Better By Miles

Two couples who chanced on Lake District guided walks – and each other – said the discovery has made trekking better by miles.

Retired and from North Wales, Andrea and Adrian Ward first met Ken and Mary Hill, of Hove, East Sussex, after reading about the national park’s 300 plus routes and deciding to give them a go.

Since then they have tackled many of the acclaimed days, dominated by staggeringly beautiful scenery and skilled, well-informed leaders.

Each year the two pairs make a point of holidaying in the Lakes at the same time so they can enjoy old favourites and explore new choices.

Mary, retired, and husband Ken, a building services engineer, have now completed around 200 routes, some with national park volunteer leaders, and others on their own.

“Guided walks are very informative,” Mary said. “You find out a lot about the area while walking, and don’t have to navigate. We are currently in the process of organising a September break with Andrea and Adrian.

Andrea reckons they have notched-up around 175 guided miles with Pikewassa and High Street being top of the list.

She added: “Leaders are very knowledgeable about the area and include their own interests in geography, industrial history, wildlife, or whatever, to add fascinating colour.

“I might have unknowingly walked past many mines and settlements without noticing and would know nothing of Herdwick sheep.

“I would not hesitate to recommend guided walks. Just choose the right distance and grade – and wear good boots and clothing!”

As Bank Holiday and half-term beckons, there are plenty of tempting walks, from a leisurely stroll around Keswick on May 24 to hill walking for beginners at Coniston on May 28.

Challenging mountain expeditions to low-level ambles, all the routes and a vast array of activities, many of them free, are on www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/events

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