On the topic of hill walking – ‘Not one of your route marches!’

It should go without saying that an outdoor writer needs to enjoy being outside. Not only that but if you’re going to be writing walking routes for other people, it makes sense to enjoy a bit of walking yourself.

Discovering new hill walking routes

Walking though, is usually more fun (and sometimes safer) if you don’t do it on your own. Mr D and I both love the outside but until recently have taken different approaches to fresh air. He loves nothing more than cycling through Welsh bogs, stopping only to sleep in ditches. I feel wobbly just looking at a bike. I am my happiest when submerged in chilled winter sea water. He feels sick at the thought.

One area of outdoor experience we sometimes manage to agree on however is hill walking.

Route planning matters

This hasn’t always been the case. Mostly this has been my fault. Over-ambitious route planning has led to ‘morning strolls’ becoming day long hikes, and a general feeling of resentment.

‘I’m not going on one of your route marches!’

Has long been Mr D’s somewhat justified refrain.

Walking in the Cairngorms

Until, that is, we spent a week in the Cairngorms earlier this year. Since we’ve had a campervan it’s been easier to arrive at our holiday destinations suitably equipped with his bike and my swimming gear. This has led to an unusual (for us) phenomenon. With his bike Mr D can go out and recce possible walking routes for us to enjoy together. If you know the Cairngorms, you’ll understand how useful this is as the routes into the mountains can sometimes be long.

This worked quite well, and during our week, we enjoyed together a walk previously explored by Mr D on his bike.

It turned out to be beautiful…

And quite long…

Which made us both laugh when we realised that for once, I was going on one of his route marches!

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