How to Plan a Walking Vacation in England

June 30, 2022 | Sarah Funky

England is a nation of enthusiastic ramblers, as evidenced by the many national paths throughout the country. It’s an excellent place to plan a walking tour as a beginner because unlike many trails in the U.S., you can generally walk from one hotel or bed and breakfast to another as opposed to needing to camp out. You can follow a beginner walking plan and schedule in advance of your trip to prepare your body for the physical exertion. It’s still a great place for experienced hikers as well, however, with some rugged, challenging trails and beautiful scenery.

How Long

One of the first things you’ll need to consider is how long you have. If the answer is months, you could tackle the South West Coast Path at 630 miles. If it’s days, you could walk a portion of that path or perhaps the entirety of the 79-mile Yorkshire Wolds Way. There are several other considerations, discussed below, but you can be certain that however little or much time you have, there’s a memorable path you can take.

How Much Money

How much money you have will also affect both how long you can go for and how you travel. There are companies that will arrange a luxurious walking tour for you, carrying your luggage for you each day and booking you into extravagant lodgings each night. At the other end of the scale is camping. If neither of these appeal, there are various other types of accommodations, from hostels to guest houses and bed and breakfasts along most of the national trails in the country. If you don’t already own hiking gear, you will need to buy, at minimum, good shoes, suitable clothing and a small daypack, so don’t forget to account for these costs. As you’re looking at your budget, keep in mind that you can take out a personal loan to pay for your trip. This may be a better option than other, higher interest alternatives.

Your Interests

If you are visiting London for the first time your interest may vary from someone who has been before. Another thing to consider is your interests. Whether you love mountains or the sea, there are trails that will suit you. If history is your passion, consider Hadrian’s Wall, a roughly week-long walk across the remnant of the wall built by the Romans in the second century.

There are museums and other sites of interest along the way. If you can’t decide between your love of urban life and a walking tour, the Thames Path, which winds through London, might be the perfect compromise. The Ridgeway takes you along one of the most ancient roads in the country while experienced walkers will love the challenge of the Pennine Way, which will see you logging more ascents combined than if you climbed Mount Everest. If you are spiritually inclined, you might be interested in the medieval pilgrim’s way in the south from Winchester to the famous Canterbury Cathedral.

Your Journey

There are plenty of other aspects to consider. Will you go alone or with friends or family? Will you go as part of a tour or independently? Consider your fitness in planning your itinerary and choosing your trail. If walking six to eight miles per day is what is most comfortable for you, don’t feel as though you have to go 15 or 20 just because other people are. Choose your time of year carefully as well. Good weather is never guaranteed in England, but some trails will be virtually impassable in winter

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