Walking an LDP
LDPs can be walked in many ways to suit the capabilities of the walker and the time available, either as a continuous walk, or as a series of sections over a longer period, for example at weekends. You don't have to walk long distances each day.
Many walk an LDP as a holiday or a challenge over several days or weeks, depending upon the length of the route. Most walkers backpacking a route will aim for 10-20 miles a day, depending on their fitness and whether support is available to lighten the load, such as a baggage transfer service. The shorter LDPs, say those below about 25 miles, may be within the abilities of a fit walker to complete in a day and some LDWA group walks and challenge events are based on an LDP.
However the route is to be attempted, careful planning is needed. The publications listed on this site are the prime sources for route information and should be obtained and studied well before setting out. Maps should be purchased well in advance: some walk guides include detailed OS or other similar mapping, such as the national trail guides by Aurum, and avoid the expense and weight of separate maps. You can buy over 500 books and over 1000 maps using the ‘buy online’ links on the map and book page that you reach from the lists on the route pages, and you can also buy any individual OS map using the Buy a Map page.
It is important to be realistic in deciding the distance to be walked each day. Fitness and stamina are important and you may want to do some trial walks beforehand on similar terrain nearer home, carrying a similar backpack. Each day on an LDP needs separate assessment, based on the terrain to be covered, which will determine the average speed that can vary greatly even on a single route. Guidebooks may be helpful in breaking the route into suitable stages convenient for accommodation and facilities.