Beautiful Buggy Walks: England is a new book from Punk Publishing (the company behind the Cool Camping and Wild Swimming titles), which promises to inspire new parents to get out into the great outdoors with their new offspring in tow. We have an exclusive extract from the book plus the chance to win a copy!

This fully illustrated guidebook details 50 buggy-friendly walks around some of the most picturesque areas of England. The featured routes include secret city ambles, thrilling highland rambles, walks along epic coastal paths and meanders through elegant country estates.
Written by father and self-confessed rambler Richard Happer, Beautiful Buggy Walks: England allows families to venture into the countryside without the fear of getting stranded on precipitous cliff-top paths or being stumped by a stile. Walks range from a quick stroll around a scenic lake to a five-mile ramble through the dramatic Northumbrian countryside and each walk has easy, unhampered access. Richard wheeled his young son Harry in his buggy along the various routes and all have been given a two-year-old’s ‘thumbs up’ seal of approval.
Particularly useful is the quick reference guide to each walk that details all the necessary information, such as route maps, OS co-ordinates, length and time of the walks and difficulty ratings. Symbols detail, at a glance, the nature of the terrain and the type of buggy most suitable for that trail. Also included are anecdotes about the area, wildlife watch stops, Dad Facts about Bronze Age ships in Salcombe or Upton Dyke’s 12th-century windmill, rest and refresh stops that recommend child-friendly pubs and eateries, as well the best picnic spots and nearest loo.

Here is one of our favourite walks from the book (mainly because of the paddling possibilities):

Tarr Steps

How Far – 2.5 Miles

How Long 2 – 2.5 hours
The river takes its time to meander through a wooded valley. You’ll want to, too, as you wind gently along its banks, crossing the water by this famed Exmoor monument.
Come here in summer and the scene is idyllic. The River Barle is knee-deep to a toddler, every shining blue-grey stone visible on its bed. The meadow reclines beside the water, exhaling dandelion blooms into the sky. Children scout in the shallows for sticklebacks and splash each other in the deeper pools.

Rolling Stones
In winter the flooded river becomes so powerful that it can wash some of the span stones off their uprights and drag them as far as 50 metres downstream. These slabs weigh up to two tons. They have now all been numbered to make the task of replacing them easier.

Dad Fact!
Much of the woodland here was once coppiced to provide charcoal for the local iron-smelting industry. Young trees were cut down to near ground level and new shoots would grow from the stump, which would then be harvested one section of the forest at a time, to give a regular supply of wood.

Rest and Refresh
The Tarr Farm Inn, just by the Steps, does good teas and has a terrace with great river views (01643 851507; www.tarrfarm.co.uk).

There are public loos at the car park at the start of the walk.

Route

  • From the car park, go through the obvious gate and take the path downhill, through the field beside the road. This pops out onto the road above the Steps.
  • Cross the Steps and turn right along the riverbank.
  • Follow this path for nearly a mile as it winds round 4 bends in the river.
  • Cross the river by the footbridge and turn right, returning back along the river by the obvious path through the woods.
  • Note: the path on the west bank of the river is twisty and rocky in sections, making it only suitable for ATPs. If you want an easier day out, simply stick to the east bank, walking as far along as you wish and returning the same way to enjoy the Steps.

To win a copy of Beautiful Buggy Walks: England go to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheSmallFolk

For more info and to buy the book head to beautifulbuggywalks.co.uk