Chapter 8: Bryony (Shropshire)

Hi, I’m Bryony @hike_this_way My hiking adventures started in 2015. After a couple of wines at a mate’s house, I saw a map on the wall of the UK. I had a cliché epiphany moment and realised that despite loving the great outdoors and wildlife, I NEVER went and explored.

I had never really hiked and wouldn’t have known how to read a map or use a compass, I just assumed I was outdoorsy. So, I suddenly proclaimed “right I’m going to hike every mountain in the UK!”, and naturally everyone laughed.

I did some research and found the Nuttalls, the name given to any mountain over 2000ft in England & Wales. This was perfect a chance for me to explore the UK, so I set out to hike them all.

I was motivated by my stubbornness but had no idea where to start. I didn’t think I could go by myself. So my main motivation was then to find other like-minded women. Women who wanted to be more adventurous and see if I can push myself out of my comfort zone.

I enlisted a mate to take me on my first few hikes. On 18/04/15 I climbed my very first mountain, Rough Crag in the Lake District.

When I started I made a set of rules that I was sure I’d stick to. I planned to only walk in the summer months. To solo hike only on clear well used popular path (as I didn’t know how to read a map), and to hike only on clear days because I had no decent waterproofs.

I put these rules in place out of fear of the unknown. But the more I walked the more confidence I gained. The more I learnt about the various landscapes and how actually winter walking is the most incredible, exhilarating experience.

Completing my lowland leader and learning to use a map and compass was also a massively rewarding experience which gave me the confidence to get out on remote unmarked fells.

Solo hiking brings me so much joy, I’ve completely fallen in love with it. Now I quite happily solo hike on remote fells with no foot paths without a care! So far, I have peaked 171 of the Nuttalls. I absolutely adventures.

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