Where to go for your walk

In general, choose a walk you want to do — that way we should end up with a varied programme. The great thing about having a walk every week is that if someone does not like this Sunday’s walk, there will be a different one a few days later.

  • How long: see above: you should never feel under pressure to organise walks either shorter or longer than your own personal preference. With short walks of 4 miles or less you should consider whether it is really a day walk that people will travel across London for; maybe it should be an evening walk, especially in summer. Walks of much over eight miles are probably possible only in summer when we can carry on walking into the early evening. Whatever the distance, announce the length. See the other page for how to publicise your walk, and try to let people know the length well in advance so they can plan ahead which Sundays to keep free.
  • Refreshment stops: some people’s ideal country walks feature a pub between a third and a half way round, and a teashop at the end — but not everybody can afford these. Don’t assume that pubs will happily let you eat your own sandwiches — most country pubs keep going mainly on selling food, not beer. Don’t assume that country pubs marked on maps still exist — lots have been converted into private houses because they were not making enough money.
  • Sources of walks: some of us plan our own walks, from maps and from our own knowledge of particular areas. Others follow existing walks from books, or waymarked trails. Do what suits you best.
    • The Saturday Walkers’ Club is linked to Time Out magazine and provide online details of over 150 walks. All their walks are in or near London, and based on public transport, so they fit well with our approach (apart from days of the week!). They provide a set of directions for each walk, designed to be printed out. These do not include maps, but they separately provide links to Ordnance Survey maps.
    • Walk books: there are many, many books of walks you can buy covering particular areas, and the Saturday Walkers have a page of links to a wide selection.
    • Transport for London provide information on the marked trails created mainly by the boroughs. The Capital Ring is a circuit 78 miles long and the London Loop is 152 miles, and still almost entirely within the GLA area, so there are lots of sections you could do for your walk, maybe near where you live.
    • Walking Britain has a very large collection of walks, and a search interface helping you find walks in a particular area of a particular grade, but it is less public transport-friendly.
    • Red Roper Chris Smith’s Travel Log Lewes site unsurprisingly describes walks in East Sussex, but also includes walks in Essex and Kent.
    • Local walks: most information about walks is created and published locally, so there is no simple rule for finding it all. However, tourist offices usually have leaflets describing local walks, and online simply googling placenames followed by “walks” is pretty effective.

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