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Thread: Local Hills

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    United Kingdom
    Today I booked a trek up Kilimanjaro in July to have something to look forward to in the new year. All I need to do now is prepare for it. I'm based in London and was looking for some pointers on single or multiple hill walks that can be reached and completed in a day/weekend. I gave up driving a good few years ago now so weekend walks would need to start/finish in a town with a hotel, taxis and/or train station. Something like Keswick for Skiddaw is a perfect example. Thanks

  2. #2
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    United Kingdom

    Circuits of Box Hill, Surrey are popular with those in training.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    United Kingdom

    Craig - for the Lakes, I'd recommend Windermere as a base: and you don't need to confine yourself to repeated climbs of Orrest Head! Get yourself a copy of the Stagecoach Lakes timetable (or navigate to online timetables) and there are a lot of routes you can do using the bus services - no need to do circular tours either.

    Keswick is also a good base for doing this but of course it's a further bus ride from Kendal, Windermere or Penrith just to get there.

    The Peak is easily accessible from Manchester by rail - it's a shame that North Wales isn't so practical by rail: although the Blaenau line is useful if you can get to Llandudno.

    The Shropshire Hills are great and have surprisingly steep slopes to train on: unfortunately the main rail link is the South Wales - Manchester line although it should be possible to do a weekend based in Church Stretton.

    Abergavenny is another stop on the line : you could maybe think about the "seven hills" with a bit of imagination and maybe a taxi ride!

  4. #4
    Goon jim turner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010

    you can get plenty of ascent on the South Downs.... easy from London

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    United Kingdom

    The main west coast railway line goes almost but not quite through the Lake District; it goes London - Preston - Carlisle - Glasgow. There is a junction for a branch line which goes to Kendal & Windermere; this mainline junction is called Oxenholme. Over the past few years the number of mainline trains that stop there have been reduced.

    There is a bus service, number 555 which goes Lancaster - Kendal - Windermere - Grasmere - Ambleside - Keswick. So you could catch the train to Lancaster or Kendal, then the 555. You would have to get from Oxenholme to Kendal town centre, and it can be surprisingly awkward to travel such a short distance as neither the branch line nor the local buses are very frequent. Unless you land on the connections being just right, you're better off getting a taxi between Oxenholme & Kendal town centre

    Travelling on the trains at weekends, especially Sunday is a right pain as in the first place the services are reduced, and in the second, they do engineering work which means delays. Oh, and thirdly the trains on Sunday afternoons & evenings are usually very crowded. Seriously consider travelling back on Monday. This will give you 2 full days, and I believe it still qualifies for a weekend return

    Train fares are a right mess; I'm afraid you'll have to do your own homework, Surfing & planning to get the best deals

    There is a bus service from Patterdale & Glenridding to Penrith so you could sort out some kind of crossing of Helvellyn or Fairfield - or take the opportunity to bivvy on Helvellyn or in The Priest's Hole on Dove Crag

    Yes, it's worth getting the Lake District/Cumbria bus timetables

    There are various express/long distance/overnight coaches to look into as well.

    I haven't followed top class mountaineering for a while, but weren't there a couple of ice climbers who did serious new routes in the Lakes and the Highlands, but still travelled up from London to do it? Admittedly though, they did use a car

  6. #6
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    If you're going from London to Keswick, get off the train at Penrith, and every hour there's a bus from the station to Keswick, for Skiddaw. There are also buses from the station to Glenridding, for Helvellyn. You can also change buses at Keswick for Borrowdale, and climb Scafell Pike, but the last bus back to Keswick will have gone a long, long time before you get back to Borrowdale.

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