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Keeping the mind focused whilst trudging along

Parts of Offa’s Dyke are going to be amazing – breath taking scenery, stimulating conversion with Alex (@winkysmileyface), chats with locals and fellow hikers, or just watching nature go about its business around us.

However, I am under no illusion that other parts are going to be truly horrid – strong winds, driving rain, exhaustion, aching limbs and monotonous views. At this point a hike becomes a “trudge” – every ache and pain is magnified tenfold in your mind – you just want it to end.

So how can you focus your mind whilst “trudging”?
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Review of Priory Mill Farm Campsite, Brecon

It is not often that things live up to their marketing spiel, but actually the Priory Mill Farm campsite comes pretty damn close.

Situated just outside the town of Brecon, Powys, just North of the Brecon Beacons, Priory Mill Farm is on the banks of the river Honddu. We stayed mid-week in March 2010 (we were unsurprisingly the only ones there!) for two nights at a cost of £7 per person per night plus £1 per night for the dog.
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Training on the Brecon Beacons

The one thing that has been lacking in my training regime (well it isn’t really a regime, more a panicked collection of walks) is big hills. I love walking across the rolling farmland of Northamptonshire, but it is a far cry from the ups and downs of Offa’s Dyke.

So for the final training trip before our challenge begins, I am off on a camping and hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons. Unfortunately my fellow Offa’s Dyke team member Alex (@WinkySmileyFace on Twitter) is unable to join me due to work commitments, but instead I will be joined by Justin (@JustinFleming on Twitter).

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A few tips to avoid a miserable time on Offa’s Dyke

One of the things I have really enjoyed about the build up to Offa’s Dyke is the lovely people I have “met” on Twitter – to name but a few groups: fellow hikers and campers, locals near Offa’s Dyke, people who’s lives have been affected by Multiple Sclerosis and other foolish people who have walked Offa’s Dyke.

One of these foolish people is Pete (@Pete_Knight on Twitter) who walked Offa’s Dyke last May with some fellow Naturists for a diabetic charity – he has kindly put together the following tips on avoiding a miserable 13 days on Offa’s Dyke:

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Camping and walking Offa’s Dyke

Now we are under a month away, it is time to work through how we are breaking up the route, and where we will be staying.

This post details our plan, which keeps most days around fifteen miles and ensures that every night we have somewhere confirmed to sleep (hopefully with warm showers!).  We are walking Offa’s Dyke North to South and in most cases we will be staying on campsites, with a few exceptions, that are dog friendly and easy to access from Offa’s Dyke. Read more

The after effects of a 19 mile hike with an almost full pack

When we head to the Brecon Beacons in a few weeks time for our last training trip before Offa’s Dyke, we will hopefully be joined by Justin (@JustinFleming on Twitter). Yesterday I joined Justin on his own practice walk – what was supposed to be a 15 mile loop from Bugbrooke in Northamptonshire.

At the last minute we decided to modify our route slightly to take in a lovely area to the South of Long Buckby – but the resulting walk was 19 miles long, and ended with a rather tiring last few miles slogging down the Grand Union Canal in the dark!

View the full route and social commentary

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