About our walks
Whether you are a walker, a rambler or a naturalist, you will like these walks.
The routes on this website and in my book have all been tested by me, often many times. We are blessed by the wonderful countryside around us in the Blackwater Valley. We have heaths, a riverside path that stretches for 23 miles and the Basingstoke Canal with 33 miles of towpath, and railways, a wonderful recreational choice. As a result of the importance of the heaths we also have Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space or SANGS, areas for recreation set aside for the public to enjoy and relieve pressure on the heaths. Despite the large population nearby it is still possible to get away from the crowds by avoiding the most well known destinations.
NOTE: Some of the walks use 'permissive paths'. These are not public footpaths but are generally treated as such. There is a highly unlikely possibility of closure but all of them have been open for a very long time.
Please follow the Countryside Code.
The routes vary in length and difficulty. The route pages will tell you about that but most are far from difficult.
I have provided 'Step by Step' text guides you can download and print.
The walk routes are also available on the OSMaps app, free from your app store. You can pay to upgrade to better maps but you should find, especially with the aid of GPS on your phone, you can manage easily with free maps. See the OS Maps website to sign up online. Better OS maps are in the book.
I have added GPX files on each page so, if you have a smartphone with some mapping apps, you can download the route and check whether you are on track or you can view it online.
A mapping app on Apple IoS, at minimal cost, is GPX Viewer. This is also available on Google. Searching on your app store may find more. This will enable you to use my GPX files for Google and Apple maps probably already installed on your phone. You may also be able to use the free OpenStreetMap app.
If you are puzzled about how GPS and maps can work look here for an explanation. It will open a whole new world of walks without getting lost!
Guidance on where to park is provided.
Many of these walks can be joined using public transport which is encouraged. The descriptions mention some of the possibilities but they do change and we cannot commit to keeping all of them up to date. All walks in the book are connected to public transport services.
Finally, seeing nature!
I get much pleasure from exercising in the countryside. On the way, taking a camera, including a good phone camera, it's possible to take many good photos of the wildlife you see. Using apps on your phone will also help you identify nature from butterflies and other insects to flowers, fungi and trees. Birds are more difficult but using an app can still be useful but listening for and learning bird song will help!
Nature is ever changing. What you see one week is likely to be different the next week. I created this website from scratch so many of my nature observations are mainly based on one or two visits when I took photos. I hope to add to these over time. Feel free to send me your observations and images via our Contact page
See here for some ideas for finding out what you're looking at!
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