A good walk is a tonic, but it must meet certain criteria – and here’s one that ticks all the boxes
There’s plenty of evidence linking walking with wellbeing. It’s partly about giving the lungs a good workout and unleashing those energising endorphins, but it’s also about connection. A jolly good walk is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family, friends and colleagues while enjoying beautiful views, good pubs and picnic spots.
But what constitutes a jolly good walk? There are several crucial elements.
It needs to be long enough to make getting to the start worth the eﬀort. And there should be a Plan B for those who don’t think they can complete the whole thing. Also, it should be accessible by train. There is something quite exciting about alighting at a station you don’t know and heading oﬀ into the unknown. Of course, there needs to be a coﬀee stop, a picnic place and at least one country pub. The walk should be oﬀ the beaten track as far as possible and incorporate hills and views (you can’t have one without the other), as well as points of interest and plenty of ﬂora and fauna.
It’s not easy pulling all these essential elements together. I have relied upon friends to give me their best ideas, treating them as curators or even alchemists. One of my favourite walks is within 40 minutes of London by train, and I am indebted to my friend Bertie and his dog Ruby for the inspiration. Nobody knows the Surrey Hills like Bertie and Ruby!