Welcome to Trailman

  • Solo walks across the three nations of Great Britain.

  • Long-distance paths and hill-walking in Britain.

  • Resources to support my 2013 Cicerone publication Walking in Essex.

Across the three nations

Over the last few years, I've walked across the three nations of Great Britain.
The principle was the same for each: to find my own line across each nation, wherever I can visiting peaks or places that have long been on my 'to-do' list. For I did not have the weeks on end that could permit a non-stop walk. Instead I spent a few days a year, usually in the spring or autumn, starting at the place I had left off and ending 60 miles or so further on. Almost always, I used public transport to and sometimes within these breaks.
The walk across Wales came first (2002-06). I enjoyed it so much that a few weeks later I went to Land's End to start a traverse of England, and the following year something similar for Scotland.
When I started Scotland, I vaguely knew that there was some difficult territory to cross before I could reach my goal of Cape Wrath. In Wales, I had already learnt how to use a bothy and a bunkhouse; reaching the North-West Highlands aged 62, I bit the bullet and took up backpacking, with lightweight tent, the only sensible way to reach my goal. The tent has since proved invaluable in England too. The Scotland walk took me from 2007 to 2014, and the England walk from 2006 to 2016 - I finished it three weeks after becoming entitled to my old-age pension.
See also my feature article A long walk to Berwick in the November 2016 issue of The Great Outdoors - go to www.tgomagazine.co.uk for back issues.

Long-distance paths

This site also looks at a wide variety of named trails which I have walked over the years. Some are solo, but many were in collaboration with my friend Dave Travers - we walked together for many years, from the 1970s to his untimely death in 2017; on others, you will find reference to various bits of family.
I would like to complete as many of the 19 National Trails of the three nations as I can. With every inch of only seven fully completed, that sounds like a tall order, but I'm just a stage or so short of several more. In 2016 I completed three - the Southern Upland Way - a magnificent backpackers' route across southern Scotland - in May, the famous Pennine Way in June, and Glyndŵr's Way in mid-Wales.
So far in 2017, I have finished the Ridgeway and the Thames Path - updated pages on both coming soon.
I also plan to finish:
  • the South Downs Way - just the inland section from Eastbourne left;
  • Hadrian's Wall Path - the less glamorous stretches, around Newcastle and Carlisle, are planned for October.

    For the future, I have decided to make an effort on the southern stretches of the South West Coast Path, and will start thinking about the Wolds Way and the Cleveland Way, both in Yorkshire.
    And although primarily a trail walker, I do climb hills, and intend to finish the Welsh Hewitts too, if I can find the time to fit them in (mostly the smaller ones left). I went back to the Lake District after a long absence last summer, and plan a few days there this summer too.

    'Walking in Essex' resources

    My Cicerone guide Walking in Essex was published in mid-November 2013. On the Essex tab there are resources to support the book and help you explore this most-misunderstood of English counties. Cicerone are currently preparing my next book, Walking in London, for publication in September.

    Where's Trailman?

    The markers show where I am in each of my current walking 'projects'.
    Zoom in and scroll up for detail up to 1:50,000 Open Space Web-Map builder Code
    Walking in Essex
    Latest additions
    All of The Ridgeway
    The Cheviot hills
    All of Glyndŵr's Way

    Next walk leads
    Thursday 6 July
    Nature Ramble #5

    About five miles, from Farnborough to Downe. Meet 1000 at Stratford station, Jubilee line concourse.
    For the Wren Group
    Saturday 15 July
    The New River

    Six miles from Clerkenwell to Finsbury Park. Meet 1100 at Angel tube.
    For the University of York Alumni Association. Event full.

    Dave Travers on Crib Goch
    RIP Dave Travers, 1950-2017; Dave on Crib Goch, 1974