The search page and search features are very similar on both the iOS & Android Apps, and the iFootpath website.
In short, when you search via the App or website you will connect live to our database on our server where all the walk information is held. Like most search systems there are a few tips and tricks to getting the right results.
Main Search Features
The best place to start a search is by entering a location into the top search box. You can enter your current location by tapping the symbol to the left of the input box. Be patient as it can take a few seconds for your device to find out where it is..... then just search for walks by tapping 'Find Walks' on the iOS App or 'Show as List' on the Android App. The list of walks will show the walks closest to your current location at the top. You can, of course, use the Map View for any search results too.
You need to be a little careful with the Keyword input box and we would suggest that you do not use it in conjunction with the Location input. Either search for a Location or with a Keyword, not both. This Keyword input is good for finding walks that you may already have seen and want to quickly find again - like a pub walk. Type in part of the pub's name and you should find the walk that you are looking for e.g. 'Welldiggers' or 'Dabbling' - you do not need to add 'arms', 'inn' 'pub', 'cafe', etc. Please also do not use it for a location search or for a type of walk like 'circular' or 'nice' you may get hundreds or no results and you are unlikely to find the right walk for you.
Drop Down Filters
The next three areas on the search page allow you to choose a filter. In other words, it will only show walks that meet these criteria.
We tag the walks with a County, a Walk Type and any Collections that they belong to. You can only choose one criterion for each filter or select All to reset each filter. Please be careful - for example, if you choose the County 'Surrey' together with Walk Type 'Coastal' the result will show no walks as Surrey does not have a coast. Make sure you tap Reset if you want to start searching again with new criteria.
One collection of particular note is the Easier Access Walk collection. We know that there are some customers who have particular requirements in the accessibility of walking routes. It might be post-surgery or walking with young children, a physical disability or walking with large dogs, taking a pushchair or being in a wheelchair. To try to help, we have trawled through the iFootpath walking guides and tagged those walks that are easier access. There are 125 of these easier access walks and we will continue to add more over time. All these walks are stile-free and have no steep gradients. Of course, you will have your own individual requirements so make sure you read the walk introduction to learn about the barriers that you will face. Many of the walks are suitable for rugged pushchairs or disability buggies, but some do include softer surfaces, steps, kissing gates or livestock. You will need to assess which of the walks suit your own circumstances, but we hope it will give those walkers with specific requirements a good place to start.
Accessible by Train
This filter is a simple toggle on or off. If you switch it on, the search results will only show walks that are accessible by train. This is, of course, helpful for people that want to use public transport but please always read the walk description and view the detailed walk map to find out more about the proximity of the rail station. Some of these tagged walks will start at a rail station whilst others may be a short walk away.
What you Can't Ask Search to do
You will see that we do not mark our walks with any tags such as dog-, wheelchair- or child-friendly. You will need to decide for yourself whether the walk is what you are looking for, by reading the detailed walk description. It's perhaps easiest to explain why these tags are not used with regards to dog-friendly walks. Dogs come in all shapes & sizes, some like being off the lead, some like other dogs and some don't. You will know yourself what you and your dog would like to find on a walk and whether, for example, you and your dog can negotiate a stile or walk through a field holding animals. When it comes to wheelchairs and buggies, we try our best to describe the walk and give a view on whether a walk may be suitable, but you will be able to decide best by reading the walk description and also take account of the likely impact of recent weather on paths & tracks.
We also do not tag walks as Circular or Linear. Most iFootpath walks are truly Circular, meaning if you keep on walking along the route you will get back to where you started from. Some are Circular but the walk requires a train journey back - indeed they are designed as train walks. A handful are 'there and back linear' walks, along a canal for example, normally where there is no other option - but the walk length reflects the total mileage walking in both directions. Others are part of a long-distance route and, where possible, you will see some information about how to get back to the start using public transport should you need to. In all cases, we advise that you read fully the walk description to find out more.
- Please check out our video of how to search for walks on the website.
- Take a look at our other iFootpath Expert posts and in particular how to use the Favourite and Completed feature
- More about Dog-Friendly walks
- Website search page - List View
- Website search page - Map View
- Ordnance Survey Online Maps
- Contact us and ask for some help.