THE RAMBLING GROUP EXPLORES THE WARWICKSHIRE AND LEICESTERSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF THE OUTDOORS AND THE EXERCISE
Walking is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United Kingdom, and within England and Wales there is a comprehensive network of rights of way that permits easy access to the countryside.
The idea of undertaking a walk through the countryside for pleasure developed in the 18th C, and arose because of changing attitudes to the landscape and nature, associated with the Romantic Movement. Thomas West, an English priest, popularised the idea of walking for pleasure in his guide to the Lake District of 1778. In the introduction he wrote that he aimed to encourage the taste of visiting the lakes by furnishing the traveller with a Guide verified by his own repeated observations. Published in 1778 the book was a major success.
The effort to improve access led after World War II to the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, and in 1951 to the creation of the first national park in the UK, the Peak District National Park. The establishment of this and similar national parks helped to improve access for all outdoors enthusiasts. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 considerably extended the right to roam in England and Wales.
In our own region we have the benefit of beautiful countryside, defunct industrial landscapes with their own charm and beauty, a good network of canals with easy tow paths, and a well maintained series of footpaths.
Members of the group take turns to lead the walks, which are about five miles long, circular, and finish with lunch. Sturdy footwear and suitable clothing (waterproofs and sunhats depending on the weather) is all that is required.
The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, with the walk starting at 10:00 am. The meeting point and the optional lunch arrangements can be obtained from Paul .