When you are planning a walk there are a few things to take into consideration, where you are going to go, how long the walk going to be, and whether you are going to take a linear or a circular walk. By this we mean are you going to start at one point, walk in a big loop, and end up back at the start, thereby walking a circular walk, or are you going to start at one point and end up at a completely different one, which is called a linear walk.
The obvious positive of a circular walk is the ease with which you can drive to your walk, park up, do your walk, and then jump back in the car and drive home. With a linear walk you’d need to plan ahead and either have accommodation at the other end or somebody there to pick you up. You’d also need to think about the fact that your car may still be at the start point unless you have also arranged transport for that end too.
However, if you delve deeper you’ll find there are benefits to linear walks too. Circular walks often have artificially constructed parts to the trail with lots of road walking on the return leg to get you back to where you came from, whereas linear routes can have much more varied terrain and will take you wherever you wish from point of interest to spectacular view to a forest and so on, you just keep walking.
Public transport can be a good way around the driving to/from the linear walk though. By hopping on a bus to the starting point and same again at the ending point you have no issues, this would need good organisation though as public transport will have strict timings and you wouldn’t want to be caught short with no way home. Another good tip is to walk with a friend, one drives to the end of the root, and the other picks that one up and drives you both to the start of the root. This way you have a car at both points and you can reverse this once the walk is finished.
Many people report a sense of departure and arrival from a linear walk and gain a feeling of achievement looking back at how far they have come. However, on the opposite note, a lot of people enjoy knowing what they have left of their walk, if they’ve reached the halfway point on a circular walk they know what’s ahead. Less able walkers may want to opt for the circular walk which can be nicely planned choosing a good walk length for your ability, in the knowledge that you have your car/coach/chosen transport method (and a flask of tea!) waiting for your return. Others may choose a linear walk based upon the fact that there is a fantastic pub at the end waiting for their arrival. At these times you would be glad not to have the car!
Whether a round route is your preference, you prefer heading for a new destination, or you like to mix it up, you can’t really go wrong. As long as you are getting out there, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery then you’re doing pretty well.