From a Mile to an Ultramarathon on Bristol Footpaths

A lush old track in Dyrham

After I wrote the post about running, a few people said they like the idea of using routes that are less urban, so I thought I’d share this spreadsheet that I made.

I did a bit of searching in books (Footpaths For Fitness and Crossing Boundaries), on the council website and via local rambling groups to collect about 150 walking routes. Some are themed heritage walks and others are just nice strolls. The distances vary from 1 to a casual 615 miles – originally I had the plan of trying to slowly increase the distance until I was running a marathon, but that didn’t last very long.

Some friends and I have been trying different ones on Sunday mornings though. I’ve made a column with comments in and given it a rating out of 5 so you can have an idea of what to expect.

I can’t be bothered to hyperlink to every leaflet but they should all be easy enough to retrieve if you google the source and the name of the route.

I hope you find this useful. I’ll keep updating it with more options (I want to buy that second Crossing Boundaries book) and would appreciate any suggestions of things I’ve missed off. We’re fortunate to live in a city that’s easy to leave and, as I wrote in that post, I’ve really been valuing the time I’ve spent in the countryside around Bristol as a way of feeling a stronger sense of place and also as a break from urban life.

If the embedded table below is a bit shite, see the sheet properly here.

PS, the politics of footpaths / public rights of way are fascinating. Here is a booklet that goes into detail about how these are recorded and, in theory, protected. If this sort of activism appeals to you, the Ramblers work to preserve paths and have ‘Pathwatch‘ for reporting problems. Bristol Ramblers are here. Bristol City Council’s map of our Public Rights of Way is here.

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