Vacation rentals in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland (holiday rentals, cottages)
Guidebooks and Maps for Hiking in England
Because walking/hiking is popular in England, there are many resources available for the tourist - excellent maps and walking guidebooks for most regions of the country.
The two best publishers of walking guides for the United Kingdom are Jarrold (Pathfinder Guides) and Goldeneye. We have used both types of walking guidebooks for the Cotswolds and I recommend getting both. If you are only going to get one type, get the Pathfinder Guides. If you want a variety of walks to choose from, get both. There is some overlap between the two series.
You can order them from Amazon in the US at good prices, but they are special orders. You can also order from Amazon.co.uk.
The best walking/hiking guidebook publisher in the UK is Jarrold Publishing, with the Pathfinder Guides for nearly every region in England. Each book in this series has 28 circular routes documented with a detailed map (Ordnance Survey maps are used) and descriptions. In my experience, the descriptions are reliable. See below for links to these guidebooks.
Jarrold Publishing has a new series of walking guidebooks called "Short Walks". These are smaller books with easier walks and less detail for each walk. Each book contains 20 circular walks.
For the Cotswolds, there is another good publisher, Goldeneye, who makes "walking packs" (a set of 12 or 24 walks, each described on a plastic coated thick card, so you only need take the one card with you on a hike) and laminated folded maps versions of the same walks. You will find these available in the Cotswolds.
AA 50 Walks In ...
The Automobile Association of the UK puts out a series of walking guidebooks. They have more walks in each book, but they do not use the Ordnance Survey maps to illustrate the walks and the walks are not organized in a way that you can easily figure out where they are. But if you are look for a bigger variety of walks, this series has that.
Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps for Walking Trails
Most counties in England are crisscrossed with walking paths. You need a good map so you can be sure you are on the right trail. If you decide to just head off without using the hiking guidebook, the detailed map will help you find trails. If you have a guidebook, you can do without the map, but it is best to have both.
Ordnance Survey puts out two map series:
The Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps are very detailed maps, showing every town, village, hamlet, farmhouse, road, lane, trail, etc. and are just what you need when out walking in the countryside. These maps cost £6 to £8 and are available in many stores throughout the Cotswolds or at any book store. Or you can order them online through Amazon.co.uk (see links below).
During the First World War, these detailed maps were created for selected areas of Britain. In the 1940s these maps were made available to the public. By the 1970s, all of the United Kingdom was mapped (there are 403 maps). They are continually updated. A new update is coming in 2004-05 because of the new Countryside and Rights of Way Act. The maps will show the new areas open to access. If you are buying maps, make sure you are getting these new ones if they are available for the area you are going to. The new maps have the "Open Access" symbol on them - the hiker in a circle.
The best way to get walking guidebooks for England if you need them immediately, is to order them through Amazon.co.uk. I order through Amazon.co.uk frequently and the orders arrive in good time. These books are available on Amazon.com, but all are special orders or sold through other sellers.
www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk: Ordnance Survey, Britain's national mapping agency.
www.iprow.co.uk: Institute of Public Right of Way. Information about footpaths.
www.walkingbritain.co.uk: Walking Britain
www.emap.com: Magazine - Country Walking. A monthly magazine with great walking information. £3.20 (2004 price).
www.britguides.co.uk: The online store of Jarrold Publishing, publisher of the Pathfinder Guides.
www.goldeneyemaps.com: The online store of the Goldeneye hiking guidebooks. You can view samples of their maps on the website.
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