In preparation for walking the Cotswold Way, we’ve spent months planning, buying and researching gear, learning from our mistakes, and hiking as much as possible. The Cotswold Way is 102 miles long, and is not very far from home. To get things into perspective I remind myself that the Appalachian trail in the USA is approx 2,200 miles long. We once walked some short sections of the AT in Tennessee, I didn’t realise people actually walk the entire way!
The Great Western Loop in the USA is a whopping 6,800 miles long. I have the greatest respect for people who even contemplate hiking those sort of distances. The longest trail in England is the South West Coast Path at 630 miles, and that is mind boggling enough.
With 4 weeks to go these are some questions we are asking Siri 😉
- Will we be able to carry the full weight of our backpacks? Probably. You have at least done some training for it, when you’re not too busy going for free coffee at Waitrose. Next time buy a lighter pack, you don’t need all those mountaineering attachments.
- Will our feet get blisters? Prevention is better than cure so keep using that Vaseline, but you’ve got a first aid kit and a Bear Grylls emergency saw… I think you’re prepared.
- Will we be able to get our gear dry in a tent? No, but that is one of the joys of camping in Britain. Hopefully the weather will be kind.
- Is our clothing going to be warm enough? It should be. You’re not climbing Everest.
- Are we going to get tick bites? Hopefully not. Just avoid any long grass, actually any grass at all. Actually, you’d better not go outdoors if possible.
- What if we run out of water? Buy some from a shop, or knock on someone’s front door and ask them if they’d kindly fill up your water bottle from their tap.
- What if we run out of food? It’s the Cotswold Way, surely there are quaint little shops and tea rooms in every Cotswold village. It’s highly unlikely that you will starve.
- Why are we doing this? For fun!
My ego is trying to persuade me that this is all a very bad idea. On the other hand my spirit is excited about the upcoming adventure, and the simple prospect of spending time in nature. I plan to do my best, try to keep my sense of humour at all times, and be open to the magic of the trail. I came up with an idea the other day, of buying a gift for each other, so we can cheer each other up if need be with a surprise. I suggested it should be something edible! A life size minion would be nice, but not entirely practical.