Going on a walk allows us to take a step back from our daily routine. You can feel the wind in your face, the changing of the seasons, the excitement of coming across a beautiful building or the buzz from immersing yourself in a rich social history. We follow in the footsteps of generations of people that have followed the route before us helping to bring alive the pages of history.
This autumn the National Trust is celebrating this love of walking and the way that a walk can peel back the layers of human and natural history. The Great British Walk is all about sharing a favourite walk, taking yourself on a journey of discovery through history or finding yourself among the wonder of nature.
There is something magical about a walk. It's the experiences of the things that you see and hear en route, whether a stunning view, the wonderful sight of the leaves as they change colour or a favourite spot to have a picnic.
As a nation we have a rich and important walking heritage. The network of footpaths that criss-cross these islands is second to none and the long struggle to have access the countryside and coast has its roots in this green and pleasant land. It's fair to say that the walking revolution is made in Britain.
Getting ready for a walk is also part of the experience whether a seasoned rambler or someone who likes to go on an occasional stroll.
It could be laying out one of the wonderful Ordnance Survey maps and tracing your finger along a route and the contours of the landscape. Or it might be finding out more about a walk either online or flicking through a walk leaflet to pick out what you might see on a route.
You could say that walking is in our DNA. The popularity of programmes, such as Countryfile, and the hunger for walking supplements in newspapers and the ever popular walk of the week or month that frequents the media, show that we have a real closeness to sense of discovery that a walk can bring.
And now we need your help in our quest to find the ten Greatest British Walks. Keeping it to just ten is going to be a real struggle but we want to find the walks that define the beauty and diversity of the countryside. A panel of walking experts will pick the winners and they will then be beautifully illustrated.
But how do you define greatness when it comes to a walk? Surely this is something which is totally subjective though we can all agree on a breathtaking view or the importance of a particularly precious landscape. A great walk needs to be able to tell a story, have a narrative that keeps you hooked and builds momentum as your footsteps make their way through the countryside.
It's going to be about how you make the case and evoke the spirit of a walk that puts it in the frame for this nationwide search. We want people to share their love of walking and why these walks matter and should earn the right to be in the cannon of walking greats.
For me a Great British Walk has to have a route that will allow you to collect rich memories along the way. Long or short the walk needs to be something that reflects the story of the location or grabs your attention through a stunning viewpoint or geographical feature.
A favourite walk near to where I live has something different for each of the seasons, whether it butterflies fluttering gently in the meadows during the summer or picking nature's bounty during the autumn from blackberry bushes or apple trees. Part of the walk allows me to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen who often walked through Charlcombe Valley just outside Bath.
A favourite walk can be somewhere very local or a place you've visited time and time again.
Suggestions for the Greatest British Walks need to be submitted by the 4 November via www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk and there will be an opportunity to view the nominated walks online throughout the Great British Walk. In a country with such a rich walking heritage and such a wonderful diversity of landscapes we should be in for a treat.
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