Countryside Wanderings

It's amazing how things develop. After all, this blog started out as a news section for the rest of the website. With encouragement from readers, it has become a place for relating my countryside wanderings and musings about the world of outdoor activity. Walking, cycling and photography all are part of what I do out of doors and, hopefully, they will continue to inspire me to keep adding entries on here. Of course, there needs to be something of interest to you, dear reader, too and I hope that's the case. Thanks for coming.

Collected Long Distance Trails

While many walkers are happy to go for shorter strolls, there are some who are attracted by the idea of following long distance trails. Many do this at one go but my encounters with those longer routes happens on a section by section basis. That is how I completed both the West Highland Way and the Gritstone Trail as well as covering much of the Pennine Way. Others that I have met from time to time include Offa’s Dike Path, Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the Isle of Man Coastal Path. These are but a selection and there are many more out there than these.

In some ways, it is difficult to go for a hike without coming across a long distance trail. Perusal of maps reveals them as much as does inspection of a guidebook section of any good bookshop. What all this demonstrates is how attractive such things are and it is not for nothing that the Long Distance Walker’s Association exists in Britain. Their website has a database of what they call “Long Distance Paths“. There also has been an associated book produced by Cicerone for anyone who wants to have the majority of these catalogued in book form; its title is The U.K. Trailwalker’s Handbook.

So far, the discussion largely has been restricted to what you find in England, Wales and Scotland because that is where I first encountered long distance trails. The National Trails that cross England and Wales are well known while Scotland has what Scottish Natural Heritage calls Scotland’s Great Trails. There are plenty in Ireland too and their dedicated website has returned after a long absence. Of these, there was the briefest of encounters with the Dingle Way on a crisp day in December 2008. The mid-winter theme continues because I followed part of the GR221 while on a short break in Mallorca in December 2016. If I continue making trips to other countries, there could be more.

For now, the list that you find here is limited to a selection of what is there to explore in Ireland and the home nations of Great Britain. There has been no concerted effort to create the lists and I have just added new discoveries as I went along. As well as more entries for the countries already featured, ones from those not included so far may appear in their own good time.

Dingle Way Waymarker, Maherabeg, Castlegregory, Co. Kerry