Traveling speed, walk, caravan, horse in ancient and middle ages?

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  • Traveling speed, walk, caravan, horse in ancient and middle ages?


Answer #1 | 22/12 2013 17:48
An average would be about three miles an hour, with a ten minute rest every hour or so. Travel would normally be during daylight hours. A larger group, like a caravan or army, would need more time to get started, and more time to stop and set up camp for the night, taking up some of the daylight used to travel. Weather and terrain would play major factors. In good weather and over good terrain about ten to fifteen miles a day would be average. Post riders were a different matter. Relays were set up along roads to expedite speed. A rider would reach the relay station, and probably take five minutes or less to change horse, then be off again. Instead of walking the horses, they would canter at probably more like six to eight miles an hour with the relays close enough together that the horse would not have to stop and rest between relay stations. Messages could travel fifty or sixty miles a day, and night would not necessarily stop the relay riders like it would a caravan or group of pilgrims (or whatever). A real-world example, Harold Godwinson marched his House Curls (averaging) about 27 miles a day from the North where they had fought the Battle of Stamford Bridge to face William of Normandy at Hastings. This was a forced march, and they did about twice the distance a day that would be "normal."
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