Self-Guided is going GPS-Guided

The appreciative comments you can read below signify how popular our self-guided walks are. However, we realise that technology moves on. Many walkers now use a GPS receiver or smart-phone with the signals from Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) to guide their walks.

At present there are fifteen walks in this section. You can still download to your tablet (or printer) a pdf version of these walks, as before, and enjoy them without following a GPS-guided walk. (But if you want to, see the last paragraph of this text) Now, following the modern trend, we have added a small GPS file to five of them, listed below, with more to follow. Read this carefully – it’s not straightforward.

To follow a GPS-guided route, what you will need are the following:

1. A good quality 4G smart-phone, (not necessarily the most expensive) with a large vibrant screen that is easily read in bright sunshine. That’s important! Try yours in the garden. Is it good enough?

2. A good battery. Amplifying a GPS signal takes considerable power, draining your battery more quickly. A normal smart-phone with 2 to 3,000 mAh battery may be adequate for short walks at most, and then only if fully charged. Always take a back-up phone (with the same mapping information), perhaps a power-bank battery for re-charging, or simply a .pdf version of the route from here, that also says which way to start. You might really wish you had it with you! Without back-up, if your battery fails when you and your family are in unknown territory, you could be in real trouble, especially in bad weather. Heavy rain, or an accidental drop, may ruin a non-water-proof phone – and your day out! Even a plastic bag would help.

3. If you’re buying a smart-phone for this purpose, go for a battery of 5 to 10,000mAh, with a large bright screen, and waterproofed to IP68 standard, preferably with a sturdy, shock-proof case. These smart-phones are currently only available on-line—Ebay, Amazon—or possibly from a Chinese source like, or DealExtreme. They can be much cheaper, with good English ‘after-sales’ service. That is exactly what we have done – from Hong Kong.

Then what happens?

Download from Google a free mapping App for your phone. Get Android systems from Playstore, for Apple, use App Store. Some phones contain a fairly basic map, without much detail, but many newcomers to walking find them adequate. A keen regular walker may prefer to upgrade to better Ordnance Survey maps for about £25 per annum for the whole of the UK, or much less for your local area. But see below.

ViewRanger is an app used by many people, but there are dozens to choose from. ViewRanger is very comprehensive but takes time to learn. It supports Android and Apple. An app. called iFootpath is also worth trying. Ordnance Survey (OS) are late to market with their simple-to-use app, but it needs more development.

Direct download links to Viewranger for Apple and Android below

These apps will indicate your chosen .gpx route as a coloured line on your phone, and show very accurately your position, continually updated in real time as you go. Many (like ViewRanger) include a better-than-basic free map that will automatically download further as you walk, showing the track that you have walked and your current position. For a review of some popular apps visit It is not always accurate. Iphone mapping apps are free if you request ‘for Hikers’ and ViewRanger does not need the Internet for a connection – maps are stored in your phone. All you need are GPS satellites.

All Apps initially require a good telephone or Wi-Fi signal to download maps and will use your phone’s “Data connection” when out away from Wi-Fi, so you may want to choose to do this at home using your Wi-Fi connection to your phone.

Android Phones   Tap on the .gpx route file of your chosen walk from this web-site, and it should be downloaded and saved to your phone under “Downloads” on your App screen. Find it and tap the chosen GPX file. Your chosen App should then offer to “Import” it. Acknowledge this and follow the on-screen instructions. It will then either be displayed on the map or filed with all your other walks in your Apps library, ready to be selected and displayed. There are many different ways to perform these actions, according to your phone and type, so it is beyond the scope of this article to be more specific. Your device’s handbook, friend – or tech-savvy teenager – should be consulted as to the many ways this can be achieved.

We have produced a step by step guide here for iPhone or iPad. Click the following link to view or download:

We have so far drawn .gpx routes only for Burnt Stump, Clumber Park, Colwick Park, Farnsfield, and Stoke Bardolph. If you are new to this, try either Colwick Park or Burnt Stump, this latter with a choice of two routes in a small area where it’s hard to get lost. The shorter is suitable for wheelchairs, but with an uphill section at the end. Maybe start at the Burnt Stump pub, to begin with this? Free car park at the pub only.

Prepare yourself properly and give it a go! It will need practice.

The HTML versions of all these texts will not print well. For a (recommended) printed copy of the PDF version, use the PDF link within each individual walk. You can also download the ‘Adobe Reader’ if you don’t have this programme for it. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Email

Please read carefully

  • Before leaving home, be sure you are fit enough and equipped sufficiently to undertake your walk.
  • If you’re unsure of your fitness level, try a short easy walk first—it’s much better to find a walk a little too slow than to make yourself miserable and exhausted.
  • Some of our walks are off-road in rural areas.
  • Always have suitable footwear and clothing for both walk and weather.
  • Take some food and drink even if the walk includes a pub or café break.
  • Although walking is one of the safest outdoor activities, none is completely without risk. It is your responsibility to behave sensibly and minimise the potential for accidents.


Nottingham’s Local Access Forum is producing
a short series of Self-Guided Walks to get people out and about in the City area, helping them to discover more about the history and beauty of our City.

Currently there are more than 10 walks available
They can be easily downloaded from:

On their web-site, go down to ‘Examples of LAF work’ and  click on ‘Walking in Nottingham’ for all ten walk maps or click the link below.

Self Guided Walks

Select and click a walk below and download to your computer / phone / tablet device

Clumber Park




Burntstump Country Park


Lambley High Pastures






Lambley & Woodborough


Whitsunday Pie Lock


Colwick Park


Hazelford Ferry


Calverton Circular

Netherfield Lagoons Nature Reserve

Netherfield Lagoons

The River Trent at Stoke Bardolph

Stoke Bardolph


Arnold & The Dumbles