Walking At Night
Q.Can anyone suggest a 24 hour walk - I'm not what you might call an experienced walker (6 day trek in Iceland and 11 hours to do the Yorkshire 3 peaks are my highlights) but I'd love to walk round the clock and experience the dawn as my legs are getting knackered and see what the new day brings - I've never walked in the dark but have been told it brings its special pleasures - anyone got any tips or ideas.
Jimmy Edmonds, Stroud
A. Lyke Wake Walk at Night. Because of the length of this walk (38 miles by shortest route) it is usual to do a least part of a 'Crossing' in the dark. Although the other response to this question is, in one sense, correct in stating that is 'easy' as the route is well demarcated in most places particularly where it is coincident with the Cleveland Way and Wainwright's 'A Coast to Coast Walk', it should be noted that the path is steep/very steep in a few places and there are crags and other near vertical slopes adjacent to the route (care is particularly required nearing the end when tired & especially if walking east to west). That being said I have done this walk a number of times in the last year and have done almost all of the route in the dark on one or other of these Crossings without mishap. I don't usually carry a map with me when doing this walk only a compass (in case mist descends which is frequent ) but then I am very familiar with the route as I've been doing this walk for over 40 years! Last week saw lots of shooting stars an added bonus of doing an overnight Crossing.
Ian Evans, Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England
A. If you're not all that experienced, it might be a good idea to do your night walking in, say June or July when there is most daylight and not all that much darkness (could be as little as 4 or 5 hours darkness, depending where you are) Personally, I would avoid farmyards or remote houses late at night since your activities are likely to disturb animals and possibly draw the attention of the local constabulary. June/July might be the best time for night walking but June in particular is possibly the most crucial breeding time for ground nesting birds. Grouse Moor managers could get quite twitched about people blundering through a nesting area,which is likely to affect chick survival rates of birds such as curlews, lapwings, and, of course, grouse particularly if the weather was cold and wet. Keeping to good, popular paths would help quite a bit in such areas, and be easier to follow at night. The peak District/South Pennines has areas which I would have thought would be suitable - I once met walkers on Black Hill at 2:00 am for instance. The North Yorkshire Moors also has long, easy routes where it is traditional to do some of the walking at night - Lyke Wake Walk for example. Its a good idea, though. Dont forget your camera for the sunsets and sunrises!
Mike Knipe, Crook