Suitable first hillwalking trip with an 11-year-old

#1
I'm looking for suggestions for a route to take with no. 1 son this October, in England or Wales. We want to walk over some hills, from one B&B to another, about 15 miles per day, no massive mountains but enough interesting views to get him hooked on hill-walking. Any thoughts?
 
#3
The Black Mountains are a good start with the mountain Waun Fach, plus you can add on the peaks around Hay on Wye taking in Llanthony Priory and Capel-y-ffin. Nice little pub at Llanthony Priory too.
 
#5
How about spending two days on Hadrian's Wall? Start off walking westbound from Humshaugh - Twice Brewed Inn, then Twice Brewed Inn - Greenhead. Stunning views, some well constructed bits of Hadrian's Wall and some decent walking inbetween.
 
#6
For my money, you will do no better than Snowdon as an intro, though it does get busy. It worked for me as a 9 year old. The pyg track is an easy walk up, the Pen y Pass Youth Hostel is pretty good (book early), there are plenty of variations if the weather is good enough (including walking off down to Llanberis and Pete's Eats) and, if it all proves too much for him or the weather is against you, you can get the train down. Plus he gets the kudos of climbing the highest mountain in Wales on his first time out. If the weather is with you, he will be hooked.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
Get amongst High Street, Haweswater and Harter Fell. Of all the walks in the Lake District it's probably the least difficult/dangerous that still gives you some cracking views and is a bit challenging.

I run this route with the dog once or twice a week and often rough camp on the fell. On a clear day you can see the coast from the top of High Street, it's also an old Roman army route and there is still evidence of the old road up there. In my opinion this route has everything, a bit of scrambling, some decent climbing, history, amazing views and crucially if it all goes tits up and the weather comes in, it's pretty easy and quick to get back down again.

UKH Route Cards - 'High Street from Haweswater'

Personally I'd f*ck off the idea of walking between B&Bs unless you want to be walking along roads all the time. Your best bet is to find a base that you like for a few days then drive to one of the fells each day. If your lad gets bored with hill walking, which he will, there is plenty more to do in the lakes - sailing/kayaking etc.
 
#8
.
How about the Peak District? Then perhaps work up to the dales and then the lakes when, or if, your lad likes it. I know all too well whats it's like when ten minutes into a trip you hear "Dad? ... I'm tired" ... I knew the Himalayas was wasted on him.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#9
Snowdon is a great first walk. When I was first taken to Wales aged 10 we did the Pyg track and I got hooked. Another great thing my father did on that trip was to look at the map for easily climbable hills and then took us 'exploring'. Much more interesting than just following a standard route and definitely captures the imagination of a young boy.


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#10
Agree completely with the Snowdon vote. if you stay at Pen y Pass, you can do the Glyders too. That was my first hill walk, at 11 IIRC. I used to take my son there when he was that sort of age; we camped at LLanberis.

If the weather is crap, there is plenty to do with a young one in Wales; Castles, slate caverns, gold mines etc etc.
 
#11
For my money, you will do no better than Snowdon as an intro, though it does get busy. It worked for me as a 9 year old. The pyg track is an easy walk up, the Pen y Pass Youth Hostel is pretty good (book early), there are plenty of variations if the weather is good enough (including walking off down to Llanberis and Pete's Eats) and, if it all proves too much for him or the weather is against you, you can get the train down. Plus he gets the kudos of climbing the highest mountain in Wales on his first time out. If the weather is with you, he will be hooked.
Worth doing for Pete's Eats alone!

Definitely second this idea. For such a well-known/prestigious mountain, Snowdon is incredibly easy, which will give him confidence.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#13
Kids do better on long walks than some parents expect.
When my granddaughter was 6 & her brother 9 they completed the West Highland Way. Their younger sister has been up Ben Macdui & Cairngorm. They haven't really done anything of note in England or Wales &except Snowdon & Ravers suggestion of High Street. One you could do do add a bit of something else is to take the Ullswater Ferry from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding & walk back, if the walk is too much there is always the option of catching a return ferry from Hightown.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
The Snowden suggestion is definitely well worth a look, I did it with the Cubs when I was about 9. It's a pretty easy climb but being able to brag to your mates that you'd climbed the highest mountain in the country made it worthwhile.

We also went to Carnarvon (spelling?) castle which was good.
 
#18
Get amongst High Street, Haweswater and Harter Fell. Of all the walks in the Lake District it's probably the least difficult/dangerous that still gives you some cracking views and is a bit challenging.

I run this route with the dog once or twice a week and often rough camp on the fell. On a clear day you can see the coast from the top of High Street, it's also an old Roman army route and there is still evidence of the old road up there. In my opinion this route has everything, a bit of scrambling, some decent climbing, history, amazing views and crucially if it all goes tits up and the weather comes in, it's pretty easy and quick to get back down again.

UKH Route Cards - 'High Street from Haweswater'

Personally I'd f*ck off the idea of walking between B&Bs unless you want to be walking along roads all the time. Your best bet is to find a base that you like for a few days then drive to one of the fells each day. If your lad gets bored with hill walking, which he will, there is plenty more to do in the lakes - sailing/kayaking etc.
What Ravers said, especially about having a base to walk out of. B&B or possibly camping to complete the whole outdoor experience?



Q.
 
#19
At that age you have to get their attention, challenging and spectacular, to take their mind off the sweat, blisters and burning muscles.

The Lake district is the place, Wasdale would be my choice, fantastic scenery and it has some nice routes plus campsite & pub/hotel.There's also the Blacksail youth hostel nearby. Day one I'd do Yewbarrow climbing the crags at the pub end, walk the ridge then descend to the lake, (the descents are the most dangerous particularly with kids) it's a small mountain with fantastic views. The next day take your pick, Kirk fell and great gable are there, the Blacksail pass and the Horseshoe back to Yewbarrow and then there's Sca fell to finish it all off. If some maniac with a shotgun and a pack of half wild border, patterdale and lakeland terriers runs past you uphill, intent on murdering the foxes in the scree, say hello to my big brother.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#20
At that age you have to get their attention, challenging and spectacular, to take their mind off the sweat, blisters and burning muscles.

The Lake district is the place, Wasdale would be my choice, fantastic scenery and it has some nice routes plus campsite & pub/hotel.There's also the Blacksail youth hostel nearby. Day one I'd do Yewbarrow climbing the crags at the pub end, walk the ridge then descend to the lake, (the descents are the most dangerous particularly with kids) it's a small mountain with fantastic views. The next day take your pick, Kirk fell and great gable are there, the Blacksail pass and the Horseshoe back to Yewbarrow and then there's Sca fell to finish it all off. If some maniac with a shotgun and a pack of half wild border, patterdale and lakeland terriers runs past you uphill, intent on murdering the foxes in the scree, say hello to my big brother.
So you and Ravers are related!
 

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