Walk the Cotswold Way - in South Korea!
Walkers in South Korea are a step closer to walking the Cotswold Way National Trail thanks to the launch of the Cotswolds – Korea Friendship Trail in the South Korean island of Jeju Olle.
Along part of the Jeju Olle long distance coastal walking route, walkers can now find the same waymarked wooden signposts that are used along the Cotswold Way. The launch of this part of the trail in South Korea follows a similar launch which took place at Stinchcombe Hill last year, where a specially marked trail promotes the links with South Korea, and marks the completion of this new friendship trail – one of the first friendship trails in the world.
Friendship trails are similar to twin towns, whereby trails in different countries team up in the name of partnership, mutual publicity and international alliance. Through the concept of the Cotswolds Korea Friendship Trail and others in the world, it is hoped that the idea will spread across the globe, promoting understanding and walking, whilst boosting tourism and local economy.
Whilst helping to promote the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as the perfect destination for foreign walking holidays, the newly-marked route in South Korea will stand as a reminder of how walking routes can cross international boundaries.
“This is a real opportunity to promote international friendship and cooperation. We are proud to be joining up with Jeju Olle, and hope this special relationship will benefit people, landscapes and conservation in both our countries,” said James Blockley, Cotswold Way National Trail Officer.
Similar plans are now underway to launch a new friendship trail with the Bruce Trail in Canada this April.
A downloadable route guide for the Cotswolds Korea Friendship Trail at Stinchcombe Hill is available here.
Notes to editors:
- The Cotswold Way was launched as a National Trail in 2007 and stretches for 102 miles along the Cotswolds escarpment between Chipping Campden and Bath.
- The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape.
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For further details, visit: www.landscapesforlife.org.uk
- The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
- The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. 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.