These walks a Low Level QMDs (QMDs without summiting; marked as QMDS*), low level walks, and training routes. It isn’t always possible to drive four hours or more each way to the mountains and/or hills to walk and sometimes we need to be innovative and imaginative enough to find challenging and demanding walks that we can use for physical and mental training. For example, we sometimes walk along the ‘beach’, which ranges from pebble to large pebble to rock that requires some ‘scrambling’ (grade 0). This tests our basic agility, works the muscles and joints, and induces fatigue. Similarly, walking across many miles of muddy fields tests you legs and develops the ability to cross boggy ground without being worried about your feet getting wet. Low level walks can also be used to practice route finding and path finding, two skills typically overlooked.
The best collection of low level walks, almost solely on paths but still worth a look, can be found by joining the Long Distance Walkers Association. Even though they are on paths the walks from local groups cover virtually all of the UK and are a useful source of ideas for planning.
Storm’s Black Mountain Circuit Low Level QMD (unless you know the area in which case it’s pretty straightforward)
- OS Explorer OL164 1:25
- OS Landranger 159 1:50
There are some well known scrambling practice routes on Three Cliffs bay on the rock. A google will bring them up or look at UKC
The Gower Route Descriptions in downloadable PDF format
The Gower GPX routes and tracks
The Vale of Glamorgan
- OS Explorer 157 1:25
- Os Landranger 171 & 170 1:50
There is some good rough ground along some of the beaches along the coast; rock, pebble, sand. Make for good training for the legs, micro-route finding, and so on.
The Vale of Glamorgan GPX routes and tracks
The Epynt – Mid Wales
The Epynt Way is a PRoW running around the Epynt Mountain, a military live fire range. The Epynt Way is open 24/7/365. The most remote ground is to the south and the south west although the north east corner is a bit weird and has some fantastic ancient monuments. Check for any live firing before visiting. There are other PRoW that cross the Epynt running north-south as well. It is good country for being remote and the legs of Open Access stretching south from the Epynt provide plenty of scope for planning long, complex days.
- OS Explorer 187 & 188 1:25
- OS Landranger 147 & 160 1:50
The Epynt Route Descriptions in downloadable PDF format
The Epynt GPX routes and tracks
The Elan Valley
The Elan Valley is often disregarded yet it offers huge scope for QMDs and similar days. It is remote, has three summits, many hidden corners, some rock, and navigation and round finding can be extremely challenging. More routes and information is provided on the Mid Wales page. This route is given simply as an example of a Low Level QMD.
- OS Explorer 187 & 200 1:25
- Os Landranger 147 1:50
The Elan Valley downloadable PDF of route
The Elan valley GPX routes and tracks
- OS Explorer OL35 1:25
- OS Landranger 145 1:50
There is good rock on the coast in West Wales that provide potential opportunity for scrambling. There is plenty of exposure and what is lacking in height is made up for in terms of risk, which needs to assessed with care; scrambling on the coastal rock is not the same as scrambling in the mountains, although the skills are the same.
West Wales GPX routes and tracks
West Wales Carningli Common (Possible QMD by extending to include Cwm Mawr (PRoW through forest then back up Cwm Mawr route finding)
Fortunately the two hills of the Llyn Peninsula are much overlooked. There is an excellent QMD to be had here far from the hordes if you are prepared to physically and mentally challenge yourself with a big(ish) day. What it lacks in height it makes up for in hard work.
- OS Explorer OL253 1:25
- OS Explorer OL254 1:25
- OS LR123 1:50
GPX files for Llyn Peninsula
Llyn Peninsula GPX Bwlch Mawr to Yr Eifi ROUTE
This route does require use of PRoW and some road and the PRoW have not been recced. It is a demanding route with rough ground.