Oh, you re here! That’s Great Wood and that’s Bignor Farm!
Crossing the road, within minutes I was back in secret woods I pretended no-one else knew about. Sometimes I deliberately didn’t check the map for thirty minutes, just venturing down a path. If I was enjoying the shade of the woods, the birdsong, the company of a stream, then I’d go along with it. If I popped out into a field and demanded more time under the trees, then I cut through the grass to the wood over the other side.
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Conversely, if I wanted to be out in the sun, following a faint trail through the long grass with the heat on my neck, then I would. After a while I’d check my location, adjust, and then plan on meeting the bridleway up to the river or another place I wanted to see. It was deliciously random and unexpected.
There are other advantages to walking around where you live. Its eco-friendly for starters; you shouldn’t need to grab the car keys on your way out. There’s no need to check out the train or bus timetables because you arrive back where you started. You can tweak the route once you become accustomed to it. If you don’t have a few hours for the entire walk, then keep an eye on your map and take that footpath that brings you back earlier.
Walk to that country pub you’ve never set foot in and feel no guilt at sinking your pint because you know you’ll walk it off.
Closer inspection of your map will reveal historical sites you didn’t even know were there. On a wider loop a week ago I walked past a ruined castle I had never even heard of, let alone knew was lurking in the woods.
You can grab a quick overnight camp if you feel the need. Suss out the best camp spots as you walk around and a mid-week mini adventure is possible without driving miles to get there.