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Of course the Victorians walked faster. They didn’t have Instagram and map apps | Ed Jefferson

Ordnance Survey is recalculating how long it takes modern walkers to complete routes. Here are the things that hold us up

It turns out that for the past 127 years anyone following standard walking directions has unintentionally been playing a game of “Are you fitter than a Victorian mountaineer?” As a result, Ordnance Survey has finally decided that it is going to shake things up and provide 21st-century directions for 21st-century walkers, with an update to the way it works out how long a given walk should take.

Something obvious you want to know before you lace up your walking boots and set off into the wilderness is when you might expect to reach your destination, and the standard rule of thumb for working out whether you’re about to set out on a brief stroll or a back-breaking endurance test was formulated by William Naismith, the founder of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, in 1892.

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Walking the wilder side of the Algarve

A self-guided walk along the dramatic cliffs and deserted footpaths of an Algarve a world away from the beach resorts and golf courses

The hunt for octopus begins soon after we arrive in Sagres, in the western Algarve. Within minutes we find it at Restaurante Gigi, where tender chunks are served in olive oil and garlic, and garnished with sweet potato. The craving for Portuguese soul food sated for now, we wander down Sagres’s main drag of low-slung whitewashed houses towards the 16th-century fortress that looms over the Atlantic. It feels as if we are on the far edge of Europe: its most south-westerly point lies a short way north – at Cabo de São Vicente, whose lighthouse I can just about see.

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