Friday, May 29, 2009

Helpful Advice on Walking Through England

Some time ago I was trawling the Internet to see if I could find any information on safe walking routes from Portsmouth to Reading, where I shall be moving onto canal towpaths for most of my walk through England. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find websites which seemed to be promoting the idea of walking. I wrote to a couple of them to see if they had any ideas, or if they could put me in touch with somebody with the desired info.

Today I had a very kind e-mail from Alice Walker, at one of these organisations, Natural England. I reproduce it here as an indication of the kind of help I am seeking, and in case the information Alice has given me is of use to anybody else.

"Hi Vic

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on your walking query. What a fantastic adventure you have planned! Do you have OS maps of the areas you are going to cover? I think my suggestion would be to see what public footpaths you can find that take you the most direct way possible, though I’m sure you’ve thought of that already! I’m afraid the off-road routes I know of the area may not be particularly direct, but you can go off road from Southampton to Winchester along the River Itchen, though I suppose Southampton is rather a detour from your route. I have also found the following which may be of some use:

You may like to get in touch with the Ramblers if you have not done so already ( they have lots of regional groups who may be able to give you some tips on good routes.

Good luck with the preparation and all the best for your trip


Alice Walker

Health & Environment Adviser

Natural England

I shall certainly be following up Alice's suggestions. The Pilgrim's Trail from Portsmouth to Winchester looks very interesting as a tried and tested walking route out of Portsmouth and well on my way to Oxford.

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