Credit: Quechua hiking gear
It’s easy to see why people enjoy rambling. The British countryside is beautiful, and it’s a good excuse to get out and about, take in some fresh air and get some exercise at the same time. We spend so much time at home, in the car or in the office nowadays, that it’s easy to forget how stunning the UK actually is. And walking is the perfect way to see it. Exploring on foot is a fun way to see little places we may not normally get to see. But we don’t want to run before we can walk. Unless you research properly, you could find yourself struggling on steep rocky descents and feeling much out of your depth.
Unlike walking on a paved path, rambling can be much more challenging (which is also part of the appeal). If you’re looking to get into hiking as a beginner, you’ll want to start with a few nice short hikes to test out your new kit and build your confidence. Look for relatively flat rocky trails, and get a map of the area beforehand so you know how far it is, and if the path is a loop or if you’ll have to backtrack (you can find lots of paths and detailed information about them online). Make sure you check the weather leading up to your hike (and just before you go) so you know how to dress and what to pack. It’s recommended to hike with someone, especially if you’re just starting out. But if you are going it alone, make sure you share your itinerary with someone so they can call for help if need be.
When you first get on the trail, you may feel full of energy and want to power forward. But you will need to pace yourself, otherwise you might not have the energy to take on the full trail. Start slow and pick a pace you can maintain all day, you’ll be glad you saved your energy later.
Most importantly, plan ahead and stay safe, and you’ll soon catch the rambling bug.
Here are just a few of the great hills and trails for beginners to get you started:
If you fancy escaping the UK for a little hiking holiday, Europe’s varied and beautiful countries offer unforgettable experiences, for beginner hikers through to seasoned pros looking for a challenge. Here are some of the top hiking spots in Europe: