because I had reasonable weather most of the way (apart from a deluge at Dent).

But I do agree with your two comments about road walking and copious stiles (in fact worse than that - there seemed to be a lot of little gates in walls that were impossible to get through with a large pack - which meant constantly having to take it on and off - which can be a pain when you're carrying a heavy load). As for the road walking - my recollections are that the day I enjoyed least was the Camhouses section - not because of the landscape - which I was looking forward to fondly - but because so much of the day was on road or metalled paths - which with a heavy load really started to hurt the balls of my feet. I particularly remember the 3 mile road section from Beckermonds to Swarthgill being particularly unpleasant - so much so that by the time I hit Cam High Road - which is also pretty metalled - my feet were really hurting - and then the same track down to Gearstones - and then the road down into Dent as well.

But apart from the roads and the stiles - I enjoyed the walk!

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#43041 - 16/08/08 10:25 AM Re: Dales and Cumbria Ways [Re: Bliss 60]
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Originally Posted By: Bliss 60
I actually quite enjoyed the Dales Way - but that may have been because it suited what I wanted at the time (something relatively easy because it was my first time walking and camping) and because I had reasonable weather most of the way (apart from a deluge at Dent).

But I do agree with your two comments about road walking and copious stiles (in fact worse than that - there seemed to be a lot of little gates in walls that were impossible to get through with a large pack - which meant constantly having to take it on and off - which can be a pain when you're carrying a heavy load). As for the road walking - my recollections are that the day I enjoyed least was the Camhouses section - not because of the landscape - which I was looking forward to fondly - but because so much of the day was on road or metalled paths - which with a heavy load really started to hurt the balls of my feet. I particularly remember the 3 mile road section from Beckermonds to Swarthgill being particularly unpleasant - so much so that by the time I hit Cam High Road - which is also pretty metalled - my feet were really hurting - and then the same track down to Gearstones - and then the road down into Dent as well.

But apart from the roads and the stiles - I enjoyed the walk!


Th little gates in walls that are impossible to get through with large packs - Sherpa finds them very good for business !
As for roads or metalled paths and heavy loads, us postmen know that with daily practice one can soon get used to them.

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