Where purposeless walking lives on
Lake District, England. (Howard Timberlake)
May is national walking month in the UK, and BBC News Magazine has kicked it off by arguing that purposeless walking is becoming a thing of the past.
But we would argue that purposeless walking – perhaps better described as walking with the purpose of being alone with one’s thoughts, rather than to get somewhere or accomplish a task – still has a place in the world. In fact, it has several places, some of which are particularly spectacular.
Whether you are looking to for a slow ramble or an epic jaunt, these paths may help revive your interest in the fading art of taking a walk.
England’s Lake District
Hailed as the region where William Wordsworth found his inspiration, the rolling green mountains of England’s Lake District offer the perfect backdrop for a mindful stroll.
Australia’s Red Centre
With 223km of mountain trails, dusty tracks and narrow canyons, the Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most isolated, awe-inspiring long-distance walks.
Israel’s ‘Jesus Trail’
If you’re seeking a bit of spiritual introspection, venture to northern Israel’s 65km Jesus Trail. With a reputation as one of the world’s greatest hikes, it has as much to offer lovers of archaeology and nature as it does to those on a religious journey.
The first long-distance trail to trace a country’s entire shoreline, the 1,400km Wales Coast Path is alive with vibrant scenery and legend, from the Llŷn Peninsula to Pembrokeshire.
Peru’s Santa Cruz Trail
While more challenging than a slow saunter, this lesser-known alternative to the Inca Trail offers inspiring views of ultramarine lakes, granite mountains and flowing waterfalls.