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Pub Walks with Dietary Gold Standard

We are delighted that our friends at Salisbury Pubs have been awarded the Gold Award at the Free From Eating Out Awards 2016. The Alford Arms in Frithsden and The Royal Oak in Marlow have been recognised for their excellence in making it a breeze for people with food allergies to enjoy a superb pub meal – a subject close to my own heart. And as the pubs are partners of iFootpath, you can combine your meal out with a wonderful country ramble to work up an appetite before your meal…

freefromeatingoutawards2016The Free From Eating Out Awards encourage innovation and celebrate excellence in the free from food service industry, covering a wide range of subjects related to food allergy and intolerance and their many related health conditions, including coeliac disease, gluten-related disorders and skin allergies.

Take it from me, if you have a food allergy eating out can easily become a nightmare rather than a pleasure. I suffer from a long-term auto-immune condition that causes problems with inflammation and bleeding. I developed an allergy to eggs when I was in my 20s (for which I carry an epi-pen) and in the last 5 years I have also had to eliminate dairy products (milk, butter and cheese) from my diet to deal with the increased bleeding.

I can’t tell you the number of times that these dietary restrictions have led to me settling for a bowl of chips while the rest of my party enjoy a full meal. Only two months ago, I was told by a pub landlord that there was nothing on the menu that they could serve me and I was asked to leave. In 2016 – I know!

Nothing of the sort in The Alford Arms and The Royal Oak. One of the best roast dinners I have ever eaten 

and the chef even prepared a dessert for me that meets my dietary needs. And this isn’t special treatment for me because I’m part of the iFootpath team. Here is what the Free From Eating Out judges had to say…

alford arms

The Alford Arms: 'Our waitress was amazing. I was drilling her pretty hard about their procedures and practices and she was totally cool with everything. She really reassured me and I knew they were 'on it'. Huge choice for GF & DF and they are happy to make dishes for the most obscure allergies – although it is MUCH easier when people called ahead! The food was sublime. Nothing too adventurous – just really innovative, comforting country pub food. I loved their commitment to sustainable ingredients from local farmers and producers. If only every pub was like this I'd be a lot happier and I'd eat fewer jacket potatoes after muddy walks!'

royal oak small

The Royal Oak: ‘The chef had been through the whole menu and prepared a special allergen free menu for me with so much to choose from. There were some dishes that were on the normal menu but had been adapted to make them allergen free. In total I had the choice of 6 starters, 7 mains and three puds which for someone who is allergic to dairy, nuts, wheat and soya and intolerant to tomato and celery is pretty amazing. The choice of different options was almost overwhelming, the food itself was really great and I felt totally confident in the staff's ability to look after me. It is a lovely cosy, friendly pub. The lighting was just right and the staff were really attentive and helpful. What a joy!'

So why not support the innovative and progressive approach of these two hostelries with a pub walk this winter…Oh and did I mention, there are dog-friendly areas within the two pubs too! It doesn’t get better than this…

The Alford Arms and the Chiltern Hills, Hertfordshire

The Royal Oak, Marlow Common and Homefield Wood, Buckinghamshire

25 November 2016

iFootpath hosts Surrey Life’s Best Winter Walks
Celebrate National Tree Week

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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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