To be part of the landscape, to move through it by way of your own effort, walking & hiking creates a relationship with the land that no other form of travel can.
All our Foot Trail’s journeys include beautiful landscapes, and the South West is wonderfully diverse with woods, rivers, high up vistas and coastlines.
Inspired by South West England
The landscapes, rural life and nature of SW England have inspired many writers, poets and painters through the centuries too.
Jane Austen, who spent time living in Bath and Hampshire, was an avid walker and many of her characters like to walk, none more so than Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice – “They entered the woods, and bidding adieu to the river for a while, ascended some of the higher grounds; whence, in spots where the opening of the trees gave the eye power to wander, were many charming views of the valley…”
For Thomas Hardy, another avid walker, place was a key part of his novels with vivid descriptions of his beloved Wessex (Somerset, Dorset & Wiltshire). “There are downs in Wessex, shaped as if by a kindly hand” wrote Hardy.
Here are a few suggested example itineraries to get you started:
Walk, Tour & Explore up to 21 nightsStunning and varied walking and hiking adventure up to 21 nights in up to six of the South West of England's counties in one trip. Work with one or our Trail Consultants to plan and organise your own totally custom-made walking trip.
Meadow and chalk downland
Much of southern England is characterised by Chalk (white and porous substance), creating a curving land. Our Foot Trails wander over the West Wiltshire Downs, Cranborne Chase and Salisbury Plain & Stonehenge.
The chalk is a form of limestone, and it was laid down under the sea millions of years ago. Formed by tiny shells. Big curves, dry valleys and steeply sided coombes, all the things that chalk landscapes are well known for.
Flora and fauna
With a variety of landscapes and countryside on your Foot Trail you can expect to see a wide variety of seasonal flowers, from the first early spring Snowdrops and bulbs in January and February through to the wild Bluebells and woodland flowers of spring, red Poppies and cornflowers of summer, and the wild berries and fungi of autumn.
We enjoy including extra little touches such as a Colins Gem guide in your Walk & Explore Box, so you can enjoy spotting and learning about the trees, flora and fauna too.
Woodland and forest
There are some beautiful stretches of woodland and forest on our Foot Trails. Great places to enjoy our native English trees such as the Oak and of course a wide variety of animals, flora and fauna.
Look out for deer, foxes, badgers and mice in the woodland. If you can’t spot the animals themselves, see if you can find their tracks in the mud. Listen out for bird song from the many different British varieties, and in spring enjoy the woodland flowers and tree blossoms.
Farming and agriculture have shaped the English landscape over 1000’s of years. Hedgerows criss-cross the landscape, attracting birds, insects and life, in May they bloom white and in autumn they are thick with berries.
In the fields Cattle and sheep graze creating pastures and encouraging wildflowers. In spring the barley fields ripple in the wind, in summer turning to fields of gold. The rhythm of the farming year and seasons is played out in the countryside before you.
How do our trips work?
Typically you stay for 2 nights at each selected country inn with a different and varied walk each day. It allows for a little less packing & moving on, and a little more exploring like a local. Luggage transfers are included when you hike to your next country inn.
Your itinerary consultant is here to guide you through creating and arranging your Foot Trail. Simply get in touch below to start a conversation.
Like to find out more?
To find out more and request an example itinerary for one of our trails, just pop your details in below or give us a call on +44 (0) 1747 820626.