The First Step…

It’s a project that has had many beginnings, false and real, for many years.

Back in the mists of yore, whilst I was finishing up my Masters degree, I came up with the idea of recreating historic journeys within Great Britain, which would combine my twin loves of walking and history. The project became known as The Hiking Historian, and myself, with the help of a couple of other students and colleagues, even pitched it to the BBC, to no avail. They liked the idea, but thought it would be logistically and creatively difficult to do. The idea faded away and gathered dust.

But the name didn’t. I kept the Hiking Historian label alive, first as a blog site, and then, when I started writing circular historically themed hikes, it evolved and spread onto Facebook (, Twitter (@hikinghistorian) and Instagram (hikinghistorian), and, when I finally finish it, a website.

The name stayed, but the routes didn’t. Until now.

Whilst I would have loved to walk, ride or drive the routes that this blog will cover, time, money and a whole host of other reasons got in the way, so this aims to be a historical exercise. To annotate original sources that brings the history to life and filling in the gaps that the original writers may have missed, and what occured after they left, and illustrating them with maps, drawings and photographs.

So the journeys I plan to cover are those of Gerald of Wales; John Leland; Celia Fiennes; Daniel Defoe; the marches of Princes Charles Stuart and Rupert of the Rhine. These are just a few. I’m sure there will be plenty more.

So I hope this will be an entertaining and informative journey, for all of us!

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