Tom Criddle Stephenson (1893–1987) was a British journalist and a leading champion of walkers' rights in the countryside.
In the First World War he was imprisoned as a conscientious objector.
He was for many years from 1948 the Secretary of the Ramblers' Association. He is credited with having inspired the creation of the Pennine Way, the first of Britain's long-distance footpaths, through an article he wrote for the Daily Herald in 1935, [ contradictory ]and his subsequent lobbying work with MPs as Ramblers' Association Secretary. He wrote the first official guidebook for the Way, published shortly after it was at last officially opened on 24 April 1965, when Stephenson was 72. The first guide to the Pennine Way was published by HMSO for the Countryside Commission in 1969.
He was also a long-serving committee member of the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society (now the Open Spaces Society). He complained to close colleagues that the Society's committee was boring, but that it was necessary to maintain a strong presence to prevent it from caving in to landowners' interests, as had happened in the 1930s under the Access to Mountains Bill (subsequently repealed).
Hiking is the preferred term, in Canada and the United States, for a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails (footpaths), in the countryside, while the word walking is used for shorter, particularly urban walks. On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, the word "walking" is acceptable to describe all forms of walking, whether it is a walk in the park or backpacking in the Alps. The word hiking is also often used in the UK, along with rambling, hillwalking, and fell walking. The term bushwalking is endemic to Australia, having been adopted by the Sydney Bush Walkers club in 1927. In New Zealand a long, vigorous walk or hike is called tramping. It is a popular activity with numerous hiking organizations worldwide, and studies suggest that all forms of walking have health benefits.
Alfred Wainwright ("A.W.") MBE was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the English Lake District. Among his 40-odd other books is the first guide to the Coast to Coast Walk, a 192-mile long-distance footpath devised by Wainwright which remains popular today.
The Icknield Way is an ancient trackway in southern and eastern England that goes from Norfolk to Wiltshire. It follows the chalk escarpment that includes the Berkshire Downs and Chiltern Hills.
A footpath is a type of thoroughfare that is intended for use only by pedestrians and not other forms of traffic such as motorized vehicles, cycles, and horses. They can be found in a wide variety of places, from the centre of cities, to farmland, to mountain ridges. Urban footpaths are usually paved, may have steps, and can be called alleys, lanes, steps, etc.
The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England, with a small section in Scotland. The trail runs 268 miles (431 km) from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border. The path runs along the Pennine hills, sometimes described as the "backbone of England". Although not the United Kingdom's longest National Trail, it is according to the Ramblers' Association "one of Britain's best known and toughest".
The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile (164 km) long-distance footpath, running along the Cotswold Edge escarpment of the Cotswold Hills in England. It was officially inaugurated as a National Trail on 24 May 2007 and several new rights of way have been created.
In England and Wales, other than in the 12 Inner London Boroughs and the City of London, the "right of way" refers to paths on which the public have a legally protected right to pass and re-pass. The law in England and Wales differs from Scots law in that rights of way exist only where they are so designated, whereas in Scotland any route that meets certain conditions is defined as a right of way, and in addition there is a general presumption of access to the countryside. Private rights of way or easements also exist.
The mass trespass of Kinder Scout, also called the Kinder mass trespass, was an act of wilful trespass by ramblers and members of the Young Communist League. It was undertaken at Kinder Scout, in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England, on 24 April 1932, to highlight the fact that walkers in England and Wales were denied access to areas of open country. The trespass was largely organised by Benny Rothman, secretary of the British Workers' Sports Federation, in retaliation to the expulsion of the group from Bleaklow three weeks earlier.
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, known as the CRoW Act is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament affecting England and Wales which came into force on 30 November 2000.
Rivington Pike is a hill on Winter Hill, part of the West Pennine Moors at Rivington, Chorley in Lancashire, England. The nearest towns are Adlington and Horwich. The Pike Tower is a prominent local landmark and is located at the summit, the area is popular with hill walkers and for mountain biking.
The Ribble way is a long-distance walk between the Lancashire coast and the Yorkshire Dales National Park largely following the course of the River Ribble.
The Cleveland Way is a National Trail in ancient Cleveland in northern England. It runs 110 miles (177 km) between Helmsley and the Brigg at Filey, skirting the North York Moors National Park.
The Cambrian Way, initially an unofficial long distance footpath in Wales running from Cardiff to Conwy, was officially recognised in 2019. Primarily a mountain walk, it runs over many of the highest and most scenically beautiful areas of Wales. It was pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s by walker Tony Drake, who later produced a guidebook of the walk.
George Herbert Bridges Ward, known as G. H. B. Ward or Bert Ward was an activist for walkers' rights and a Labour Party politician.
Walking is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United Kingdom, and within England and Wales there is a comprehensive network of rights of way that permits access to the countryside. Furthermore, access to much uncultivated and unenclosed land has opened up since the enactment of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. In Scotland the ancient tradition of universal access to land was formally codified under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. However, there are few rights of way, or other access to land in Northern Ireland.
The Ramblers, formally known as The Ramblers' Association, is the largest walkers' rights organisation in Great Britain, and aims to represent the interests of walkers. It is a charity registered in England and Wales and in Scotland, with around 123,000 members.
Edmund Seyfang Taylor, popularly known as "Walker Miles", was an early pioneer of rambling in the UK. He founded one of the predecessors of the modern-day Ramblers of Great Britain and wrote numerous walking guides.
"The Manchester Rambler", also known as "I'm a Rambler" and "The Rambler's Song", is a song written by the English folk singer Ewan MacColl. It was inspired by his participation in the Kinder trespass, a protest by the urban Young Communist League of Manchester, and was the work that began MacColl's career as a singer-songwriter.
Tony Drake (Antony John Drake MBE was an English Rambler perhaps best known for his pioneering work on the Cambrian Way, a mountain walk through Wales from Cardiff to Conwy. He was closely involved with surveying a suitable route and in promoting the route amidst considerable disagreement and opposition. The route was eventually published in his guidebook entitled Cambrian Way - The Mountain Connoisseur's Walk and it became the definitive route of the way. Much of his life was dedicated to footpaths both in his native county of Gloucestershire and also in Wales, where much of his walking and mountain climbing took place. He was first recorded as Footpath Secretary to the Gloucestershire Ramblers in 1951, at the age of 28 and he continued in the office until his retirement in 2008. He was also a major contributor to the creation of the Cotswold Way, which acquired National Trail status in 2007, and he was also an active member of the Youth Hostel Association. In 2001 he was awarded an MBE for Services to rights of way.