Blogs

The benefits of access land

18 January 2018 by Guest blogger

Alan Marlow, the Ramblers Hampshire area footpath and access officer, shares his views on why open access is important.

For peat’s sake

12 January 2018 by Phil Pickin

Peatlands alleviate flooding, store carbon and are home to a range of wildlife. Phil Pickin discusses the restoration of these areas and best places to walk.

North Hampshire Downs Ramblers step out for Children in Need

16 November 2017 by Guest blogger

Local Organiser Anne Collis joins North Hampshire Downs Ramblers on her first walk as they step out to raise money for Children in Need.

Footsteps and heartbeats: Walks with my newborn

01 November 2017 by Jess Dolan

On her return as Ramblers Scotland director after a year on maternity leave, Jess Dolan reflects on the huge, positive impact walking has had on her life in the last 12 months.

Ruth sitting on a rock looking out to sea as the sun sets

A restorative walk by the sea

28 September 2017 by Ruth Latham

As we celebrate the announcement that Natural England has started work on all stretches of the England Coast Path, Ruth reflects on how a good walk by the sea helped her and her husband through a traumatic experience.

Turnstone

Life's a beach

08 September 2017 by Paul Stancliffe

As the days shorten and temperatures fall, our beaches come into their own for birds. Who says Britain’s beaches are just for the summer?

A dog sitting on a beach with the shadows of two people stretching alongside it

Expanding coastal access in Wales

06 September 2017 by Rebecca Brough

Rebecca Brough, policy and advocacy manager for Ramblers Cymru, looks at the success of the Wales Coast Path and the opportunity this summer to extend access to coast and cliffs.

Steps down to a beach

The England Coast Past

01 September 2017 by Nicky Philpott

Nicky Philpott, director of advocacy and engagement, takes a trip down memory lane to retell the history of the England Coast Path. Find out more about how the Ramblers helped make the path a reality.

Blackberries

Thorny Issues

25 August 2017 by Phil Pickin

Journalist and photographer Phil Pickin discusses the downsides and redeeming qualities of the humble bramble.

Botany Bay

Kent's unique coastline

11 August 2017 by Robert Peel

Our volunteer, Robert Peel, has been at the heart of the England Coast Path in Kent. He showcases the tireless work of the Kent volunteers in establishing the Kent stretch of the coast path.

Flooded path

Protecting precious landscapes in the face of climate change

01 July 2017 by Alison Hallas

We are regularly out walking in our favourite places and can see first-hand the impact of a changing climate. We join with other environmental charities to press for greater protection for our habitats, air and water, to make our environment better able to withstand the effects of climate change

Seeing spots

14 June 2017 by Paul Stancliffe

With the breeding season in full swing, young birds can often be spotted in our gardens and countryside, often accompanied by their parents – though you may not always be able to tell.

The final product - a new shiny gate that improves accessibility and safety

A rRipple but no waves in North Bucks

06 June 2017 by George Redmayne

We owe much to our volunteer path maintenance teams across Britain who work tirelessly to ensure our paths are kept open and in good order. Walkers enjoy the benefits, but how many appreciate the work that goes into achieving those benefits? George Redmayne donned his outdoor gear to find out more.

Burnbank fell for blog

I have a few problems – but they're not what you might think

30 May 2017 by Simon Barnett

Imagine the scene: you’ve walked for nearly 200 miles, climbed fell after fell and your body is tired. Oh so tired. And then you hit a problem...

Wild and free

25 May 2017 by Phil Pickin

Although they’ve been out and about since spring, it’s during the summer months that we notice the butterflies.

Mount Everest

What’s your personal Everest?

18 May 2017 by Simon Barnett

What makes us take on crazy challenges? I'm about to climb 214 fells in a fortnight or so - what's your personal Everest?

Steve's route

A history of the Wainwrights & some 214 record-breakers

08 May 2017 by Simon Barnett

Simon - who is attempting to climb all 214 Wainwrights in 15 days - runs through how the Wainwrights got their name and some of the record attempts in the Lakes.

Crux map

A distinctive Cross in the southern sky

30 March 2017 by Brian Jones

Although Crux (the Cross) is the smallest in area of all the constellations, it is also one of the most famous. It is depicted on the flags of countries like Australia and New Zealand, and found on many postage stamps as well as on coins, banknotes and innumerable paintings.

Bluebell

Nothing says ‘spring’ like flowers

24 February 2017 by Phil Pickin

With the hours of daylight lengthening and the weather turning just that little bit warmer, it can only mean one thing – spring is on its way.

Misinterpretation of the law?

14 February 2017 by Eugene Suggett

On 14 and 15 February we will be contending a misinterpretation of the law in the High Court of Justice.

Eridanus blog on the night sky

Follow the river

31 January 2017 by Brian Jones

Brian Jones takes a look at the night sky this winter. Happy stargazing!

Woodbastwick

How to get on the map

07 December 2016 by Eugene Suggett

Claiming an unrecorded right of way helps ensure a path is protected for public use, both now and in the future. Our senior policy officer, Eugene Suggett shares a recent example of how you can claim an unrecorded way.

Have a wild winter

Have a wild winter

05 December 2016 by Phil Pickin

Although it may not be the best weather for getting out and about, cold, crisp days are a great time to get outside. What could be better than a frost-covered landscape seen against a clear blue sky?

Natural order

06 October 2016 by Phil Pickin

Phil Pickin looks at climate change and its effects on nature.

Getting along: Cyclists and walkers sharing paths

07 September 2016 by Helen Todd

Helen Todd reflects on how 'shared use' paths are working in Scotland - where cyclists, walkers, horse riders and paddlers have enjoyed equal rights of access since 2003.

Looking over to Craig Wen and Craig Lwyd

Go wild outdoors

06 June 2016 by Phil Pickin

Phil Pickin tells us why we should be going wild over the summer months – even if it’s only in our back garden

Scottish views and vistas

Manifesto for a walking Scotland

08 April 2016 by Helen Todd

As part of the 2016 Scottish Elections, there is a crying need for politicians to support walking & access, promote health, and protect the environment.

Benedict Southworth

Five Things I Will Miss About The Big Pathwatch

16 December 2015 by Benedict Southworth

Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth looks back over our most ambitious survey ever.

tracks thumbnail

Phil Pickin winter wildlife walks

09 December 2015 by Phil Pickin

It might be the time of year for hibernation, but that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of wildlife to keep an eye out for on those winter walks, as Phil Pickin explains…

goldfinch thumnail

Paul Stancliffe on what to keep an eye out for this winter

09 December 2015 by Paul Stancliffe

For much of our wildlife, winter is the time to batten down the hatches, find somewhere warm and dry to hibernate, roost, or just to keep out of the worst that a British winter can throw at them.

CRoW thumnail 2 735x428

Fifteen years on

30 November 2015 by Kate Ashbrook

Ramblers president Kate Ashbrook celebrates fifteen years of CRoW

andrew allen thumnail

Walking connects us to the world around us

27 October 2015 by Andrew Allen

Journalist and campaigner Andrew Allen shows how a walking challenge can mean many different things.

brew on a hill thumbnail

Every walk can be an adventure

23 October 2015 by Tim and Kerry Meek

Looking to add challenge to a walk conjures up images of exertion, but making a walk more challenging does not have to mean something physical

aonoch eagrach thumnail

The Munros and the joy of bagging

18 September 2015 by Helen Todd

Helen Todd explores her passion for bagging in the mountains of Scotland

Family hiking the South West Coast Path

Gillian Grattan: family adventures on the coast path

27 May 2015 by Guest blogger

Gillian and her three children have made a pledge to hike the entire South West Coast Path from start to finish. They talk about how they've found it so far...

woodpecker

Paul Stancliffe on exploring woodlands this summer

28 April 2015 by Paul Stancliffe

As summer gets into full swing, Paul Stancliffe tells us why it’s the perfect time of year for birdwatching in Britain’s beautiful and abundant woodland

Sextan

Brian Jones: what to look for in April’s night sky

21 April 2015 by Brian Jones

Walk’s resident stargazer Brian Jones introduces us to the constellation of Sextans (the sextant), which is most visible in April

Green space

Des de Moor: get fit, go green

23 March 2015 by Guest blogger

We all know physical activity is good for our health – and that as a society, we don’t do enough of it.

Walking shoes

Z.W. Bates: because I walked

17 March 2015 by Guest blogger

Whether Saint Augustine said it first or he repeated what he had overheard elsewhere, it is true, things can be solved by walking.

Rainbow

Phil Pickin: the impact of the red sky at night

27 February 2015 by Phil Pickin

Wildlife writer Phil Pickin explains how the weather changes the wildlife that we see through the changing seasons

swallow

Paul Stancliffe: spare a thought for weary wings this spring

27 February 2015 by Paul Stancliffe

The British Trust of Ornithology Paul Stancliffe considers what it takes for our birdlife to arrive in time for spring

Snow covered mountains

Beth Pipe: winter picnics

20 January 2015 by Beth Pipe

Clear blue skies mean perfect picnics, regardless of whether it’s the middle of summer or winter.

Beautiful fields

Anastasia French: hiking to Hertfordshire

07 January 2015 by Anastasia French

Here's the second instalment of Anastasia's week-long north walk.

East Loch Lomond sign

Helen Todd: camping in Scotland - to ban, or not to ban

22 December 2014 by Helen Todd

Campaign manager for Ramblers Scotland discusses the impact of camping bans in Scotland.

Nature rally

Kate Conto: If you could ask your MP one question about nature what would it be?

12 December 2014 by Kate Conto

Evidence increasingly shows that nature is in trouble. Wildlife and landscapes are under increasing threat from development, climate change and degradation...

Yelha

Paul Stancliffe: Enjoy winter's bird bounty

28 November 2014 by Paul Stancliffe

Paul Stancliffe from the British Trust for Ornithology talks about changing birdlife to look out for in the UK in autumn

Funghi

Sheila Spence: winter foraging and Chinese 'ear' soup...

25 November 2014 by Sheila Spence

berries

Phil Pickin: And you thought autumn was a quiet time of the year?

12 November 2014 by Phil Pickin

One of the most impressive times of the year, regular blogger, Phil Pickin explains why autumn is active, interesting, and seriously colourful

World War One

Mark Rowe: keeping the memory of Flanders Fields alive

11 November 2014 by Mark Rowe

Mark walks the battlefields of Flanders, outside Ypres, and wonders how long the land will remain sacrosanct in perpetuity - and what role footpaths might play in keeping World War One in our collective memory.

Walking Class Hero looking out to sea

Walking Class Hero: standing in the breach

22 October 2014 by Walking Class Hero

Walking Class Hero visits the Medmerry to see an innovative project by the Environment Agency to reduce flooding, offer a home for wildlife, and increase access for walkers and cyclists.

The view from Primrose Hill

Anastasia French: the long walk north

17 October 2014 by Anastasia French

When Anastasia French bid farewell to her campaigning role at the Ramblers, she did in the only way she knew how. She walked from London to the Norfolk coast. Here's the first installment of her week-long journey.

Pumlumon, Central Wales

Benedict Southworth: All paths lead to roam

16 September 2014 by Benedict Southworth

80 years ago, people wanting to escape the city and climb mountains, or explore wild moorland risked threats, harassment, and even arrest. Now, all open country (mountains, moor, heath, down and common land) in England and Wales is open for us to roam freely. In Scotland, you can walk (and camp) almost anywhere.

Cairngorms National Park

Helen Todd: The Scottish referendum and walking

10 September 2014 by Helen Todd

With the referendum on Scottish independence imminent, we re-post an original blog from Ramblers Scotland campaigner Helen on the impacts a yes vote could have on walkers.

Wood cauliflower

Sheila Spence talks autumn recipes and foraging

08 September 2014 by Sheila Spence

Sheila Spence goes autumn foraging and shares her recipe for wood cauliflower pieces.

Wigtownshire Ramblers trying to cross a major trunk road - credit to the Glebe Blog

Eugene Suggett: More time to cross and more places, too, please

04 September 2014 by Eugene Suggett

As Living Streets campaign for more time for people to cross busy roads, Eugene explains why government needs to put the pedestrian at the top of the chain.

Fieldfare - John Harding/BTO

Paul Stancliffe looks forward to this year’s autumn bird migration

02 September 2014 by Paul Stancliffe

From the British Trust of Ornithology, Paul Stancliffe explains how to enjoy the migration season this autumn!

Salisbury Plain

Walking Class Hero: the rule of Snot

15 August 2014 by Walking Class Hero

What does a Saxon chief called Snot, Gotham City and Dolly Parton have in common? Another walk with resident blogger Walking Class Hero of course. This month, the urban delights of Nottingham.

Helen Todd gets active at the seaside

Helen Todd: Summer walking

04 August 2014 by Helen Todd

Summer evenings are the perfect way to get into new habits of increased activity. You have literally nothing to lose – apart perhaps from a few kilos! – and plenty to gain.

Summer star constellations

The stars of the summer - Brian Jones explains

28 July 2014 by Brian Jones

We all hope for blue skies in the summer, but at night time the heavens can be equally spectacular as Brian Jones explains

Loughrigg Fell

Mark Rowe: Mortal man

14 July 2014 by Mark Rowe

Mark Rowe on how he - or more accurately his wife and her lifelong cuddly penguin - survived an unexpected adventure in the Lake District.

Private sign in Navestock

Diversion tactics

24 June 2014 by Anastasia French

Anastasia joins volunteers in Essex to learn how they decide which path diversion applications to accept and which to oppose, and to see how they negotiate with landowners and council officers.

Ben Bheoil

Time for an adventure!

10 June 2014 by Helen Todd

To go into the outdoors is to challenge yourself and leave behind the trappings of your comfortable, daily routine. Helen's latest blog is on how to enjoy planned adventures and survuve unintended ones!

St Agnes viaduct, Cornwall

To the land's end

06 May 2014 by Sarah Gardner

At the land's end, a newly opened path that "climbs through tranquil woodland, with bluebell and wild garlic, and crosses a gentle stream full of the sounds of cascading water to take in a disused viaduct, home to curling ivy and nesting wild bees".

Walking near cows, Wyredale Way, Lancashire. Credit to Ian Dickin

Walking near cows: keep calm and carry on

01 May 2014 by Dominic Bates

Dominic Bates, editor of Walk Magazine, 'fesses up to his fear of cattle and following some advice from a beef farmer learns how to walk near cows with confidence.

Eugene Suggett with Scarborough Ramblers and Robert Goodwill MP

Transported to Turkey Carpet

28 April 2014 by Eugene Suggett

Eugene joins Scarborough Ramblers and Robert Goodwill MP for a walk through Hilda Wood, near Hackness to enjoy the ramsons and to "air a few issues of national importance".

European Ramblers enjoying a walk

Common ground in Copenhagen

14 April 2014 by Helen Todd

Helen Todd takes a trip to Copenhagen to talk walking (and cycling) with the European Ramblers' Association.

Gloucestershire

The good life

10 April 2014 by Emma Bovill

We spend a lot more time looking at our local Ordnance Survey map (Explorer OL45) these days... we’re concentrating on just a few folds at the moment but there’s plenty of time to fan out further as we dip our toes deeper into country life in the Cotswolds.

Solihull Bramblers: Spencer and Les

Bramblers to the rescue!

04 April 2014 by Adam Pearce

Volunteer Adam Pearce talks about how he helps keep the local path network open, by clearing paths and installing gates with the Solihull Bramblers.

A road, Salisbury Plains

Project ubique

25 March 2014 by Walking Class Hero

Walking Class Hero visits the prehistoric Salisbury Plains and learns how the MoD is doing its level best to improve access to the magical and mythical terrain, via Project Ubique.

South Cotswolds Ramblers walking near the set of BBC's Larkrise to Candleford, Oxfordshire

A living museum

20 March 2014 by Ed Wilson

Historic paths are like a living museum, but their stories keep growing and changing as more feet pass over them. Ed ponder the importance of historic paths and the the footpath that links the real Larkrise to Candleford, in Oxfordshire.

Path sign

Signs of the times

17 March 2014 by Eugene Suggett

Hundreds of articles, bringing fascinating insights to aspects of footpath law, have landed on this blogger’s desk since 1990. Contributors have included lawyers, historians, representatives of the farming and landowning interests and local authority staff.

Butterfly on plant

What is the value of nature?

12 March 2014 by Kate Conto

Can we ever place an economic value on the natural environment and everything it does for us? Shouldn’t we just look after nature because it is the right thing to do morally?

Path closure notice

An emotional iced bun

13 February 2014 by Anastasia French

Like the author Laurie Lee, Anastasia woke up one morning with a desire to walk south to the sea. In her penultimate installment she finds the going tough, and wonders who she can turn to for an "emotional iced bun".

"Uh-oh. There's a couple coming - what do I say?"

The etiquette of hello

07 February 2014 by Mark Rowe

Mark Rowe considers the etiquette of saying 'hello' when exploring the great outdoors. Who should you greet while wandering lonely as the proverbial?

The Boy, aka Alfie the dog

Mysterious mills and marshes

03 February 2014 by Chris Woodley-Stewart

In the third of a series of blogs on walking in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Chris Woodley-Stewart and The Boy (Alfie the Collie) explore the wild Suffolk Coast at the turning of the year.

Urban footpath

Four wheels good, two legs bad

21 January 2014 by Eugene Suggett

Eugene Suggett ponders the nature of 'privacy' when it comes to public paths that run past people's houses.

Mole from Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, by EH Shephard

The simple joys of the outdoors

15 January 2014 by Ed Wilson

The simple joys of "rambling busily, along the hedgerows, across the copses" as epitomised by Mole in Wind in the Willows, have only been made possible by the unique network of footpaths. Which is why some of the statistics quoted in the recent 'Paths in Crisis' report concern Ed.

Ana enjoyed a game of pooh sticks

South to the sea - 100 akers of fun

13 January 2014 by Anastasia French

Like the author Laurie Lee, Anastasia woke up one morning with a desire to walk south to the sea. In her fifth installment she is walking through the 100 Aker Wood.

Winter walking in a snow-clad Surrey

Winter walking

21 December 2013 by Sarah Gardner

As a child of the summer, Sarah always dreaded the long winter months. And then she discovered the magic of winter walking.

Pedestrians do not frack!

South to the Sea part 4 – fracking around

17 December 2013 by Anastasia French

Like the author Laurie Lee, Anastasia woke up one morning with a desire to walk south to the sea. In her fourth installment she is joined by her dad, her best friend and someone called Chick who used to know Aung San Suu Kyi, as she attempts to see some fracking.

Three young adventurers

Let's go on an adventure

09 December 2013 by Elly Hannigan Popp

How can we engage young people in the outdoors? Elly Hannigan Popp says it's really quite simple. We need to motivate them and provide them with the skills and experience that will help them in their future development.

Ouse Valley Viaduct, Sussex

Ramblers Route review: autumn abundance

06 December 2013 by Sarah Gardner

"It had been a while since I'd done a solo hike. I love walking with friends and with organised groups, but nothing beats setting off down the open road with just a rucksack for company..." Sarah reviews a route full of autumnal charm in Sussex.

Mill at Lower Slaughter, the Cotswolds

100 years of walking

05 December 2013 by Emma Bovill

As a co-operative HF Holidays is inherently social, with breaks designed for groups of friends or families, or guided walks you can join if holidaying on your own. Emma explores the options on an open day in the Cotswolds.

Phil Pickin

Restoring our precious peatlands

02 December 2013 by Phil Pickin

Despite the fact that peatland can seem featureless and rather flat, it provides us with a number of vital services: storing carbon, mitigating flooding and providing precious habitat for a range of plants and animals.

Fighting the Godmanchester case

Nothing more than cheap headlines?

19 November 2013 by Eugene Suggett

Eugene Suggett explains why judicial review is important in ensuring whether a public body such as the government, or a council, has acted within its powers or applied the law correctly in doing so.

Helen on Sgurr na Banachdich

Is citizen action the next step for walkers?

15 November 2013 by Helen Todd

Helen Todd wonders if mobilising walkers via social media is the best way to resolve access issues in Scotland. What do you think?

Alfie - faithful mud-hound, water-lover and cheese fiend

An autumn walk(ies) in the Mendips

13 November 2013 by Chris Woodley-Stewart

In the second in a series of blogs on walking in our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Chris Woodley-Stewart, Director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, visits the Mendip Hills and gets very wet.

Missing sign posts in Surrey

South to the sea part 3 - Rude tired

11 November 2013 by Anastasia French

Like the author Laurie Lee, Anastasia woke up one morning with a desire to walk south to the sea - and she did it! In the third installment she has a near death experience and gets rude tired...

Kate Ashbrook at the kissing gate she installed at Cobstone Hill, Turville, in the Chilterns

Defending access to the outdoors

04 November 2013 by Kate Ashbrook

Kate Ashbrook talks about what inspired her to start campaigning to defend access to the outdoors and why it's as important as ever in these austere times.

Horn's Cross, Dartmoor

Virtual halloween walk

31 October 2013 by Two Blondes

With Halloween's arrival, Two Blondes thought it might be interesting to take you on a Virtual Halloween Walk from East to West along the Dartmoor 666 Northing.

Horton Country Park

South to the sea part 2 - starting out solo

29 October 2013 by Anastasia French

Like the author Laurie Lee, Anastasia woke up one morning with a desire to walk south to the sea - and she did it! In the second instalment she starts out solo and find it less of a walk in the park...

Ordnance Survey maps

South to the sea - part 1

18 October 2013 by Anastasia French

Like the author Laurie Lee, Anastasia woke up one morning with the idea to walk south to the sea - and she did it! In this first instalment she has Big Ben, some Elvis Presley lookalikes and a herd of deer for company as she heads southwest along the Thames Path.

Emma at the Isle of Wight

Britain's best view?

03 October 2013 by Emma Bovill

What makes up a great view? The effort it takes to walk to a viewpoint or the unexpectedness of what you find? Or does a great view have something you simply can't explain?

Helen on Sgurr na Banachdich

Reaching for the Skye

01 October 2013 by Helen Todd

So here I am, roped, harnessed and helmeted, clinging on to a narrow, rocky, vertical ridge, which juts out like a 50-metre high shark’s fin from the mountain below. I’m inching along its spine, and I daren’t risk looking down at the sheer drops on either side...

Walkers in Weardale, credit Simon Wilson

The roof of England

13 September 2013 by Chris Woodley-Stewart

As the Director of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Chris Woodley-Stewart is a lucky man. He works in the "true north" where Cumbria, Northumberland and County Durham meet. Find out more about walking in what he calls a "wild and wonderful place".

Benedict Southworth on a Walk 'n' Talk

Go all out for the great outdoors debate

09 September 2013 by Benedict Southworth

We are the organisation that works for walkers, and with 9 million of you in England alone, we want to make sure we are representing your views, if the Ramblers is to steer the right course over the next few years.

Brian's views about the outdoors

On a Walk n Talk

06 September 2013 by Mary Gough

We've started a big conversation with people all over the country to find out how to make the outdoors even more enjoyable, and determine our vision for the next 10 years. One of our volunteers, Mary, talks about the conversations she's been having with people who love the outdoors.

Members of the Cornwall Ramblers REACT team fixing a bridge

Working for walkers

01 August 2013 by Sarah Gardner

The Ramblers knows how to work for walkers, and it knows how to have fun doing it. We recognise that we need to find our feet in a rapidly changing world, but we are as important now as we’ve ever been.

A misty Richmond Park

Walk this May

21 May 2013 by Walking Class Hero

It’s possibly the 2 bank holidays. Or it could be the 5 o’clock sunrises and the 9 o’clock sunsets that promise long, lazy walking days. Or maybe it’s because the month starts in spring and ends in summer. Whatever the reason, I reckon; all in all, May is my favourite walking month.

Steps on a historic path in Snowdonia, Wales

Oldest inscriptions on the land

15 May 2013 by Eugene Suggett

Ancient features like footpaths, and packhorse-trails, and driftways and halterways, and holloways and coffin-ways and pilgrim-ways are as much a part of our heritage as things on which we’d never now dream of setting a bulldozer such as stonehenges and castles.

Ramblers badge

If you enjoy walking thank a Rambler

30 July 2012 by Benedict Southworth

It’s hard to imagine what the world was like without the right to roam, national trails, and even rights of way on the Ordnance Survey maps. All things the Ramblers can be proud of...

Latest tweets from @RamblersGB