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Discover Walks with Easier Access

Walking is good for you, there’s lots of evidence to support this and it is has become a universally accepted fact. Team iFootpath believes that the benefits of walking should be available for everyone, and we mean everyone. A new search option on the iFootpath website helps you to find those walks with minimal obstacles and access restrictions, ideal if you have any personal restrictions…

We love the diversity of our iFootpath customers, with people from all walks of life (excuse the pun!). We know that different people want different things in their ideal walk and that is why we create such a broad range of walks, from half a mile to 15 miles and from climbing a mountain to strolling around a park.

We know that there are some customers who have key requirements in the accessibility of walking routes. Our thanks go to all the customers that have been in touch over the years, telling your personal stories and helping us to understand the diversity of needs out there. 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. For any of those reasons, people may wish to avoid tricky obstacles like stiles or steep hills. 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 just waiting to be discovered, 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.

To find these Easier Access walks, simply go to the Find Walks > Browse Walks page of the iFootpath website and select Easier Access Walks from the Collections drop-down box…
easier access walks screengrab

11 August 2017

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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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