So you’ve decided to embrace the country lifestyle and become the squiress you knew you always wanted to be! Time to experience the great outdoors! Whether you’ve moved to the country or are just going for the weekend, there are so many activities that you can do to experience the great outdoors. Don’t forget that country pursuits are not just the domain of the country gent! All over the world women are excelling at traditional country and field sports motivating generations to get involved. You don’t need to have experience, all you need is the enthusiasm and desire to propel yourself out of your comfort zone. Read on for some inspiration.
Over the years fishing has gained popularity, especially amongst women but this has been due to the hard work of female pioneers such as Lucy Bowden who launched her website Fishing for Everyone in 2005 to encourage more people including women and children to take up angling. It’s taken some time for the sport to gain female popularity considering the International Women’s Fishing Association was established in 1955 to promote the sport!
There are a number of taster days available where you can try your hand at river and fly fishing or trout and salmon fishing. If you get hooked and want to take if further, you have to bear in mind that you can’t just arrive at a river and fish anywhere. You will need a fishing or rod licence and there are plenty of websites where you can find out where to fish with a choice of locations and categories. Women’s fishing clothing and equipment are now available and there are various women’s clubs and associations that will connect you with like-minded individuals.
Ride into the sunset
Even if you’ve not lived your life on a horse, most people will agree there is something incredibly special about riding. The relationship of trust that comes from the rider sitting way up high on the horse’s back is unique and even the most sedate of pony treks can be an exciting adventure. So no weekend or life in the country should be without a regular horsey experience! Search for your nearest equestrian centre where, regardless of your level of experience, you can take lessons to improve your technique. You will also be able to meet other riding enthusiasts, go out on hacks and perhaps try jumping and dressage events. A great way to meet new people if you’ve just moved into the area, horse riding is also a great way to bond with others as well as the stunning horses.
Well not exactly, clays mainly but you’ll be aiming in a similar direction! Shooting for women is a fast growing sport and women only shooting clubs are springing up all over the world offering sisterly support to fellow enthusiasts. You don’t have to go to a women only club to get a feel for the sport. Many clubs offer ladies days where you can join a group or go with a group of friends to learn in a relaxed environment without the testosterone-fuelled pressure! You can make a day of it by learning with like-minded women, have fun shooting followed by a drink and a bite to eat in the club house. From seasoned pros to those new to the sport you will be guided by top instructors who will put you at your ease and help you get the most out of your experience. If you enjoy it and get the shooting bug then you may want to consider joining a club so you can improve your skills and enjoy the comradery and opportunity to make life-long friends.
Walk this way
Walking as a form of exercise has always been greatly underestimated. Whether you’re doing it with friends or your dog, it’s a great way to keep fit. OK, you don’t need to be in the country to walk but it helps. The views will be better and the air fresher. The main benefit is that is costs nothing, making it a very accessible sport. Hiking in the country is a great way to discover new places and although warm, dry and waterproof clothing would be advisable as well as a good strong pair of walking boots, you could initially make do with your normal clothes and trainers to start off with until you see if it’s something you’d like to pursue on a regular basis. If you really catch the hiking bug you could even join a hiking or rambling club to join in on regular group walks. This could be ideal for the solo female who wants to feel safer in a crowd.
If you decide to walk alone however, stick to the popular routes and plan ahead. Check the weather so you can dress appropriately and ensure you take essentials such as a mobile and a whistle. Also don’t veer from your chosen route, don’t forget food, water and sunscreen and inform a friend or family member where you plan to go. It’s also a good idea perhaps to stick behind another group, you can be distant enough to still enjoy your own company but benefit from the safety of their company too.