Blogs

Why I lead walks to inspire people

08 April 2019 by Marika Kovacs

Marika Kovacs, a walk leader for Hereford Ramblers with a visual impairment, on leading walks and joining in the National Parks 70th Anniversary celebrations.

Scotland's landscape challenges needs landscape-scale solutions

19 March 2019 by Helen Todd

Ramblers Scotland's campaigns and policy manager Helen Todd urges the Scottish walking community to consider why countryside looks the way it does - so we can better understand and influence the debates that decide its future.

Five women, standing together, outdoors, smiling

Celebrating the women of the Ramblers

08 March 2019 by Vanessa Griffiths

On International Women’s Day 2019, Ramblers CEO Vanessa Griffiths, Ramblers Scotland director Jess Dolan, and Ramblers Cymru director Angela Charlton discuss the charity’s working culture and being part of a majority female Senior Leadership Team.

A woman standing outdoors, pointing up towards a mountain range

From the Ramblers to Everest Base Camp

07 March 2019 by Nella Scurfield

For Nella, joining the Portsmouth Ramblers not only turned out to be the perfect way to get into shape, with their long Sunday walks, but a great way to train for a hike to the Everest Base Camp.

A canal barge on the water with large trees above

Spring wildlife along the waterways

22 February 2019 by Phil Pickin

How important are our waterways for wildlife? And what species can typically be spotted along the way at this time of year?

Illustration of people engaging in an urban space

Ten steps to walkable neighbourhoods

22 February 2019 by Lucy Saunders

As we seek nominations for our annual walkable neighbourhood awards, we asked the transport specialist behind the Mayor of London’s Healthy Streets transport strategy to share her 10 indicators of healthy streets.

Everyday journeys - A commuter in the city

22 February 2019 by Guest blogger

"On any given day I’ll probably do around five journeys on foot, and possibly even more at the weekend..."

Landscape view with hills and sheep

Pennine Journey

22 February 2019 by David Pitt

Last year was the 80th anniversary of the Pennine Journey – a lesser known route devised by Alfred Wainwright and subsequently turned into an official 247-mile circular route from Settle in North Yorkshire thanks to the efforts of two passionate long-distance walkers.

Group of people in a field, cheering

Establishing a Ramblers in Japan

22 February 2019 by Natalie Hoare

The Ramblers’ Chair of Trustees, Kate Ashbrook, has been extending the hand of friendship and providing advice to walkers who wish to establish a similar organisation the other side of the world.

Pubic Footpath sign on top of a hill, looking into a valley of fields

Filming Great British Railway Journeys

06 February 2019 by Terry Howard

Ramblers volunteer, Terry Howard, on meeting Michael Portillo and his film crew to take part in filming for his BBC Two programme, Great British Railway Journeys.

Three people, wearing hiking backpacks, hugging

Walking and Talking about Mental Health

06 February 2019 by Gwennie von Einsiedel

In the summer of 2017 my brothers Orlando and Robin and I tackled one of the hardest conversations we’d ever had, about our brother Evelyn, who took his own life fourteen years ago aged just 22

Brexit - why the fuss about public access?

01 February 2019 by Stephen Russell

Outside of the EU, the UK will no longer be part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), meaning a domestic alternative needs to be in place by 29 March. But what does this have to do with public access?

Jim Snodgrass

Walking yourself to physical and mental health at 81

10 December 2018 by Danny Carden

Four years after his doctor suggested he join the Ramblers, 81-year-old Jim Snodgrass from South Queensferry has developed a deep love of walking, a new friendship group and his health and wellbeing are hugely improved.

Four people walking down a path that winds between low hills

What's in a landscape?

30 November 2018 by Alison Hallas

Alison Hallas, Ramblers policy officer, looks back at the history of our involvement with National Parks, and our current work supporting a new review into the future of protected landscapes

Protestors on the Thames with a sign "A Labour Government will give people a right to roam"

The campaign that changed our access to the countryside

29 November 2018 by Kate Conto

In the late 1990s – in the days before social media, the euro and 9/11 - I joined the Ramblers staff to help campaign for the right to roam.

A woman standing still among tall forest trees

Prescribing nature

23 November 2018 by Phil Pickin

GP surgeries in Shetland are prescribing nature-based activities for patients with conditions ranging from high blood pressure to depression. But we don’t need a doctor’s prescription to start enjoying the wellbeing benefits of nature, says Phil Pickin.

Four men outdoors, wearing high-vis jackets replacing a gate

The knights of our rights of way

23 November 2018 by Ian Hardy

As the Ramblers campaigns to safeguard public access to the countryside post-Brexit, footpath secretary Ian Hardy highlights the role of volunteers working across England and Wales to defend our rights of way network.

A man standing on a path beside a lake

Walking 3000 miles for mental health

23 November 2018 by Jake Tyler

"Walking and nature had done so much for my mental health, I knew I needed to do more. I thought if I did a big walk, it might inspire others to recognise the positive effects of exercise and the open air."

A large group of people standing on a rock, over a valley

Back on our feet after bereavement

22 November 2018 by Elyssa Campbell-Barr

As the government publishes its first national strategy on loneliness, at the Ramblers we’re spreading the word about how walking can help people overcome social isolation and improve their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

A view from down low, beside a dark tree of a man walking in the woods

Capturing what enchants me in the woods

08 November 2018 by Jamie Marshall

The woods are probably my favourite place to go walking. And autumn is definitely my favourite time of year to head out amongst the trees; crisp leaves rustle, twigs crack and the waning sun paints amazing patterns on the woodland floor.

A group of people walking along a footpath beside grasses and the coast

What does the budget mean for walking?

29 October 2018 by Gemma Cantelo

From Whitehall to town halls, getting more people walking and cycling is increasingly recognised as ‘a good thing’. But, as the Budget proves, when it comes to investment, the car is still king.

A woman and young man, seated outdoors with a dog

Margot and Thomas are Stepping Out

24 October 2018 by Guest blogger

Margot and her son Thomas, joined the Stepping Out Carers’ Walks in Kent for the first time this year.

A map

Act now to protect our paths

24 August 2018 by Jack Cornish

We are blessed in England and Wales with a fantastic network of paths – nearly 140,000 miles of rights of way (enough to stretch round the earth five times or half way to the moon!). However, there are thousands of historical rights of way which have not been recorded and if they are not claimed by 2026 they will be lost – forever!

Canals

Walking the waterways

24 August 2018 by Phil Pickin

I'm a firm believer in not overlooking the things that are, quite possibly, right under your nose. So I was pleased when, in a highly publicised rebranding, the Canals and Rivers Trust (CRT) decided to reaffirm that the waterways are relevant to everyone.

Action Beach Boy

Imagined coast

24 August 2018 by Matthew Jones

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy evocative coastal walks – from the romance and excitement of hidden coves and secret beaches to the nostalgic sights of the traditional British seaside

Reaching the North Pole

Arctic adventure

24 August 2018 by Misba Khan

From weekend walker to North Pole adventurer. For Misba Khan from Manchester, joining a Ramblers group was the start of an incredible journey that led her all the way to the Arctic.

Andrea Tomeckova

How getting #OutThere can change your life!

18 June 2018 by Kathrine Payne

Edinburgh Young Walkers member Andrea Tomečková shares her story about the positive impact walking has had on her life.

Nottingham canal walk

Paving the way to accessible local parks

04 June 2018 by Guest blogger

As we launch new research into walking in parks and green spaces, Jane Wilcock, Ramblers member and Chair of Longsight Park Friends Group, Bolton, writes about the way in which they've made Longsight Park more accessible for everyone.

A little mindfulness never hurt anyone

25 May 2018 by Phil Pickin

For those of us who enjoy the countryside, it will come as no surprise that increasing numbers of people have acknowledged a direct link between access to nature and good mental health.

Planning a weekend away

25 May 2018 by Steve Rawlins

Whether you go with friends, family or a walking group, heading off to the hills for a weekend away can create great memories. But the secret to success is all in the planning…

Nottingham canal walk

Find an urban stroll for National Walking Month

24 May 2018 by Guest blogger

It's National Walking Month and the experts at Cotswold Outdoor share their top recommendations for urban strolls.

Litter pick in Lacey Green

Ramblers group clean up in Lacey Green

16 May 2018 by Guest blogger

Ramblers group Chiltern Weekend Walkers take part in the Great British Spring Clean. Peter Dobson writes about the experience.

Ramblers step up to re-open the Tyne & Wear Heritage Way

30 April 2018 by Guest blogger

Judith Taylor, Northumbria area volunteer, on the re-opening of the Tyne & Wear Heritage Way.

Six tips for engaging with your local councillors

26 April 2018 by Guest blogger

David Martin, former local councillor and Ramblers volunteer shares his top tips for engaging with your local councillors.

Llanelli - practical maintenance activities

The Joys of volunteering

09 April 2018 by Amanda Hill

There is something very rewarding about getting involved in practical maintenance activities. Not only are you getting out in the fresh air, supporting your local community, but you are also working up a sweat keeping yourself fit and active.

Welsh access lands

Wandering on Welsh access lands

06 April 2018 by Rebecca Brough

Wales is blessed with vast expanses of remote and entrancing countryside with 320,000 hectares of open access land - almost a third of all such land in England and Wales.

Welsh access lands

Wandering on Welsh access lands

06 April 2018 by Rebecca Brough

Wales is blessed with vast expanses of remote and entrancing countryside with 320,000 hectares of open access land - almost a third of all such land in England and Wales.

Jerry Pearlman: lawyer who fought for our rights

20 March 2018 by Kate Ashbrook

Kate Ashbrook reflects on Jerry Pearlman - an honorary solicitor for the Ramblers for more than 30 years, taking on countless path battles and campaigneing for freedom to roam on open country.

Green space

The 25 Year Plan: A Healthy Perspective

12 March 2018 by Robyn Stephens

Our Policy & Advocacy Support Officer Robyn Stephens takes a look at what implications there are for the nation's health and wellbeing from the 25 Year Plan for the environment.

Natural neighbourhoods

06 March 2018 by Kate Conto

Parks in towns and cities are the way that most of us engage with and benefit from contact with the natural environment. It is therefore vital that the Government’s 25 year plan to improve the environment must include ambitions for urban settings.

Packing for a day hike

Packing your kit

01 March 2018 by Matthew Jones

Heading out on a day hike in the hills? Editor of walk magazine, Matt Jones, offers some tips on what to take and how to pack your rucksack

The Next Step, a poem by Ian McMillan

25 February 2018 by Ian McMillan

Poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, muses on urban walking in his poem written for our Paving the Way campaign.

Walking my eccentric version of the city

25 February 2018 by Jack Cornish

Jack Cornish, Ramblers Don’t Lose Your Way Project Manager, writes about how he’s paved his own way across London.

Plastic waste: the last straw?

22 February 2018 by Phil Pickin

A visit to the coast is the perfect way to blow away the winter blues, and you can look forward to plenty of spectacular sights. Increasingly, however, you may also spot things that are neither pleasant nor natural.

A walk through the next 25 years

06 February 2018 by Alison Hallas

Following the launch of the Government's long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan, our policy officer, Alison Hallas, looks at what the plan actually offers to those of us who love walking.

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.

Winter Walks

08 December 2017 by Matthew Jones

Editor of walk, Matt Jones, on why he loves a Boxing Day stroll and is determined to make the most of the colder months this winter.

Columba: A Celestial Dove Flying Through the Winter Skies

24 November 2017 by Brian Jones

Ramblers’ resident stargazer Brian Jones gives us reasons to head outside and check out the night sky. This winter we cast our gaze upwards and seek out the celestial dove Columba.

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.

People walking in city

Building better places for walkers

25 October 2017 by Kate Conto

Think about the places you walk everyday – to work, to shops or to the park. At some point, most of us will have been put off walking because of the design of the built environment. So how can we persuade more people to walk for short journeys?

Small but special

06 October 2017 by Brian Jones

Ramblers’ resident stargazer Brian Jones gives us reasons to head outside and check out the night sky. For autumn, we turn our attention to the tiny constellation Equuleus.

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.

Jay Wilson: Blazing a trail to John O' Groats

27 September 2017 by Kathrine Payne

Three years ago Ramblers member Jay Wilson decided it was time to fix the problem and create a big ‘missing link’ in Scotland's paths network – the first-ever dedicated walking route between Inverness and John O’ Groats.

Sweet potato cottage pie

Two warming autumn recipes

22 September 2017 by Charlotte Pike

Food blogger Charlotte Pike shares two warming autumn recipes. Why not make these hearty sausage rolls or this comforting cottage pie at home?

Arthur McKenzie: A walking hero at 83

12 September 2017 by Kathrine Payne

The beautiful Pentland Hills near Edinburgh are enjoyed by 600,000 people a year; with most visiting to enjoy the area’s 100km of scenic paths and trails. Such experiences are made possible thanks to the hard work of a small army of path maintenance volunteers, including one very special 83-year-old: Arthur Mackenzie from Penicuik.

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.

Seven Sisters South Downs

England Coast Path - the whole story

18 August 2017 by Kate Conto

Our senior policy officer Kate Conto has been involved in the England Coast Path from the start. She tells us all about the highs and lows of this inspirational project.

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.

Walking the English Coast

04 August 2017 by Ruth Livingstone

Ruth Livingstone, coastal walker and Ramblers member takes us through her journey round the coast and tells us why paths are so important to her.

Tick

Could you recognise and remove a tick?

01 August 2017 by Helen Todd

Our Scottish campaigns & policy manager Helen Todd discusses those horrible little biters - ticks - and how best to remove and avoid them.

Corona Australis graphic

Crowning glory

27 July 2017 by Brian Jones

Ramblers’ resident stargazer Brian Jones gives us reasons to head outside and check out the night sky. This summer we look at the southern crown, know as Corona Australis.

Fresh and summery - two new recipes

10 July 2017 by Charlotte Pike

Food blogger Charlotte Pike shares fresh and summery recipes. Why not try a summer vegetable frittata or lemon and raspberry loaf cake at home?

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.

Local elections 2017: Making the case for outdoor recreation

27 April 2017 by Helen Todd

With the 2017 local elections looming in Scotland, Helen Todd says it's vital that outdoor interests engage with local democracy.

Simon in a valley

Why I’ve decided to walk 214 fells in 15 days

26 April 2017 by Simon Barnett

This spring, I’m going to attempt to climb all the 214 Wainwright fells in one continuous route - as a holiday.

Bright and beautiful

13 April 2017 by Paul Stancliffe

When the days finally lengthen and the warmth of the sun can be felt breathing new life into the countryside, our birds suddenly spring into life. Our birdwatching expert, Paul Stancliffe, discusses the wonderful colours of breeding birds this spring.

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.

Orange and polenta cake

Zingy and springy recipe

10 March 2017 by Charlotte Pike

As we leave the depths of winter behind, it feels right to take the best seasonal ingredients and add a lighter, fresher citrus twist. Here's two recipes to try this spring from Charlotte Pike.

Lothian and Borders family walkers

A budget for healthy places

08 March 2017 by Kate Conto

In announcing the Spring Budget today, the Chancellor asked whether the next generation will be able to get on the housing ladder and declared that it is the Government’s job to make sure that they do.

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.

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