Lakeland’s Great Cartographer
200 years since the publication of his famed map of Lakeland, #GetOutside champion James Forrest investigates the life of map-maker Jonathan Otley.
England's pleasant pastures provide a mix of beautiful countryside as well as urban architectural masterpieces. Discover more with some of our favourite areas.
And did those feet in ancient time. Walk upon England's mountains green And was the holy Lamb of God. On England's pleasant pastures seen!
The lyrics to the non-official national anthem of England, the hymn 'Jerusalem' which originated from a William Blake poem and was put to music by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916, celebrate the beautiful and iconic green landscape and rolling hills that England is best known for.
Whilst we could create an endless list of beautiful areas (for example our blog on best views), here are a few jaunts through England's green and pleasant land which you could spend the day enjoying.
For history, culture and legend, Glastonbury is somewhat unparalleled. Whilst most recognisable these days for the global superstars who descend upon its gloriously muddy festival every June, the Somerset town has tendrils running right back to the days of St George.
A walk around Glastonbury needs to take in the famed Tor, which stands upon a small hill that offers a vantage point stretching for miles in every direction. A round trip from Glastonbury town centre should take no more than four miles, although be prepared for a relatively steep ascent to the Tor - one that's made slightly easier through the introduction of a concrete path that also opens it up to those in wheelchairs or pushing prams.
For such a walk, the brightest, clearest spring day should show off the Somerset levels at their most beautiful.
Picturesque towns and villages, gentle rolling hills, marshes, wetlands and woods, and renowned lowland coastal scenery all make the Broads a great place to visit.
Of the seemingly limitless walking routes across the Broads, it's the Barton Boardwalk which has proven to be among the most popular. The raised wooden walkway offers glimpses of the local swamp and marshland, as well as wooded areas that lay undisturbed for decades. Then, at the end of the 1.5-mile route, the path opens up to provide a spectacular panorama of Barton - the second largest of all Norfolk's broads.
Alfred Wainwright's iconic coast to coast walk from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay may not be the kind of route you could complete in just one 24 hours (it is, after all, some 192 miles in length), but traversing a small section of it could certainly be the ideal way to spend a day.
With the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors all falling within its impressive span, there's plenty of choice for would-be walkers. Those who are never happier than when scaling high peaks may wish to try the section around Helvellyn in the Lake District, or even the somewhat intense 10-mile walk to its peak and back down again.
Another potential one day walk involves crossing the route's halfway point at Keld in North Yorkshire. For such a small village, Keld is well known among walkers as it's not only the Coast to Coast halfway point but also represents the point at which it crosses the Pennine Way. There may not be much to see within Keld itself, but as a starting point for walks in any direction, there are few better.
The previous walks have largely concerned themselves with England's "green and pleasant land", offering spectacular sights of the countryside and showing just why many romantic poets such as Milton dedicated their whole lives to capturing these vistas in verse.
That said, there's many options available to St George's Day walkers other than the "mountains green" and "pleasant pastures seen". For example, London may not offer awe inspiring rural scenery but has plenty of cultural points of interest instead. A walk around the city can take in icons of England such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Stopping for a cup of tea at midday, walkers can then spend their afternoon strolling along the Thames or catching a play in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Shakespeare's birthday fell just two days before St George's Day, so there should be plenty of celebrations going in April to mark the date.
Of course, these are just four of the many thousands of walks available to those wishing to take a stroll around England's green and pleasant lands or through one of its towns or cities.