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16 minutes reading time (3113 words)

Creating Walks with iFootpath

We welcome walks submitted by independent walk authors, but there are a few rules and standards that all our walks must comply with. Please read the following guidelines below before proceeding, to make sure you are eligible to become a walk author and that you understand the minimum requirements.



Terms and conditions for creating a walk

1 – Walks must be in the UK and must be between 2 miles and 12 miles in length. They must not be a replica of another iFootpath walk already published. They can be linear or circular, but must start at a car park which is open to the public, a street with open parking for the public or a point accessible by public transport.
2 – The walking route must be tracked using the iFootpath App Tracker (iOS or Android) and broken into at least 2 sections but not more than 12 sections, using waypoints to mark the beginning/end of each section.
3 – The submitted walk must be supported with photographs including a main image, an icon image and an image for each of the walk sections.
4 – The Walk Description must include a summary of what people will see, types of terrain/paths, number of obstacles (gates, stiles, livestock etc), scale of ascents/descents and the time a walker should allow to complete the route. The Getting There section must include the nearest postcode and street address of the start point and parking arrangements, along with the nearest rail station if this is appropriate. The Walk Sections must include accurate turn-by-turn directions for the full length of the walk plus any notes on points of interest and/or history of the area. The text must be written without spelling or grammatical errors.
5 – Walks must NOT start at, mention or promote any commercial establishment or organisation (including but not limited to pubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, hostels, retailers and landowners). If organisations wish to have a walk created which starts from, or mentions, their business they must either (a) commission a walk through our Walking Guide Creation Service or (b) submit the walk for publication and pay a small one-off fee of £100 for the listing opportunity.
6 – The words and photographs to describe the walk must be written/taken by the walk author and not copied directly from other published sources. By submitting the content the author confirms that they hold the rights to publish the photographs and text, including permissions from any people appearing in the photographs. By submitting the walk the author grants iFootpath a perpetual royalty-free right to use the photographs and text for any purpose associated with iFootpath including advertising, marketing and publications.
7 – iFootpath reserves the right to check the accuracy of the walk descriptions submitted. Any walks with factual errors may not be published.
8 – For casual walkers (i.e. those not working on behalf of an organisation or business), iFootpath runs a reward scheme ‘Walk 10 miles...earn £10’ to earn vouchers for walks that are submitted and meet the minimum requirements as described above. The 10 mile target can be met with a single 10 mile walk or, more likely, with a number of walks totalling 10 miles in length when added together. Offer limited to £30 per customer and will be supplied after walks are approved and published. The reward can only be supplied as electronic vouchers for Amazon or iTunes to the customer’s registered email address. Customers may choose to refuse the voucher and instead can request iFootpath administrators to donate £10 to one of the following charities as an alternative: Breast Cancer Care, Dog’s Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need or British Heart Foundation. No cash equivalent is available.

Hints and Tips for creating a walk

1) In order to create a new iFootpath walk, you will need to buy the iFootpath App (from iTunes, Google or Amazon) and register with an iFootpath account (via the website or the App). Check your account works and read through several other published iFootpath walks to get an idea of the standards we expect from our walk authors. We do have high standards as our walking customers rely on the authors' detailed instructions to keep them safe.

2) Don't be too ambitious on your first outing. It is a good idea to create a short test walk, just around your local streets to make sure you are familiar with the technology and process. You don't want to learn the hard way by realising you have forgotten what to do on a remote route of several miles.

3) When you are ready to plan a route for publicaiton, please check that there is not another walk already published on iFootpath that follows the same or very similar route as we cannot publish duplicate walks.

4) Before you set off, make sure you know the route you will be taking and mark this up on a paper map to help you find your way without taking any wrong turns. Make an initial plan for where you want to place your waypoints - you will need one about every mile along the route. The waypoints split the route into sections to make it easier for walkers to navigate. Good waypoints are an obvious landmark that walkers will recognise, e.g. War Memorial, North Stoke Village, Flight of Steps, Woodland Crossroads, Worthing Pier, Barnham Road.

5) As well as the iFootpath App you should take with you a map, a compass, a camera (to take lots of photos) and a voice recorder (to record the turn-by-turn directions on the way round). Making voice recording notes on the way round will ensure that you have an accurate and detailed record of the walk directions. Please do not rely on your memory as this is too risky. Fully charge your App device as GPS tracking will reduce the life of your battery. You may want to invest in a secondary battery for your phone/tablet if you will be tracking a walk of 7 miles or more. 

6) Take plenty of photos while you are out, remember you will need to include an icon photo (a square image of something memorable along the way), a main photo (a view that sums up the route) and photos for each of your walk sections within the published walk. You can always add spare photos to the walk gallery. Record voice notes all the way round, carefully describing every junction you come to and what you can see along every path. It is surprisingly easy to forget the route once you are back at home and creating the instructions.


To create a walk in iFootpath you will need to follow the six step process below:

1) Track your route using the iFootpath App Tracker and upload this to the website

2) Edit the route using the bespoke visual iFootpath GPX Editor and then convert the route to a Draft Walk

3) Add all the walk information including turn by turn instructions, extra descriptions and photographs for the walk and each of its sections

4) Preview the walk to check you are happy with it

5) Once the walk is complete, change its status to ‘Ready’. The walk will be reviewed by an administrator to ensure it adheres to the terms of use and contains all the minimum information

6) Once it has been reviewed, the walk will be published, making it available to all other users via the web site and the iFootpath App.

The following sections explain how to complete each of these steps in more detail



Step 1 – Create the GPS route

An iFootpath walk requires GPS data which is plotted to show the route on the live map. Uploading this GPS data to the iFootpath website is the first step in creating a walk. The easiest and best way to track your walking route and capture the GPS data is to use the iFootpath App Tracker on your  iOS or Android device. You will need to purchase the App (£1.99 available from iTunes, Google or Amazon). Full details of how to use the Tracker and upload the draft route are set out in the iFootpath App User Guide.



Step 2 – Edit the draft GPX file

GPX files uploaded from the iFootpath App will appear as a list on the 'My GPX files' page on the iFootpath web site (you will need to login to see this). Before you convert your GPX track data into a walk, you need to edit it to correct any errors and to make sure it contains the minimum required information. Tap the ‘Edit Track’ function next to the relevant track to open up the iFootpath GPX Editor. Work through the six simple steps (Trim track, edit track, extend track, merge tracks, correct waypoints and save) to finalise your route. Full instructions are set out within the GPX Editor.  Simply, you need to ensure that the red line shows your walking route and to ensure you have a waypoint marking the start of each walk section plus a waypoint called 'End' at the end of the walk.

Tap ‘View Track’ to check you are happy with the final saved version. (NOTE: Once the track has been converted to a draft walk you will not be able to edit the GPX File so double check everything before continuing).

When you are happy with your GPX File, tap the ‘Convert to Walk’ link next to the name of the track. iFootpath will create a draft walk template based on the information contained within the GPX File. (The GPX file will also be retained in the ‘My GPX files’ page. We recommend that you retain each file here until you have successfully published the associated walk).


Step 3 – Write the walk content

You can access your Draft Walk from the ‘Manage My Walks’ page on the web site. Click on the walk name to access the form to add and edit the content. The walk overview form is displayed below along with details of what to include in each field.





Title – This will auto-fill with the name of the GPX file. Edit this to create the name of the walk. Try to use a name that covers both the location and type of walk (e.g. ‘Wareham Town Trail’ or ‘Southwold Harbour’) or that includes more than one place to make it more specific (e.g. Ripon and Studley Royal)

Description – Enter two paragraphs that describe what walkers will experience. Try to cover all the questions you would want answers to before setting out – both general interest (put this in paragraph one) and practical information (put this in paragraph two).

General Interest: Is the walk linear or circular and how long is it? What will people see along the way? What points of interest will walkers see? What do you love about the walk – views, history, tranquillity?

Practical Information: What sort of paths/terrain does the walk include? Do the paths get muddy/narrow/overgrown? Is there any road walking? Are there any steep climbs/descents or more gentle hills? Are there any stiles (how many) or other obstacles like steps, footbridges and kissing gates? Would these obstacles be easily crossed by dogs? Are walkers likely to come across sheep/cattle/horses in the fields? Are there any toilets or refreshment options along the way?  How much time should be allowed to complete the walk?

County – Select the county from the drop down list. Where a walk crosses county boundaries, we suggest you choose the county in which the walk starts.

Area – Add the town, village or district to give a more detailed location.

Walk type – Select a type of walk from the drop down list – e.g. town/city or woodland.

Length – This will auto-fill with the length of the walk in miles (to the nearest mile) taken from the GPX file data. You can manually correct if there are any problems.

Grade – Grade the walk terrain in terms of difficulty between 1 (easy) and 5 (difficult). Note this grade should be based on terrain, obstacles and climbs (but not the walk length). It is possible to have an easy long walk or a difficult short walk. Grade 1 should indicate an easy walk with little or no climbing and no obstacles (such as stiles, stepping stones etc). Grade 3 should indicate a walk that has some obstacles, some climbing and will require a good level of fitness. Grade 5 should indicate a challenging walk with steep climbs/descents, difficult navigation and technical challenges (such as some scrambling).

Start Point – This will auto-fill with the latitude and longitude of the walk start point, taken from the GPX file data.

Key Image – Upload an image that illustrates the walk. This picture will be uploaded and resized to give a smaller version for the iFootpath App and a larger version for the website. We recommend high quality JPG files. The images display best if they are landscape (rather than portrait) in orientation.





Icon image – Upload a SQUARE image that will be used alongside your walk in the walk listings (when Browsing Walks on the website and looking at the Walk Store within the App). Also, while your walk is one of the latest nine published, it will display in the recently added walks image panel on the homepage. This image is the place to give your walk some personality, so add something that will catch the eye of prospective walkers. Use something quirky with a splash of colour. Try an architectural feature (a church spire, town clock, statue) or anything else that catches your eye along the way (a colourful plant, fungus, stone wall detail, sheep...). The icon is square, and should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format. If you upload a rectangluar photograph for the walk icon, its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to a square if it is not already. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it will be cropped by the system and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting there – Write a paragraph to explain to walkers how to get to the start of the walk. You must include the nearest post code to help with navigation. Also include the nearest road name/number and town along with details of the parking arrangements (roadside, car park, pricing). It is also worth mentioning if there is a suitable nearby train station for walkers to use or a convenient bus route.

Status – Leave the status as Draft until you have completely finished your walk (including adding sections and checking the previews – see steps below)


Click 'Save and Proceed to Walk Sections' to display a form containing the walk sections taken from the GPX file data. The section titles will be named automatically from the names of the waypoints in the GPX file. E.g. Start to Stile, Stile to Gate, Gate to Road and Road to End. 




Click on each section name to edit it with the following information. (NOTE: do not fill in the blank form without clicking on a walk section name first):


Section title – Leave this as it will have pre-filled from the GPX data. 

Section description – Write a few paragraphs that set out the detailed turn by turn directions for the section, including where to turn and how to identify the next section and include any hazzards such as livestock that may be found on route. Try to 'double up' on the directions to help people have confidence that they are going the right way. For example, instead of saying 'take the second turning on the left', say 'take the second turning on the left, Blues Way, which is opposite the church'. Or instead of saying 'take the next left turn' , say 'take the next footpath on the left, a grass path running between trees and marked with a fingerpost'. You should also include information that will be of interest to the reader such as historical details of any points of interest, but write these as stand-alone paragraphs so that any important directions are not lost in amongst the points of interest.

Key image – Add a picture that represents the walk section. It can be the start of the section to reassure walkers that they are at the correct point in the walk, or an image of a key junction or point of interest within the section.

Start and end points – This will auto-fill with the latitude and longitude of the start and end points of the section, taken from the waypoint data held within the GPX file.

Click ‘Save Section’ after adding the required information to each section, and then click on the next section title to continue the process.


When you have completed each section, click on the walk name at the top of the page to return to the walk overview page.




Step 4 – Preview the walk

Before you submit your walk for review it is worth previewing it.

On the web site, go to ‘Manage My Walks’ and then click the walk title to access the overview form. At the bottom of the form click on ‘Save and Preview’ to see how the walk would be displayed as a published walk within iFootpath. Check the content carefully to be sure you are happy with all the text and images.


Step 5 – Submit the walk for review

When you are happy with your draft walk, change the status of the walk from ‘Draft’ to ‘Ready’ within the walk overview form. Then click ‘Save and Exit’. (You will get a pop up box, checking that you want to submit for publication). This will submit the draft walk to the iFootpath administrator for review. This review (usually undertaken within 7 days) will ensure the walk meets the terms of use and contains the minimum information required. In the event that the walk is rejected, an email will be sent to you explaining why and the walk will be reset to ‘Draft’ to allow you to correct the problem identified by the review.


Step 6 – Walk published

If your walk is approved you will receive an email to confirm this and the walk status will be changed to ‘Published’. It will be added to the full list of walks for people to browse from the web site and from the iFootpath App.


iFootpath App User Guide
How to Create a Walk on iFootpath Video


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