May 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm #1302510
I'll be in the UK for three weeks this summer and am wondering if there are places to hike or backpack that might have fewer midges than, say, the west highlands. I lived near Glencoe years ago, and the midges in the summer were unreal (as in, finally quit hiking for a spell because of the misery). Are there any places where midges aren't usually a problem, or are at least tolerable? Like, maybe, regularly windy areas?
Barring that, any suggestions for less-touristed areas of northern England for a short (2-5 day) backpack? Or, a "base" with a handful of good day hikes around? I'll be using public transport and hitching, so nothing too remote. Also, I'll be visiting people in Manchester, Lancaster, York, and Durham, and areas within a reach of these cities would be preferable.
Thanks for any suggestions!May 5, 2013 at 3:35 am #1983315
Has to be the Lake District. Train to Windermere or Penrith, bus to Langdale or Borrowdale, and get hiking!
You'll have to learn to live with a few other people around though.May 5, 2013 at 4:01 am #1983317
The midges are worst in the West of Scotland, because that is the wettest part. There are much fewer midges in the East, so you might consider the Cairngorms area for example.
See also http://www.midgeforecast.co.uk/May 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm #1983963
Thanks, John and Stuart. I like the midge advisory website…will have to check it out nearer the time.May 7, 2013 at 4:26 am #1984009
Martin RJ CarpenterMember
I do this from Northern English cities and its fine in the North of England. I do all my day walks by public transport for instance and it really isn't that restrictive.
Lancaster is right on the door step of the Forest of Bowland. Also close to the Lake district. Not just Windermere, but also Carlisle and the places round the Western coast. The Yorkshire dales are also quite managable. Trains to High Bentham at times I think.
Manchester is of course fairly close to Lancaster so anywhere you can get from there can be done from Manchester. You can easily do Lake District day trips like a train to Windermere, bus to Ambleside (or onwards), walk to Keswick and back.
The Yorkshire dales are a bit closer (train to Leeds then up on the Settle/Carlisle line), the peak district is on your doorstep and even Snowdonia can just about be done as a (long) day trip.
York is really either buses to the North York Moors, trains via Leeds to the Dales or a train up to Darlington and a bus into Teesdale. Or walk around York for a bit :)
Durham is probably more reliant on buses. (Down to Darlington if required.). Although you can also go up to Newcastle then along the top of the North pennines to Carlisle on the line going by Hadrians wall if needed.
As for reccomendations, it really does depend on what sort of hills you want and how much solitude matters. The latter is actually quite achievable but might take some rather bleak, boggy moorland….May 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm #1984698
Thanks for the suggestions! I prefer solitude to "classic" views, but I'm open to just about anything. Bleak is fine – I actually like the moors – we don't have anything like it here. It isn't the most fun walking in boggy areas, but I've done it before. I'm probably not interested in Windemere, Ambleside, or Keswick in July or August (there are just too many people). Less crowded areas of the lakes might be OK. I've never been to the north Pennines, or the North York Moors. Any specific recommendations there? A northern chunk of the Pennine Way? I'd like to do at least one trip for 2 or 3 days. If you have any ideas of specific walks, let me know.
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