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Report 1735: Walking in Great Britain: England, Wales and Scotland, 2009

By Linda Hagstrom from PA, Fall 2009

Trip Description: In Sept 2009, I spent almost five weeks in England, Scotland and Wales. Three of the weeks were spent walking.

Destinations: Countries - United Kingdom; Regions/Cities - Cotswolds, London, North Country, Scotland, Wales

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Beach; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; Single Traveler

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Page 1 of 20: Planning My Trip

photo by Linda

Stile on footpath in Cornwall

In March of 2009, I made reservations with HF, a UK walking company, for the first three weeks of my trip. I have walked with HF in Italy, Spain, and Turkey. This time I would be walking for a week each in the Cotswolds, northern Wales (Conwy) and Cornwall.

After my walking weeks, I would spend five days in London, then travel to York.

A friend I had met on my HF trip in Turkey last year, Barbara, had invited me to spend the night at her house and go walking on the wolds nearby. She lives about an hour from York, in a beautiful area close to the sea.

After my visit with Barbara, I would go to Edinburgh and fly home from there.

I made my reservations with HF, a non-profit walking company. Their leaders are volunteers and unpaid. It is very competitive to get to be an HF leader. Candidates must pass many tests of their ability to lead groups on walks, navigate, read maps, do first aid, and socialize.

HF is almost 100 years old, and was initiated by philanthropists who wanted to provide an opportunity for young English working people to spend their holidays in a healthful way. Today about 50,000 people a year walk on an HF holiday.

HF has an extensive offering in Europe and elsewhere. On these you usually stay at a hotel for a week and walk in the vicinity. In the UK, however, HF owns most of their hotels, which they call "country houses." They are usually older manors, which HF has bought and added on to. On this trip, I stayed at the country house HF has owned the longest, almost 100 years (Bryn Corach at Conwy in Wales), and at one which was built in the 1600s (Harrington House in the Cotswolds).

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