Hiking England | maps; photos; words

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 am currently living in south Devon and exploring Dartmoor National Park and the South West Coast path, with my Border Collie alongside me. I blog about the South Downs walks and walking adventures in other parts of the UK.

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.


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Recent Comments

  • rolag on The Grey Wethers Stone CirclesI love this page. Thank you for sharing your experiences of the beauty of the land in a most unique place.
  • Keisha Charles on Amberley Circular WalkHi What's the nearest train station to this walk? I live in brixton
  • Chris Newham on Steyning Super Bowl WalkHello Gary (or any other reader who can help). Your wonderful article suggests you might be able to help me. My mother, who used to be a long term resident
  • Tim Benham on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantMy son and I saw ur posts which helped us find the tank today... was splendid.... whilst there 5 other people turned up to see it... she still draws a
  • Nina French on Escape The South Downs WayHi Malcolm. Just wanted to say thanks for the guidance on the wonderful Kithurst Hill to Burpham and back walk. Did it today with Asterix the Beagle on a glorious
  • M art in hayes on 15 Litre Hydration Rucksack – Gear ReviewCan I fit a bigger rucksack over the top of this,whilst walking,sorry if this is a stupid question,I do carry water with me as I am a long distance walker.
  • Sharolyn Craft on Border Collie Dave – Chapter 8I lived your story. We rescued a Border Collie after our last one died. She taught herself how to be my husband’s Service Dog both snuffing to make sure his
  • Malcolm Oakley on Border Collie Dave – Chapter 9Hello Sophie, thank you for reading Dave's adventures, hope you are enjoying the insight into our life changes!
  • Sophie on Border Collie Dave – Chapter 9Great post! I love Dave - I'm glad you both had a great time walking out on Dartmoor. It's always so lovely there when the sun comes out. I hope
  • Malcolm Oakley on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantThank you for your comment. It's a beautiful location up by the tank, glad you enjoyed it.
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