The outdoors is good for us. More and more, science proves the health benefits of the outdoors. Our modern lifestyles can be relentless. Now more than ever, we need to take time for ourselves. Time spent in nature is time well-spent on self-care. Walking holidays in Essex offer an excellent chance to do just that!
Benefits of Walking Holidays
Walking holidays offer some important benefits.
Firstly, walking holidays are one of the more environmentally-friendly kinds of travel. With no carbon-emissions, walking is easy on the environment. Likewise, trails are thinner than roads which reduces their environmental impact.
Secondly, walking holidays can be budget-friendly. On the one hand, once you arrive at your walk, your transport costs are minimal. After all, you’re using your own two feet! On the other hand, there are many free trails to enjoy across the country. For instance, the National Parks offers miles upon miles of walks across all different kinds of terrain. For Essex, check out the AA’s guide, 50 Walks in Essex.
Thirdly, walking holidays are unique holidays. By wandering trails at your pace – places most tourists won’t see – you uncover special people, places and experiences that are unique to your day’s walk. Follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims or enjoy salty breezes along the coast. There are so many different kinds of walking holidays!
4. Your Health
Finally, your health. Whether you regularly participate in exercise or find it difficult to include fitness into your routine, a walking holiday is a great opportunity to improve your health. These days, walking is well-known to improve health and longevity. A walking holiday can be a great way to start a walking habit.
Walking Holidays Essex: Where to Go
Walks around Essex offer all these benefits and more. Located close to London and Stansted Airport, people from around the country can easily travel to our region at limited expense. Moreover, our region boasts fantastic coastline, forests and country-lanes ripe for walking holidays. Throughout the year, our stunning natural scenery offers plenty to delight and refresh walkers. So where are some great places to walk in Essex?
Well, that depends on what you’re after. We have walks through woodland, along the coast, or in the countryside. Essex Walks offers a full listing of places to walk in Essex. Similarly, Hike Essex organises walks every weekend. Want more options? The National Trust lists some amazing walks in Essex.
Did you know that Essex has the longest coastline of any English county? This gives us a lot of coastal walks in Essex. For instance, check out 50 Walks on the Essex Coast, for a detailed guide to walks covering the entire publicly accessible coast. While rambling the Essex coast, you’ll see wildlife, discover picturesque villages, smugglers’ haunts, nature reserves and little-known gems along the coast.
If you’re looking for places to walk in Essex, then ‘Constable Country’ needs to be on your list! Straddling the Essex-Suffolk border this is rated one of the top 50 walks in Britain. Moving between country meadows and picture-postcard villages this walk is a great chance to view the landscapes that so inspired the Victorian painter.
Though Essex is right next to London, we have plenty of coast, countryside and woodland for locals and city-dwellers to enjoy. For example, Hainault Forest. Covering more than 330, this stretch of land is now one of the last remaining parts of the medieval ‘Forest of Essex’ – a former Royal hunting ground. You can reach the forest by car or Tube. Once there, you can try the eight-mile-long Three Forests Way for a challenging trek. In addition, there’s woodland walks at Epping Forest (also accessible by Tube), Hatfield Forest, and Hockley Woods. Hatfield Forest is the only remaining fully intact medieval Royal Hunting Forest in the world. This 403-hectare wood is Britain’s most authentic place to experience rural pursuits from the Middle Ages. Some of the trees you’ll pass on this 3.5-mile walk are over 1000 years old, a living reminder of our country’s history and heritage. Similarly, Hockley Woods is the largest remaining area of the wild wood that covered Essex during the last Ice Age. Clearly, walking holidays in Essex offer exercise, respite and plenty of heritage.
Shinrin-yoku is the name given to the Japanese art of “forest bathing,” contemplative walks through the woods that reconnect the individual with nature and can lead to decreased stress, natural mood elevation and even a stronger immune system.‘Forest Bath’, LA Times
So, whether you fancy a winter walk in Essex or a day rambling some of Britain’s finest beaches, Essex has what you’re after. Whatever your pleasure, walking holidays in Essex have something to restore and revitalise you.
Harwood House for Holidays in Essex
Conveniently located 10 minutes from Stansted Airport in the lovely market town of Great Dunmow, Harwood House Stansted B&B often hosts travellers headed abroad. However, our guest Clare used Harwood House as a base for her walking holiday Essex:
I stayed for three nights at Harwood House, using it as a base for walking in the beautiful Essex countryside with three girlfriends. For those walkers among you, Great Dunmow is on the Flitch Way walking path and there are plenty of well signed footpaths in the area.[The owners] were wonderful hosts and worked very hard at making us feel welcome…Our rooms were clean and comfortable and the breakfasts were very, very good; probably the best breakfasts we have had in the many B&B’s we have stayed in over the years. We were concerned that the nearness of Stansted would be a problem but there was no disturbance at all from any sort of aircraft noise.
There are great pubs in the local area, good walks abound, Great Dunmow and the area is pretty and welcoming – well worth visiting without the need to go to Stansted! I would thoroughly recommend this B&B not just for when going on holiday abroad, but as a base for exploring the area.Clare B, Beaconsfield, United Kingdom, TripAdvisor
As a locally run