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Rules of the Outdoors

Being out in the countryside is fun. Taking great pictures is awesome. 

Hypothermia is not.

Having to call mountain rescue is not either. Nor is running out of water, or getting soaked in pouring rain with no proper waterproofs, or change of clothes at the end. Don't be an idiot, prepare properly for the journey ahead.


1) Check the weather where you are going

  • Does it look like it's going to rain? Pack a waterproof jacket, probably trousers too. ​Sunshine? Get the suncream out.

  • Wear hiking boots wherever possible, just to be safe.​

2) Bring enough water and food (in that order)

  • Water comes first. Bring enough for the time you are out, and the weather. 2 litres +

  • If you are out for more than 2 hours (or with kids) bring snacks

3) Learn how to read a map

  • Whilst we love using Viewranger, phones run out of battery, even with portable powerpacks. Paper maps don't.

  • Check our blog for more on how to read a map

4) If it looks stupid, don't do it

  • People have died trying to get 'the' photo, or pushing themselves just that bit too far. Don't.

  • It isn't always worth it for the 'gram.

5) If you brought it with you, take it back

  • Don't litter. You will ruin the walk for everyone else, and potentially destroy delicate ecosystems. Take it home.

  • If you see someone else littering, call them out on it

Finally, the key Northern Stroll rule - all hikes should end with a pub. Recommendations made in each walk listing wherever possible. Support your local.

The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code is a standard set of guidelines for members of the public, to ensure respect and enjoyment in the countryside. Please do remember to follow these at all times, as it will make not only your own experience more enjoyable but also those of your fellow walkers. Plus, you won't get into any trouble. 

The five main points of the Countryside Code are:

1) Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs​

  • Check the weather so you know what to expect

  • Let someone know where you are going, how long you plan to be

  • Learn signs and symbols used in the countryside

  • Be prepared for changes in weather

  • Take maps/guidebooks


2) Leave gates and property as you find them

  • Farmers may leave gates open to allow their animals to move - so leave an open gate open, and a closed gate closed

  • Contact the local authority if you see a sign which may be misleading or illegal (e.g. Private, no entry - on a public footpath)

  • Follow paths where crops are growing rather than walking through the middle of the field

  • Use gates or stiles if possible, rather than climbing walls or fences, to avoid damage

  • Don't disturb ruins or historic sites

  • Don't interfere with machinery or livestock


3) Protect plants and animals and take your litter home

  • Litter and leftover food spoils the beauty of the countryside. Take it home!

  • Don't damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees

  • Give wild animals and farm animals plenty of space as they can occasionally behave unpredictably

  • Be careful not to drop matches or smouldering cigarettes


4) Keep dogs under close control

  • By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife

  • Farmers are, by law, entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals

  • Always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly


5) Consider other people

  • Respect the needs of local people

  • When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room

  • By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways

  • Support the rural economy - for example, buy your supplies from local shops

If you are interested in the details you can read the full code from here.


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