This is an article of honesty. I’m putting it all out there to hopefully advise you on some things you need to be aware of before you walk in England. Hopefully it doesn’t stop you in your tracks, and kill the dream of walking the Yorkshire Wolds Way, but you will thank me for the heads up later.
Here we go
Most accommodations are incredible. Some are awful, and sometimes they are your only choice
Occasionally I have to choose between putting a client into a bad or average accommodation where the feeling is either going to be ‘yuck!’ or ‘Meh’. You know the ones, badly cleaned loos, decor from the 70s and a cooked breakfast which was straight out the packet. Yup, we have all been to them.
The best alternative is to transfer you. By a transfer, I mean having two nights in a decent accommodation with a taxi ride, or pickup between the trail and that accommodation. That’s what we usually opt for. Sure, some clients have been a little apprehensive about this, but once they settled into two nights in their comfortable B&B they really thanked me for it.
So be warned, transfers often save you from a) sleeping on a park bench or b) sleeping on a mattress which has long since past its best and hearing the air-conditioning unit all night.
Walking in England is a bit like Russian roulette. It’s a gamble. You can look at the weather a few weeks ahead of yourself and believe that your walk is guaranteed good conditions. Then while you’re walking the heavens open. I should probably do an article about waterproofs at some point.
Luggage transfer can be pricey
The less popular the route, the more expensive the luggage transfer. It’s just supply-and-demand kind of thing we have going on. As walking holidays increase in popularity, luggage transfers will be in further demand, and cheaper services will rise.
Don’t be fooled by pub branding
As you walk through various towns, you will notice nice looking pubs. They will be contemporary, with an old-fashioned feel to them. You will go inside, the prices will be reasonable, but you will come out underwhelmed by the experience, which was really just a plate of deep-fried food, and wish you had checked your phone for a better place to eat. Unfortunately, with pubs dying out, big pub chains have purchased a lot of old indie pubs, re-branded them and honestly, they all taste the same.
For local food, good quality meats, and ales which support CAMRA be sure to check out local offerings.
We too get things which bite.
England is not all butterflies and bees. No we get stuff that bites. Be sure to check for ticks, and don’t forget to pack deet. Midgies are everywhere in the summer and will eat you alive. It’s best to stay away from shady, damp areas where you can, and perhaps think about a hat with a face net if you are particularly reactive to insect bites.