Walking & hiking the Landscape is a privilege, to immerse yourself, moving simply by foot is life affirming, calming and grounding, it connects us to our story and nature in a unique way.
At its most simple landscape is a large area of land, but add to that varied natural features, human interactions and buildings, and the differing moods of weather with light, it is an inspirational and evocative scene.
Land itself can encompass hills, rivers, lakes, sea cliffs, plains, marshes, forests, beaches, rock, earth. But equally fascinating is how the character of the local landscape has shaped those that live there, from how the land is used, to buildings created of local materials, the land gives a sense of place, belonging and cultural importance.
South West England is a small area of our world but richly diverse. It’s one of the things that we love about our home. Celebrating these different areas, coupled with the unique benefits of walking, was our motivation for founding Foot Trails. It’s a landscape that’s inspired poets, painters and writers too.
Uniquely, the county of Dorset has a different feel from Wiltshire, which has a different feel to The Cotswolds, which are all different to Somerset. And entwined with these landscapes are the stories of the peoples of these areas which, likewise, are all different.
There’s the dry stone walls of The Cotswolds and it’s stone cottages, the sweeping and curving chalk downs of Wiltshire, the thatched cottages and mills of the river valleys, the open ridge ways of Dorset and its plaster thatched cottages, the willows and rhynes of the Somerset levels with its mythical stories, the sea cliffs and beaches where the sea washes the shore. So much to explore.
Written by David Howell, Foot Trails Manager and Trail Creator