I’m Malcolm Oakley and I have a Border Collie called “Dave” from a working dog bloodline. I am a keen walker / hiker, leisure photographer and writer. I was fortunate to have lived at the edge of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, England. I blog about South Downs walks and walking adventures in other parts of the UK.
I am currently living in Devon and exploring Dartmoor National Park and the South West Coast path, with my Border Collie alongside me.
The South Downs cover an area of over 260 square miles (or 670 km2) across the south-eastern counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne East Sussex, in the east.
I grew up in suburban London, the local park was my escape for a few hours every day. I’d spend many hours out on my bicycle, oblivious to the passing of time. These were the days before the M25, before I knew anything of traffic jams, noise and pollution.
It was always a treat to visit nearby Epping Forest or the smaller Hainault Forest. I felt like I was miles away from the stress of life as a 7 year old boy growing up in the ’70s. That feeling of escapism has always been close to me; the desire to climb up a hill and admire the view – simply because I can.
I’ve explored much of England in/on a motorised vehicle of some type; often on 2-wheels or a more sedate 4-wheels and now I am retracing my routes on foot. Taking photos and shooting video as I explore.
South Downs Walks
The South Downs are criss-crossed with footpaths, bridlepaths, rights of way, you only have to look at a guide-book to see how publicly open and accessible this area now is. I’ve got a trusty pair of walking boots, my maps, and a good sense of direction.
The South Downs Way, a famous national trail in Southern England, is over 100 miles long but combine that with the sheer number of “secondary” public footpaths and OS Map trails, and you can never run out of places to visit on foot. Thru-hikers, dog walkers, leisure ramblers already appreciate the beauty of the Downs. I hope this blog will inspire you to visit some of the locations that I have walked.
Charming villages, open hilltops, soaring coastal cliffs. The South Downs has it all, for walkers of all abilities. Day hikes, thru-hiking, a leisurely stroll with the dog.
South Downs Walking is an outdoor blog; a collection of my photos, my route maps, my words and a great excuse to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. I hope you will enjoy the journey with me.
Perhaps I can inspire you to explore your local area on foot; as others have inspired me to get off my motorbike and out of my car and smell the fresh air.
Please get in touch if you’d like to join me on a walk, or wish to help out in any way.
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Malcolm & “Dave” the dog.