How in the world do you go about planning a trip to walk the English Countryside? Oh my, this was the number one question hitting my inbox when Jer and I began sharing our adventures on Instagram. Which, by the way, we did end up saving those to highlights on Instagram if you want to go check it out. Be warned, they will inspire you to drop everything and jump on a plane to England, so be prepared. Anyway, so many questions, and we are here to answer those for you. It’s way easier than you probably think, AND way more affordable too. While we only have one trip under our belt and may not be labeled “professional” walkers, yet (is that a thing), we will share how all this went down for us. You ready? Oh my GOSH this is going to be so much fun.
Like I said in our first post, (The Adventure of Walking the English Countryside: How it All Began), after being inspired to walk, I started researching online and discovered a walk called The Cotswold Way Walk. You know the rabbit hole you can go down while searching for things on the world wide web. One thing leads to another and another and the next thing you know you are immersed in a whole new world. Sing it with me, A Whole New World. (Sorry the song is now stuck in your head). We spent countless hours each night watching others walk the English Countryside on YouTube. Yep, you heard that right. We became best friends with these adventurers. They found their way into mine and Jer’s conversations each day. We were invested. We were hooked.
Now, these new friends lived on the wild side. A bit more than Jer and I wanted to live. They walked and camped along the way, true adventurers. Listen, I’m not saying this isn’t in the cards for us. In some insanely crazy weird way, I’ve contemplated it. Our first expedition into this new life though, I needed to ease my way in. Ease my way in by having a roof over my head at night, running water, a bed, you know, those types of things. Somewhere while I was immersed in this rabbit hole of searching, the Lord saw fit to allow me to happen upon The Cotswold Walks website. It was as if the stars aligned. The world stood still for a moment. Angelic voices began singing Hallelujah. Were my eyes deceiving me? Was there actually a company that planned your walk, booked you places to stay along the way, and would move your luggage from place to place? If you ran into any issues, you could call them? They would be your lifeline? Oh, thank you Jesus, you are so good to me. This was SO GOING DOWN.
Cotswold Walks, go there now. Well, I mean you can finish reading this, then go there and get lost for hours. There are so many options. You can do guided walks, self-guided (what we did), short walks, long walks, even customized and luxury accommodations for your adventure. We can’t say enough good things about working with Andrew and his team. I highly recommend going through someone local to plan this out for you. Knowing there is someone there you can reach out to if something goes wrong or you have a question, well, it’s priceless. The service of moving your luggage from place to place on your journey, oh my, if you aren’t camping along the way, this is a must. They know the areas, they know the walks, this is their expertise. I know, I know, to all my fellow control freaks out there, we can hand over the reins to someone else from time to time and trust they got it all under control. Be free and allow someone else to tell you what to do. It’s rather exhilarating.
Here’s my recommendation when working with Cotswold Walks. Do your research on their site. Have a good idea of what you want to do. Understand what they offer and your options. Get a date in mind for your trip. Jer and I are major last-minute travelers, but we realize most people do book these types of trips well in advance. That is a good thing. Once you have a rough idea of when and what you would like to do, message the company. In my experience, it may take several days, even a week or two for them to get back to you. Don’t stress about this unless you are last minute travelers. Preparing well in advance is highly recommended. Once the company reviews your message, they will contact you to go over basic details, making sure they truly know what you are wanting from this trip. When this process starts, the ball quickly begins to roll. At this point they begin contacting places you will be staying and building your itinerary. They give you a price and you are done.
Our trip of eight nights and seven days of walking was just a little over $1000 US a person. The whole trip right at $2000. Of course, this is not including airfare. This did include breakfast each morning, our accommodations, transferring our luggage daily, and a couple of transfers by car. The company gives you a booklet that overviews your itinerary and basic info to know along the way. You have an app (we will do a whole post on this coming soon) you can follow, and you have their contact info like I said earlier if you run into any issues along the way. If you feel like you can’t complete the walk, they are a phone call away. Again, we can’t say enough good things about our experience.
Don’t overthink this wild adventure. Just book it. Remember what I said in How It All Began? Ready, fire, aim it. Book it and then figure it out in the weeks leading up to the expedition. You know what? That was a crazy fun part of the journey. Jer and I spent so much time reading, watching, and shopping for items as the time was ticking down to our departure. You better believe we are going to share with you alllll the things we learned along the way. What did we buy that we totally didn’t need? What was an obvious item left out? What kind of shoes, socks, backpacks, clothes will you need? Yep, gotcha covered. We are going to answer all the questions you have sent our way. What did we talk about while walking hundreds of miles? Did we go to the bathroom out in the woods? Did we train leading up to it? We are an open book. If you have a question we haven’t addressed, send it to us.
We hope our adventures inspire YOU to adventure. Whether it’s jumping across the pond and traveling abroad or exploring trails near your own backyard. Get out there and dive into this amazing creation we live in. There is much more to discuss in the prepping and planning for the trip department, so stick around this place and let’s become best walking buds. You in? We will be breaking our first trip down for you, and hopefully very soon, sharing our new adventures with you. Man, this is going to be THE BEST EVER. Isn’t adventuring fun?
Like I said above, if you have specific questions, please, I’m begging, leave them in the comments. Don’t be shy. Deal? Deal.
In our next post, we will be discussing guided tours vs self-guided tours. Be there or be square. (What does that saying even mean?) Ok, see you soon!