Our National Trails
I’ve had a certain love affair with our national trails. My first ultra marathon was on our national trails on the Cotswold Way. The plan was to run the 100 mile route in two days. That didn’t happen. Being the beginner I was at long distance running, I totally messed up my underwear choice. At mile 17 I was getting some serious chafing. At mile 40 it looked like an invisible horse had been put between my legs. At mile 46 I was flagging down a vehicle and asking for a lift. Fail. A little learning, some better choices and the correct underwear!! And off I went exploring again. Last year I ran the 180 mile Pembroke coast path in 5 and half days – which gave my muscles a story to tell. Many fond memories have been logged exploring these trail treasures. But what are they and where can you find them?
Our national trails are a collection of superb scenic marked routes around England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent are called Scotland’s Great Trails. The popularity of walking in Britain during the early twentieth century gave rise to a desire to keep Britain “special” after WW2. Post-war development led to the establishment of National Parks, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty (AONBs) and Long Distance Routes (now called National Trails in England and Wales).
Each trail has marked start and finish points and trail markers at every junction, making navigation simple. This allows you to enjoy the views and keep your map in your pocket. The routes vary in length from the Yorkshire Wolds Way, at a pleasant 79 miles to the whooping 630 mile South West Coast Path. Run, walk, cycle or horse ride at a pace that suits you. Have a go at breaking the record for the South West Coast Path whichstands at a remarkable 10 days, 15 hours and 18 minutes set by Damian Hall at a meagre 60 mile a day average!!
The infrastructure on each one of these routes allows them to be broken down into sections. Staying at campsites, B&Bs or luxury hotels are all options available to you. Do them non stop with a mate or take the family on a magical mystery tour. None of us live more than 50 miles from a National Trail and around 80,000 people complete a Trail. each year, why not join them!!
National Trail – Facts
- 2,500 miles for walkers
- 400 miles open to mountain bikes and equestrians
- The first Trail was the Pennine Way, opened in 1965.
- 2,800 more miles due to open
For guiding and group trips on our National Trails then feel free to get in touch for a bespoke package – http://davetalbot.net/contact-dave/