Trailman is outdoor writer Peter Aylmer.

After I discovered walking as a pastime when a young man, I have climbed many hills and walked many long-distance paths all over Britain, and with this website bring my passion for the outdoors to a wider audience.

My two Cicerone guides, Walking in Essex and Walking in London, do this too. In 2021, I launched Trailman Publications, a series of walking guides to trails in and around Essex, and redesigned this website to sell them (they’re also available in local bookshops and information centres).

Below are links to some of my other writings.

Cicerone Extra

I’ve written these five pieces for Cicerone Extra, which brings together articles, news and upcoming events, expert advice and interviews, live events and podcasts, trip reports and inspiration from its team of writers.

Re-imagining the city: quiet ways along London’s ‘other’ rivers

The Great Outdoors Challenge: Prep and planning

The Great Outdoors Challenge: A first-timer reflects

Walking the Essex Way: from Epping to the coast

Beach of Dreams: 500 miles, 500 stories, 500 flags

Alas, there’s a glitch on the Cicerone site which means that images may not be correctly scaled!

Essex authors

Five short pieces introducing authors who have written perceptively about the natural world in Essex. Written for the Wren group between 2012 and 2014.

JA Baker

Jules Pretty

Essex geologists

Oliver Rackham

Robert Macfarlane

A long walk to Berwick

How did my three long walks across the nations of Great Britain come about?

Find out here, in my November 2016 article for The Great Outdoors magazine.

I was born in and, for most of my life, lived in London east of the River Lea – metropolitan Essex. In 2018, I moved to rural Essex. Like many east Londoners, I know that both Essex and London are not all the sprawl that many damn it for – both the county and the city have many hundreds of fine unspoilt miles for walking, and a varied and surprising history – and wildlife – to be uncovered while doing so.

I lead walks for the Essex & Herts and London branches of the Long Distance Walkers Association. I was chair of London LDWA from 2016 to 2019, and from 2015 to 2022 was publications editor for the Mountain Bothies Association.

Apart from walking, my recreations include solving cryptic crosswords, plus coping with the rollercoaster of West Ham United. I spent my career in the education service, with roles including teacher, politician, and researcher, rising to writer and editor at national level. From 2016 to 2020 I was Chair of Trustees for an international aid charity.

  • A theft in 2012 meant that the original digital files for many pictures before that date have been lost; all that remains are the web versions rescued from an earlier website. This means that quality is sometimes lacking on the older pictures.