...yes, like you say Lannis.
May be because here all the country side is private (property) and you cannot walk around so I always wonder and dream when I see those trails that you have in many places in USA and in this case in UK (and many other parts of Europe and Japan where I lived for a few months)
All the country side here are large states or started as latifundiums or similar; so not so much people live there and most "internal" roads or small roads like those in UK are not paved roads and have wooden gates (in the parts where you are crossing to another property) along the road. In this way nobody except people who work or live there actually transit by; hence is fantastic for me to see all these small villages with plenty of life.
We've got lots of places to hike here in Virginia where I live, but it can't hold a candle to England, where there are rights-of-way dating back to Roman times, with stone markers showing you where they are ... plus if there's a right-of-way through a field, the farmer has to keep his crop mown down on the path (a meter or so wide) so that people can walk, and they do it, too. Sometimes the paths go right between houses in a village - in Cornwall last fall, we walked right through a cow barn on a dairy farm following the path signs, petting the cows' noses as we went!
Taking a two-day walk in Kent in June one year, it was a bright sunny day. We followed the path right between two gardens in the village of Selling, and in one was a lady working in her garden. She saw us, waved, and came over to the fence to chat once she heard our American accents. Like everyone else in England the first day the sun comes out in the summer, she had taken her shirt off, and had just a very small bikini top which was trying to cover a LOT of territory and not doing very well at it.
It's funny how that works. I kept my eyes on her face as we three (her, Fay, and I) chatted, I know I did, but I could feel laser beams tracking my eyeball position, and when we said goodbye and walked on, it felt quite a bit cooler as we walked, as though the sun had gone behind a cloud ....
I really enjoy walking around there.