A walking holiday in Britain is a wonderful experience. There are over one hundred and forty thousand miles of footpaths in England and Wales, with many more miles to be added for Scotland and Ireland. The public has right of way on these footpaths which have existed for hundreds of years and are heavily entwined in the history of the British Isles.
Public footpaths come in all shapes and sizes, well trodden over the years, fitted with bridges, stiles and gates, travelling from hamlet to hamlet, village to village, valley to valley over hill and down dale, up mountain sides and along the ridge. Many follow the course of a river or a canal, others cross from one side of the country to the other, some follow the coastline, some just lead from one pub to another!!
For the do it yourself walker, the biggest problem you will encounter is deciding where it is you want to walk, and what you want to see. Many visitors are influenced by the desire to see an area where they or their descendants hailed from, others may wish to take in a few ancient monuments or other historical sites. Perhaps the challenge of one of the long distance paths is calling.
Wherever it is you decide you would like to place your feet, there will always be an OS map for the area you are tracking. The ordnance survey maps produced in Britain for well over a hundred years, provide detailed information down to the position of a post box for every square inch of the country. Reading these maps is great fun and adds a new dimension to hiking for many people travelling from countries where this type of detail isn’t readily available on maps. They can be purchased at every service station, newsagent, travel information bureau and online.
If you prefer to join a walking tour, there are loads of organizations offering exciting self guided and guided walking holidays through out England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The choice of accommodation is varied too on these tours, bed and breakfast, camping, hotels, pubs, and last but not least youth hostels.
Youth hostels are a great way of having warm, clean, budget accommodation all over Britain. A wonderful organization, widely used by all ages – many hostellers are not so “youthful”, these accommodation houses can be found situation from the centre of major cities to the top of remote mountains. Check out the Youth Hostel Association as a serious alternative for accommodation during your walking holiday. You will be guaranteed to meet some wonderful like minded people there and have barrels of fun at the end of your walking day.
Be sure to take a selection of clothing with you on a walking holiday, ranging from lightweight shorts and t-shirts in the summer through to warm winter weight thermal clothing for the winter. And always no matter what time of year have a good water/wind proof jacket and a pair of water proof trousers with you. Good hiking boots are essential too, since some tracks are quite rugged.
Then chose, coastline, countryside, hilly, mountainous, river valley, canal, cross country or all of them and away you go to a walker’s paradise.