Going for a walk wasn’t really a thing 300 years ago—the Victorians turned it into a popular pastime

Walking wasn’t a popular pastime until the late 1700s. The term “pedestrianism” originally had a sporting connotation. It became a leisure activity in the 1780s, popularized by famous walkers such as Charles Dickens and the Lake poets. City streets during the 1800s were dirty and unsanitary, creating jobs for street sweepers and pure finders. These conditions also led to a set of etiquette rules for pedestrians, many of which still apply today. Urban planning and social reform have made going for a walk in cities a more pleasant experience today. The article advocates for walking to remain a celebrated pastime all year round.

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