"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time" (Steven Wright)
Some people like to go for short strolls with family or friends with a pub lunch a highlight. Others walk with a walking group or go on long distance hiking challenges. Going for a walk can be a social or solitary occasion. Apart from the obvious benefits of regular walking to our mental and physical health, learning about our surroundings, the history, geography, flora and fauna make each walk a valuable learning experience. Most importantly though, each walk should be about enjoyment of life, a celebration of our beautiful countryside, lovely villages and historic towns. But even a shabby place or sprawling suburb can reveal an unexpected gem if you walk with your eyes open.
I have created this website so I can share my walks and photos and especially to keep my memories alive. It would be wonderful if I could inspire the reader to try some of these walks. Your experiences and adventures will be unique. Don't worry about the long distance walking bit - anyone can walk long distances - simply split the walks into sections tailored to your fitness and time available. And one more thing: you don't need a car to do these walks. I've added the transport options I used for each walk (from Reading).
The walk descriptions do not give precise directions and distances. They are not meant to be an accurate guide but will hopefully whet your appetite to explore and enjoy what's outside our doorsteps. I cannot guarantee that you will enjoy every step and that everything will go to plan. But from each walk you will take home your own memories. If the surroundings are not enough to keep you enthralled then a walk can be perfect for reflecting - whether that is on how to get through a difficult situation in your own life or on how to solve the world's most pressing problems. I find that even after a blustery and cold winter's day, having had to negotiate ankle-deep mud, I will arrive home invigorated, and how wonderful that cup of tea and left-over slice of Christmas cake tastes!
If you want to create your own walking adventures it helps to have access to the internet so you can research your travel options. Be aware that public transport can be severely restricted on Sundays. Basic map reading skills are also quite essential if you want to venture away from the more popular trails. I personally wouldn't venture too far into remote areas without the excellent Explorer maps published by the Ordnance Survey. I also like to take along a trail guide book, if available. GPS devices are becoming very popular but if I were to use one I would still take along a map in case there's no satellite signal or the battery's gone flat.
I've added a few photos to each walk description and you'll find more pictures in the gallery. Some are good, some are bad - but they have all been taken on my simple digital camera (on an auto-setting) and have not been edited. Do not let some dull pictures put you off walking in a particular area - I've walked on some very gloomy winter days!
10 November 2019
I think I've now regained my enthusiasm for long adventure walks! Today I started walking the first leg of the Vanguard Way - a walking route from the suburbs of London (Croydon to be precise) to Newhaven on the South coast.
I don't know where the time has gone but for some reason I have not been on any long walks (apart from local rambles) since August - hence the lack of new walk reports. I will, however, shortly add some holiday walk notes to keep the website ticking over!
This month I've travelled to Switzerland by train and have had plenty of opportunities for great walking, in both countryside and towns. Now that the holidays (and the heatwave) are over I may spend a bit more time updating the website.