Author Topic: Should I use 'guide books'?  (Read 3492 times)


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Should I use 'guide books'?
« on: 18:06:50, 29/10/06 »
Hi guys, I'm new to this forum.
My first and possibly rather boring post is about whether or not I should buy a guide book for doing a national trail walk.
I'm really undecided. I'm going to do Hadrian's wall path, well I plan to! :-)

Part of me says it will be good to buy the book and take note of all the information, it will advise me on all sorts of stuff and tell me where to go and what to do. This will be good as I am going alone (I think).

However the other part of me says - grab the OS and plan your own itinery, book your own accomodation based on the places I want to stay and that way it will be more of an adventure and more unexpected.

What do you guys think? It will be my first real walking holiday. Last time I was at Hadrian's wall I stayed at Once Brewed and just did two days walking, one day in one direction and back, the next day the oposite direction and back.

Thanks.  :)


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Re: Should I use 'guide books'?
« Reply #1 on: 12:18:26, 30/10/06 »
Hi Emma

Personally I'd rather just use the OS map and work from that.  I don't like too much planning. And if you're after more of an adventure I'd try to go for the wild camping option rather than planning accomodation.

Have fun.



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Re: Should I use 'guide books'?
« Reply #2 on: 22:54:22, 30/10/06 »
Depends on how much spare cash I have. The cheapest would be to get a map and walk from that but there are only those Harvey maps that cover the whole route. Most guide books have maps in as well as descriptions and the descriptions can sometimes be handy around difficult bits. Most of the guides cost 10 - 15 whereas several OS maps would cost much more. An example of this is when I walked the Pennine Way and used the only the guide book complete with its 1:50,000 maps. I would have found buying maps for the whole rout prohibitive as they didn't do trail maps then. I plan to walk the Hadrian's Wall path in the next couple of years and have just invested in the guide book which seems to be all I will need. Of course if you plan to explore off the route you would need a map or guide to the area you're interested in.
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Re: Should I use 'guide books'?
« Reply #3 on: 00:28:41, 31/10/06 »
Guide books are useful and like Deerplay said some have maps in them so you can just use the guide books. but i also think some are misleading on identification such as land marks. So you can wounder. But at the end of the day its what you feel comfortable useing. If you are going to buy a guide book just buy one Cicerone are very useful guidebook and are from 10-15 pounds hope this help
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Re: Should I use 'guide books'?
« Reply #4 on: 00:43:22, 01/11/06 »
I like guide books for the fact they often point out interesting sidetracks to the trail.  They aren't always practical to carry, but always useful in planning a route.  The biggest factor on how useful the guide will be is usually time.
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Re: Should I use 'guide books'?
« Reply #5 on: 20:18:06, 05/11/06 »
Thanks everyone. I have decided to buy a guide, as realistically I guess I'll need a bit of help especially as I will be doing it all on my own.
I'm getting all excited about it but cannot plan it properly until i have a job and enough money to fund my trip  :(

Plus I need to get out and practice a few longer walks - our walking group rarely does over 10miles. I supose I have the time to walk though seeing as I'm not teaching at the mo!


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Re: Should I use 'guide books'?
« Reply #6 on: 20:10:13, 11/12/06 »
I walked a chunk of the Pennine Way before there were guide books and the maps didnt have the route on them very much either - just a leaflet and it was murder!
I'd buy a good guide book - try to get one with decent OS or Harvey quality / based maps in then you can see the real thing!
Emma are you really looking for longer walks? The RA groups may help near where you live or contact the LDWA - there is a link on our web site - Heart of England Way ( look on this site for the link )
If you go consider taking a friend -- long distances in some of the more out of the way parts are best tackled in at least pairs - especially if you are camping -- but each to their own!