By: Blonde Two

The UK’s amazing network of long distance paths

I’ll be honest here. Although I’ve walked on several of the UK’s 1,600 long distance paths, I’ve yet to get anywhere near completing any of them. For example, we Blondes regularly find ourselves walking along sections of the Two Moors Way, and have almost certainly covered a fair amount of it. (We’ve even been filmed exploring the Two Moors Way for ITV.) However neither of us have ever set off at one end, to finish a few days later at the other.

The Long Distance Walkers Association

If you’re wondering how to find out more about all of our fantastic long distance paths and national routes (many of which are maintained and waymarked by volunteers), the Long Distance Walkers Association website is the place to look. New walking routes are being added all the time, which is great news for us walkers but must be a bit of a job to manage for the LDWA’s committed researchers. Thanks guys!

How long is a long distance walk?

Your next question might be, ‘How far do I have to walk?’ The LDWA suggest 20-miles (which is a lot if you want to do it in a day).

How can I find a long distance walking route?

The LDWA website is really useful, especially if you fancy finding a long distance walk that starts from home. I’m lucky enough to have the South West Coast Path just 20 minutes walk down the road but the LDWA list six that start in Devon. The list for the South West by the way is enormous so I’m never going to need to go far from home (mind you, they have included Bristol, and my answer to the question, ‘Where is the South West of England‘ really doesn’t!)

What’s it like walking a long distance walking route?

I don’t know because I have never completed one. I imagine rewarding, some fun (types one and two), and a fair amount of getting wet. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of travelling a decent distance, purely on foot, really interests me. It’s just the time factor that never seems to work out. Or perhaps that’s an excuse. Perhaps I don’t think I could go the distance (see what I did there?)

Long distance walking routes 2022

Anyway. I’m not doing too badly this year (2022) because March has only just started, and I’ve walked a short (in one case very short) section of two brand new (new to me) long distance paths.

Llwybr Glyndwr (Glyndwr’s Way) and the South Downs Way are very different to each other but my recent research suggests both are capable of producing a significant amount of both enjoyment, and cloud cover.

My quick long distance path (short walk) report


Llwybr Glyndwr (Glyndwr’s Way) – Mid Wales

Distance – 135 miles, 217 kilometres

Type of path – National Trail

Start point – Knighton

End point – Welshpool

I walked – Wynford Vaughan Thomas memorial near Machynlleth to the Clywedog dam (two days)

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2022

AccommodationHafren Forest Bunkhouse (wonderful)

Highlights – Glaslyn (stunning but on this occasion we could have surfed it!) The baby Afon Hafren (River Severn)

Low points – We had appalling weather. One of the wettest walks I can remember having. Absolutely epic rain!

How did you plan the route? On the OS Maps app. I always use a paper map and compass for walking but I love OS Maps for walking route planning. It even allows me to visualise the walk with an aerial view.

Would you do this walk again? Absolutely, I’m hoping to this summer. I’ve been up to Glaslyn in the sunshine, and it’s amazing. I’d like to explore the route further as well. It goes through some amazing, and not too well-known areas of Welsh countryside.


The South Downs Way – South East England


Distance – 100 miles, 160 kilometres

Type of path – National Trail

Start point – Winchester

End point – Eastbourne

I walked – Elsted (West Sussex) to Beacon Hill and Harting Downs (9km)

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2022

Accommodation – a friendly friend in Gosport

Highlights – One amazing birdsong-filled valley, reaching the trig point on Beacon Hill

Low points – Chalk mud! It’s so slippery! I think the South Downs must have the most slippery mud in the UK. It was misty so we didn’t get to enjoy the views, which would have been stunning

How did you plan this route? I didn’t. My friend did because she knows the area. She did a great job though, as did OS Maps.

Would you do this walk again? Definitely. It was so different to anywhere else I’ve ever walked. I loved starting in a village, and making our way up through the tree line. I want to see more of the area, and follow the whole trail to see how it develops along the way.


Walking our first long distance path

So there we have it. One day, when we get a quiet bunkhouse moment, we Blondes will count up the number of long distance paths we’ve walked on but not completed. It will be a long list but perhaps it’s time we did something about that completion rate. Either that or we’ll have to start the Slightly Shorter Walkers Association!!