Fancy Free Walks is a non-profit-making organisation set up for the public benefit. It has no finance and all the work in planning and authoring the walks, and in maintaining this site is voluntary and unpaid.
The main spur to designing the walks on this website was years of frustration trying to follow brief or inadequate walking notes with unimaginative routes. During a long exhausting hike people want clear detailed directions so they don't get lost. The routes in the old guidebooks were often very predictable and did not use legal short cuts or the more "interesting" paths, as though the authors planned them by tracing the 'green lines' on the OS map.
This project began in early 2009 in a blog format and the Fancy Free Walks website was created in January 2010. During year one it had a rudimentary home page but significant enhancements were made in January 2011. The founder is also an explorer and author and writes walking guides here under various aliases.
The name 'Fancy Free Walks' was the founder's own idea although his wife said it sounded a bit naff. It began when the founder wrote up some walking guides for his son who needed precise directions to avoid going astray. Spare sheets were then offered to passers-by with the words 'Fancy a free walk?'.
This project owes a huge amount to other writers who have given so much inspiration and pleasure.
These walks were chiefly inspired by Raymond Hugh's Adventurous Walks books.
Their life-changing choice of beautiful routes with interesting historical anecdotes were a model for these walks.
Other influential writers have been Spayne and Krynski, Kev Reynolds, Sybil Martin, Derek Palmer
and the National Trust.
All text and drawings on this website are the original work of the authors and do not borrow from any other source.