Traveling is a passion for many. And, as mentioned in Part 1 of the Kalya Travel Guide, it can be an extension of your healthy lifestyle. In Part 2, we explore the many ways you can wander this blue planet, the United Kingdom in particular, and keep fit.
- Hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat: With its epic history, friendly people, welcoming pub scene and multitude of cultural activities, Edinburgh(pronounced “Edin-borough”) is a haven for both the novice traveler and the seasoned pro. But, when you’re not perusing the well-curated collection of the Scottish National Gallery, enjoying tea (and a bit of history) at Edinburgh castle, or savouring a pint at the Panda Room, you can enjoy a bit of wild right in the heart of the city. The famed Arthur’s seat is a the peak of a range of beautiful hills located within walking distance of the Royal Mile. An afternoon hike up the modest summit (250 metres above the city) is a wonderful way to fit some cardio into your travels and enjoy the natural side of Edinburgh. The trail is well-defined and easy to follow, and will allow you to meet many other hikers along the way. Walk it in leisure, or challenge yourself with a quicker pace or a bit of rock climbing up the Salisbury crags (permit required). Stunning vistas of both land and sea await you from the summit.
- Walk in the footsteps of the Brontë sisters: The United Kingdom is steeped in literary history. There are so many ways to partake in said history, whether it be a visit to the famed Baker Street in London, home to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, or a trip to the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre in Edinburgh, home to the author himself. But, for the romantic at heart, walking in Yorkshire moors is an ideal way to spend a day. Begin your journey in Haworth, home of the Brontë family, where you can visit the Parish in which literary sisters Emily, Charlotte and Anne were raised. Booklets and maps are available in Haworth, outlining the best paths for your walk. And, signposts along the way, will keep you on the right track. From there, you can walk through the gorgeous, moody moors which inspired so many of the Brontë sisters’ stories, including Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. A highlight of the walk is a visit to Top Withens, believed by many to be the inspiration for the Earnshaw house in Wuthering Heights. The abandoned farmhouse is striking and melancholy in its beauty, and a peaceful spot to stop. Have your lunch under Heathcliff’s tree before setting off into the Pennines, a magnificent mountain range. Along your way, you will find many sheep and hare to keep you company, while enjoying the truly magical natural landscape of England. End your walk by passing through Hardcastle craggs, a surreal nature reserve, before arriving at Hebden Bridge, a quiet, friendly gem of a Yorkshire town. You can stay the night or take the train to your next destination. The 11 mile walk is an endurance test to be sure, but also an unforgettable experience through the heart of the U.K..
- Explore the cliffs and beaches of Whitby: From one literary landscape to the next, visit the seaside town of Whitby, just Northwest of the Yorkshire Moors, and home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Begin your day off on an active note by climbing the 199 steps to the Abbey cemetery and ruins. From there, you can hike along the majestic seaside cliffs while taking in the view of the Atlantic ocean and beautiful beach below. Or, if you’re up for it, go for a jog along the beach, between ocean and cliffs.
- Run through London Town: London is one of the most iconic cities in the world. It has so much to offer, the least of which being pristine city parks. From St. James Park just near Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park, home to Kensington Palace, residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to Regents Park, where you can find a University and Zoo all in one place. Strap on your running shoes and do a tour of each of these well-manicured natural oases.
- Find a local yoga class: Just because you are far from home doesn’t mean you have to leave your healthy routine behind. Wherever you may be, find a healthy activity to which you can commit. For example, the local yoga studio in Hebden Bridge, Calderdale Yoga Centre, offers a challenging, balanced Ashtanga yoga class weekly, taught by the incomparable and knowledgable Donna Southwell. The studio also offers a wide variety of activities including meditation sessions and dance-inspired classes.
- Explore the West Highland Way: The Scottish Highlands are truly stunning. The terrain is wild, peaceful and dominated by beautiful mountain ranges. Running through it, is the West Highland Way, a well-defined path that will take you from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William, home of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. The trail takes about 6 days to walk, and will carry you through some of the most dramatic and surreal landscapes you will ever see.