The Times Britain’s Best Walks is now available in paperback at just £16.99

From Cornwall to Shetland via Pembrokeshire and Barrowdale, this is the most comprehensive collection of walks in the United Kingdom available in one book, and features trails to suit all skill levels and references, whether you want a gentle ramble to the pub or something much more challenging. Author Christopher Somerville has covered the length and breadth of the UK on foot, and has written and broadcast about its history, landscape, wildlife and people for over 25 years.

More than just a basic guidebook, this is a meditation on our relationship with the landscape and a celebration of all that Britain has to offer. From Cornwall to Shetland via Pembrokeshire and Borrowdale, this is the most comprehensive collection of walks in the United Kingdom available in one book, and features trails to suit all skill levels and preferences, whether you want a gentle ramble to the pub or something much more challenging.

Each of the featured walks contains:

 Detailed description as featured in The Times column  Postcode and OS grid reference start point  Instructions on how to get there  Distance and grade so readers can suit walks to their ability, fitness and mood  Simple step-by-step walk instructions  Beautiful colour photograph for each walk  Full colour, clear and up-to-date map  Food and accommodation details for the hungry traveller

About the author:

Christopher Somerville is a Times journalist with over 25 years’ experience writing and broadcasting about country walks and tougher hikes. He has also written extensively about life in remote rural and island communities from Scotland to Crete, by way of the Faroes, made music in Irish pubs and frequented festivals both locally and internationally. He is the author of Somerville’s 100 Best British Walks, Where to See Wildlife in Britain and Ireland, Best Wild Places and The January Man.

Good Walking Stick to Buy for Christmas

We have sold quite a few of these of late! Our handmade antler thumbstick with an engraved collar. This is a good walking stick to buy for Christmas as it can be personalised.

Engraved Collar Antler Thumbstick
Engraved Collar Antler Thumbstick

Please order the engraving on the same page and we will have it made for you. Please allow 1 week to 10 days for delivery. The collar will fit a name and a date or something a little longer if we reduce the size of the text. Please email us if you have any questions about these sticks.

New Sticks On The Website for Winter 2017

We have added lots of new and interesting handmade walking sticks to the site this week. Our handmade antler thumbstick with engraved collar is one of the best-selling sticks at this time of year, but we thought we should add some more handmade ones to the selection for those looking for something a little different.

We have added some one-piece thumbsticks, made from blackthorn, elm and apple wood, all three unusual woods with rich coloured bark. These sticks are truly natural wonders, plucked from the woods and then cut, dried and finished into perfect sticks for country walks.

Elm Thumbsticks
New Thumbsticks

Also new, beautifully carved and polished oxhorn handled sticks. The hand grip has been carved into the oxhorn handle and the entire sticks varnished and polished to perfection. The one pictured below has a fishing fly in-laid into the top with resin. Beautifully finished, these sticks will make lovely gifts.

Hand Carved Polished Oxhorn Walking Sticks
Hand Carved Polished Oxhorn Walking Sticks

Then there’s the three pointer antler topper sticks on English chestnut or hazel shafts. These sticks are full of character and you will get lots of admiring comments about them. The antler is cut from naturally shed red stag antlers from the Scottish Highlands and the hazel and chestnut shanks are from a local coppicer in Cambridgeshire.

3 Point Antler Topped Sticks
3 Point Antler Topped Sticks

Also there’s elm, ash and blackthorn knobsticks up for grabs. These sticks are very strong and reliable as they are made from just a single piece of wood. The bark has been kept on the shafts, while the handles are carved, sanded and polished to reveal the wood beneath. Elm bark has rich red and orange colours, ash is green and grey and blackthorn is a dark red/brown/purple. All very striking to look at.

Knob Handled Sticks
Knob Sticks

Last but not least, we have some apple wood cross head sticks now in. These are one-piece sticks again and will last you forever! Apple wood looks a lot like blackthorn, but the wood is round in cross section rather than oval as blackthorn and the other thorns are.

Applewood Cross Head Sticks
Applewood Cross Head Sticks

Drop Me Not Wall Mounted Cane Holder in Grey

An excellent device for anyone who has struggled to find somewhere to rest their walking stick, crutches or umbrella.

The Dropmenot attaches securely to the wall and can be used around the home wherever one is needed.

Each package contains one Dropmenot holder, two hexagonal bolts, three wood screws and an Allen key.

The Dropmenot is made from durable dark grey plastic with pale grey ‘fingers’, to discreetly harmonise with interior decorative schemes. Dimensions: 125mm wide x 70mm deep x 35mm high. Item weight: 125g.

The Drop-Me-Not was originally used in hospital bathrooms for hygiene reasons but demand from the public has been growing for some time. They are useful in bathrooms, kitchens, by the bed, shop counters . . . . . the list is endless.

One customer said, “I was on crutches for a while last year and I really appreciated the peace of mind knowing that my crutches or sticks weren’t going to slide along a wall and fall to the floor!”

Buy a Drop-Me-Not wall-mounted walking stick holder for £14.50 plus postage here:

The Dropmenot wall mounted cane holder
Dropmenot wall mounted cane holder

A Different Kind of Switch Stick

The ‘Switch the Stick’ campaign is all about swapping the little plastic sticks in cotton buds with paper alternatives. So what’s the problem? Well, it’s all that plastic that ends up in the sea and ingested by the creatures that live in it. ‘Switch the Stick’ will prevent over 320 tons of single-use plastic being produced annually. Plastic that wouldn’t have been recycled and could have been flushed into our rivers and seas. That’s a huge pile of plastic pollution prevention!

The new paper and cotton cotton buds are already on the supermarket shelves, so please buy these from now on!

Check out the video below for more info:


New Switch Sticks Folding Walking Sticks Now In

We are pleased to announce the addition of eight new folding walking sticks by Switch Sticks to the website. Switch Sticks sticks have always been great sellers (especially for Christmas gifts) because of their beautiful designs and lovely quality.

Just like the others sticks in the range, these new ones are height adjustable from 81 to 91cm (32 to 36 inches), robust wooden handles, wrist cords, holding clip and ferrule, all in one tidy box and all matching. Also, like the others, the maximum user weight limit is 120 kg (18 stone 12 lbs),

Here are the new designs below. Please click on any of the images to take buy any of them, view more images or find out more:

Azure Blue Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Azure Blue Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Switch Sticks Graphite Folding Walking Stick
Switch Sticks Graphite Folding Walking Stick
Rose Gold Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Rose Gold Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Purple Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Purple Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Red Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Red Switch Sticks Folding Walking Stick
Blue Striped Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Blue Striped Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Smiles Switch Sticks Folding Stick
Smiles Switch Sticks Folding Stick


Surrey Walking Stick Factories and Chiddingfold Bonfire Night

Looking through the archives, I found some very interesting pieces about walking stick makers in Surrey.

Lintott and Co (1876-1968) were walking stick makers in Witley, Surrey. Mr. Leonard Lintott of Downland, Petworth, originally a wood-cutter, founded his walking-stick business in 1858. He began by sending cut chestnut and ash to other manufacturers and later made walking-sticks himself, and, with the help of his sons James (Jas), Henry, Thomas and Geoffrey, the business and subsequent partnership thrived.

The Lintotts bought the cutting rights of local woods and had their own plantations, the wood from which was made not only into walking sticks, but also shepherds’ crooks, scout poles, umbrella handles, hockey sticks and army officers’ sticks.

The business lasted approximately one hundred years.

The Lintotts Walking Stick factory was based in Chiddingfold in Surrey and produced thousands of sticks which were exported all over the world. The range of tools and equipment was fairly small but totally unique.

Today, Chiddingfold is probably best known for its famous bonfire night event, which began as the mere burning of brittle remains from the walking stick factory! Nowadays, the event attracts up to 10,000 people who come from miles around to see the firework display and torch lit procession. A huge pyramid is built on the village green and local people bring  various bits of wood, trees and old furniture to gradually fill it up. Last time I saw it, there were some very nice pieces of furniture and sofas in there!

Coppice wood was also used directly in rural industries
such as the manufacture of hurdles, hop poles
and brooms and it was shaped by steaming to make
hoops for barrels and walking sticks.

Coopers and Sons Ltd were also based in Chiddingfold from 1991 to 2003.

A walking stick factory at Wormley, which also made
shepherds crooks for export to Australia, moved into
the manufacture of modern walking aids in the twentieth century.

Watch the British Pathé video below all about stick making.


Congratulations Classic Canes – 35 Years Old

2017 marks the 35th anniversary of Classic Canes (our favourite walking stick suppler). Here is a post (written by them) all about the company, founded in the autumn of 1982 by Ben and Diana Porter.

“Our story began when Ben and Diana bought a neglected woodland in Somerset in order to rebuild the ruined hunting lodge at its centre. While they were working on the house, they discovered that the surrounding woodland was naturally producing suitable raw material for walking sticks. To begin with, they cut the sticks and sold them to Coopers, a walking stick factory in Surrey. When delivering the sticks, they saw the finished products of the factory and decided to offer them to shops in their local area.

The first customers were gift shops, craft centres and tobacconists, whom Diana would visit with her samples and two small children:Charlotte and Johnny. The business soon grew to include more stockists across the south west of England and then further afield. Ben drove many miles in the early years, finding new stockists who chose their walking sticks from the back of a van.

Buy Classic Canes Sticks at
Buy Classic Canes Sticks at

In the late 1980s, the company started exhibiting at trade fairs, which enabled new accounts to be opened across the UK and overseas. The range of walking sticks grew too, to include such developments as folding walking sticks and ladies’ size walking sticks.

By the millennium, Classic Canes had established itself as  a leading supplier of walking sticks and was well known for the good quality of its products. Johnny Porter worked hard to establish the Classic Canes workshop, which specialises in small scale production of specialist walking sticks, mostly using the ash, hazel and blackthorn wood grown on site.

Charlotte Porter rejoined the firm in 2003 after working in the luxury goods trade. She persuaded the family to start branding the walking sticks with the Classic Canes name and developed the marketing of the company to further enhance its reputation and prestige.

Today, Classic Canes stocks over 700 models of walking sticks, seat sticks and umbrellas, selling to retailers in over 40 countries with stockists mainly mobility shops, garden centres and on-line shops.

Much has changed in 35 years, mainly the dawn of the internet. We wish the Porter family many more years of business!

Having visited Warren House in Somerset and seen the way their business is run, I am full of admiration.


Care & Maintenance of walking Sticks

Walking sticks and seat sticks are generally robust items suitable for active use. however, a little care and maintenance will improve the appearance of your walking stick or seat and may extend its working life. Here are some useful tips:

Wooden Sticks
Wooden walking sticks should be regularly cleaned of mud and grime by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. They should be dried after use in wet weather and stored somewhere dry and warm but away from direct heat sources such as stoves and radiators. An occasional light polish with furniture polish or beeswax will also protect the wood and enhance the finish, although this should not be done with natural bark, rustic sticks that have not been varnished already. Ensure worn or damaged metal or rubber ferrules are replaced promptly, both for safety reasons and to prevent damage to the cane.

Aluminium Canes
These are very robust items, but care should be taken not to scratch the coating as this will affect the appearance of the cane. The tightening collar should always be re-tightened after the height of the cane has been adjusted, to ensure the cane is secure and does not audibly rattle or click.

Folding Walking Canes
Folding canes have simple mechanisms, but it is best not to dismantle them as small but important components might be lost. They should be stored in dry warm areas, but not near strong heat sources in case this causes the internal rubber bungee cord to perish. Care should be taken when using a folding cane in very cold temperatures as rubber naturally loses some of its elasticity when conditions are very cold. After the height has been adjusted, the collar must be re-tightened to prevent rattling and to increase stability.

Both rubber and metal ferrules should be checked regularly and replaced once they start to become worn down. This is important for safety as well as aesthetic reasons. It is especially important in the case of three and four-legged seats, which may become unstable if used with worn or missing rubber ferrules.

Leather Seat Sticks
Leather is a natural product and can become mildewed or mouldy if left in a damp place. After a rainy day, always bring your leather seat stick indoors, dry it with a towel and store away from direct heat sources (this may cause the leather to become cracked and hard). if the leather becomes dry at all, it’s suppleness may be improved by a light application of leather food.


Walking Sticks by Emilyhannah Ltd catalogue
Walking Sticks by Emilyhannah Ltd catalogue