Guided walks for people who want to get back to where they started
© 2023 9walks2.download
So what’s different?
Rather than expecting you to take our word for it that a route is a suitable one for you, we
aim to provide you with the all the information you might need to
decide for yourself.
To achieve this, we stick to a few rules:
just nine walks in each area - if a new one is added an old one
is removed. No choice overload.
for each walk: maps, a slow video (walking speed) and a fast
video (driving speed)
all downloads for any one area should fit on a 32GB memory
Those are the basics.
The details come next.
Of course, reading the instructions is so far outside the boundaries of normal behaviour,
it hardly seems worth providing these pages.
Just in case, here they are anyway.
Fast and slow?
There are two speeds of video
And within the slow category, two qualities.
These are shot at walking speed, so a fifteen mile walk really
does last for more than five hours. Where else can you get a
five hour video in which nothing happens and takes so long to do it?
They are available for download in two qualities:
384 videos are compressed at a bit rate of 384Kb/s
1.25 videos are compressed at 1.25Mb/s
There is an improvement in quality at 1.25, at the cost of
a larger (between 3 and 4 times larger) download.
Neither form is by any stretch of the imagination HD.
If you want an attempt to explain why, click here.
These give you the view you might expect if you drove the
route at something like motorway speed.
They are higher quality at a download size similar to
the 384_movies, but last only 6-12 minutes.
Because of the rate and degree of change between frames, these
can stress the graphics capabilities of some older devices and they may struggle to keep up, resulting in
If playback isn’t smooth, try a device with more oomph, or right-click and chose “save link as….” to download
the whole clip first.
A Note Of Caution
Data may be free and unlimited for most home broadband users nowadays, but it would be wrong not to
draw your attention to the size of some of the files you might be downloading. At the extreme, the
1.25 video of a 6 hour route will be around 3 GB.
Having made a purchase, you get 3 attempts at making a download of each individual file, over a period of
7 days (2 attempts and 1 day for the freebies). If it has all gone belly-up, 3 times, please CONTACT US.
Alternatively, you could use the 384 version, for a smaller (but fuzzier) download, or just download the
maps on their own in one bundle.
Ultimately, any time spent in becoming familiar with Ordnance Survey maps is time well spent, but the learning process can have
it’s frustrations, especially if there is nobody on hand to consult.
The maps used here are designed to overcome at least some of those frustrations by including extra detail where it may help and
leaving out detail where it may only confuse.
Hopefully, after nine days out with these maps, you will be confident enough to take off with an OS map and to devise new routes
There are a few major differences from regular maps.
If you enlarge the map on the right, you will see that it is divided up into four sections.
You will always be walking from the bottom to the top - no more turning the map in your hand trying to
read upside-down writing and worrying where north is. It doesn’t really matter where north is (having
said that, there is a symbol for each section to tell you where it is) because,for the most part, this isn’t
the kind of country that requires compass-work.
You start at the beginning of section 1 (all sections start at the numbered green arrow), walk to the red
arrow, then return to the next green arrow at the bottom of the next section and repeat. When there are
no more arrows, you should be seeing your car - if you reached the start by bus, well done, but you
probably won’t be getting your ride back for a week, if ever.
At various points along the way you will see a set of numbers (01:23:55) in orange. These are times which correspond to the slow
video (not the fast video).
They may be at points where the choice of where to go next is confusing, or at natural break points (you know - coffee, snack,
They are also a useful guide as to how far through the walk you are, since there are no references to distance.
You may have noticed some vagueness about the length of the routes (use of “approx” on the maps, etc.). You can get a better
idea of how long/short and easy/hard they are from the times and videos.
If you want to have a number of miles/km to impress friends with, take the one on the map and add 25% - that’s what everyone
else does. Tell them you ran it, backwards, wearing clogs. What? You think they might check up on you? Are those really friends?
There aren’t any. Assume there will be slopes - some up, some down. If and when you arrive back at the start, the two will have
exactly balanced out. Tell yourself this repeatedly on the steepest parts. Only the steepest parts are indicated, along with any
steps. The video will tell you more.
The maps contain many different symbols. A key to what they represent can be downloaded (.pdf) here.
When you download the maps, they will be in a zipped folder. Unzip this and you will have the pages (A4 size) of the map, in both
.pdf and .jpg form. There is no difference other than the file type.
Having attempted to convince you that these guides give you all the necessary information in order to complete a walk, it’s still a
good idea to buy the appropriate OS map. They are wonderful works produced by wonderful people and are also great for swatting
But aren’t maps meant to be confusing?
A green arrow and a 1 indicate the start of the walk
Parking will be a public car park, lay-by, or roadside
and, wherever possible, free.
End of Section
The red arrow is the end of the section.
Move on to the next green arrow, which is pointing
to the same place, although it may not appear so
because the map is rotated.
And so on…………..to the end.
North South East West
If you really want to know where North is
this will tell you. The red needle is pointing
Stiles and Gates
Every time you have to cross a wall, fence or other
barrier, by means of a stile or gate, this will be indicated
by one or more of these symbols.
Some of the walls can be high - not easy with a large
and lively dog draped around your neck.
If in doubt, check the video.
Or get a scarf.
The scale given here is approximate.
It will usually be slightly larger than the OS
This is the time (hrs:mins:secs) on the slow
video when you will be at this point.
Buildings are included to help with navigation.
There are more houses than this in Upper Ellastone
They are not all exactly the same size.
They do have windows.
The Right Way
The red line is the one to follow.
It follows Public Rights-of-Way or crosses Access Land.
Other paths are indicated to assist with navigation.
Don’t assume you have the right to use them.
Why so fuzzy?
The original files for the slow videos are really not so
They are also huge.
Once edited, they need to be compressed and
encoded. The question is -
How much to compress?
Some things compress well - anything where large
parts of the frame don’t change from one frame to
the next. Think animations. Think The Simpsons.
That’s not the case here - with the camera bouncing
around on someone’s chest (and it’s not even a
bouncy chest) almost every pixel of every frame is
different from the last.
With a constant bitrate set, compression has a
particularly noticeable effect when there is lots of
detail and motion, such as in woodland with the
wind moving the trees and the light constantly
That’s why the videos are fuzzy - it’s not your
eyesight, or vaseline on the lens, although on
occasions it may be sunscreen, sweat, cheese or
(see if you can spot this one) ladybird excrement.
The fast videos are much clearer because there are
far fewer frames, requiring less compression to
reduce them to a reasonable size.
What is reasonable? It depends who you ask.
How Fast Is Fast?
Clicking on this film icon will bring up a short clip
of a fast_movie.
It should open in a new tab.
If playback is erratic, try it on another device with
better graphics capabilities, or right click and
“save link as”, then play in a media player (such
Comparison of Videos
Click on the film icon to bring up the same video
in the two different qualities.
The upper one is 384_movie
The lower one is 1.25_movie
Your browser should play them directly in a new
tab, or you can right click and “save link as”, then
play in a media player (such as VLC).
Technical Specs of Videos
The slow videos are .mp4 files, Xvid, QVGA
The fast videos are .mp4, Xvid, 720p
Tasters are .webm
You are highly recommended to make use of the free
trial in each set of walks to test compatibility with
your device(s), just in case they don’t work for you,
…..and because they’re free.