Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you 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 happen 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 sporadically 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.

It often is difficult to go for a hike without coming across a long-distance trail, so perusing 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“. Cicerone has also produced an associated book 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, this discussion mostly 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 returned after an absence. Of these, there have been encounters with the Dingle Way and the Kerry Way with 2022 increasing my explorations of Ireland possibly to include others as well.

My exposure to long-distance trails in other countries has been very limited so far. One exception is my following 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 even if the ongoing pandemic has constrained things a little.

Despite the skew in my encounters with long-distance trails around the world, I do not want that to affect this listing. Alongside selections of what is there to explore in Ireland and the home nations of Great Britain, overseas possibilities are included too as I find them. That more organic approach to maintaining what you find should continue, so return visits may reveal new possibilities.
Dingle Way Waymarker, Maherabeg, Castlegregory, Co. Kerry