25th June 2010

Nat’s Big Walk – Oban to Malaig

Viv Alexander
Clovullin

Clovullin

The past two weeks have seen me nearly falling in lochs and spending far too much time looking for paths that are on the maps, but that have not been maintained. While the scenary is fantastic and I’ve seen a fair few otters, I think it is worth talking a bit about the UK footpaths so far. The best way to describe the current footpath network is inconsistent. For the large part, popular paths like the South-West Coast Path are well maintained and signposted (despite the odd bit of erosion). Less popular paths have obviously only been maintained on the popular parts. Good examples are the Solent Way and the Llyn Peninsula. Scotland seems to be lacking in paths and many of those not part of a long distance path have been left to disappear, despite staying on the maps. This may be because of the right to roam, but famers and landowners have a tendency to make roaming hard. With a heavy bag

beyond Clovullin

beyond Clovullin

and destination in mind, these inconveniences have greater consequences. I’ve lost count of the number of fences and gates I have climbed over or under to get somewhere all over Britain. There needs to be better links between places, especially when you in remote areas, and no path should ever lead to a dead end. In comparison, Wales’ paths seem to be best maintained in general, with decent coast path even when not part of a greater path. The path inconsistencies are a real shame as the past two weeks have been really

Ardmurchan

Ardmurchan

beautiful. It just accentuates the need for an official coast path. Gil Campbell, who has been walking with me for the past few days, is campaigning for this. Take a look at his website.  The next two weeks will see me cross onto the island of Skye, so hopefully I will have some stunning photography for you next time!

Nathaniel Severs

see website