New circular walks launched
A brand new set of circular walking routes designed to encourage more people to discover and enjoy the Cotswold Way National Trail, has been launched by the trail team and Cotswold Way Wardens at an event attended by Natural England, Highway Authorities and the Cotswolds Conservation Board.
The series has been developed to appeal to those who do not want to walk the entire trail, but would like to experience some of the best parts. Each route is accessible by public transport, will be way-marked throughout, includes car parking and refreshment stops, and most contain optional short-cuts making them suitable for a much wider audience such as less-experienced walkers, families etc.
The initial set of eight is the first of a series that will take in scenic routes all along the Cotswold Way from Chipping Camden in the north to the City of Bath in the south. Further routes will be added over the forthcoming year, taking the complete set to a total of 26 walks by the end of 2010. Detailed route cards, containing maps, written directions and other useful information are free to download from www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold.
Starting with a short tour of one of the walks, the event was rounded off with a local food barbecue, kindly laid on by the Mount Inn, Stanton whose excellent food, great beer and warm welcome make their pub the perfect end to the perfect walk.
Commenting at the launch, James Blockley, National Trail Officer said: “the National Trail team and volunteers are so fortunate to live and work in the Cotswolds. I hope these walks will give even more people the chance to get out and enjoy this beautiful countryside as much as we do.”
Notes to editors:
- The Cotswold Way National Trail is 102 miles (164 km) long, and runs for most of its length along the Cotswold escarpment.
- The Cotswold Way was formally launched as a National Trail in May 2007, although it had existed as a promoted long distance walk for over 30 years. This designation is a very special one and there are only 14 other Trails in England and Wales with this special grading.
- The Trail's highest point is Cleeve Common at 317m (1,040ft).
- The Trail team is managed by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, based at Northleach.
- Funding for the management and promotion of the Trail is provided solely by Natural England.
- Highlights along the Trail include: World Heritage City of Bath; views over River Severn to Brecon Beacons in Wales, Malvern Hills and Forest of Dean; National Trust properties of Dyrham House and Horton Court; Broadway Tower and Somerset Monument tower follies; old mill towns of Painswick, Stroud & Dursley; Devils Chimney at Leckhampton Hill; Belas Knap Long Barrow; Sudeley Castle; and Hailes Abbey. Cotswolds AONB fact file.
- The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.
- The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.
- With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the third largest protected landscape in England and Wales after the Lake District and Snowdonia. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.