Walking for recreation in the UK countryside is a wonderful activity. It is healthy and invigorating, mentally relaxing and connects you with the natural living environment. Walks can provide adventure and discovery and satisfy an interest in history, geology, architecture, flora and fauna amongst many other subjects. Walking either alone or as a family or social group is one of the most enjoyable ways of spending leisure time with an immense variety of landscapes to experience from tranquil woodland to wide hilltop vistas. You are bound to feel better after a good walk.
Of course, if you are going to venture far into the countryside a few basic skills and knowledge are required for safety. Amongst these are basic map-reading and navigation skills, a knowledge of the Country Code and an understanding of walking and the law such as public rights of way and access. Even if you only plan to undertake fairly short circular walks it’s no bad thing to have this basic countryside knowledge as you will be more confident of being able to deal with any unexpected eventualities. You will find some of this information here.
If you plan to walk in more remote or upland areas, particularly in the winter months, then a more comprehensive knowledge is required. The best way to acquire this information is with a good book on the subject. You can then undertake increasingly more challenging walks as you build experience to increase your knowledge and expertise. There are several good books available from our bookshop and we would recommend either The Hillwalker’s Manual by Bill Birkett, or the even more advanced, Hill Walking by Steve Long.
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