The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Plans and Tickets

So far this year I have walked just shy of 1500 miles, which has been spread out over the months as shown in the graph above.

There’s something quite obviously missing: there are no miles in August.

With my time being spent plumbing, plastering, painting and cursing, I’ve not managed to get myself out for any fresh air and exercise. My shoulders have forgotten what it is to wear a backpack and those finely honed muscles that I build up during April through July have turned back to lard.

If I can’t get out for a walk, then I thought that I should at least make myself feel better by making arrangements for the next couple of walks.

Making myself feel better involved the hugely stressful activity of trying to find cheap tickets on thetrainline (why, oh why can they not make it easier?). With many hours lost in the activity (and a few glitches like when thetrainline decided that I really wanted tickets on the 11.21 train, not the 9.21 – I kept going back and reselecting the earlier train, but it was quite adamant that I wanted the later one; grrr – good job I was paying attention because I’m sure they would have insisted it was my error had I not noticed until later) I finally have tickets.

Mid-September will see us travelling up to St. Bees (£13.50 each) and the following day we will start ambling across the country. Our itinerary involves 12 days of walking, but with there being no cheap train tickets available on the 13th day, we’ve decided that we’ll fritter away a day somewhere, returning home two weeks after we left (£14.50 each).

We’ll then relax, eat bad food and once again lose some of that hard-won muscle until the middle of October, when we’ll head up to Milngavie (£19 each) to start the West Highland Way. All being well we’ll arrive in Fort William a week later, but we’ve allowed ourselves another three days up there before making the (extraordinarily long and winding) journey home (the £24 each price tag seeming pretty good value for such a long journey).

Being on such a roll with sorting out tickets, I then bought plane tickets to get us to Tenerife in November. That doesn’t really warrant a mention on here though. An ascent of Teide won’t feature. That will be the holiday during which I sit in a chair with a book in my hand.


  1. I don't know if you know of there is alternative to trainline.

    I use both; a lot of the time they give different prices for the same trains.


  2. I knew that you could buy tickets through other train companies, but last time I looked (a long, long time ago), their websites didn't seem to offer any benefit over thetrainline.

    But, wow! How things have changed! Just had a look at that link you gave and it's so incredibly more user-friendly than thetrainline that I'll definitely be using that one in future.

    Thanks for pointing that out to me.

    (and I'm pleased to say that they couldn't beat the fares I've bought, so even though I spent unnecessary hours working through a user-unfriendly website, at least I wasn't ripped off!)

  3. You are not going up on Sat 30th are you? if so, I will am on the same train, upto Penrith to walk high street to windermere!