Pathways > The Pathways book
'Pathways' is the book written by Walkingworld founders Nicholas Rudd-Jones and David Stewart. It traces the history of Britain's historic paths, from ancient processional routes right up to pedestrian zones. In it we explore an example of each path, recording its individual history and taking photographs along the way.
In twenty chapters the book explores paths used for commerce and trade, such as drovers' roads and packhorse routes; dykes, ditches and roads used for the exercise of military power; religious routes from prehistoric avenues to medieval pilgrimages; and pathways built specifically for leisure, whether stalking tracks in Scotland, in municipal parks or on seaside promenades.
Writing the book was a fascinating experience, which took us from the Highlands of Scotland, where we tramped for two days over heather moorland, to the tip of Cornwall, along the cliffs and bays that were haunts of smugglers two centuries ago.
It is hardcover with 318 pages, with lots of lovely colour photos. The twenty chapters are listed on the right. Click on these links to find the walk featured in the book (which can be downloaded for free just by joining Walkingworld), plus a list of other walks around the country that you might want to try.
You can also submit your ideas, thoughts and factual corrections - because no doubt we have got things wrong - on the Pathways forum.
You can buy the book (usually with a healthy discount on its cover price of £20) from the Guardian bookshop.
The walks below are featured in the book and are free to download once you join Walkingworld.
A favourite walk for Bristol dog-owners and those who want to get away from the bustle of the city. The walk takes in two public parks and a stretch along the River Frome, with a cafe en route and the relics of a working stone sawmill at Snuff Mills.... More info
Aldreth Causeway was one of the major routes into Ely and the site of an attempt by William the Conqueror to oust the rebel Hereward the Wake. The walk takes you to the fortification used by William, Belsar's Hill. Walk featured in the 'Pathways'... More info
Start inland on ancient footpaths between farmsteads before joining the coast at Kenneggy Sands. Then walk via Prussia Cove (home of notorious eighteenth century smuggler John Carter), past Cudden Point and back to Perranuthnoe via Stackhouse and... More info
A somewhat neglected circuit from Haweswater which, rather than climbing to the tops, explores a very remote valley and returns via the Old Corpse Road. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info
This 10km walk takes in some wonderful Peak District views, a fairly steep ascent of Jacob's Ladder - an old packhorse route - and an even steeper one down Broadlee Bank Tor. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info
A different way to see High Force; cross the river at the Wynch Bridge to the south (non-commercial) side, following the Pennine Way past Low Force to the beauty of High Force, keeping on to pass the lesser known Bleabeck Force towards the Upper... More info
A circular walk through ancient woodlands and meadows, with superb views across the Wye Valley and lots of local history connected with it being a Royal Forest. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info
For hundreds of years, vast herds of sheep, cattle and even turkeys were driven by drovers, on foot, from the hill country of Wales to the markets of Eastern England. Some of these roads are still traceable today. This walk invites you to tread... More info
A testing two-day walk through remote Highland territory, staying at a bothy for the night. The route passes on stalkers' paths by Loch Glendhu and Loch Glencoul to Eas a Chual Aluinn, Britain's highest waterfall. The walk is featured in the... More info
A linear walk using the train from Chilham to Wye and then walking back. The walk follows a section of the Pilgrim's Way from Boughton Aluph through King's Wood. The walk is featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info
A village walk tracing the paths that the nature poet, John Clare, took as a lad, with pleasing landscapes, woods and plenty of historical interest. Clare was a vociferous opponent of the Enclosure Movement, which was sweeping the country at the time... More info
This walk traces the route of the Pedway, an elevated walkway through the centre of the City of London, and also takes in the Riverside Way, the Millennium bridge, St Paul’s cathedral and numerous iconic City buildings. Features in the 'Pathways'... More info
Linear walk along the Regent's Canal towpath from the basin at Little Venice, past London Zoo to bustling Camden Lock. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book. ... More info
A circuit of the Ridgeway starting from a pretty Oxfordshire village with a pub. There can hardly be a walk in England that passes by as many Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age remains, including the famous White Horse of Uffington, which dates back... More info
Follow in the footsteps of medieval monks on this trackway joining the Cistercian monasteries of mid-Wales. The walk samples two branches of the Trod, one passing just below the hill of Moelfryn, the other a spur heading towards Rhayader. It can be... More info
This is a short, circular walk mainly in mature woodland and using part of Offa's Dyke National Trail. It is on good tracks and is easy to follow. The walk itself has few views, but the open ground at the start offers outstanding views across the... More info
A real variety here, starting from Brighton's famous Pavilion, visiting the shops, cafes and pubs of the Lanes and North Laines, a stretch along the seafront by the pier and a hike up onto the chalk downs for views of sea and city, passing along the... More info
On a fine day in almost any season the South Downs are utterly beautiful. This walk takes in Stane Street, the Roman Road that ran from London to Chichester. It has majestic views in both directions.
Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info
A walk around the ancient stones and burial grounds of this famous location, including a short stretch along the Ridgeway. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book... More info
An excellent walk over moorland, mainly on paths and tracks but with a little pathless terrain. There are fascinating old smelting mill workings reached by a miners' track and an interesting river crossing. Walk featured in the 'Pathways' book.... More info