"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time" (Steven Wright)
Latest walks: Blackwater Valley Path
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!
Travelling too far is still not an easy option so I am planning to do some walks from railway stations near home. My first such walk took me to Pewsey on 4 June and I am currently uploading a few photos and writing a short report. These will be published under the Rambles heading.
25 May 2021
At last the weather is improving and today, for the first time in a long time, it looked like it may remain dry! I packed my bag and set off for a new walking adventure which will take me from Farnham in Hampshire to Swallowfield near Reading, taking in the length of the Blackwater River.
At last it is safe(ish) to use public transport and, although I have enjoyed rambling around my local area, I think it is high time that my walking horizons are broadened again. I am now fully vaccinated and the day-dreaming has to stop. Real adventures are surely just around the corner.