19th May, 2015

Visit England are busy promoting National Walking Month on social media at the moment. Of course we are in full support, so we thought we'd do a little blog post on all things walking related.

Whilst The Carter Company started out as a cycling holiday specialist, over the years we've spent so much time out in the field exploring and designing routes, that we realised we were perfectly placed to offer walking holidays too. Our extensive local knowledge, from secret paths to ancient churches, to the best cafe in the Cotswolds for traditional afternoon tea, could easily translate to walking holidays. And so it began!

Walking holidays are just like cycling holidays in that they are all about cultivating the art of slow travel. It's an ethos that's close to our heart here at The Carter Company. Butterfield & Robinson talk about 'slowing down to see the world', and if you've ever taken a cycling or walking holiday, you'll no doubt understand why slow travel is so fantastic. Often on holiday we have a tendency to rush about from place to place 'box ticking', without actually stopping to absorb our surroundings and soak up the local atmosphere. Travelling by bike or on foot does facilitate the more 'authentic travel experience' we talk about in our tagline, because it slows you down and encourages you to engage with the detail. And it's the detail that you tend to remember at the end of a trip: the chitchat you had with a local on the Thames Path, the little kiosk selling freshly baked croissants on the Camel Trail cycle path in Cornwall, the rare bird you saw wading on the Isle of Wight's nature reserve.

Walking has so many benefits. Apart from discovering hidden treasures and local gems you wouldn't otherwise have stumbled upon, it's also a great way to get get some fresh air, it's much greener than taking a car or a coach, and it's good for the soul! In Buddhism, walking meditation is a principal method of meditation, and one that has enjoyed a popular revival recently thanks to the Mindfulness movement.

So whether it's a lunchtime stroll with your dog in tow, or a walking holiday you're thinking of, we encourage you to pull on your walking boots and head into the great outdoors for adventures aplenty! If you're in need of some inspiration for longer walking trips, check out our page dedicated to walking holidays in the UK. Our favourite trips include 'An amble around London and the Cotswolds', 'Ceredigion Coast', 'Hadrian's' Wall' and 'The Thames Path from source to London'. Enjoy!