About Me

My name is David Marsden and I’m a gardener.  (I write about gardening, wildlife and travel on my other blog, The Anxious Gardener.)

Blencathra Cloud Inversion

Cloud inversion, Blencathra

When I’m not gardening or renovating houses, my great love is walking.  And especially long-distance walking.

Walking Gardener (1)

Me, wearing goodness only knows what. Offa’s Dyke Path. September 1983.

I’ve walked long-distance footpaths since I was a teenager.  My first was The Ridgeway,

Walking Gardener (2)

A rest on The Cleveland Way. January 1983

my second, and possibly still my favourite path, The Cleveland Way.

In my early twenties, I moved to London where clubbing and various careers got between me and my boots.  I didn’t walk a long-distance path for over ten years and that’s a shame.  But then, returning to Earth in 2008, I walked part of The Cumbria Way and I was hooked on distance walking again.

Turret 44b Walltown Gap

Hadrian’s Wall Path, March 2014

To escape the trivia and monotony of every-day working life and experience, close up, the beauty of the British Isles is a sharp, barbed hook.  I love the solitary nature of my walks: the challenges of British weather; the slow progress over a vast, often stunning, landscape; trekking from one hot bath to the next and seeking out a decent photo.  And a decent pint.  As often as I can, I plan a walk, pre-book all of my accommodation, pack a rucksack and go.

Dales Way Day 2 Burnsall to Cray (17)

The Dales Way, February 2012

I generally go early in the year when the paths are empty and the hills quiet; accommodation easily available and gardening at a low ebb.  ‘The Walking Gardener’ is a record of some of my walks.

I completed some long-distance footpaths too long ago now to write up an account.  They include:  The Cotswold Way, The Vanguard Way, The Icknield Way, The Ridgeway, The 1066 Country Walk, The Cleveland Way and The Tabular Hills Walk.  I have yet to complete Offa’s Dyke, first attempted in 1983.  But never say never.

HMSO Long-Distance Footpath Guides

Some used, some not. My HMSO Long-Distance Footpath Guides

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Welcome to ‘The Walking Gardener.’


The Dales Way 2012

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast 2013

The Cumbria Way 2014

Hadrian’s Wall Path (most of) 2014

St Oswald’s Way 2014

The Norfolk Coast Path 2015

The South Downs Way 2016

The Ridgeway 2017