“To walk three miles, or four miles, or five miles, or whatever it is, above her ankles in dirt, and alone, quite alone! What could she mean by it? It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country-town indifference to decorum.” Caroline Bingley, Pride & Prejudice
An Austen pilgrim would be a foolish girl indeed if she were to pass up a wander through the Hampshire countryside a la Elizabeth Bennet. Journeys like this are especially helpful when pouting or suffering from Wickham-induced melancholy. I recommend listening to the Pride & Prejudice 2005 soundtrack while walking – it really makes you feel like a Bennet sister.
“Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise.” Pride & Prejudice
I also highly recommend having no idea where you’re going. My big wander took me down a windy, wet street, through a crisp, fresh smelling forest, past miles of gentle hills and fields, behind a couple of farms and finally back to the little hamlet of Sparsholt. It must’ve been about five miles all together.
All the while I was imagining the walk from Longbourne to Netherfield and what it must’ve been like to conduct these long country walks in a petticoat. My jeans were already six inches deep in mud… Caroline Bingley would thoroughly disapprove of my conceited independence and wild appearance!