10 outstanding walks to enjoy during May to celebrate National Walking Month

by helen hall on April 1, 2022

May is National Walking Month and, as the weather starts to improve, it’s the perfect time to plan a hike in some of the UK’s most beautiful locations.

National Walking Month aims to encourage people to walk more every day. It can help improve your mental and physical wellbeing, as well as reducing your carbon footprint. While walking to work and visiting your local park are excellent ways to take part in the awareness month, why not plan a trip to one of the nation’s favourite walks?

The Ordnance Survey asked more than 8,000 walking enthusiasts to identify the best walking route in Britain. Here are the top 10 responses.

1. Helvellyn, Lake District National Park

The Helvellyn walk in the Lake District was named the best route in Britain and it’s just one of several walks in the top 10 located in the national park.

The walk is 16.3 kilometres and takes around six hours to complete. You will need a good level of fitness and be comfortable with heights to complete this challenging mountain walk. But the rugged beauty will definitely make it worth your while.

2. Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park

Snowdown is the highest mountain in Wales, and it’s well worth a visit even if you don’t want to scale the summit.

If you do decide to tackle the walk, there are six routes to choose from with varying levels of difficulty. The Llanberis Path is the easiest and longest route to reach the summit. It is around 14.5 kilometres and takes six hours to complete.

If you’re an experienced hiker and want a challenge, the Watkin Path is the most difficult and guarantees stunning scenery.

3. Malham and Gordale Scar, Yorkshire Dales National Park

This circular route takes you through stunning natural areas in the Yorkshire Dales. It covers just over 12 kilometres and can be completed in under four hours.

During that time you’ll be taken through dramatic landscapes, from Malham Cover to Janet’s Foss Waterfall, and Malham Tarn, the highest lake in Britain. You can also see evidence of early settlements and an abundance of wildlife. If you’re looking for an easier walk, try going from Malham village to Janet’s Foss instead.

4. Catbells, Lake District National Park

The Catbells walking route in the Lake District is popular with families thanks to its shorter length. At five kilometres and taking a little over two hours to complete for the average walker, it’s suitable for most abilities, although there are some steep climbs.

You can enjoy views across the Newlands Valley and Western Fells as you stroll around the route so there are plenty of photo opportunities.

5. Scafell Pike, Lake District National Park

As the highest mountain and war memorial in England, Scafell Pike attracts thousands of visitors each year. There are three routes you can take to reach the summit, and all are strenuous. So, if you’re a beginner hiker, you may want to choose a different walk in the Lake District.

If you decide to tackle the mountain, you can expect it to take around five hours to complete the 11.6 kilometre route. You’ll find some of the best views of the Lake District on this walk.

6. Tryfan, Snowdonia National Park

Located in Snowdonia, the Tryfan walk offers some of the most dramatic mountainous scenery. There are several routes up Tryfan but all are hard. So, it’s not a route that’s suitable for casual walkers.

Those that do have the experience to climb Tryfan can expect it to take around five hours and they will be rewarded with spectacular views.

7. Buttermere, Lake District National Park

If you’ll be visiting the Lake District, Buttermere is another great walk to add to your list. It’ll take you around Buttermere Lake and offers incredible views of fells and mountains. It’s been a popular walk since the Victorian age.

It’s an excellent option if you want a walk that’s suitable for all abilities without compromising on the scenery. A walk around the entire lake is less than seven kilometres and can be completed within two hours.

8. Old Man of Coniston, Lake District National Park

Yet again, the Old Man Coniston walk is in the Lake District, proving just how popular the national park is with walking enthusiasts. The Old Man Coniston walk is a circular route that loops around Brown Pike.

It’s a longer walk, taking around five hours to cover 12 kilometres, and so still suitable for most people. You can choose a shorter route, which is steeper, or opt for the long, gradual path. As well as the views you’d expect in the Lake District, you can also see industrial archaeology, including old quarry machinery and building foundations along the walk.

9. Dunstanburgh Castle, Northumberland

This walk is perfect for all walking abilities. Starting in the fishing village of Craster, you’ll follow the Low Newton coastal walk. You can enjoy stunning views across a sandy bay before you arrive at the mighty ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. The castle dates back to 1313 and you can purchase tickets from English Heritage if you’d like to go inside.

The circular route will take around an hour and 15 minutes, not including any stops you want to make, and covers a little more than four kilometres.

10. Mam Tor, Peak District National Park

At the top of Mam Tor, you can find some of the most dramatic views of the Peak District over Hope Valley and Edale. You can also see remains of iron age forts and walk along the Mam Tor landslide road.

There are 10 routes you can take to Mam Tor, with varying degrees of difficulty and length, but all are circular. The short three-mile walk is perfect for families, while the 20-mile hike is ideal if you want a challenge.

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helen hall10 outstanding walks to enjoy during May to celebrate National Walking Month

33% of couples say they’re financially incompatible. Here are 7 tips for creating financial harmony

by helen hall on April 1, 2022

How often do you talk about money with your partner? The way money is handled in a relationship can sometimes make or break a couple, and research suggests it’s something many people struggle with.

According to a survey from Royal London, 62% of couples in the UK say they have argued with their partner about money. The most common reason is that one partner is deemed to be “spending too much”.

While disagreements are part of every relationship, a worrying third of couples say they’re incompatible with their partner when it comes to spending and saving. And a quarter considers their partner to be irresponsible with money.

How you handle finances now affects your long-term plans, so finding a way to create financial harmony as a couple is important. It can not only reduce arguments but mean you’re both working towards the same goals.

If money decisions can cause some friction in your relationship, here are seven tips that could help.

1. Make money topics a part of your normal conversation

Despite money playing a huge role in your life, the research found that couples often find it difficult to talk about finances.

Making money topics part of the conversation in your home is an important first step. Sometimes, disagreements may occur due to a misunderstanding that being more open can solve. In other cases, a conversation can help you understand your partner’s view so you can minimise financial challenges.

2. Be open about your financial situation

If you currently keep your finances largely separate from your partner, they may not be aware of your situation, and vice-versa.

Being open about debt, outgoings, and other areas of finance can mean you’re both in a better position to understand the financial decisions being made. It can also give you an insight into how your partner views money and where your differences may lie.

Understanding your partner’s financial situation is particularly important if you’ll be making a financial commitment with them, such as opening a joint account or taking out a mortgage.

3. Create a joint household budget

If you share household expenses, understanding how they will be split and what they will cover is important.

For some couples, simply splitting expenses 50-50 makes sense. For others, taking income differences into account may be better suited.

What’s important is that you find an option that works for you and create a plan that matches your needs. This may mean depositing a set amount into a joint account every month or each of you taking responsibility for different outgoings.

4. Give yourself and your partner a discretionary budget

How your partner spends money can be a cause of conflict, especially if you don’t agree with their purchases. If this is something you argue about within your relationship, giving yourself and your partner a set budget to use however you like can avoid this.

It means you can both indulge in what’s important to you while knowing that you’ll still be on track to cover essentials and other financial goals you may have.

5. Set out clear saving and investing goals

With a day-to-day budget organised, it’s time to start thinking about other goals you may want to set aside money for. This could be to buy a house, start a family, go on holiday, or build a financial safety net.

Having clear saving or investing goals means you’re both working towards the same things.

Knowing that you both need to put money away at the beginning of the month means you know where you stand, and it can minimise arguments.

6. Don’t overlook long-term goals

Saving goals looking ahead for the next few years are important, as are ones that will affect your life in several decades.

The sooner you start thinking about areas like retirement planning, even if it seems a long time away, the more manageable your goals will be.

If you haven’t discussed how much you and your partner are putting away in your pension each month, for example, it can be difficult to calculate if you’re on track for a financially secure future as a couple.

So, when setting out a budget and what you want your future to look like, don’t put off long-term planning.

7. Work with a financial planner

Balancing different goals and views on money can be a challenge. By working with a financial planner, you can create a plan that you can both have confidence in and incorporates both of your aspirations to provide long-term security.

The financial planning process can help make sure you’re both on the same page, from discussing what your long-term goals are to reviewing your risk profile when investing. These steps can mean your financial decisions reflect what you both want from life with a clear blueprint to follow.

If you’d like to arrange a meeting with us, please contact us.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

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helen hall33% of couples say they’re financially incompatible. Here are 7 tips for creating financial harmony

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