Stop walking in circles


Wean yourself off convenient circular walks and embrace the joys of arrival

There is a wise adage that travel is about the journey, not the destination. That can certainly be true, but I think the destination and how you arrive at it matters too.

I love a good circular walk, but the shape is almost always drawn on walks out of necessity or convenience. I like to walk in circles when I need to start and finish in the same place, like when I walk around Exeter’s Green Circle or need to pop to Aldi to pick up a bag of potatoes. 

While circular walks are full of interesting places and temporary destinations, at the end of my journeys my principal emotion tends to be one of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I like relief… but I also like joy.

I love arriving. I love getting to a place and getting into it. 

My favourite kind of arrival is when I can see the destination on the horizon. I can see where I’m going, get a sense of scale and see as the place gets larger, perhaps popping in and out of sight as I get closer. 

I’ve felt this numerous times recently while walking Slow Ways towards Worthing, Torquay and Budleigh Salterton to name a few. Not only could I see the towns as I descended from the hills, but the sea beautifully framing them too. 

The anticipation is a pleasure in itself, but unlike the predominant sense of relief when I get back from a circular walk, the process of arriving in a new place additionally gives me the joys of discovery, achievement and making new connections. 

I do love a good circular walk, but for me, travelling from one place to another is far more rewarding and having a purpose beyond pleasure only makes that reward stronger. 

If, like many people, you or your group like walking in circles and have not tried travelling from A to B, why not give it a try? It’s only a train or bus ride away.

Been on an A to B walk? Share your journey with us at @SlowWaysUK #SlowWays on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Dan Raven-Ellison
Dan is Slow Ways' Chief Exploration Officer and Founder. Dan's a Guerrilla Geographer, National Geographic Explorer and lives in Exeter.

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