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 related 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:
- Summary information on each specific route: its character and difficulty, and the publications and maps needed to walk it, accessible via the Searchable Database
- Support services for walkers on trails, such as holiday providers and other walking support providers, and some accommodation along or near the route, such as budget hostels.
- 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.These are for private non-commercial use.
- The LDPs area also provides as a 'rolling' news service, the news features on LDPs that form a regular item in our magazine, Strider. This LDPs News service is separate from the general LDWA news listings.
- Background general information on the UK’s network of LDPs and how to walk them, with explanations about things like maps and links to our hints on visitor information
Click 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, searchable for places to stay.
- 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
As data on this website in the Handbooks and in the Strider features may be out-of-date you should check key items with the route promoter before you walk the route.
Click on the List of Paths link to view a list of the LDPs known to us. We have over 1,500 routes with details ‘available online’ on this site and more are being added so you may find it easier to use the search facilities.
How to Use the Database gives detailed instructions about using these search menus.
In addition to this website, the LDWA provides the 2009 Eighth 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 superceded.
The 1,500 routes currently online comprise:
- Over 200 ‘New’ routes since our last LDPs Handbook and LDP Chart (published in 2009)
- Many 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 and 2009 Handbook routes are no longer promoted and are among those marked on their information page as ‘Old Path’. Old routes may sometimes be relaunched.
- Over 200 ‘Anytime Challenge’routes developed by LDWA members are included in our lists, for many of which we provide track files for private non-commecial use.
- 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 its companion Long Distance Paths Chart showing the principal routes on a UK map. This Handbook covered then over 600 main routes being promoted at that time and many of these routes are shown on the Chart. The same route numbering was used in both of these LDPs publications. The new 2009 Trailwalker’s Handbook uses a Path Code (letters with some numbers) to identify the small selection of routes shown on the mapping in the 2009 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.
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.