As well as listing each walk by government region (that is, in each one it touches), we plan to curate groups of routes based on a “travel-to-walk” node. This will be a gradual process, and the list of areas will not be exhaustive. We also group National Trails, and those which follow railbeds or towpaths as their raison d’être. In addition, we offer other logistically satisfying groups of routes, such as the group of walks which, if stitched together, follows the River Clyde in the same way that the Thames Path and Severn Way do for their rivers.
The list of National Trails naturally includes those under the banner of Scotland’s Great Trails. Routes in England and Wales which are entirely coastal are not listed, since they form part of the overall coastal path.
This grouping brings together walks on a boundary — either “beating the bounds” of a city or other area, or with the focus on a clear boundary feature such as Hadrian’s Wall or Offa’s Dyke.
This grouping brings together walks commemorating people, or like-minded groups of people (but not amorphous groups such as fishwives or chartered accountants).
Railbed routes offer generally flat walking, but there may be steep gradients, steps or stiles at access points to roads, and on diversions off the railbed to cope with tunnels and bridges which have no pedestrian access.
Towpath routes offer generally flat walking, but there may be steep gradients, steps or stiles at access points to roads, at turnover bridges, and on diversions off the towpath to cope with tunnels which have no pedestrian access.
This grouping brings together walks which have a river’s course as the principal focus. The route need not follow its entire course, and may sometimes veer away from the valley.
Travel-to-walk and other groupings
These groupings are listed in a rough north-to-south order.
Edinburgh is a good base for many areas of interest to walkers. Most of the hill ranges to the south are easily accessible, as is the coast between Berwick-upon-Tweed and St Andrews. Inland, the Forth Valley and Fife are easily reached as is (gasp!) Glasgow.
Glasgow is an obvious base for the whole of the Clyde watershed from Lanark to Girvan, the south-western Highlands, the Trossachs and the central belt. This area includes West Lothian, Midlothian and the coastal fringe beyond Edinburgh to North Berwick and Dunbar.
This group links up the chain of routes following the river/firth between Lanark and Stranraer, and the routes on the main islands of the firth.
Pennine Walks (north)
This group contains walks in the upland area from Hadrian’s Wall south. It includes the North Pennines AONB, Nidderdale AONB, and Yorkshire Dales, and the upland area bounded by Hellifield, Ilkley, Halifax and Burnley.
Pennine Walks (south)
This group contains walks in the upland area bounded by Hellifield, Ilkley, Sheffield and Stockport.
Manchester forms a good base for many areas of interest to walkers, thanks to the extensive set of bus and train routes within and beyond the metropolitan area.
This group contains walks which lie wholly or partly within the Peak District National Park.
Shrewsbury’s rail links have long made it a base for convening meetings of people from all over Wales, but it is more than just a secondary Welsh hub extra muros. The western half of the West Midlands region finds Shrewsbury taking a similar role on its side of the border, as does the Cheshire Plain to the north.
By rail from Birmingham
This group has its focus on walks which may be reached in about an hour from the main railway stations (Moor Street, New Street, and Snow Hill) in the centre of Birmingham. By extension, most of these walks will be accessible from any part of the West Midlands conurbation.
Milton Keynes, with its extensive transport network radiating from its main railway station, is a useful base for much of the south-central Midlands. Its area extends to the northern parts of London and the Home Counties, and to Coventry and the northern part of Warwickshire.
This group presents the chain of four walks which make up the ancient route linking Lyme Regis with the Norfolk coast.
By rail from London
This group contains walks which may be reached in about an hour from London rail termini, and are thus almost all accessible from any part of Greater London. Within this grouping, there are ten subgroups, one per station (or, in the case of multi-station companies serving the south and south-east of the area, the companies themselves).
Southampton is a base for walks in coastal areas to west and east, and in the hinterland of south-flowing valleys and their hills.
We are developing a list of hubs which may serve as multi-day bases for walks within a subregion (and, where appropriate, spilling over into neighbouring areas). These locations are listed on pages at the subregional level.
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