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Go Walking in England with Everett Potter

Walking in Exmoor, overlooking the Bristol Channel. Photo by The Wayfarers.

It's time to get out your walking boots, your map of England and your sense of humor. For more than two decades, I've been traveling the world and telling readers like yourself about where to go and how to go there. This time, I’m showing the way.


In September, I will host an eight-day walk in England with The Wayfarers, the premier English walking company. Dartmoor & Exmoor with Everett Potter will run from September 26 to October 3, 2010.

I first muddied my hiking boots with The Wayfarers in the early 90's, when they led me on a week-long walk through the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. A few years later, I joined them on the Coast-to-Coast Walk of England, from the Lake District through Yorkshire and down to the sea at Whitby.

This time, our destination is Devon, one of the most picturesque and romantic counties in England. The ancient harbor of Dartmouth in the South West of England is the gateway to this trip. We’ll walk across the dramatic open spaces of Exmoor and Dartmoor  (the setting for the ultimate Sherlock Holmes adventure, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles”).


Greenway, Agatha Christie's home in Devon.

We’ve added two extras to this trip. In Dartmouth, we’ll go on a boat
trip up the River Dart on a guided tour to Greenway, Agatha Christie’s
home in Devon, which just opened to the public a few months ago. We’re
also giving participants on this trip a free custom fitness program
tailored for the Dartmoor to Exmoor Walk Itinerary through Fit for
Trips, a $279 value.

I've long been impressed by the Wayfarers dedication to this most English of
pursuits — walking. That's walking as in eight or 12 or even 16 miles
a day, stretching the legs in some of the most beautiful countryside on
the face of the earth. They are purists when it comes to going up hill
and down dale, albeit purists who know the merits of a good fire, a
good dinner, a couple of pints of Old Peculier and a comfortable bed at
day's end.

We’ll walk on meadow-paths and narrow lanes, crossing rivers and passing through thatched hamlets, stopping for hearty pub lunches and a traditional Devon Cream Tea. We’ll explore the wild uplands of Exmoor, where we might spot a native pony or a red deer, Britain's largest wild animal. And we’ll enjoy sweeping views from the rolling hills across the Bristol Channel to Wales.


On an English country walk, you smell the roses in the cottage gardens and talk to the people who tend them. Chat with rural publicans about an upcoming darts tournament. Meet young families and weathered octogenarians devoting their Sundays to the pleasures of the path. You get views worthy of 18th century landscape paintings and historic country churches blessedly absent of visitors. In short, you take a walking holiday in the England countryside as you might take a golfing holiday on the Scottish links. Because, in country where over 35 percent of the inhabitants regularly set off on walks, you're at the source of this passion.

Accommodations include The New Inn, which despite the name is a thatched 13th century Free House in the sleepy village of Coleford, and The Royal Oak, owned and run in the 1930's by Gwladys and Maxwell Knight, the spy-master and radio broadcaster, upon whom the character of 'M', James Bond's boss, was based.


The Wayfarers have dubbed this an “energetic” walk, because while the walking is through pastoral countryside, estuaries, woodlands, wild uplands and open moorland – and yes, a few hills – the distances are between 12 and 14 miles of walking per day.

Dartmoor & Exmoor with Everett Potter will run from September 26, 2010 to October 3, 2010. The cost is US $3,795.00 per person, based on double occupancy (single supplement US$495.00). All meals and wine with dinner is included. To book this walk, and get the Fit for Trips Fitness Itinerary and the Agatha Christie excursion, you must use code EPTR2010. To learn more or to book this trip, visit The Wayfarers.


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