Thanks must go to both sets of parents for our passion for walking – we both seem to remember the wet trudges on holidays in our childhood – and walking has always been a part of our relationship. Over the last few years we’ve both been thinking that a long distance path would be a good idea, and this year we’ve taken the plunge and booked ourselves for an adventure on the Coast to Coast.

It’ll be a challenge, certainly, and we’re not without our concerns regarding fitness and experience. However, we’ve done plenty of walking in the past so know what we’re capable of. In terms of preparation, we’ve done what walking we can – a week in Snowdonia climbing big hills in consecutive days (Cadair Idris, the Carneddau, Tryfan), and adding more walking to our daily routine. We are staying at B&Bs and having our bags carried by Packhorse: the challenge is an important part of the holiday but enjoyment is much more important to us.

Of course another important part of walking is planning for it, poring over maps and routes, picturing the walk ahead and reliving the journey through tracing the contours and features on your trusty OS map. We love maps, and obtaining each of the 1:25,000 maps (8 of them) that we’ll pass over in the course of the fortnight seems a small investment in the full enjoyment of the walk. Along with Wainwright for the sense of adventure and another guidebook (yet to be decided at the time of writing) for the directions, we’re set with our long-loved boots, plenty of new socks, and clothes for weather from blazing sun to pouring rain; my own plans for hearty breakfasts and pub dinners (“fuelling”); and dreams of a wonderfully simple and natural holiday with only the path beneath our feet and each other’s company.

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