Enjoying our heatwave

July 4, 2018

The weather really is extraordinary. I do not remember the famous heatwave of 1976 but I can definitely say this is the longest and warmest spell of weather I ever remember in this country. Sunny walks though can be brilliant (despite what some of the doom mongers say).

I must admit I treat walking in this heat a bit like walking in the snow. Be prepared and compromise on the type of walk if necessary.


Sunny walks warnings`

  1. Dehydrate. Think how much water you normally take and double it. If that is a litre take 2 etc: Normally walkers do not take enough any way. This may make the pack heavier but will soon be drunk. Bear in mind most of the higher streams have dried up, there will be no emergency supply dribbling down the hillside like normal.
  2. Head. A hat is essential, probably my first rule. Whereas you lose heat from your head you can also gain it. Also keep an eye on the back of your neck, a notorious burning area.
  3. Glare. Constantly screwing your eyes up is very unpleasant, a hat helps but sunglasses help more.
  4. Clammy body. As soon as you stop a sweaty shirt cools and you find yourself clammy and cold.
  5. Heat Stoke. It does happen, keep a eye out for irrational behaviour, clammy, throbbing headache and feeling sick. If so head for the shade, drink more water and get off the water. It is commonsense but if symptoms persist go and see a doctor.

Enough of the dire warnings, walking in the sun can be fantastic and immensely satisfying, especially when confronted with a cold drink at the end of the day. Here are a few tips concerning the type of walk to take.

Nearly dry river, Long Preston
Nearly dry river, Long Preston

Tips for Sunny Walks

  1. Water based walks. Take walks to a tarn, round a lake or along a river with water available to cool off. Some of my favourites in the Yorkshire and the Lakes are listed further down the page.
  2. Cut the long ridges/moors out. Any period where there is no water for a long period of time may be better to avoid unless you are prepared to carry lots of water.
  3. Walks including woodland. Sections of woodland on a walk give the opportunity to cool down, whether in a forest or more pleasant areas of woodland.
  4. Evening (or early morning) walks. The mornings and nights have plenty of daylight. A 4 hour evening walk from 5pm makes complete sense in this weather. I am heading in to the Lake District fells myself tomorrow evening.

I have included 5 of my favourite walks even in the hottest of weather.

Hay Meadows in Askrigg
Hay Meadows in Askrigg

Best Sunny Walks

Lake District: 

Styhead and Sprinkling Tarn . A 6 mile circuit to 2 of the best tarns in the Lakes, set dramatically amongst the highest mountains.

Beauty of Ullswater . Take the launch along Ullswater and return via its banks, lakeside walking at its very best.

Haystacks from Buttermere . A rugged mountain with hidden tarns on the mountain, a lake to approach next to and a bubbling stream oon the return.

Easedale Tarn from Grasmere . A short climb brings you to a tarn nestling amogst some rugged hills with the return via a pretty river.

Loughrigg Tarn and Rydal Water . 7 miles of rolling walking following in the footsteps of William Wordsworth

Buttermere low water

Yorkshire Dales

A Round of Malham Tarn A peaceful and short stroll next to one of the very few bodies of (non reservoir) water in the Dales

Villages and waterfalls near Settle. The first part of the walk takes in two lovely waterfalls, the remainder is along rolling countryside.

Cataracts of the Strid . A section of the River Wharfe, mainly in trees and alongside this impressive river

Waterfalls above Askrigg. Climb in woodland alongside this tumbling stream with pools and small falls near the village of Askrigg.

Lovely Barbondale A climb to one of the great views of the Dales followed by a wander back alongside the beautiful river of Barbon.

Cooling Malham Tarn
Cooling Malham Tarn

North York Moors and Coast

Villages of the Esk Valley . The River Esk is one of the main rivers of the area with villages and woods characterising its banks.

Dalby Forest Walk . A forest but a playground as well, Dalby Forest is a great place to escape the sun

The Delights of Runswick Bay . Possibly the prettiest place on the North Yorkshire Coast with a hidden gem of a village on the shore.

Flamborough Head There are many places to escape the cliffs and drop down to hidden beaches and rock pools

Cod Beck Reservoir . Near Osmotherley lies the small reservoir of Cod Beck, tranquil and cool under the woodland along its shores.

Coast at Runswick Bay
Coast at Runswick Bay

Enjoy your walking in this stunning, once in a generation weather.


For a full list of all my ‘Best of…’ blogs please¬†follow this link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.