FAQ

You’ll find answers to common questions in our FAQs, below. Just click on a question and the answer will appear. There is a search function, which will pick up any word used in the FAQ, to make finding your answer easier If you can’t find what you’re looking for, just get in touch.

Question
How do I find a walk near me?

You’ve got two options here. You can visit our walk maps for PC and iPad users or mobile users, just navigate to your area and look out for walks marked by a Railwalks pin. Or you can search our walk database here. Or maybe a bit of each, if you’re feeling saucy.
How do I submit a walk?

Railwalks is based on collaboration and we would love to hear from you if you’ve a walk to share. That can either be a route of your own creation, or one that you have found on another website. You can submit a walk of either type here. Please feel free to use the general enquiry form if you’ve any questions about how to submit a walk.
Why was Railwalks created?

Put simply, we want to promote walks from the train on a national scale.

Reaching a walk from the train is, in our own humble opinion, unbeatable. The chances are that if you’re going on a walk, the scenery along the way is worth seeing. On a train, you can relax and enjoy it rather than watching the road, and safe in the knowledge that you are reducing your carbon footprint.

In many cases, walks from the train involve getting off at one station and getting on at another, which enables you to enjoy linear walks without having to think too hard about how to get home.

Walking from the train simply feels like more of an adventure. As you get off the train and watch it rumble off, you are temporarily cut off from the outside world until the next train is due. In that time, you can escape into some beautiful parts of the world.
How is Railwalks funded?

As of this time, all operating costs are met privately by the site creator. Railwalks has no affiliation with any train operating company or other organisation.
Who runs Railwalks?

Railwalks is run by Jim Ayres, a strange man who is equal parts walking enthusiast and train geek.

Jim

Here is Jim in his typical habitat, skulking at Duirinish station along the Kyle of Lochalsh line.

Aren’t there already websites that show walks from the train?

Yes, absolutely. There is already an excellent array of websites that show walks from the train. To the best of our knowledge, though, before Railwalks there was not a single place where walks from the train across the whole of the UK could be presented. The sites we have found are either train-walk specific but region specific, or are collections of walks from a specific region that do not necessarily start from a train station.
Why are some of the walks you share hosted on other websites, and some on your own site?

Where we have found a walk elsewhere online (or had one submitted to us by our users), we believe that the originating website should receive full credit for their own creations. This means that we will link to that site, rather than present their walk as our own! While this does mean that third-party walks will appear in a non-uniform way, we would rather this than go around pinching other people’s ideas.

Our own walks, whether created by the Railwalks team or submitted to us by a user, are presented in a standard format. You’ll find an example of our standard format here.
Is Railwalks allowed to link to other websites?

Yes. A recent case in the EU court established that websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder.

We would like to think that by linking to other websites, we are driving up their traffic!

What are GPX files?

In brief, GPX files are electronic records of routes on maps. They are small files which are compatible with virtually all electronic mapping systems. GPX files can be created as you walk using a free mobile app, or after the event. Here is an article on the Ordnance Survey website that gives a little more detail.

If you are recording a walk you have already been on, you can easily create .GPX files for free at GPSies. Just click on the start of your walk, draw away on the map, then click “Save” when you’re done and save the output (perhaps to send to us for your own walk contribution!).

For “live” recordings of walks, we recommend the free mobile app MapMyWalk (available for iPhone users here and Android users here) as an easy way of recording your walks in a format that we can use on our own mapping.
How accurate are your walk lengths?

We will always round up a walk length to the nearest quarter mile. This is to ensure that our walks are never longer than expected (which could be a worry if you’re catching a train at the end of your walk!). Walk lengths are generally measured using GPS or ordnance survey mapping, so we’d like to think they’re pretty accurate. If you find otherwise, please let us know and we’ll make the corrections.