Travel in the Middle Ages was either on land or by water.
Rich people sometimes travelled in covered wagons. They must have been very uncomfortable as they did not have suspension and roads were bumpy and rutted. Others travelled on a box between two poles. Two horses, one in front and one behind carried it. They were trained to walk at the same pace.
On land the traveller had the choice of riding on an animal-packhorse, horse, ass or donkey, or of travelling in a carriage like the one above, if he was wealthy, or in a cart. The roads were poor and not surfaced as we know them. In the towns they may have been cobbled but in the country they were dirt tracks and in the rainy weather they were quagmires of dirt and mud. In winter, villages may have been cut off fo
r weeks on end. But people had to travel and they made the best of the conditions. But travel was extremely slow.
There were inns for travellers in most towns and some of these inns still exist today. The rivers were forded or bridged and many of these bridges still stand today such as the fourteenth century bridge at Aylesford in Kent.
An alternative form of travel was by river. Barges and open boats could sail up many rivers and carry passengers to inland towns. But for travel over a long distance the only comfortable method of transport was by ship.
Travellers in the Middle Ages were not confined to their own country. The Knight, Squire, Shipman and the Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales had all travelled abroad. Merchants did not think twice about slipping across the Channel to the wool market in Calais or to Flanders. The soldiers of these times often fought on foreign soil, such as the soldiers who went on Crusades or the soldiers who fought at Agincourt or Crecy. It is not surprising therefore to find records of long journeys.
Discuss about traveling in Middle Ages Britain on our History Forum :
Travel in the Middle Ages Britain written by Monique Barb for FamousWhy.com
FamousWhy.com - Famous People ... Famous Regions, a Lot Of Articles and Free Software Downloads
Travel in the Middle Ages Britain Image Source : wikipedia.org