Golden Age of Travel Birthday prequel — a 1930s hiking holiday

I’d been doing some thinking about my Golden Age of Travel Dream Birthday trip in October 2017 when my husband, Bob, asked an intriguing question:

Why wait to start?

While I clearly have to wait to have my 50th Birthday Celebration until I’m actually 50 (or thereabouts), I can, of course, start by planning a shorter trip wearing vintage attire.

Bob and I were planning to take a walking holiday in the UK this October.

Bob has always wanted to visit the neolithic monuments in England, so Contours Ridgeway walking holiday seemed like the ideal choice.  Starting from the Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire and ending at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, the 85-mile trail follows part of a prehistoric track littered with neolithic monuments including West Kennet Long Barrow, Silbury Hill, and the Uffington White Horse.

We will be taking the maximum time to walk the trail (8 days) since we want to enjoy the scenery, not just power through the landscape.  Our rest stops will include traditional pubs and bed and breakfast establishments rather than more modern accommodations.  (Let’s face it:  the beer is better!)

Here is our probable course:

But what does this have to do with The Golden Age of Travel?

Isn’t hiking travel?

Walking holidays were very popular pastimes in the 1930s. They are mentioned in Agatha Christie’s novels and a walking holiday even plays a central role in Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vine mystery Have His Carcase.  A walking holiday seems like the ideal short vintage-flavoured trip.

Bob and I used to do a lot of hiking when we lived in Pennsylvania. But when we moved to the Caribbean, we got rid of a lot of our foul weather gear from up North.

The upshot: we have to buy new clothing anyway.

Why not buy a 1930s wardrobe?

What a great idea!

Over the course of the next nine months, I’ll share with you what people wore for hiking in the 1930s, what patterns I’ll be using from the Reconstructing History vintage pattern line, how to find a good tailor to produce your hiking wardrobe, what modern items will still work for the 1930s, how to pack a vintage wardrobe, and, inevitably, photos and an account of our trip.

While you’re waiting, have a shop through our collection of reproduced Vintage patterns.

© 2014 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material.

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