On the road

The next stage of the visit is travelling to the destination.

Most people travel to the outdoors by car. In many places the distances involved and the lack of alternative transport methods make this unavoidable. In some cases float planes or boats are used. There are also places where access on foot, by bicycle, horseback or public transport is common, such as urban forests or country parks that are close to where people live.

Where the car is the normal mode of transport then the journey itself and the unfolding landscape seen at travelling speed are both part of the day out. If there is a choice, it is hoped that the visitors take the most scenic route, and this should be encouraged by promoting scenic byways or specially signed tourist routes. However, direct control over the landscape is exercised by those who own or manage it. If the route passes through a reasonable stretch of land in the same ownership or management as the destination then the sense of expectation can be influenced more directly, in the quality of the landscape seen along the route, and by the judicious use of signs.

The landscape along the route will change as the visitors progress through it. The change may be subtle and gradual, so that there is a slow realization that they are approaching the general area of the destination. This might be the case where the landscape is rural rather than wild, and the destination is an area set in this landscape. More commonly, there might be a distinct threshold where the landscape changes quite dramatically. This could be where the landform changes—the start of the mountains, the entrance to a narrow valley or the beginning of coastal scenery. It might be where the land use also changes—the entrance to a forest out of farmland, the change from managed to natural, undisturbed forest; the onset of heathland, coastal vegetation or open, unenclosed countryside from enclosed agriculture.