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Who needs valentines when you can fall in love with walking...
In a nod to Valentine’s Day we thought we’d focus on a love you’ll find will grow, deepen and become more addictive as the years’ go by – the love for being in fantastic British countryside.
Here are just four reasons – we could have written umpteen more – why your love of the great outdoors will only grow stronger.
The sense of wellbeing and calm
Whether it’s forests, mountain tops, river banks or rolling hills, there is something ultimately very calming and bewitching about being surrounded by lovely scenery.
Walking along, you’ll feel as though you’re nourishing your soul and switching off from everyday pressures while getting fit in the process.
For our Snowdonia Body & Soul Weekend we take the wellbeing aspect up a notch by combining some fabulous walking in the foothills of the mountains with some beginners’ yoga lessons back at the guesthouse. Come along in summer and there’ll also be the chance to try other peaceful pursuits – stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and wild swimming.
The fascination factor
Follow a walking route for the first time and of course there’s added intrigue as to the views you’re going to see as well as wondering how the trail will pan out.
However walking the same path several times can still elicit that same level of interest. It’s always fascinating to see how familiar landscapes change with the seasons; how the merest glimpse of red deer, stoats or eagles can, well, set the heart soaring; or how a knowledgeable guide can shed light on the history of the area.
Take our walking weekends to the Peak District or Hadrian’s Wall. We run these trips several times a year and some guests are serial returners – such is their affection for walks like Mam Tor in the Peaks or the Housesteads circuit via Sycamore Gap along Hadrian’s Wall.
It must be the magic spell of the countryside but even complete strangers will wave and chirrup a cheery hello as they walk past. Compare that with a city street where nobody even dares to make eye contact.
Making new mates also seems to be so much easier when you’re part of a group and can join in the various conversations that crop up during a day’s strolling. We’ve known even shy people turn into chinwaggers as a weekend’s walking progresses!
If you’re keen to join a walking trip where the emphasis is on the sociability (ie:more gentle strolls where there’s a high chance we’ll end up in a tearoom or pub during the day) then take a look at our weekends to Alston in the Pennines or the Lake District gentle shores and valleys weekend.
Food tastes so good
Cheese and tomato sandwich and crisps.
In normal surroundings such lunchtime tucker might be construed as being a bit staid but sat on the shores of a beautiful lake or basking in the sunshine atop a mountain, such simple fare turns into a gastronomic delight.
In fact walking and fresh air conspire to create ravenous appetites. Knowing you’ve clocked up the miles during the day though means you can adopt a no-holds-barred view on food whether it’s devouring a whopping piece of sticky toffee pudding or polishing off a plate of stew.
The beautiful thing is that pubs, cafés and tearooms in walking hotspots are generally very geared up for ravenous walkers. One of our areas of expertise is nosing out the good foodie spots in an area as well as cooking up a veritable feast for our guests during the evening.
Take our spring weekend in the Yorkshire Dales. We’ve purposefully based the weekend in Kettlewell, a village that is like a hamper of goodies – from the pubs pouring pints of real ale, the shop selling a vast array of confectionary through to tearooms enticing people in with freshly-made scones and Yorkshire Parkin.
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