Counties figure large here: many of the walks and other activities on WildþingUK are themes on counties: County Border Walks, County Ways, and the village walks are organised by county. County borders are shown on the walk maps. What are the counties though?
Throughout the site, we are consistent: the counties are the traditional counties of the United Kingdom, and of Ireland, not any administrative areas which may have borrowed their names. The counties are a consistent geography, unchanged by fashion and convenience. All the works on man lie on top of their ancient landscapes, and in the wild where the hand of man is light or wholly absent then they come fully into their own: why mete the land out according to lines drawn on a map in a Whitehall office to govern who empties the bins? There is no government going on in the wild places.
- The best online map of the counties is on Wikishire: Interactive Map of the Counties
- There is an excellent paper map too: the True Historic Counties map.
- Wikishire also has lists and descriptions:
There are 92 counties in the United Kingdom, and 26 in the Irish Republic. Between them lies the Isle of Man, which is not in either and not a county but the size of one and may be treated as being equal in honour to any British county, and in that case likewise for the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey.
Every one of these counties has a variety of walks within it or across it, and it would be a worthy tribute to any county to built a footpath around it or across it, joining several counties which have such paths.