e-book The Big Walks of the South

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The gradients, although occasionally sharp, are generally not excessively lengthy; the journey itself is short, with even slow walkers requiring no more than five or six days to complete it, and the whole is a most satisfying experience, providing a coast-to-coast walk across Scotland.

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There are great views to Ben Nevis and neighbouring mountains; numerous forest walks with opportunities to view osprey, buzzard or red squirrel, lovely waterside walks where you may glimpse heron, cormorant, kestrel or guillemot, remote moorland scenery populated by grouse and mountain hare, a couple of ruined castles, some spectacular waterfalls, the ever-fascinating paraphernalia of the Caledonian Canal and, if you are feeling very fit, the possibility of detours to climb one of the nearby mountains and get grandstand views of the whole of the Great Glen.

In a nutshell: Often rugged tramp through the heart of the remote mid-Wales countryside. One of just two national trails that run exclusively through Wales. Unlike many other national trails, it does not follow a particular geographical or historical feature.

It gets its name from the uncompromising and heroic Welsh warrior Owain Glyndwr, who mounted a fierce but ultimately unsuccessful revolt against the English. Glyndwr was crowned king of a free Wales in in Machynlleth, where he established his capital. This is the halfway and indeed pivotal point of the route. It is believed by some that he died at Darowen, a short way south.


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Today, despite his defeat, Glyndwr remains an icon of Welsh independence. A pleasant and at times challenging journey through some very fine country, using paths which, with only a few exceptions, are well defined and well waymarked.

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That said, there is a good deal of fiddly walking, where navigation could pose problems, especially in bad weather, and there is a huge amount of up-and-down work, with some exceedingly steep climbs in places. The area covered is remote, and there are some lengthy stretches with no amenities to speak of.


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Posing a particular logistical challenge is the mile walk from Llanidloes to Machynlleth, which does not pass through a single settlement of any description, the only chance of refreshment being at a moorland pub some way off the route. It may come as a surprise or even a disappointment to the walker, having completed the miles from Knighton to Welshpool, to find they are a short road journey away from where they started.

In a nutshell: A walk around the coastlines of Devon and Cornwall, and sections of the Somerset and Dorset coastlines.

Top 10 tips for hiking 100 miles on the South Downs Way

This enormous coastal trek is a truly awesome logistical challenge for any walker. Unless you are incredibly fit and in the fortunate position of having sufficient time and resources available, it is unlikely that you will contemplate trying to complete the South West Coast Path in one go. However, it is very easy to break it down into sections. Your walk needs to be planned with care, especially if you wish to walk the Lulworth-Kimmeridge coastal section and use the seasonal ferries.

Most of the larger villages and towns on the route are well served by public transport, thus allowing considerable flexibility in planning your itinerary. Amenities are extremely plentiful, even out of season, although it is wise to enquire about accommodation in advance during the winter months.


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You will have little difficulty with route-finding. The simple advice, if you are walking from Minehead, is to keep the sea on your right! The hardest aspect will be the amount of up-and-down work. There are numerous breaks in the cliffs, with coves, valleys, harbours and inlets necessitating drops and climbs. The first part of the path traverses the fringes of Exmoor, famous for its ponies and red deer, which can often be seen in winter. The coastal heath round North Hill attracts stonechats and Dartford warblers, while further on you may see peregrines, ravens, shelducks, herons, egrets, redshanks and golden plovers.

The Braunton Burrows in Devon host rare plants such as sand toadflax and water germander, while the sea around Lundy Island, clearly visible from the north Devon coast, has been designated a marine nature reserve. Look out for puffin, guillemots and razorbills on some of the small offshore islands.

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Off the Land's End Peninsula you may see grey seals and possibly orcas and dolphins, while on the Lizard Peninsula there is a remarkable variety of plant species rarely found elsewhere, including long-headed clover, pigmy rush and hairy greenweed. In a nutshell: Southern Scotland, coast-to-coast across high level and often remote terrain.

At miles it may not be the longest of the paths in this book, but it is one of the toughest walks, through the uncompromising and often exceedingly remote terrain of southern Scotland. Today you can follow in their footsteps through the city's grand promenades, public gardens and cobbled passageways. Enjoy the views that revived the spirits of Jane Austen and her companions, allowing around an hour to complete the walk at an easy pace. Constructed in , the Tramway was built to encourage Victorian travellers to visit Saltburn Pier, which sits at the top of a rather steep hill.

After a day of exploring Richmond, catch a sports You can hire these multi-coloured pods for the day if you fancy injecting a bit of colour into your seaside break.

David Bathurst - The Big Walks of the South

Ride horses along the Rain, rain, go away. Wandering around this Now an iconic London pub, the Bank of England once occupied the building from to before it was refurbished and put to its Please click here to be taken to the survey. Add to Favourites. Be dazzled by the Bath Skyline Walk Bath. Discover the street art capital of Europe Bristol. Take a regency stroll through the City of Bath Bath. VisitEngland Rain, rain, go away. We've something we want to share Tell me more. Want to receive travel tips and ideas? From the South Downs Way to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, there is no better way to discover the spectacular diversity of southern Britain's landscape than on foot.

Whether you enjoy exploring green and gently rolling valleys or tackling rugged cliff-top paths, there are walks here to keep you rambling all year round. An indefatigable walker, David Bathurst has unlaced his boots to produce this invaluable and definitive companion to the ten best-loved long-distance footpaths in the south of Britain, with each split into manageable sections. Combining practical, detailed descriptions with an appreciation of the beauty and history of the British countryside, this in an indispensable guide for both experienced and novice walkers alike.

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