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iFootpath Expert: Searching for Walks on the iFootpath App

This iFootpath Expert will help you get the most from the search feature on the iFootpath App so that you can find wonderful walks to enjoy across the UK. With more than 1,000 walks we want to make searching for a walk as easy as we can, so please read on.

 

The search page and search features are very similar on both the iOS & Android Apps, and the iFootpath website.

Android appIn 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

Location Search

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.

Location search iFootpath App

Keyword Search

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.

 Keyword search

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.  

 Search filters iFootpath App

 

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.

Accessible by train

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.

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Length

The length of our walking guides is given in miles and rounded to the nearest full mile (whole number) for simplicity. For short walks (of less than 2 miles) or walks that have a length that ends in .5, a more accurate walk length may be given in the first section of the walk introduction. For example, the Length in the header may be listed as 6 miles, and the introduction may confirm that the exact length of the walk is 5.5 miles. The walk length is calculated from the GPS file that was created by the walk author GPS tracking the walk whilst walking, using the iFootpath App GPS Tracker, meaning it is very accurate. Our bespoke tracker is particularly detailed and plots a walkers position about every 10 seconds. The tracker is calibrated to match two other reputable map and walking sources, Ordnance Survey and Nike. As with all standardised walk and map lengths, the distance does not take account of hills and slopes, just the distance you would measure using a piece of string on a flat map version of the terrain, so hilly walks will feel longer than stated. If you track the route using another GPS App or Tracker App or Fitness Device, you can expect the distance you record to be different due to different calibrations. This is particularly true of those Apps and devices that count your motion and steps – these can only guess the distance you have travelled with each step and so are much less accurate.

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult the terrain is that you will encounter along the way. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. It takes into account things like hills, path surfaces and obstacles (like stiles, gates, steps and rock scrambles). An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 Boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 Boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles that require scrambling with your hands. Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

NOTE: Do be aware that the level of stamina required for any walk will vary depending on both the walk length and the difficulty grade - you should only walk within your limits.

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