This is my Favourite Ramblings page, self-explanatory but all is not quite as it seems. Every now and again I complete a walk so extraordinary I feel the urge to commit it to print. This is a selection of those I have collected over the years. For any number of reasons they were memorable, a moment or a day captured forever. I couldn’t honestly say they are all ones I would recommend or want to repeat, but they all had a story to tell.
Favourite Ramblings is a collection of my favourite day walks, as opposed to long distance walks. Over the years I have always committed myself to some sort of long distance footpath, at least one in a calendar year. Most of my day walks prior to these were part of the preparation. Yet it is the individual walks that have tended to live longest in the memory. From time to time I set aside a day or two during the course of a long distance path (LDP) and those days of freedom and no mileage constraints have often proved the finest. Don’t get me wrong, I love an LDP. I love the order, the designated ritual of finding the correct way and sticking to what the guide book says, but every now and then I like to cut loose. It is also a truism that LDPs occasionally ignore some of the more intriguing detours they pass. How could anyone walk the West Highland Way and not set aside a day to go up Ben Nevis? Unless they have already been up it I suppose but that’s just being picky!
A recurring theme over much of this website is railway lines, or disused ones to be more accurate. My fascination with the railways and their part in our industrial heritage goes back long before I first became interested in walking. Published on the 27th March 1963, Dr. Beeching’s infamous report ‘The Reshaping of British Railways’ resulted in the closure of over 4,000 route miles of railway. The long term legacy of this has been hundreds of miles of paths and cycle tracks, countless preservation railways and endless discussion as to whether his drastic measures were justified. From a walking perspective, there is one simple irony to consider. Most of these lines which now exist as important recreational features all over the country would not have been possible had it not been for Beeching’s recommended closures. There is the contrariety, we could not have had one without the other. I say ‘most’ as a lot of the disused lines I have walked actually closed long before the first of Dr. Beeching’s reports.
These pages are not intended as guides or even tourist recommendations, with the help of a few photographs and images they are simply my story of that particular day in my life when I was blessed with favourable circumstance. For better or for worse, my favourite ramblings are the reasons why I love to go walking.