Monday, 13 January 2014 9:07 AM
Walkers and cyclists will be able to explore over 2,500 miles of countryside with the new National Trails website which launches today.
The site is packed with practical information and new maps for the 15 National Trails in England and Wales, from short walks to a ‘life-changing’ 630 mile long-distance coastal trek.
The new website is the result of a partnership between Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, and site developer and owner, Walk Unlimited.
The site uses high quality mapping thanks to support from the Ordnance Survey, showing the Trails in great detail as well as nearby attractions and facilities to visit – such as castles, churches, parks and museums.
Recommended itineraries for walking and cycling are easily downloadable, and there are ideas for tailored outings such as geocaching trails too. Families, outdoor enthusiasts and walkers – solo or in groups – can use the website with ease to plan the best exploration of our National Trails.
For the first time, new interactive features mean that local businesses can upload details of the services they provide to people visiting the area. This includes how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to eat, and where to find facilities such as bike hire shops, horse-riding stables and outdoor equipment shops.
Trail users and local residents can upload content including photographs, word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews, plus details of visitor events. Together they give an insider’s view on National Trails, from where to eat fabulous ice cream, to where to see spectacular views, find hidden treasures and spot wonderful wildlife. They can even use the site to report any relevant ‘breaking news’ issues – making the website a topical, as well as useful, resource for planning your Trail visit.
Environment Minister, Dan Rogerson, said: “National Trails pass through some of the most stunning landscapes in Britain and are a welcome attraction for visitors. This new website will make it easier for people to make the most of the countryside and can help build stronger local economies and businesses.”
Anne Clark, Walk Unlimited’s Managing Director, added: "We're really excited to have the responsibility for promoting National Trails. They are the best trails in the country and we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy them. The new website is just the start of our work to raise awareness of these fabulous trails, and the amazing landscapes they pass through."
Liz Newton, Natural England’s Access and Engagement Director, said: “Our countryside is inspirational – this web site will help more people to discover it. Walk Unlimited have been a great partner to work with and are running the site as a self-funding commercial enterprise meaning that National Trails can be effectively marketed without having to draw on the public purse.”
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