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!
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’
Going off-peak can save you 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."