Wally Trimble

I've been enjoying long-distance walking in Europe since the mid-1990s. Most of my trips have been in Britain – England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I've also walked long-distance paths in Italy, France, Switzerland, and in the United States.

At left, you'll find links to accounts and photographs detailing four of the paths that I've walked in Britain. Perhaps someday I'll get around to putting up accounts of the others.

If you enjoy hiking, there's no better way to see a foreign country than to walk through it. These step-by-step encounters with the land and people provide a perspective that's missing from riding in high-speed trains or touring by automobile.

Britain is particularly blessed with hundreds of walking paths, some of them designated as National Trails. These allow walkers rights-of-way across private land, many of which date back centuries to a time when drovers had to have access to bring animals to market. These paths climb to the high places and follow river valleys from town to town. Accommodation is easily found, and there's a warm pub waiting at the end of the day.

Best of all, walking forces the traveler to adopt a slow and steady pace, and often leads to close encounters with natives ... inn-keepers, farmers, other walkers ... and many of them are looking for an excuse to rest for a bit and talk. On the more popular trails, such as Wainwright's Coast to Coast Path, you'll keep company with other walkers. On that path alone, I've gotten to know many Brits, and also visitors from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and all over Europe.

Parts of some of these trails go through wild places that many people would not expect to find in Britain. But wild places there are, from desolate moors to high mountain paths. One such lonely stretch is on the northern part of Offa's Dyke Path, from Llangollen past the 13th century ruins of Castel Dinas Bran and on through the aptly named World's End.

Now there's a walk that will take you back back to the Iron Age.

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