Not all walks are equal.
Some can feel like a trudge on an uphill treadmill, with monotonous and featureless scenery.
But others can be brilliantly varied, providing a surprise around every corner.
My recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales to climb Ingleborough and Simon Fell was without a doubt the latter.
It was a day crammed full of variety and packed to the brim with memorable moments.
My walk lasted just six hours but I had more than enough time to stroll through a postcard-perfect village, peer into Britain’s highest waterfall, scramble through a limestone gorge and stand aloft a fine peak.
This was my first ever trip to Yorkshire and I wasn’t left disappointed.
As a peak bagger attempting to summit all 253 Nuttalls in England maybe my expectations of the Dales were low, after my recent box-ticking endeavours had led me to several dull forestry roads and boring moorland tracks.
I don’t think however it was a case of warped perspectives.
The walk was top quality by any standards and I’ve been left with an eagerness to visit Yorkshire again soon.
My day in the hills started with a stroll by the river in Clapham, a picturesque place that is everything you expect and hope from a Dales village.
I quickly reached the private grounds of Ingleborough Hall and, after paying a small entrance fee, enjoyed the nature trail through woodland and along a lake.
Resisting the urge to find out more about the mysterious “hidden dangers” signposted, I emerged from the woodland and continued on a clear track.
I passed the tourists visiting Ingleborough Cave, preferring to press on and explore the smaller caves off the rocky valley heading north.
A mini scramble up the Trow Gill limestone gorge added a taste of mountaineering to my morning fun and then – impressed with the variety experienced so far – I settled down for a well-earned lunch in a secluded spot.
But the real highlights of the walk were still to come.
The awesome chasm of Gaping Gill – a huge hole into which Fell Beck disappears – was perhaps my favourite.
Standing on the edge of the yawning abyss gave me ‘jelly legs’ while watching the never-ending flow of water cascading into the darkness, forming Britain’s highest unbroken waterfall, left me in awe of nature’s beauty and force.
Other top moments were a snowy traverse on the upper slopes of Ingleborough, views back over the striking 724m peak from Simon Fell and exploring a limestone pavement.
Back in my car I downed a can of Pepsi Max and reflected on the 11.5-mile walk.
They say variety of the spice of life – and I certainly think the theory applies to walking and mountains.
More variety equals more fun. And I certainly experienced that in the dynamic Dales.