The Edmondson Blog

April Fool Places To Take Your Granny

This list, released on April Fool’s Day, sounds like a joke with names like Scratch Arse Ware, Slapper’s Rock and Pisser Clough. But all the walks are real, having been given the rather unusual names in less squeamish times or before the words became rude.

For example Booby’s Bay in Cornwall is named after a seabird found in the area that is closely related to the gannet.

Kiss me Arse Steps also in Cornwall is believed to have been coined from the steep steps which on ascending would result in the person in front you having their posterior close to your face, though there is no such clear explanation for Scratch Arse Ware in Dorset.

The Nostrils on the Isle of Wight look like a dragon’s nose, Scrubby Bottoms in Pembrokeshire is at the bottom of a valley and Windy Gap in Surrey is well, a windy gap between the hills where walkers can see for miles.

Paul Cavill, a former researcher at the English Place-Name Society, said the names of walks can still tell people a lot about the landscape. Although he warned that Snoring in Norfolk is not necessarily a sleepy place and Nasty in Hertfordshire is not a comment on the living conditions.

“Most names describe the geography or ownership of the land, so finding out the meaning of place-names may be particularly useful to walkers. As place-name scholars work on interpreting documents containing names, information about the physical appearance and condition of the places named is vital which is why we want to hear from you," he said.

Jo Burgon, Outdoors Programme Director for the National Trust, said all the walks are available online for people to download in a new move to get more people to take exercise outdoors.

“We’re finding that more people want to get out into the great outdoors but often need to be pointed in the right direction. Part of the joy of being outdoors is having a great experience and these silly walks are designed to tap in to the British love of a real sense of humour,” she said.

The ten walks are:
  • Booby’s Bay, Cornwall
  • Windy Gap, Leith Hill, Surrey
  • Great Wood, Walla Crag, Cumbria
  • Slapper's Rock, North Helford, Cornwall
  • Kiss me Arse Steps, Lansallos, Cornwall
  • Scratch Arse Ware, Dancing Ledge, Dorset
  • Cock-Up Bridge, Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
  • Pisser Clough, Hardcastle Crags, Yorkshire
  • The Nostrils, Isle of Wight
  • Scrubby Bottoms, Pembrokeshire

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