The long and short of it…..!

As you will know by now, I like L L o o o o n n n n g g g g walks ;)!  Anything from 10 to 20 miles a day is good, and I even did one walk of 35 miles earlier this year.  It’s great to be able to stride out and spend a whole day on the trail.  I’m not sure if that makes me strange, in fact I’m not sure why I like long walks so much really.  Is it the challenge, that sort of ‘man against the elements’ sort of thing?  I guess you could ask, ‘Why climb Mount Everest?’ or, ‘Why skydive from 24 miles up?  There isn’t really an answer, except for me, I love being outdoors in this wonderful countryside, close to nature and creation, and I like to keep fit at the same time :)!

There was a time when I used to search the book shelves for walking guides that covered longer distances, but I found virtually none!  Oh, some books paid lip service to long walks by including the odd 8 or 10 mile route, but nothing substantial.  So I started to plan my own routes, originally using paper OS maps, and now OS map software, and I have to say, I have really enjoyed doing it.  There is something special about walking a route that is ‘all your own work’!

Well, I then had a thought – why not publish a book myself??  Now, I’m not really a writer, although I have been known to get the odd article in print, but that is exactly what I am doing, and have been for some time.  Thus far, it has been very much down to route preparation and design and I have over 30 routes now.  I also have a potential publisher and am looking at my options because these days it seems that self publishing is the way to go.  The book will cover some spectacular walks and include maps, route descriptions, lots of information on interesting things along the way, and of course lots of photographs!

Anyway, as much as I love long walks, I really enjoy shorter walks too and often of an evening or weekend, you will find me walking in the local area where I live.

The local nature reserve

It is great to be able to walk straight from my front door without the need for the car, and although I live in an urban area, it is possible by linking footpaths, stretches of urban woodland, heath, parklands etc to feel like you are actually out in the countryside.  One of my favourite sunday walks takes in a small nature reserve, a lovely oasis in the middle of suburbia where there is so much wildlife to see.

The log pile – a bug high rise!

After the nature reserve, my route takes me into an area of woodland known as Delph Woods.  It isn’t a large woodland and it is surrounded by houses, roads and a golf course but when you are in amongst the trees, you forget you are in the middle of a town.  I have been walking these woods for many many years and I can well remember how I used to take my children there on a Sunday.  There is a disused railway line running through it and I used to tell them tales of the ghost train that still travels through on a moonlit night ;)!  I don’t think they believed me then, and they definitely don’t believe me now that they are grown up!!

In the autumn evening light

One of the challenges for me is to capture some good landscape pictures and undoubtedly the early morning or late evening is the best time to do that – the so called ‘golden hour’.  Somehow, it is easier to take notable landscapes when at the well known landmarks that have featured in books and magazines the world over, but to repeat that in your local woodlands is a new challenge.  And I like a challenge :)!

At the end of the day

The walk also takes in a small pond or two and it is always magical standing there in the fading light watching the setting sun reflecting off nature’s mirror.  You may be in the middle of a town, but with the singing of the birds, the hooting of an owl, the sight of a deer in the dusk light, you could be anywhere.  Long may these local havens be preserved for us to enjoy and escape into when we have just a little time to spare.

So the long and short of it is……enjoy both!  Just enjoy the freedom of being outside in God’s creation, drink it in, it will refresh and renew you, it will reduce the stress levels created by modern life, it will improve your heart and your mind.  It always does mine!

And if you need a guide book to help you, I know where you can get one….. ;)!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which is – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.


  1. Good luck with the book – I’m gradually trying to extend the length of my walks to be able to cope with my 15 day trek to Everest Base Camp next year. I also need to get a decent camera because I just HAVE to come back with some good photos 🙂

  2. Absolutely lovely, Terry. You have met the challenge well, because your photos of the “local area” rival those of other professional photographers for sure. I’m so anxious for you to get the book out.

    And you are right about publishing taking a definite swing toward self-publishing. Almost all of the formerly big-name, reliable houses — stalwarts of the industry — in this country have either sold out to a corporation that is not even a publishing enterprise or they have consolidated with other publishers to form a huge mega-corporation with nothing but the “bottom line” in their vision. They have gotten rid of many of their editors — the ones who worked the ground floor with each individual author and helped to discover and develop new authors on a regular basis. Now those editors have become agents, so that they can still make money doing what they do. And the next step on that ladder is that almost none of the publishers will even talk with an author personally — but only through an agent.

    So by the time an author signs a contract with a publisher — he has given over almost all the rights to his work, been forced into changes he did not want, agreed to take a mere 10% of whatever the book finally sells for, and is committed to paying his agent a big percentage of what he does get. On the other hand, some of the biggest-selling authors on the scene today began by publishing their own work and using the Internet to connect with their market. There’s a lot to be said for it.

    Of course, with your photographs being as beautiful as they are, they just might open a door for you with a mainstream publisher, and if that works, that would be great for you. One thing about your book — you are not working on a piece of fiction, and that often makes a difference in how much the publisher wants to interfere in the actual written work. Since you are the expert on your subject, chances are they would not try to force too much change onto you. I don’t really know much about the publishers in England or the rest of Europe though, so I don’t know if they are moving in the same direction as the ones over here or not. But keep moving forward. I’m anxious to see the book.

    1. Thanks Sandra 🙂 Yes, I’ve been told that in the UK, novelists invariably work through an agent or self publish. I agree that that may be less so with non fiction. I’m still exploring and still pushing doors so we will see where that leads 🙂 Thanks for your interest 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s