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Long Distance Paths

This area of the LDWA’s national website is designed to help people who want to find information about Long Distance Paths (LDPs) in the UK. You can search our online database for Paths or Publications. If you’re new to this we explain how to use it. From this part of the site you can also send us LDPs queries and updates, and LDPs information if you are a path developer or a publisher.

The Long Distance Paths (LDPs) pages on this site provide:

  • Background general information on the UK’s network of LDPs and how to walk them, with explanations about things like maps and hints on visitor information
  • Detailed information on each specific route and the publications and maps needed to walk them, accessible via the Searchable Database
  • For LDWA members the Searchable Database also provides many downloads of route descriptions, and ‘track logs’ for use with digital mapping software, especially useful for the routes not already marked with 'diamonds' on Ordnance Survey maps. The LDPs area also provides the news features on LDPs that form a regular item in our magazine, Strider, as a composite file to download.

Dales Way Above KilnseyClick on the links to find out about:

  • The LDWA’s new UK Trailwalker’s Handbook, the definitive directory of UK LDPs
  • The UK’s LDP network and how we define an LDP
  • The LDWA’s role in documenting the network
  • Advice about selecting and walking an LDP
  • Maps for walkers and where to get them: each route page provides a map list and a ‘buy online’ link for each map with discounted prices, while also benefiting the LDWA. You can also buy any of the OS and other maps from the Buy a Map page. Many of the LDP books have ‘buy online’ links, as do other books you find mentioned elsewhere on the site.
  • Accommodation and visitor information – useful links and tips.
  • European LDPs, also called E-Routes, for which the LDWA is the UK implementer
  • FAQ's to answer many of your questions on using the site
  • How to contact us if you are a walker, path promoter or publisher, and want to send us updates or new route information
  • How you can help as a volunteer to improve this site

Click on the List of Paths link to view a list of the LDPs known to us. We have over 1,300 routes with details ‘available online’ on this site and more are being added so you may find it easier to use the search facilities.

If you want more detailed instructions about using these search menus, or are unfamiliar with using websites that work in this way look at the How to Use the Database screen.

In addition to this website, the LDWA provides the 2009 Eight Edition UK Trailwalker's Handbook as the definitive directory of UK LDPs, published with Cicerone. A previous Seventh Edition published with A&C Black, and titled the Long Distance Walkers Handbook, is now superceded.

The 1,300 routes currently online comprise:

  • Over 200 ‘New’ routes since our last LDPs Handbook and LDP Chart (published in 2002)
  • Over 500 other promoted main routes that were opened before 2002 still remain usable, though not all still have a current publication nor are all still maintained. A number of the 2002 Handbook routes are no longer promoted and are among those marked as ‘Old Path’.
  • Over 200 ‘Anytime Challenge’routes developed by LDWA members are included among these, for many of which we provide track files.
  • Many shorter or linking routes.
  • The UK National Trails, that are the major UK walking trails.

In 2002 we published our previous Long Distance Walkers Handbook (Seventh Edition) along with our companion Long Distance Paths Chart showing the principal routes on a UK map. This Handbook covered over 600 main routes being promoted at that time and many of these routes are shown on the Chart. The route numbering used in both of these LDPs publications is included in each route entry on this website, so the routes can be identified on the old 2002 Chart. The new 2009 Trailwalker’s Handbook uses a Path Code (letters with some numbers) to identify the routes on the mapping in this book.

The 2002 Handbook is now almost out-of-print, though bookshops and online booksellers may still have a few copies. The Chart remains useful to see the location of routes and how they relate to each other and its route numbering is the same as on these web pages.

Strider has covered many updates to route information in the Handbooks, and new routes, in its regular LDP News features and if you are a member you can search these using the downloadable version. As data in the Handbooks and in the Strider features may be out-of-date you should check it before you walk the route.

If you still have difficulty with the site or cannot find the information that you want, please contact us outlining your query. Your query will get priority if you send us your LDWA Membership Number in your message. You can join here.