Members of The Ramblers of course, Britain’s walking charity, can be seen in all weathers getting to grips with the British countryside, on day excursions or longer trips, with overnight accommodation organised on the way. And other travel companies have picked up on this idea, with innovative group walks, as well as favourites like the Pennine Way or hikes through The Dales being offered. Or maybe an amble along The Thames Path, happily fairly flat, is in order.
Your luggage will be transferred to your new place of rest each day, often delightful country inns or rather special, little-known B&Bs, which allows you to get on and really experience the scenery, without feeling like a snail, carrying its home on its back. But even this indulgence cannot always make up for the weather.
Another interesting walking experience can be to explore cities, which is a great way to start a short break and helps you get your bearings. In Florence, for example, you can find a huge range of free and paid for tours, as well as suggestions for self-guided explorations too. The Mayor of Bath offers free tours for visitors with official tour guides, replete with unexpected facts. For a couple of hours or so, you’ll find it is time well invested.
So if you like walking and are keen to be active on holiday, but are not so keen on cagoules or waterproof gaiters, perhaps warmer conditions will suit you better. With a little investigation, you really can walk almost anywhere in the world, although deserts and polar ice caps do need a very experienced and knowledgeable support team.
In order to create holidays for all abilities, there can be transport to the top of mountains, with walking down at a leisurely pace being the day’s achievement, even somewhere as exotic as the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. However, for the hardened mountain goats amongst you, a serious challenge or two are available in the Pyrenees or Alps.
The Canary Islands, unbeknownst to many, have fabulous walks, especially in the interior with a huge variety of geographical features and abundant plant life. Closer to home, fine food and wine can be consumed at will in Italy and France, with the knowledge that you’ll be striding out to compensate the very next morning.
Each travel company will have a grading system showing just what level of fitness is required, and several have different options each day, so if you are a Sunday stroller and your partner akin to Ranulph Fiennes, you can still spend holiday time together. It is worth researching the time spent walking each day and the gradients climbed, as being over ambitious can turn a holiday into an unwanted boot camp!
Walking has always been popular as the very best way to get to the heart of a place, whilst appreciating the scenery and local culture. You just get to see so much more! And the satisfaction at the end of each day, when you return to a small, friendly hotel, your luggage awaiting you, just cannot be beaten.
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Note: The information given is by way of suggestion only. It is correct, to the best of our knowledge, but we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions on our part.
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