Discovering your local paths

Take some time to explore paths in your local area. You'll discover more than you think!

Family group walking along path through countryside

Do you know how to find paths in your area?

Finding paths can be as simple as going for an explore. 

Have you ever noticed a muddy path that lots of people have made just by walking over grass? This is called a desire line and is a good sign that people like walking across that area.

You could ask your friends where they go for a walk. Have they or their families shared pictures or stories of their walks on social media? Local social media groups can also be a good way to find out where people like to walk.They can also be a good way to find out about problems on paths.

Ramblers Scotland have created a great selection of local Medal Walks. They are short, fun circular walks of 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

Using online maps can be a quick way to find paths near your house. Pop your postcode into Google Maps, zoom in and see what you can find.  You might even spot desire lines on the satellite photos.

The Ordnance Survey have a section on their Get Outside website about how to explore from your door. They have articles from people across the UK who have been exploring their local area. You can also look for your local paths and green spaces on their online maps.

Local authorities in Scotland have a record of Core Paths in their areas. Core Paths are paths that have been identified and recognised as important ways for people to access the outdoors. You will be able to find information about core paths and walking routes in your area on your council’s website.

You can find some great forest walks on from Forestry and Land Scotland

Scotland also has some great long distance cycle routes and walking trails that you could do short sections of. Check out the National Cycle Network and Scotland’s Great Trails.

Activities to try

Create a story of a walk in your local area that you really like doing.

  • You could create a Journey Stick on your walk. These are very similar to Story Sticks made by Native Americans. To do this you’ll need a stick and some string. On your walk, pick up loose materials that you find and tie them to your stick to create a story of your walk. For more information on Journey Sticks, looks at this resource from Owl Scotland. 
  • Why not create something else using things you’ve collected on your walks. Maybe use them to create a collage.  If you don’t want to make something so permanent you could arrange your materials in a design on the ground and take a picture.
  • Or make a digital story of your walk using an app like relive.