By Robert Speaight
Great Britain is a single state but more than one "nation. Its unity has been achieved by the interaction, not by the dissolution, of several diverse elements; and if you walk with your eyes and ears open you will soon see the difference not only between England and Scotland, or England and Wales, but between Dorset and Durham, or between Yorkshire and Kent. There is no way of learning your own country like walking through it; you will find much unity in difference and much difference in love.
Maps and Guide Books I am assuming that you will carry a one-inch ordnance map, probably the finest map in the world, and also a compass if you are going over mountainous or trackless country. I also recommend a perusal of Alexander MacLehose's travel books, which cover a good deal of ground suitable to your purpose. Read Mr. Patrick Monkhouse on The Peak and North Wales (5s. each). There is nothing Mr. Monkhouse doesn't know about the Pennines and I imagine he is pretty sound on Snowdonia. And read Mr. Boyd on Yorkshire, Mr. Symonds on the Lake District, Miss Joan Bigbil on the New Forest, Mr. E. A. Baker on the Highlands. These books are all accurate records of personal experience and tell you the kind of practical things that you want to know.
Wales A word of warning about Wales. Do not confine yourself to Snowdonia, magnificent though this country is. It is possible that you may get more pleasure and less fatigue in walking in a less frequented part; Wales does not only appeal to the romantic; she is a place for the connoisseur in landscape. Recognize that she is a different country, with a living language and traditions of her own, and approach her with as much care as you would plan an entry on foot into Poland or Spain.
If you are going to the north leave your train at the border town of Oswestry and walk over the hills to Llanarmon, leaving the main road by a track which goes north-west just after you have crossed the River Morda at Llawnt. There is an excellent inn at Llanarmon on the right of the main village street, as you enter by the Glyn Ceiriog road.
Next, you must proceed up the Ceiriog valley, leaving the track to see the very fine waterfall at the head of the stream and returning to it afterwards. Then you must continue west across the moors until you reach Llandrillo in the Dee valley. From here you will be wise to take a bus or train to Llanuwchllyn at the southern end of Bala lake, and then walk up the Afon Lli across the mountains to Tyn-yGroes in the Trawsfynedd valley—one of the really classic walks in Great Britain with a superb climax and continuous variety. Do not miss it if you are in North Wales. ing at the "Castle," and thence to Port-. madoc, which is dominated by Snowdon —one of the most graceful mountains in the world. In the country to the north of this you can walk to your feet's content. But I repeat, do not neglect the moorland and pastoral districts of Wales —they have a marvellous variety of mood and colour.
Cornwall Or take another Celtic country, Cornwall, which is not unlike Wales in its atmosphere of secretiveness and isolation, the result of a defeated nationality. Here you will do well to avoid the interior, which is generally dull, and confine yourself to the coast. Approach it, as I did, from Clovelly, a spoiled place which only yields its charm if you spend the night there. There is nothing in landscape more dramatic than the change from the soft Devon scenery with its wooded cliffs washed by the British channel to the craggy grandeur of Hartland, which receives the full force of the Atlantic. From here you can walk by an adequate path the whole way to Penzance, and it is the finest stretch of coastal landscape in England or Wales. I have not myself done the part between Padstow and St. Ives, but I know all the rest.
You will find good accommodation at Boscastle or Port Isaac, or at any of the villages a mile or so inland (particularly at Kilkhampton, where there is a very fine church). Avoid Bude, but be sure to linger at Zennor, which is as lovely as its name, and at Mousehole on the southern side of the " toe." I do not know how much of the coast is spoiled now by the jerry-builders, but if you find it intolerable you can always take ship for the Scillies. But you will be ahead of me there, for I have never been to Scilly.
Dorset If you have only a week or a few days to spare and don't want to go so far, the Dorset coast is well worth a visit. Take the train to Bournemouth and start to walk on the other side of the ferry to Studland. Studland is very nearly as charming as it was when I first knew it twenty years ago, and you can go steadily from here to Swanage over the downs, and from Swanage to Lulworth (where you must also spend the night to appreciate it), and from Lulworth to Holworth, striking inland here on to the hills, and so to Abbotsbury and Bridport and Lyme Regis. I did this walk three years ago and was enchanted with the austere beauty of Dorset. It will always have my vote over Devon. And don't fail to patronise "The Goat and Compasses" at Worth Maltravers, seven miles beyond Swanage. Here is an inn with real character.
Pilgrims' Ways and Roman Roads You could also have great fun following the Pilgrims' Way from Winchester to Canterbury, or any of the great Roman . _