Thursday, 22 March 2012

Walking - a modern leisure activity

Why do we walk? More often than not, it's not to get from A to B as part of our daily business. We walk for pleasure,  exercise, to 'get some fresh air', explore the surrounding countryside, and a variety of other reasons.

Not so long ago, in the area where I now live, walking was the way of getting from one place to another for ordinary people. The town has many 'satellite' villages and, over the centuries, a network of footpaths and byways developed - the major route crossing the area being the Icknield Way.

click through for larger version

We are blessed with a huge choice of walking for health routes that criss-cross and circle the towns and villages in this part of North Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

To mark the beginning of Spring (though it felt more like the beginning of Summer), MWNN and I had an 'exploratory' walk around Ickleford yesterday. We were without a map and relied on the markers and signposts to navigate our way around a circular 3.5km walk, beginning and ending at Ickleford Sports Centre.

At the end of this delightful walk, we dropped into the Plume of Feathers, a real unmucked-about-with pub that serves a good selection of real ales and some rather good bar food. Ron was allowed join us to share the ham from my ham-and-salad-on-wholemeal sandwich and a few of MWNN's side-serving of chips.