These notes describe possible routes between the stopping points suggested
by James. I have worked from the OS maps with almost no local knowledge of
the areas so they may be unsuitable. Checking the route over is highly
recommended and comments from anybody with local knowledge would be
welcome. Some maps may even be out of date.
There are three types of files here :
.mmo - Route files for Memory map, which I used to plot the routes.
.pdf - Acrobat files showing maps, produced by printing the Memory Map pages.
.gpx - Route files in a form that can be used by Google Earth and Google Maps.
You can import the .gpx files into Google Earth or cut-and-paste into a page
such as Marengo (use the Load button)
and see either a map or a satellite view of the route. There are other sites
such as Sanoodi which may be more convenient
if you can get them to work.
Time estimates are as calculated by Memory Map using an estimated walking speed
of 2.5 mph and adding 1 minute for every 30ft ascent. This is slightly slower
than the default, 'Naismith's Rule' which is 5kph and 1 minute per 30ft (but
note that Naismith's rule was formulated for use on hills, not roads).
It would be very useful if some members of the group could do a test walk
over both flat ground and steady slopes to find out whether this is realistic.
A772 out of city centre. A better (but longer) route might include some of the parks
in this direction. Cross the A7 near Butterfly World on a dual roundabout.
Join B6392 to Eskbank and B703 to Newton Grange, then B704 to Gorebridge.
Route through Gorebridge (avoiding A7) is very windy, adding about 2 miles
to A7 route. However, alternate route on A68 and B6367 through Pathhead is
no shorter. Finally, A7 to Heriot. Not much option here.
Total 18 miles gaining 1900ft, falling 1280ft. Sounds like a lot for 700ft
overall - maybe worth looking for an easier route.
Estimated 8 hours 17 minutes walking time
Based heavily on A7 but most of the way an unclassified road across the
river can be used. Rejoin the A7 at Bow Farm, or move to farm tracks
(Bowland, Craigneuk, Torwoodlee then A72 into Galashiels). Could cross
the river at Stow for midday stop.
Total 16.1 miles (15.4 if you keep on the A7), gaining 1400ft, falling 1860.
Actually a very long 450ft descent with some up-down peaks of about 100ft
maximum. How is this for wheelchairs ?
Estimated 7 hours 8 minutes walking time.
Obvious route is A68 but a lot of this can be avoided by using what appears
to be a cycleway near Melrose. This may avoid Melrose centre (don't know if
that's desirable) and may cause difficulty with support vehicles, but is
probably a lot more pleasant for walkers.
Follow river path from Galashiels to Melrose, then back road to Newtown
St Boswells. Join the A68 until Forest Lodge, then use path along Roman
road. The A68 could be avoided but adds a mile or so. If the footpath is
inadequate for wheelchairs then there is an alternative to the west via
Longnewton. River path again from Monteviot House, then stay east of river
Total 16.7 miles, gaining 1365 ft, falling 1470. Estimated 7 hours 22.
Avoid the A68 on the first leg by using unclassified road to the east.
However, it seems necessary to join the A68 at Camptown. A lot of
climbing on this day as it's necessary to cross the pass at Carter Bar.
Total 17.4 miles, gaining 2214 ft, falling 1767. Est. time 8 hours.
Again, committed to A68 until Elishaw, then the A696 which doesn't
look much lighter. However, alternatives would be well off-route
so will add mileage and this is already one of the longer legs.
Maybe an extra day and a longer route is needed around here, but
minor roads may well entail extra height changes.
Total 20.7 miles, gaining 1935 feet, falling 1406 ft.
Estimated time 9 hours 15 minutes.
A696 most of the way into city centre. Note Dual carriageway after
Ponteland. Alternate route via Medburn & Dissington adds a couple
of miles. Stopping point in Newcastle is the Millenium Bridge.
Total 21.6 miles, gaining 628 ft, falling 1154 ft.
Estimated time 9 hours.
Cross two roundabouts on the A147 then follow the B1296 until it
crosses the A1. The map appears to show a tunnel or underpass avoiding
the A1 junction. Follow the A6127 through Birtley and Ouston, finishing
at Chester-le-Street Civic Centre. Nearby alternatives are the railway
station and a leisure centre.
Total 8.2 miles, gaining 629 ft, falling 586 ft.
Estimated time 3 hours 35 minutes
Follow B1284 to Great Luley and join the Weardale Way. It may be possible
to use this for an off-road section, depending on path quality. Cross
the river at Finchale Priory (this needs checking, as it is not a road -
the support vehicles will need to use the A1 or the A167). Continue via
Newton hall into Durham town centre, then leave on the A177, A688 and a
minor road into Ferryhill.
Total 16.7 miles, gaining 1421 ft, falling 926 ft.
Estimated time 7 hours 25 minutes
Take the A167 out of Ferrybridge, then divert through Newton Aycliffe,
eventually returning to the A167. This is a major road, but it's possible
the A1 takes most of the heavy traffic. If it turns out to be unusable on
foot, an alternative route via Shildon and Heighington is only 2 miles longer.
Total 13 miles, gaining 434 ft, falling 827 ft.
Estimated time 5 hours 25 minutes
This route follows mainly B roads to avoid the A167. However, they may be quite
narrow and winding : it may be better to use the A167 and provide better visibility
than is possible on a narrow lane. The wider road may also have a footpath, and is
about a mile shorter than the indicated route.
Total 17.7 miles, gaining 530 ft, falling 526 ft.
Estimated time 7 hours 21 minutes
There's a possible route using the A167 and A61, but again I have chosen the smaller
roads. However, crossing the river Swale is awkward and the route shown uses a disused
railway bridge and a farm track near Maunby. This requires exploration as it could
be difficult with wheelchairs, and it is probably not possible for support vehicles.
Alternate routes would be the A167/A61 or the A684 to Leeming Bar followed by the B6285.
Total 18.8 miles, gaining 573 ft, falling 606 ft.
Estimated time 7 hours 48 minutes
This route follows the A61. There are, however, some other possible
routes that would be worth considering.
One would start by taking the B6265 out of Ripon and passing through
Studley Park and Fountains Abbey - good for tourists and photos.
Another would start out on the Ripon Rowel walk along the Ripon Canal towpath,
which is likely to be a better standard than most footpaths (but would
still need surveying). The A61 route is only 10.8 miles so there should be
room for some diversions.
Total 10.8 miles, gaining 773 ft, falling 539 ft.
Estimated time 4 hours 42 minutes
Avoids staying on the A61 by a diversion through Kirkby Overblow and
then through the grounds of Harewood House. This gets a bit tortuous
in the area of Eccup Reservoir and in any case relies on goodwill
from the Harewood House administration. Some alternate paths through
the grounds would be worth looking for. The route is quite hilly,
Total 17 miles, gaining 1299 ft, falling 1507 ft.
Estimated time 7 hours 27 minutes
Exit Leeds via Middleton park. There are some useful footpaths and bridleways
near here (approaching Thorpe-on-the-Hill) which might make the route shorter
if they're good enough. The route into Wakefield passes a hospital which
might be a good place for support, but the A61 bypasses it and is a little
shorter if you prefer. As with most towns there are many alternate routes and
the choice really depends on pavements, policing, photo stops etc.
Total 11.1 miles, gaining 731 ft, falling 717 ft.
Estimated time 4 hours 48 minutes
Some confusion over city centre routes here - it's difficult to
see how to avoid a short stretch of dual carriageway in both Wakefield
and Barnsley, but probably obvious on the ground (or not a problem).
I've followed a B-road route through Royston but the A61 is marginally
shorter if the pavement is suitable.
Total 11 miles, gaining 853 ft, falling 702 ft.
Estimated time 4 hours 48 minutes
Again, many routes are possible into a major town. This one mainly follows
the A6135, past a hospital and avoiding the A61 dual carriageway. A slightly
longer route could reach Meadowhall Shopping Centre, possibly a good publicity
stop. There is quite a large height gain & loss, but no obvious peak, just
a succession of ups & downs.
Total 13.3 miles, gaining 1272 ft, falling 1436 ft.
Estimated time 5 hours 56 minutes
Fairly easy to avoid dual carriageway here, with plenty of further options
if the chosen route turns out to be unsuitable.
Total 12.8 miles, gaining 1011 ft, falling 920 ft.
Estimated time 5 hours 37 minutes
Mostly avoids main roads, butr there is a long stretch on the A617. This
can be avoided by going via Sutton Scarsdale & Patterton, but the major
road may be safer.
Total 12.8 miles, gaining 1044 ft, falling 977 ft.
Estimated time 5 hours 39 minutes
Follows a major road (the A60), but the route is fairly built-up and should provide
visibility rather than high speeds. Alternate routes are possible, with some extra
Total 14.8 miles, gaining 775 ft, falling 1032 ft.
Estimated time 6 hours 17 minutes
Follows dual carriageway out of the city centre, but this passes County
hall and the Cricket ground - I think it's bordered by wide footpaths.
Remainder of the route follows the A60, as I think the worst traffic
follows the A453 to the M1. The route passes close to Ruddington, but it
might be worth diverting through the village to the country park or museum.
Alternative B-road route is possible through Clifton, Gotham, East Leake.
Total 14.6 miles, gaining 640 ft, falling 600ft.
Estimated time 6 hours 8 minutes.
Exit on A6 but turn on to B roads as it becomes dual carriageway.
Via Mountsorrel, Rothley & Thurcaston to Leicester cathedral.
Alternate destination could be Abbey Park.
Possible alternate route alongside Grand Union canal and R. Soar.
Total 12.6 miles, gaining 480 ft, falling 420 ft
Estimated time 5 hours 16 minutes.
Route relies heavily on country roads to avoid the A6 while keeping
the distance down. If the A6 is OK it may be a better route.
Short piece of footpath to cross the canal at Foxton Locks (tourist
spot) but this can be avoided. Check canal crossing for wheelchairs.
It would be possible to use the canal towpath for much of the route
but the tunnel near Fleckney is a problem.
Total 16.5 miles, gaining 1030 ft, falling 980 ft
Estimated time 7 hours 10 minutes
A straightforward route following the A508, but note that the
Midshires Way footpath follows the course of an old railway line
very close to here - if the surface is good this might be a
Total 17.6 miles, gaining 1034 ft, falling 1060 ft
Estimated time 7 hours 32 minutes
Route uses the A428 here - a poor choice as I think there are
sections with no footpath. But the alternative minor roads are
further and it's already an overlong 21 mile section. Another
possibility is to go via Wellingborough rather than Northampton -
I haven't measured this but it looks more direct.
Total 21 miles, gaining 826 ft, falling 975 ft
Estimated time 8 hours 47 minutes
Follow the A6 into Luton, diverting into Silsoe and Barton-le-clay.
I think it has a footpath all the way, except perhaps up the hill
south of Barton (which is a slow dual carriageway). Stop at Wardown
Park just north of Luton town centre (or continue to centre, or
Stockwood Park on the south side).
Total 17.9 miles, gaining 783 ft, falling 517 ft
Estimated time 7 hours 33 minutes
Straightforward route along B653 to Harbenden, A1081 to St Albans.
Possible section north of Harbenden along Lee Valley Walk.
Total 11.7 miles, gaining 551 ft, falling 542 ft
Estimated time 4 hours 56 minutes
St Albans - Edmonton
Keeps just off the dual carriageway through Potters Bar then crosses
the M25 and joins the A111. I haven't thought too carefully about
this section - I think the A111 has a footpath but I'm assuming
someone local to London will have a better idea for this part, perhaps
Total 16.4 miles, gaining 673 ft, falling 994 ft
Estimated time hours 54 minutes
Edmonton - Westminster
Again, no idea about the best route but I've marked the Lea Valley
Walk for much of the distance, finishing with the A10 and the Embankment.
Main routes would be shorter.
Total 13.3 miles, gaining 214 ft, falling 259 ft.
Estimated time 5 hours 24 minutes