Escape the 9-5: The Benefits of Midweek Walking

If you enjoy walking, and I guess you wouldn't be reading this otherwise, then the chances are that you have a comfortable routine by now. More likely than not, you work Monday to Friday and then squeeze in one walk on Saturday or Sunday between cleaning the flat, catching up with friends, washing clothes, and other weekend chores.

But what about the five days between the weekend? Why not mix things up, take time off once in a while, and go walking in the middle of the week instead? Not only could it save you money, but it can be more enjoyable too, with no summit crowds and loads more space in the car park. For peace and quiet, midweek walking is clearly the way forward!

Midweek in April - you might easily be the only person for miles  © Dan Bailey
Midweek in April - you might easily be the only person for miles
© Dan Bailey

Dodge the weekend hordes

It's estimated than more than 150,000 people a year make the long trek up Ben Nevis, while a whopping 360,000 climb Snowdon, sometimes causing huge queues. You can bet that the majority head up there on the weekends in summer, and on bank holidays. A surge in the popularity of walking over the past decade has led to a rise in organised groups, and the weekend is the natural time for these to meet too. Walking at the speed of the slowest, though, leads to delays and clogs up the paths.

If you want to walk a major route but don’t want to get stuck between slow plodders in front of you and impatient hikers breathing down your neck behind, head up midweek to avoid the crowds. On a low season Wednesday afternoon even the busiest hills can be deserted, and you can take them at your own pace. If you go walking, at least in part, for the silence and solitude, then mid week trips are a no-brainer.

It’s the perfect form of ‘me time’

Friday morning - and to think I could have been sat in the office  © Dan Bailey
Friday morning - and to think I could have been sat in the office
© Dan Bailey
Work emails, work calls, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; the Monday to Friday life is rarely just that anymore, as the majority of us take work home and are on call all the time. With nearly half of all UK adults saying they miss out on time with family and friends and neglect housework because of the internet and social media, taking some time out in the wilds to reconnect with nature and put away your electronic devices has never been more important. There's no better way to escape it all than on a midweek walking trip. Time alone up hills is sure to benefit your mental health and leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised, and ready to go back to the office. If you really want company, bring a dog!

Going off-peak can save you money

There’s nothing worse than losing half your morning to chores before you can jump in your car to head out to the fells. Far more satisfying is to grab an early start and make a big day of it. Better yet, work in an overnight to create an impromptu midweek mini break. If you’re not booking your accommodation for Friday or Saturday nights, you can be more spontaneous by booking at the last minute. You'll probably get a better choice of accommodation and you may even save some money.



Diane Pearce has been buying and letting holiday cottages for fifteen years. She owns BimbleBox, a holiday cottage rental website that provides beautiful cottage escapes - and lets you haggle the price with the owners.

"One of my favourite places for walking is Tindale Fell in the Northern Pennines in Cumbria" says Diane.

"A perfect day is to put something in the slow cooker, light the woodburners, pull on our boots and head for the hills, whatever the weather. You can walk for miles without seeing anyone. The air is clear, and the views are amazing. Our dogs, Patch and Max, love it. It’s a great way to recharge your batteries! And when we’re done, we head back to the cottage where supper and the fires are waiting - Just perfect."


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