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This is part of an advert describing a house:

It's a quiet, safe neighbourhood and the neighbours are very warm and friendly. The house is walking distance from stores and restaurants in the local town and a short drive from areas with excellent skiing and hiking.

My question is, would it be correct English to use the phrase mentioned above meaning near enough to walk to easily without a preposition like in or within?

Here are a number of examples that I have seen in some learner's dictionaries and they all come with a preposition:

  1. There are lots of restaurants within walking distance.
  2. Does she live within walking distance of her parents?
  3. The beach is within walking distance of my home.
  4. The Castle Inn is in easy walking distance of Fisher's Wharf.
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Often

walking distance

is considered a descriptive unit of measure, which is usually about 5-10mins but can vary depending on circumstances. In Edinburgh, Scotland, everything is within a 15min walk from the center of town. In NYC, walking more than a block can be a trek (that's why there are so many Starbucks packed closely together).

Other examples using this construct might be

The house is a mile from stores and restaurants.
The house is a bike ride from stores and restaurants.
The office is two bus stops away.

You could use the preposition "within" meaning "less", but may not necessary depending on the sentence.

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  • Thanks Peter. Very interesting! I had no idea "walking distance" could be interpreted like that. +1 – M.N Dec 27 '16 at 14:11
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You are perfectly correct; however in past times when newspaper ads charged by the letter, it became common to remove words like "within" that didn't add any meaning and which could be inferred from context. This practice carried over to the Internet, where it has no practical purpose but to present the relevant information as quickly and concisely as possible.

You will also see this sort of thing in the headlines of newspapers and magazine articles, again a carry-over from the days when print space was limited, like today's sad news of yet another celebrity who unexpectedly died in 2016

George Michael: Pop superstar dies at 53

Elton John Pens Touching Tribute to George Michael

Anyway. Hope this makes sense. Now I have to go mourn and play my old Wham! records ... :(

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