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Introduction to LDPs

Last updated 7 April 2022

South West Coast Path, near Hartland

In the UK over the last 70 years an unequalled network of recognised long distance walking routes, LDPs, has been developed. Each links individual footpath sections into a continuous recreational walking trail that is actively publicised or promoted.

These might also be called ‘themed routes’ as they often take as their inspiration a historical figure such as the Monarch’s Way, or a literary figure such as the Bronte Round, or they follow a feature of the landscape such as the South West Coast Path or the Thames Path.

It is these ‘themes’ that are a major attraction of walking the LDPs that we list on this site. Using the route guidebooks in this way provides an added dimension to the enjoyment from walking the route itself. The themes and the commentary and additional information in the guidebooks provide a source of further interest on the way.

In the UK, walking is a very popular activity, perhaps the most popular leisure activity, as the UK is also fortunate to have a very extensive system of footpaths and other walkable rights of way (ROWs), probably uniquely of all countries in the world and largely for historical reasons. The popularity for a largely urban population of walking, in the main in the country, is in large part due to the variety and accessibility of these paths.

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