It has occurred to us that quite a few of our walks are using National Trails or at least following them for a short duration. Henceforth, there will now be a new ‘section’ on the site allowing readers to easily access walks that follow National Trails (or parts thereof), whether we set out to do so or not.
This idea got me reading about ‘National Trails’ and I quickly learned that I had been using the phrase incorrectly in assuming that this meant any long-distance walking route that is marked on an ordnance survey map, is signposted or waymarked and that has its own name. There are 15 ‘official’ National Trails in the UK listed below;
- Cleveland Way
- Cotswold Way
- Glyndŵr’s Way
- Hadrian’s Wall Path
- North Downs Way
- Peddar’s Way and Norfolk Coast Path (Considered one trail)
- Offa’s Dyke Path
- Pembrokeshire Coast Path
- Pennine Bridle Way
- Pennine Way
- The Ridgeway
- Yorkshire Wolds Way
- Thames Path
- South West Coast Path
- South Downs Way
They are all waymarked by their characteristic acorn;
The ‘big fifteen’ cover around 2,500 miles / 4000km. The England Coast Path will be the sixteenth but is currently incomplete and expected to open in 2020. When it does it will be the longest of the national National Trails.
There are, of course, many other long-distance routes that are waymarked, signed and appear on ordnance survey maps that are not National Trails; the Wye Valley Walk, White Horse Way, MacMillan Way, Wysis Way, Mendip Way and Severn Way as examples.
For the sake of categorisation, both the National Trails proper and other long-distance waymarked paths that we encounter will be filed under Long-Distance Trails.
Below is a list of Long-Distance Trails we have covered (at least in part) so far;
- Severn Way – Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, Severn Beach to Bristol City Centre (post coming soon)
- White Horse Way – Kennet & Avon Canal: Devizes to Bradford-on-Avon
- Wye Valley Walk – Symonds Yat Circular, Tintern Circular, Redbrook Circular and Redbrook / Monmouth Circular (all coming soon)
- MacMillan Way – Castle Combe Circular
- Cotswold Way – Wotton-Under-Edge to Old Sodbury
- Offa’s Dyke Path – Symonds Yat Circular, Tintern Circular, Redbrook Circular and Redbrook / Monmouth Circular (all coming soon)
- Limestone Link – Kennet & Avon Canal: Bath to Bradford-on-Avon
- River Avon Trail – Severn Beach to Bristol City Centre, Hanham Mills to Bath (coming soon)
There are probably more which I will add as I discover them. I would like to think that we will complete a good few of these, although some of them seem near impossible in their monstrous length (try Monarch’s Way at 615 miles or the South West Coast Path at 630 miles).
More walking adventures to follow soon.
Adam & Harriet