Laura Cope

Miscellaneous adventures

50 Miles in 50 Hours: Backpacking Across the Yorkshire Dales

A friend, Victoria, from my undergraduate years announced towards the end of last year that she would be taking leave from her work in 2017 in order to attempt to be the first person to walk from John o’Groats to Land’s End… via the (historical) highest point of every county in Great Britain. This mammoth walk covers over 3000 miles and is scheduled to take 8 months in total. I decided that I would very much like to join her for the leg of her walk through my homeland, the Yorkshire Dales.

With a very poor weather forecast ahead, I met Victoria in Ribblehead carrying a tent and associated gear in my 35 litre backpack. We were set to walk approximately 50 miles across rough terrain, wild camping en-route, reaching her home in South Stainley two days later where Victoria would spend two days resting before continuing her journey south. Whilst we did encounter a lot of rain, the weather was not quite as bad as it was forecast to be, and even turned quite hot on the last day resulting in a bit of sunburn.

The adventure was definitely a lot of fun, though I think that next time I’ll aim to spread the mileage over more days. We walked over 22 miles on the final day which was tiring with a backpack!

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