In 1965 as the first National Trail in the country was opened – ‘a Pennine Way from the Peak to the Cheviots’. There are now 19 fully waymarked and state-maintained trails spanning the length and breadth of Britain from Land’s End to Inverness.
Together, the National Trails cover well over 5000 kilometres (3100 miles), exploring the rich, scenic, historic countryside of Britain. Some trails are short and easy, while others are long and challenging. Some have a strong theme, following rugged coastlines or meandering rivers. Others use ancient cross-country routes or follow the courses of ancient boundaries.
This inspirational guidebook looks at each of the National Trails in turn, through England, Wales and Scotland, unravelling their themes to discover what makes each of them so special and providing the practical information to help you plan your route.
* Outline schedules for each Trail allow you compare the routes and organise your own walking itinerary. * Basic day-by-day route descriptions for each Trail are illustrated with maps and profiles. * For each Trail information is provided on access to and from the route, maps, public transport, guidebooks, TICs, accommodation and useful websites.
Packed with information, this guide will help you get out and walk the finest long-distance routes in the country.
Seasons All trails can be tackled throughout the year, though many of the northern and Scottish routes can be challenging in winter conditions. Avoid the Hadrian's Wall Path in winter, as the ground is soft and underlying archaeology easily damaged. Difficulty The routes vary in both length and technical difficulty, the longest being the South West Coast Path and the most difficult possibly the Pennine Way. Must See Broad views and unspoilt landscapes in some of Britain’s best walking areas – from thunderous breaking waves against the cliffs on the South West Coast Path to Buachaille Etive Mor at the gateway to Glen Coe.
Introduction Wanted: A Long Green Trail Making Trails Trail Theme Waymarking Path Associations Maps Guidebooks Long-distance Laughs Websites Accommodation Food and Drink Tourist Information Centres
Preparing for a Long Walk General Fitness Packing Best Time of Year Making Time Who’s Going? Planning Public Transport Daily Routine Emergencies
The National Trails ENGLAND 1 South West Coast Path 2 South Downs Way 3 North Downs Way 4 The Ridgeway 5 Thames Path 6 Cotswold Way 7 Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path 8 Yorkshire Wolds Way 9 Cleveland Way 10 Pennine Bridleway 11 Pennine Way 12 Hadrian’s Wall Path
WALES 13 Pembrokeshire Coast Path 14 Offa’s Dyke Path 15 Glyndwr’s Way
SCOTLAND - Long Distance Routes 16 Southern Upland Way 17 Speyside Way 18 West Highland Way 19 Great Glen Way