There’s nothing better than a long walk in the Great British countryside, but while the weather may be perking up a bit, it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet.
With drizzly days and chilly temperatures, it can sometimes feel like winter will never end. But, with the promise of spring on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to head out into the great outdoors.
We’ve pulled together nine hacks so you can enjoy the British countryside this spring.
It’s true when they say it’s always better to be able to take a layer off. So, if you’re heading out on a long walk, think about thermals, t-shirts and micro fleeces. By layering clothing, you can regulate your body temperature easily, and stop yourself from overheating or feeling the pre-spring chill.
It might seem obvious, but if you’re heading out on a long walk, it’s essential to take care of your feet by wearing supportive, practical footwear. Opt for walking shoes with a firm ankle support, laced up and lined, a solid tread and a waterproof fabric to maintain happy feet in any conditions. Don’t forget to bring a spare pair of socks to change into at the pub afterwards!
Your body needs more fuel in the cold so make sure you have provisions to keep you going on your walk. Opt for high-fat snacks like chocolate, nuts, jelly sweets and cereal bars that burn off slower, keeping your body going for longer.
If you’d rather step out of the cold to re-fuel, pop into a local Chef & Brewer for a wholesome meal, to keep you going whatever the weather. We’ve got over 140 pubs around the UK, many in walking distance of some of nature’s greatest routes.
What better way to stay warm than to start your expedition in toasty gear? Heat your base layers, gloves and hats on the radiator before you leave the house so you’ll be warm and snug as you hit that trail.
Make sure you plan ahead for your walk - even if you’re only going for a stroll – by familiarising yourself with the route and checking the map. If you’re planning a more adventurous trek, bring a map and compass, as well as a head torch and spare batteries in case it gets dark. It’s also a good idea to check the forecast beforehand, as wet or icy conditions can make precarious companions on a spring hike.
One simple tactic to keep your bearings is to plan your walk around the pub. Many of our pubs have circular routes that take you straight into the countryside - but with the promise of a nice hot meal and a brewed-ale at the end of it!
The onset of spring brings the promise of lighter days, but dusk can still catch hikers out. One simple trick to find out how much sunlight you have left is to stretch your arm and hold your fingers up to the horizon. Every finger width from the horizon to the bottom of the sun indicates 15 minutes of daylight left in the day.
A top tip from professional hikers is to wear mitts instead of gloves when you’re walking in the cold. They might not seem like the most practical walking gear, but the natural heat from your fingers will work together to keep your hands warm during your walk. Look out for windproof mittens to protect your hands from the chill.
Whether you’re walking in the warm or the cold, at sea level or at altitude, it is important to always stay hydrated. If you’re walking in mild conditions, it is recommended that you drink approximately half a litre per hour to make sure your bodily fluids are well replenished with each step.
One of the best things about a long country walk is the inevitable visit to the pub at the end. It’s the perfect opportunity to reward your efforts with a delicious pub lunch as you rest your weary feet. Our menu features a range of tasty dishes to refuel, such as to the Luxury Fish Pie or a tasty treat from the specials menu.