From the rugged expanses of Dartmoor to the untainted tops  in the South and North Downs, there’s isolation to be found in the South of England as well you know. Here are 10 mapped routes to consider for your next escape…


 

Edge Hill

Edge Hill, Cotswolds

“This northernmost finger of the Cotswolds projects well into Warwickshire and is quite different from those better known bits further south. Firstly, there are no tourists and, secondly, the local russet ironstone creates a distinctive landscape character…”

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West Sussex

South Downs, West Sussex

“I had imagined writing up this walk would be all about castles and churches, battles and sieges – and indeed there’s a very rich history in the area around Arundel, but it was the astonishing range of birdlife that lingered longest in my mind…”

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North downs way

North Downs Way, Surrey

“The North Downs Way is carved out of history, but none is more apparent than the World War II-built pillboxes that sit along its rolling Surrey slopes…”

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south downs

South Downs Way, West Sussex

“West Sussex is still a part of England that makes even hardened city dwellers become misty-eyed with nostalgia. In the villages and hamlets hidden among the lush folds of the South Downs are 17th century coaching inns serving fine ales alongside locally shot game…”

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Brown's house

Brown’s House, Dartmoor

“Setting out from a handy car park north of the road at Two Bridges, an enjoyable upland circuit began by heading up and out along a broad tor-studded ridge…”

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St Catherine's point

St Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight

“What constitutes a good view? Is it all about what fills the view, the features, hills and other aspects of the landscape? Or is it more quantifiable?”

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Windsor to Shepperton

Windsor to Shepperton, Thames Path

“The Thames Path is an easy walk yet still manages to offer a remarkable amount of variety with many different aspects to explore, and can take you from the busy waterside by a small town to total tranquility…”

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Dartmoor

Yes Tor Day, Dartmoor

“Meldon Reservoir’s shoreline was emblazoned with the golden yellow of gorse blooms and our wilderness lay before us. The delightful grass track that raked up Longstone Hill gave us early views of Yes Tor and the pretty hollow of Red-a-ven Brook…”

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Steep Holm

Steep Holm, North Somerset

“The wildness of the island is enforced by its infrequent access and the unreliability of the weather but it’s also protected by the Trust who own it. What you find on landing is something akin to a secret garden…”

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BrauNton BURROWS

Braunton Burrows, North Devon

“Despite the sea and sand, Braunton Burrows on the North Devon coast is far from a cosy beach destination. So wild are the dunes and the tides that scour its estuary edge that the Royal Marines choose to train here…”

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Looking for something further up country? Click here for 7 walks in the North.