Walking with Alfred Watkins

The image at the top of the page shows a southern perspective of Beacons in the Malverns. Their prehistoric purpose was 'to guide and direct'.

Six unique walks to download and enjoy

These six walks (see below) are part of an archive consisting of nearly 150 routes in and around Herefordshire which were conceived, tried, tested and put into print by local writer Garth Lawson. They appeared every month for more than twelve years in The Hereford Times. Maps have been updated and routes checked in the spring of 2021. The historical and topographical background of each walk - and how it relates to Alfred Watkins - can be found on this website.

Follow in the pioneering footsteps of Alfred Watkins

The walks themselves give you the opportunity to explore the countryside which inspired Alfred Watkins and led him to formulate his theory about ley lines. Watkins was a photographer, scholar, miller, farmer, archaeologist, naturalist, inventor, magistrate, politician and leader of public opinion. His Eureka moment came when he was driving through Blackwardine (Walk One) and stopped at a crossroads to consult his Ordnance Survey map. It was 30 June 1921 and, looking from map to landscape and back again, he was astonished by what he perceived. A series of notable landmarks - hilltops, a stretch of old lane and two encampments - lay before him in a dead straight line that extended over several miles. He soon concluded that the line was part of a network of straight tracks that stood out like “glowing wires all over the surface of the country,” intersecting at the sites of standing stones, earthworks, wells, ridge-notches and other charismatic waypoints, or radiating out of hilltops like the spokes from a hub. He called them “leys.” This theory was explained in his seminal work, The Old Straight Track, which still inspires Ley Hunters and ramblers to follow in his pioneering footsteps.

Downloading the walks

Each walk can be individually downloaded as a pdf from the relevant page. They are all free, but in exchange we would ask for a donation to St Michael's Hospice, near Hereford. How much you choose to donate is entirely up to you.

We can be contacted at info@alfredwatkinswalks.co.uk.

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