On a beautiful sunny day, there’s nothing I enjoy more than walking in the English countryside. Unfortunately, most of this August has been more like autumn, with overcast skies, unseasonably cold temperatures, and rain. Ah well.
But at least I got out for one walk, along an eight-mile stretch of the Thames Path National Trail. The trail took me from the old Anglo-Saxon burgh of Wallingford to the pretty little village of Goring-on-Thames. Like most of the Thames Path, it’s an easy, level walk through attractive countryside and historic sights.
The United Kingdom has dozens of great long-distance hiking routes. From easy country strolls to rugged treks across the Scottish Highlands, they offer it all. One of the best things about hiking in the UK for the history lover is the number of historic and archaeological sites you can see along the way. Perhaps the best route for this is the Hadrian’s Wall Path, which runs 84 miles along the entire length of the wall.
When I hiked the path, I decided to start at Newcastle upon Tyne and walk the entire way west to Bowness-on-Solway, on Solway Firth, thus crossing the country and seeing every bit of the wall. One advantage to starting in Newcastle is that you get to see the Roman fort of Segedunum to give you a taste of what’s to come. Once you get out of the urban sprawl, you have nothing but nature until Carlisle.