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What to think about when planning a route
- Make sure the route is appropriate for your audience – distance, gradients, etc.
- Think about the start point – toilets, refreshments, parking, bus route.
- Avoid crossing busy roads, if possible.
- Think about your target audience – start time.
- Pre-walk the route and risk assess.
Walking routes should be:
- Able to cater for all abilities.
- Well maintained.
Wider footpaths allow people to overtake if they want to increase their pace.
On the Norfolk Trails website you’ll find circular walks, long and short linear routes.
You can also find information on our access tested routes.
If you like the idea of creating your own route from scratch, find a map of all the Public Rights of Way Norfolk has to offer on the norfolk.gov website.
Creating a map
You can also create routes and calculate distance by using the following websites:
- Ordnance Survey – 7 day free trial, £20/year
- Map My Run – free, but not as detailed as OS maps
- Route planner
- Paper Map, Highlighter, Scanner!
Go on a recce
Scouting your location prior to your event is a great way to assess its suitability, local facilities and accessibility.
Familiarising yourself with your route is also important as a part of your risk assessment!
- Location – not isolated, sensory, familiar – parks, proms – not main roads or traffic.
- Accessibility – parking, and flat, hard surfaces.
- Facilities – toilets and shelter from weather.
- Refreshment venue.
- Seating at regular intervals.
- Walks need to be easily shortened or lengthened.
- Location – not isolated, sensory, familiar (parks, proms), not on main roads or traffic.
- Paths with similar smooth surface. Sudden changes, especially dark areas, could seem like holes or areas that people need to step over due to a reduction in space awareness and depth perception.
- Entrances and access needs to be wide enough for wheelchairs.
- Walks with high walls/hedges will mean that people in wheelchairs will have a reduced view – for example if walking by a river/sea/landscape.
- Walks will be a social experience and so be prepared to stop and take in the fresh air and scenery.
- Volunteers need to be friendly, patient, flexible and caring – for “Memory Walks” becoming a Dementia Friend would be an advantage.