One Foot in Front of the Other...Simple

Guidebook writer and blogger Vivienne Crow

Walking the dog. You slip a lead round his or her neck, grab a handful of poobags, maybe some treats, and off you go.... one foot in front of the other... That’s all there is to it, isn’t it? Well, sometimes it is, but sometimes there are other things to consider... And that, hopefully, is where I come in.

My name’s Vivienne Crow and I walk for a living. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! I write walking guidebooks and provide walks and features for all sorts of magazines: from TGO (The Great Outdoors) and Country Walking to the Camping and Caravanning Club’s monthly publication and Lakeland Walker.

I’ve loved walking for walking’s sake for as long as I can remember. Growing up in the suburbs of London, I used to think nothing of walking home after a shopping trip to Oxford Street – eight miles through Bayeswater, Holland Park, Shepherd’s Bush and Acton, dodging the dog poo (which was white back then), the traffic and the full-pelt commuter rush. Not my idea of a good walk these days, but I really didn’t discover the joys of the British countryside until I was 17. Once I’d stood, puffing and panting, on my first ‘real’ hill (really just a tiddler on the Isle of Wight), worn out by the effort of using new muscle groups but exhilarated by the views all around, I was addicted.

Walkers at St Bees in Cumbria

These days, I head for the hills whenever I get the chance, but I’m just as likely to be wandering with my dog Jess (more about her later) along gorgeous valley paths, on top of windswept cliffs, through wooded gorges, beside lakes and rivers, or along never-ending beaches. The British countryside has so much to offer, so much variety, there’s always somewhere new and different to explore.

I’m hoping, through this blog, to introduce you to areas of the country you’ve not yet had a chance to discover; I want to share some of my own walking experiences (the good and the bad); and, where I can, I’ll try to make your trips out with your dog as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, providing tips and advice on things such as navigation, using walking poles and making sure both of you can be seen on dark winter evenings.

That just leaves me with one thing to do – to introduce my dog. This is Jess...

Jess is a keen walker

She’s a six-year-old rescue dog of – how to put it politely – ‘indeterminate’ breed. We think she’s got a fair bit of Jack Russell in her, an ounce or two of Patterdale terrier, and possibly even a smidgen of Yorkie. But who knows? People take one look at her and come up with all sorts of suggestions: Cairn, Border, Lakeland, even Dandie Dinmont. Any thoughts?