Our Policy and Research Coordinator, Rachel Lee, tells us why she thoroughly enjoyed her walking holiday in Italy. From getting closer to nature, to exploring a new country, to earning delicious Italian ice cream!

Why walk

National Walking Month has come to a close and I have just returned home from my second ever walking holiday. The first was *ahem* well over two decades ago in the Lake District!

This time I was walking through the countryside of rural Tuscany and not carrying everything but the kitchen sink in a heavy backpack.

May is a wonderful month to see the wildflowers there. Yellow chamomile and rock roses, pink field gladiolus, red poppies, and more types of vetch than I could shake a stick at.

If you are into bird-watching, it’s pretty good too. My birding highlight was seeing bee eaters – sharp beaked bundles of iridescent green, blue, yellow and rufous orange feathers.

Taking the time out to walk through the Tuscan countryside allowed me to see, hear and experience things that I would never reach by car.

Things like following secret sunken paths carved out by the ancient Etruscans, listening to the musical song of a golden oriole and feeling the rhythm of putting one foot in front of another to reach my next destination.

I’m back at my desk now, but my walking shoes are close by. Sitting behind me, my dog is waiting for her next walk!

 

Why walk