Hiking England | maps; photos; words

Please share...
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someone

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.

South Downs Way, West Sussex

South Downs Way, West Sussex

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.

Border Collie puppy. 8 weeks old.

“Dave” my Border Collie

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.

Chanctonbury Ring, South Downs

Chanctonbury Ring, South Downs

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.

Malcolm Oakley on FacebookMalcolm Oakley on GoogleMalcolm Oakley on InstagramMalcolm Oakley on Twitter
Malcolm Oakley
Hello, I’m Malcolm Oakley, a keen walker, leisure photographer and outdoors blogger. I'm lucky to have lived at the edge of the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

Living in Devon I am now walking the South West Coast Path and Dartmoor National Park with my Border Collie 'Dave'.

I hope you enjoy reading about my walks, look forward to reading your comments on the blog posts and YouTube videos. Please do get in touch.

Recent Comments

  • christina Murtagh on Walking Wicklow – Bray HeadHi Malcolm, glad you enjoyed this walk,have you tried the Howth cliff walk,maybe next time? I would love to walk in the South Downs sometime,do you lead walks? I am
  • Paul Jonsson on Walking The Wey South PathHi Malcolm, thanks for this, some great pictures! This is a very handy walk for my Woking base so I walked it in September, trying to do it in one
  • barry goodchilg on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantHi Malcolm, As a Duke of Edinburgh leader using this part of the south downs for expeditions I give my young people the grid reference for the tank as a
  • Sharon on Heading North to The South DownsHi there I am doing the southdowns way from Eastbourne to alfriston with food stop in between. From reading your blog the accent from Eastbourne to beachy head is v
  • Dave Gosling on Burrator Reservoir – Dartmoor WalksHello, Although I am from Devon, I have never walked around Burrator, to my disgust. I do love walking around Venford Resevoir near Holne though. Is it possible to walk
  • Jane on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantThank you for this post. We found the tank tonight following your instructions. It was an amazing experience.
  • jimmy on Just An Ordinary 40 Mile WalkHi Malcom, congrats on this titanic walk! Massively inspirational. I discovered your site after my 30mile walk yesterday (9hrs from Petts Wood, down to North Downs Way, then back up
  • Louise Golledge on Just An Ordinary 40 Mile WalkI've come across this blog while searching for advice on completing a 40mile walk. I'm so glad I did as it has been very inspirational and helpful. I am planning
  • Michele Shackelford on Burrator – Down Tor Stone Rowwonderful place! You transported me there with your words. I appreciate your blogs...very well read. Plese give Dave a good ear and belly rub from me!
  • NATHALIE on Basic Equipment for Hiking MoorlandHi Malcolm, Just wanted to congratulate you on a fantastic blog! Photos are just stunning!! I am in love with Dartmoor and I find you blog so helpful. Thank you!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 37 other subscribers.