Fitness, walking and Munros

Totally agree with every aspect that our First Minister is stating and will continue to abide with all guidance and with all laws. As a retired couple our main hobby is walking in all over Scotland including all the islands. All our holidays ( apart from one usually in Europe - we are meant to be on a walking holiday in Pyrenees noo!) are in our country having done almost all of them - West Highland Way, Southern Upland Way, Cateran Trail, Kintyre Way, etc,etc. We average 15 miles a day walking and do Monros, Corbetts, Grahams and Hughs (Hills Under Graham Height!). At the moment we are only doing local walks taking two guide dogs ( whose owners can't go out) for 1 hour walks (we admit that it sometimes slightly longer!) which at our pace is about 3 to 4 miles. Not being able to go to the gym, we are putting weight on.
What's your idea? Allow driving to an isolated location, where parking is also isolated (this may have to be considered to a degree of isolation - for example Glen Trool car park could get mobbed). If your are driving 2 hours to a location and 2 hours back, you should be walking AT LEAST 4 hours. You take your food and drink with you, you ensure there are no parts of the route where you can't step to the side by at least two metres, you don't touch gates/fences and if you choose routes that you know you are likely to be fairly isolated (eg not Ben Nevis or Conic Hill or Ben Lomond). You finish your walk, return to your car and drive straight home.

Why the contribution is important

Fitness first but also a degree of isolated freedom. We have so many beautiful places in our country where there is so little face to face contact. From our experience there are so many walks that we have done ( eg Cowel Way, Southern Upland Way) where we have met no one person that we could have that freedom. And that freedom allows relaxation, improved mental health but certainly fitness. At this point I want to say that our First Minister is outstanding and that she has the respect of all our family. May we all wish her well.

by matherstom on May 05, 2020 at 11:55PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 27 votes


  • Posted by LindaMacd May 06, 2020 at 07:08

    I think this suggestion needs to be part of a much wider discussion regarding resuming outdoor activities.
    For example, sea kayaking can easily be done whilst maintaining social distancing both at launch point and on the water.
  • Posted by stagwoodwellbeing May 06, 2020 at 07:09

    We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area in Dumfries & Galloway. Up until last week when I twisted my ankle (at home!) I had been walking at least 3 miles a day. Rarely see anybody and if I do, people respect the SD measures. Vital for my wellbeing & to keep me positive. I had to temporarily close my Pilates studio and am now teaching a few online classes.
    My husband is in the high risk group so unable to leave the house & garden. .
  • Posted by Rainbowbright May 06, 2020 at 08:02

    Walking in a remote area within a reasonable distance from your home should be allowed, maybe up to a maximum of 1 hour drive if it is a long walk. There may be less risk of seeing others
    No travel to islands yet though
  • Posted by YMCA May 06, 2020 at 08:04

    I agree as a psychiatric nurse working in a locked ward every day I need to escape to the hills on my days off. I can drive to the hills and not meet a soul. Most people who walk Munros are responsible and would take PPE gear and follow social distancing rules. Please open the hills of our beautiful country.
  • Posted by MargaretR19 May 06, 2020 at 08:28

    Agree but too risky just now unless measures in place to restrict access to our mountains to those within a certain radius...this could be done now...if open to everyone too soon....people will drive miles into communities and car parks will be overrun
  • Posted by Louisethomson20 May 06, 2020 at 08:28

    One word of caution, it would depend on people s better judgement so a massive public campaign would need to support this move.
  • Posted by angelseasonfive May 06, 2020 at 08:47

    You are currently allowed to walk for longer than an hour for your daily exercise.
  • Posted by elkay52 May 06, 2020 at 09:29

    I love the hills and the wilderness but I'm not sure that now is the time to ease restrictions. I wonder what the view of Mountain Rescue Teams would be? Accidents can happen and the risks that a rescue would involve for Team members is perhaps too high. This aspect might not have been a consideration that had a priority in our plans to head into the hills before Covid-19 - changed days.
  • Posted by noeldarlow May 06, 2020 at 12:38

    If it is possible to access the hills safely, then this should be allowed. I think we can, with a few rules:

    * popular car parks could be marked out to maintain reasonable separation

    * dispersal is key: if your destination looks at all busy be prepared to go somewhere else or go home

    * stay out of local shops and villages

    * avoid touching any shared public surfaces like gates, stiles, benches etc

    * Bothies may not be used except where the safety of the party is at risk. Otherwise, no overnight stops. No lunch stops.

    * It's not fair to expect volunteer MR teams to put themselves at risk so warn people there will be no rescues for the duration. Everyone should be asked to take extra care when planning a trip and when they are on the hill. Everyone should stay well within their comfort zone according to their level of fitness and experience.

    The physical and mental benefits of spending time in the great outdoors are huge. If there are safe ways to do this which maintain social isolation and do not expose local communities to a risk of infection, then we should allow it.
  • Posted by Janni May 06, 2020 at 14:43

    I think the government should have a bit of faith in people assessing the risks appropriately and undertaking only activities which are well within their ability, and therefore avoiding needing the mountain rescue. People will also think about places where there won't be lots of other people, but the hills are v ast enough to find an empty spot somewhere. People who are not used to hill walking might have to be encouraged to stay on easy paths, whereas those who walk the hills reguilarly should be allowed to do so. We are all different, have different skill sets, and one does not fit all.
  • Posted by Johnh May 08, 2020 at 09:50

    I do really want to see hiking permitted. It is a solitary activity and its impact on the R value will be negligible - I'd rather see some measures added such as permitting only weekly shopping trips to enable the countryside to reopen. This is the sort of mental health activity people need right now. Some people sound like they think the local area belongs only to locals - our natural heritage is there equally for all of us. Restricting use of countryside to only those living locally will also mean areas like the pentlands get swamped while our enormous mountain ranges permitting more distancing are unused. Please open up the wild again even if it means other restrictions to keep R below 1.
  • Posted by aloneinthehills May 08, 2020 at 11:07

    Restore access to the countryside
  • Posted by JLMBD May 09, 2020 at 14:52

    No one can guarantee that they will not have a bad day, an unlucky moment, a slip or an accident, or an illness or heart attack. Mountain Rescue have asked people to stay away from the hills for a good reason. Every call out involves team members from different households putting their loved ones at risk because you can't do a rescue without working side by side. Much as I would love to go back into the wilderness I think it is irresponsible for now.
  • Posted by JuliaM May 11, 2020 at 08:16

    Would love to travel to the mountains but the time is not right. We should not be travelling to other areas of the country, yet.

    I could choose a remote spot but, more likely, there is a risk that honey pots in the Cairngorms, Loch Lomond etc are inundated as those are well-known & frequented places (as Snowdon was inundated just before lockdown).

    I would like to return to local hills within a short drive.

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