25 Mar 2024  |  Alex Mahoney

Copy by young adult volunteer RL

As part of our ongoing activities throughout the summer, ESTEEM has something big in the works – a full day’s hike across the English countryside in July. ESTEEM has held similar outings in the past. Last year saw us set out from the Old School House on an almost eight-hour-long trek before finally finishing up at Devil’s Dyke.

We’re still planning the route and endpoint for this year’s hike, but if last year’s juggernaut was any indication, then we can expect at least ten square miles of fields, hills and classic British weather.

“Spending a few hours simply walking can be a truly refreshing disconnect”

I was involved in the hike last year, and needless to say, it was a significant personal challenge. Trekking across roughly ten square miles of countryside is no small feat, even with the regular ESTEEM vehicle check points, where you can leave early if you need to. 

Despite the challenge, I think the journey is most definitely worth it, even if you do finish at a checkpoint. The routes we walk regularly find us miles away from any civilisation, with only the company of the other hikers and the wildlife. In my experience the most worthwhile part of outdoor walks are the opportunity to get away from the overwhelming onslaught of modern technology.

Nowadays, we are surrounded by a multitude of technology that is constantly demanding our attention. Things like social media and online work are almost always in our minds with just one more update to check, one more box to tick. Many will agree that it can often lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, contributing to stress and worsening anxiety. Hikes like this one offer a chance to figuratively and literally step away from it all. Spending a few hours simply walking with only the sounds of nature is something I find can be a truly refreshing disconnect and method of clearing my mind.

And that’s of course, not to mention the scenery. Last year’s hike provided a beautiful variety of scenic routes. Lush green fields, muddy pathways through dense trees, flat farmland hills and rocky riverside trails, just to name a few. Similar sights will no doubt be in store this time around and the scenery alone makes the trip worth it.

Young adults and staff lined up against the backdrop of hills and nature

All in all, the walk is sure to be a liberating experience and a fully worthwhile journey. More news will be coming soon regarding the finer details of the hike, so stay tuned! Young adults and staff are currently planning the details. The location, route, date and sign up will be announced via our social media and website.