Geoff Mullett

Geoff Mullett
I like nothing better than studying a map, planning a walk, then investigating the area’s history. Old footpaths had a purpose and walking a route with information I’ve gleaned from research brings that history to life. It's fantastic to be able to share this with others through Ramblers Routes.

Route Developer

For me, a good walking route is one that has great scenery or one that has historic or archaeological interest. Most of the walks I’ve developed for Ramblers Routes visit locations where the walker can stop and ponder, interpreting the landscape from the route description. It’s too easy, particularly when walking with a group, to pass a building or structure, or a lump in the ground, without realising its significance.

I’ve learned to do my homework and not be tempted to re-write someone else’s walk. I study the OS map and find an interesting location first, then see if I can devise a suitable route that fits in, researching the history of the area from books or on the internet, where maps from the 19th century can be found.

It pays to be liberal with the route description, as many people can’t read a map even if the route provides one. I also use reference points that will stand the test of time; on many occasions in the past I’ve directed walkers across grassland, only to find a year later it’s become a field of wheat. Similarly, I avoid names of shops, for example ‘turn left at Fred’s Chip Shop’, when Fred has sold up and the chippy is now a florist!

It can sometimes take several re-walks, often at different times of the year, before I’m happy with a route I'm developing. I then find it useful to walk the route a couple of times with different people who follow my instructions – they’ll soon point out errors in my route description.

Finally, I’ve learned that it pays to take time developing a walk, especially if it’s for Ramblers Routes. There’s no hurry, the paths will still be there and the more time spent walking around an area enjoying the landscape, the more satisfying the experience of developing the route becomes, the better the route and a greater pleasure will be given to walkers who follow it.

Geoff Mullett
Route Developer

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