For all but the shortest and easiest walks some preparation is necessary to turn a walk into an enjoyable day out. Why not plan to combine a walk with a pub lunch or picnic?
Map and Directions
Ensure you have the walk directions and maps (including the printout of the multiMap link or Ordnance Survey map). To get the map for a walk follow the 'Map reference:' link on the area page(example). If you do happen to get lost a compass may be useful.
The printing hints describe options for printing walk directions. Experiment with the options to find which you like best.
The time it takes to complete a walk is dependent on the distance, elevation, difficulty and weather conditions before and during the walk. It is even more dependent on the fitness of the people walking and how much they get distracted by looking at the landscape and nature. Start by allowing at least half an hour per mile.
Before setting out on a walk check out the weather forecast, try the weather at the BBC. Beware a strong wind can make a walk on a sunny day very unpleasant due to wind-chill.
Food and Drink
On a long walk take some sustenance unless you can guarantee a 'watering hole' such as a pub or cafe on route. The minimum you should take is some fresh fruit, dried fruit, chocolate or cereal bar and a bottle of water. On a cold day a flask of hot drink can help remove the chill from the bones.
For all but the easiest walks, walkers should wear the right kit.
The first essential is suitable footwear, walking boots are recommended for all but the easiest of walks.
Walking clothing should include a waterproof coat, comfortable trousers (denim jeans are not recommended) and a woollen sweater.
A waterproof/windproof coat is recommended for most of the year in the UK. It may also be worth considering waterproof over-trousers.
Trousers are preferred to shorts even in summer as they help to protect your legs from nettles and brambles.
Even in summer it can suddenly turn cold. A woollen sweater is an ideal extra layer to keep you warm.
Use a rucksack to carry food and drink and any extra clothing. A rucksack on your back keeps your hands free when climbing over stiles.
Don't forget to protect yourself from the sun on summer walks.
Walking is an excellent way of reaching countryside and coastline inaccessible by most forms of transport. Take a camera to capture what you see on the walk and help you remember the day.
All pictures an walks4softies have been taken with a digital camera.
If weather changes extremely and forces you to give up your nice walk through the scenic landscapes, then look for the perfect car hire to take you around.