Excerpt from Step Fourteen: Facts Afoot

Why Are Walking Vacations So Popular?
They are an extension of a craze. Everyone who is able seems to be outside walking in all kinds of weather or inside slogging away on a treadmill. People in the United States have embraced “fitness walking” for health, well-being, and as a tool for raising money for good causes.

In Britain, where paths actually lead somewhere and are still used for their original purpose—that is, to take you to a destination—walking is a passion, second only, it appears, to gardening.

Country walking—physically active, low-risk travel—is perfect for a “maturing” population with relatively sound bodies and curious minds. It encourages exploration at a natural pace and entices busy people to relax and tune in to timeless surroundings.

With hundreds of tour operators marketing walking vacations and with trail associations and the Web ready to assist the independent rambler, holidays on foot have become a favorite form of “soft adventure.” Their varying degrees of difficulty, their appeal to the active (often older) traveler, and their attractive destinations ensure that these getaways will become even more popular in the future.


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