Hiking England | maps; photos; words

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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.

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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

  • Jason Bradfield on Just An Ordinary 40 Mile WalkHi Malcolm Very impressive 40mile walk , well done , we are a team of 5 walkers who are taking part in the 54mile in 24hr Cateram Yomp this year
  • Paul Raja on Sheepstor Ditsworthy Warren – Dartmoor Circular WalkHi. I am Paul Raja from Sarawak, Malaysia. I am planning to visit the tomb of the late Sir James Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak in Sheepstor, Devon in the
  • Madalene Frost on Sheepstor Ditsworthy Warren – Dartmoor Circular WalkHi Malcolm. I did a circular walk in 1999 from the Burrator Res. carpark via Dittsbury warren to Drizzlecombe. I know what you mean about the warren house. A very
  • Mo Timmis on South Downs Churchill Tank – Sleeping GiantHi, what a lovely surprise to come across your article on the tank. I spent approx 30 years riding horses on the South Downs and never had a ride I
  • Gareth Ransome on The Fairies of Harrow HillHi Malcolm, Thanks so much for the very informative walk over-view. I keep getting drawn to Kithurst Hill (and Amberley Mount) and think it's definitely time for another visit. Have
  • David Martin on Red Lake China Clay WalkHi Malcolm , love your dogs name . I’m always looking for unspoilt parts of devon and Cornwall for my photography and came across this little lake and read your
  • Peter Cornish on Huntingdon Warren Clapper Bridge – Dartmoor WalksHaving done a very similar walk in May 2017 while camping just off your route, your photos and videos are superb and very evocative. Next time you're round there have
  • Gavin Evans on Huntingdon Warren Clapper Bridge – Dartmoor WalksWe drove across Dartmoor last summer en route to Cornwall and my wife and I chatted about the merits of hiking in the area. Having seen this post, I think
  • Mick Norman on Heading North to The South DownsGood stuff, but please: 'white cliffs' - not 'white-cliffs'! Where did you get the hyphen from? Dame Vera would have a fit, which would probably kill her.
  • 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

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