Identifying some of Britain's finest walks through research followed by an intensive period of mapping and writing up
A volume of 150 walks in Britain, this is a republished full-colour version of the Good Walks Guide ring-bound edition. That in itself drew on some of the 394 walks from two earlier guides I edited published by Which? Books/Hodder and Stoughton (the Town and Country Walks Guide, and another book called the Good Walks Guide).
Most of these hundreds of walks were routes I devised myself, or adapted ideas sent in by Holiday Which? readers. As the first Good Walks Guide project developed, I evolved a concept of a Good Walk - what makes one route stand out above all others in a vicinity. A host of ideas came into play - such as:
- Walking into the view ( not away from it)
- Having a pub about half-way round
- Routing the walk so that it has varies from one mile to the next
- Keeping a highlight of the route for late on
- Ensuring the major physical demands of the walk don't happen too near the end
- Choosing a route that can be followed by someone with no particular navigational skills
The fieldwork acquainted me with the British countryside. I walked in every county and got to know every national park, and acquired my own favourites. I experienced at first hand the regional differences in the quality of the footpath network.
I improved my skills in map-reading and giving clear, unambiguous directions. For the original Good Walks Guide and Town and Country Walks Guide I drew all the maps based on my field notes. For the later Good Walks Guide versions my maps became the basis of computer-generated colour maps.
In early days, the Good Walks Guide had links to the Good Pub Guide, which cross-referred to walks passing recommended pubs. Years later, I still meet enthusiasts of both books, some of whom have walked scores of routes from my guides.
Based on my knowledge of walks in Britain, I have designed routes and written descriptions for over a hundred walks for Allan and Bertram's Walkabout Britain Calendar, published every year since 1992.
It got a lot of press coverage when published, on the radio and in local papers. John Hillaby - one of my hero travel writers - liked it (see below), and I cherish a comment I found online at goodreads.com 'Bought it at a jumble sale for 50p, and it was without doubt one of the shrewdest purchases I've ever made'. Even in 2016, 29 years after publication, someone told me he'd done over 50 of the walks in the original Good Walks Guide and was still using it.
The good walks guide was published in a number of editions.
A first-class production, which should last for years.
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