Keeping active is definitely good for our health, however, that doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or be running a marathon every day. Rambling is a great way to exercise whilst exploring serene and wonderful parts of the country.
The Birth of Rambling
Rambling all began in the 19th century, when people living in over-populated cities headed to the countryside for fresh air (quite literally as the cities were so polluted), but it wasn’t as easy as it is today thanks to the Enclosure movement. This gave landowners the power to close off the land they owned, preventing casual countryside strolls.
This spurred on many walking groups to form and eventually in 1949 the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was put in place, putting all walking paths onto definitive maps. It wasn’t until 17 years ago that the Countryside and Rights of Way Act allowed access to mountain, moor, heath and downland, opening up whole new worlds to explore.
Now, we have miles of glorious landscape to ramble, letting us take in the wonderful views, wildlife and fresh country air in places we never dreamed of discovering.
What You Need to Start Rambling
If you’re a beginner and have no idea what equipment you need or how you start rambling, here’s a list of essentials and advice:
- For beginners on level ground, just a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes or trainers, that won’t cause blisters and have good grip – if you’re walking on difficult terrain, you should wear proper walking boots
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing (you’ll get warm), suitable for the weather conditions and a waterproof jacket, especially if you’re wandering around somewhere in the UK
- A small rucksack for water (a hot drink if it’s cold) and snacks
- Some ramblers take walking poles for extra support when trekking up steep hills
- Start on level (ish) ground in populated areas in case you get tired, transport is never too far away – try country parks or heritage trails, which allow you to explore a town or city and take in the local architecture
- Do 1-2 miles to begin with and work your way up
- Once you feel more experienced and can comfortably walk 5 or more miles in a couple of hours, you’re ready to step up to new locations and trails.
We have regular rambling holidays in different locations across Britain. Next year we have a fantastic ramble planned in Llandrindod Wells, one of the hidden treasures of Wales. The 5 day holiday includes 3 days of walking through the beautiful rolling hills of central Wales.
Rambling is a trend that all began in the 19th century, but now whole holidays are created around this healthy hobby.