In this latest instalment of the iFootpath Expert series, we explain how we develop pub walks for the iFootpath App and why, by using them, you are helping more people than you might think. It’s the perfect excuse for a walk followed by a well-deserved pint…
Within the 1000+ iFootpath walking guides across the UK, you may have noticed that there are more than 150 pub walks, each starting and finishing at a hostelry (or cafe). You can find all our pub walks by selecting the Pub or Cafe item from the drop-down menu called Collections within the search function of the website or App.
Taking a pub walk has been a classic British pastime for years and no wonder, what could be better than a pub at the end of a walk? It gives you chance for a well-earned warm by the fire in winter or a shady garden spot in the summer, with a refreshing drink or a well-deserved meal.
The pub walks on iFootpath are special in several ways. You will see that they include the name of the pub in the title, and that confirms the pub itself has asked for the walk to be included on iFootpath. That means you can be sure that they will happily welcome walkers (even if you have some mud up your trousers!) and lots of them also welcome dogs.
It also means that you are more than welcome to park at the pub while you follow the walk (with no need to check with the landlord first). There’s no pressure for you to buy a banquet at the end of your walk, although it would be courteous to pop in for a quick drink at least. If you fancy a sandwich or lunch, then even better. You are sure to get a great meal with a very warm welcome.
All pubs that commission an iFootpath walk make a contribution to the technology costs of running iFootpath – that’s one of the reasons that we are able to keep the App so affordable for walkers themselves. By following these walks and popping in to the pub afterwards, you are actually helping to ensure the continued life of the iFootpath App.
Many country pubs and cafes have struggled to survive over the last couple of decades and sadly many have closed their doors for good. This leaves some villages without a community hub which seems such a shame. By supporting the pubs and cafes that have commissioned an iFootpath walk, you are also helping to secure the future of the pubs and cafes themselves, and so helping the local communities. Several of the pubs organise group walks following the iFootpath route a few times per year, it’s a great way to meet new people and if you’re lucky, you might even get a bacon sandwich on the house.
Some of the pubs and cafes are community-run affairs, staffed by teams of volunteers, or small independent ventures. Take, for example, Slindon Forge within the South Downs National Park in West Sussex. This community shop and cafe, based in the old village forge, is run as a not-for-profit initiative. It offers vital services to the local community (such as phone top-ups, utility bill payments, wi-fi and even dry cleaning). By following any one of the four Slindon Forge iFootpath walks and dropping in for a cup of coffee, you will be doing your bit to ensure the continued success of this valuable local hub.
If you want to contact the pub or cafe before or during your walk (maybe to check opening times or book a table), then the iFootpath App has that bit covered too. Click on the Pub Banner on the Walk Overview page and you will be given three buttons. The Call button will automatically dial the pub phone number for you, so you can get in touch – simple!
That’s all for this article. Head out and enjoy an iFootpath pub walk, pop into the pub (or cafe) afterwards for some refreshments and you can have a warm glow inside (and not just from the roaring real fire!).
26 February 2018