The Walking Englishman

www.walkingenglishman.com 

Website’s statement:

With around 200,000 hits each day, the walking englishman is the most popular free content web site for walking in Great Britain on the Internet. There are reports of all the walks covered with full statistics and all with complimentary pictures. Many popular walking areas covered. The walks include GPS download routes and everything on this site is free. This is an informative site about walking in Great Britain with personal reflections. Enjoy the walks on the site which include maps, journals, statistics, elevations, photographs and reports.

In the Summer of 2011, Mike successfully walked the length of the Great Britain mainland from North to South in an attempt to raise money for the ‘Building Better Futures’ charity. Of course, being a Yorkshireman himself, he didn’t miss going through the county. At the time you could follow his adventure daily on another website which he has now integrated on his main website.

Social Media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheWalkingEnglishman Twitter: twitter.com/MikeBrockhurst

THE REVIEW:

This Walking Englishman is a website which has been built solely by one man, Mike Brockurst. I had a chance to talk to him just before he went on his 1000 Mile adventure and you can tell that he is definitely a genuine man passionate about walking and most of all who wants to share his passion and inspire his audience. This is certainly reflected in this website which contains 100’s of free walks with some of the best descriptions you can find out there, all illustrated with beautiful pictures. The great thing as well, it’s not just about long distance walks – believe me I couldn’t do a 1000 walk in 80 days as he did – but it’s also about short distance walks. He is a Yorkshireman so you will find plenty of routes in the county but there are also some all over the country. There are even some walks abroad in Italy and Crete! However I would say that the website lacks a good search engine. You have to read through listings to find a walk. So if you are looking for a walk in a particular place, you might have to search for a while before finding it. Having said that the lists are not so badly made. They are built by region and then arranged in terms of difficulty.

The website is also full of useful information about walking. There is a very well built part on Long Distance Footpaths in the UK with all the info you need to prepare your walk on each footpath. That part also features a comprehensive directory of all the Long Distance Footpaths available in the UK. There are some commercial directories too (walking gear, accommodation or walking holiday providers) but as Mike explains, “Maintenance costs of the site and funding for my walking is provided by my employment and by the advertising featured on the website” There is not too much advertising anyway and I hope it will remain this way. Other features you will find on the website are a guestbook and a very long link directory to other walking websites.

Finally one of my favorite pages is the walk time calculator. As stated, “in these hectic times you may have to finish the walk at a certain time in order to get to your accommodation for dinner, or to make a restaurant reservation, or even just to meet friends for a social gathering”. Yes, this will definitely help me to be on time when I have a dinner with the in-laws 🙂

Update: in 2015 the site was partially updated and a new design was adopted to make the site responsive to mobile screens. The following comment is not valid anymore – links are now going to the Way Back Machine website:

There are now some guest walks available on the website but unfortunately it’s just a list of them. If that list starts to grow, it will be impossible to find what you are looking for easily. There is a search option though but well hidden in the menu. It’s a Google search custom bar but I am not sure that it is everyone’s cup of tea and unfortunately it makes you exit the website as soon as you click on one of the links.

To Sum Up:

Pros

Richness of the content Great free description of walks most of the time complete with map, terrain profile, GPS waypoints and beautiful pictures Comprehensive directory of Long Distance Footpaths in the UK A walkpedia (still under construction) which includes interesting facts about walking A page dedicated to charity walks Walking time calculator You can submit your own walks to Mike and he might publish them in the guest walks section.

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Cons

No search engine – use of listings Navigation and appearance are not the best. Website looks outdated Advertisements

Ease of use / appearance Search facilities Walk descriptions Grading system Route mapping
2/4  1.5/4  4/4 3.5/4  4/4
 The navigation and the appearance are not great + there are adverts on every single page (in moderation though)  Quasi inexistant. You have to read through listings to find what you are looking for  Really good quality descriptions complete with interesting facts and pictures (available as filmstrips on youtube) The walks are listed as “easy”, “moderate” and “hard” however you can’t search these criteria Every walk comes with a “statistics” section at the top and often includes an O.S map, a terrain profile and downloadable Memory Map (.mmo) file
TOTAL
15/20

Features Yes No Comments
Free   Contain adverts though
GPS waypoints or Apps for smartphones Green Tick GPS waypoints are downloadable on almost every walk description
Photographs or videos of the routes Green Tick Pictures are of great quality. Available as filmstrips on Youtube most of the time. There are some videos too but not on all descriptions.
Info available along the route (i.e refreshments and toilets) Green Tick The statistics section at the top of each walk description give you some info about parking and refreshments
Community based website  Green Tick It’s not really a community website although there is a guestbook on which you can leave your comments. You can send your walk descriptions to Mike and he might publish them.

Please rate this article below and/or leave a comment about your own experience of www.walkingenglishman.com

Looking for more reviews? Go to my page about Walking Route Planner websites

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