Anniversary walkers follow in footsteps of outdoor pioneers

The walkers who recreated the Lake District’s first group walk from Ambleside 150 years on

The walkers who recreated the Lake District’s first group walk from Ambleside 150 years on

First published in News

A GROUP of walkers marked the anniversary of the birth of a pioneer of outdoor holidays.

Thirty people walked from Ambleside to Grasmere, retracing the steps taken by a group of 30 Lancashire mill workers who enjoyed the first group walking holiday in 1891.

The occasion celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Arthur Leonard, the group’s leader, widely considered to be the father of the modern open-air movement and innovator of the group walking holiday.

Leonard took the pioneering party of working class men and women on their historic excursion to the Lake District – and more than 100 years later, the group following in Leonard’s footsteps included the chief executives of the Ramblers, Youth Hostel Association and HF Holidays, as well as rangers from the National Trust, all organisations that he was instrumental in setting up.

The party also included some of the 700 experienced HF Holidays’ volunteer walk leaders.

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