Author Topic: Long distance paths as described by Jounalists. Any good?  (Read 607 times)


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I was browsing though the newspapers on line this morning and came across this in the Independent.

I read it and then realised the journalist hadn't actually walked it, only part of it. Personally, I wasn't impressed, very twee and dare I suggest it, lazy!

John Walker

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Yes, agreed, it reads more like an advertorial for Cotswold Walks, the pubs etc. that she stayed at and the slightly weird Thermae Spa  :o .  Also I really don't need to know the names of the celebs who have moved into the area and pushed up house prices way beyond any normal person's budget.  I suppose a journalist doesn't have enough time to complete the entire path (although she did clock up 56 miles in 3 days - not bad) but an article like this is just unsatisfactory in so many ways  :( .
National Trails completed: SWCP, Thames, SDW and NDW


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Worst still are guidebooks written by authors who haven't actually experienced the whole thing, taking notes from other publications or another persons account.
I almost got stuck in a gully in the Lake District many years ago after reading up about the scramble, in a guidebook which contained a very incorrect description.
I wrote about it to a magazine, which ended up publishing my letter.
The following month came a reply from the guidebook author attempting to wriggle out of the error. He claimed he only included the scramble route as it was a very old traditional climbers descent route, describing the error as 'flawed or otherwise', he had obviously never actually done the route.


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I have always planned walks and route found simply using an OS map but bad experiences being on walks led by others, who were trying to follow poorly described routes in books, magazines or newspapers, caused me to start my website. I figured I must be able to do better and feedback has certainly been positive.

I know very well how difficult it is to put yourself in the mind of the reader but some of the descriptions were so poor, it was obvious the writers had not actually walked them or were relying on memory and/or inadequate notes. One sticks in my mind where the instruction was to follow a wall. Not only was there no wall, it looked as though there never had been, just a hedge - and I was definitely in the right place. The article in the paper was recent so it was not as though a long existent wall had been removed.

I think it is very lazy authoring and in some circumstances could be dangerous.

I had now better quickly apologise to anyone who has got lost following my directions!


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Big problem with reading a pre-authored route, after you have seen a potential route to walk on a map, it somehow loses it's identity as your own route.[/size]

Do the writers of guide books do more than point out the obvious, joining up a set of rights of way into a format that is a circular walk of a set distance or in the case of LDP's 2 destinations to be decided on which direction you are going to walk them. Most LDP's are set out routes, mostly by local authorities, to furnish and market and many seem to be an exercise in covering up the inadequacies of their Access Network. If routes were generated from the terrain, focused on features and measured by their quality of way perhaps we would get a better perspective of that part of our countryside we are not allowed to walk in.

There are, I suspect, many more variables, which could be applied the judgement of quality of routes, if a more critical approach to terrain was applied to judging routes and safety is a very important feature, which owners of property have control over and yet absolutely no responsibility to take into account.
Their Land is in Our Country.