Paths, parks and countryside areas

Cotswold Way

  • Start point: Bath Abbey, Bath
  • End point: Market Hall, Chipping Campden
  • Distance or area: 102 miles (163km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South West England

This hugely popular trail offers beautiful rural surroundings with the convenience of facilities and services which are never far away. It runs between the town of Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath in the south.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold

Offa's Dyke Path

  • Start point: The Marker Stone on Offa’s Dyke at Sedbury Cliff, near Chepstow
  • End point: The Marker Stone on Prestatyn seafront
  • Distance or area: 177 miles (285km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Welsh-English border

This splendid route takes walkers through the border country of England and Wales, from the Severn Estuary to the Irish Sea via Knighton, Welshpool and Llangollen. It passes through no less than eight different counties and crosses the border between England and Wales over 20 times.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offasdyke

Cleveland Way

  • Start point: The cross in Market Square at Helmsley
  • End point: Filey Brigg, on the coast, 7 miles (11km) south of Scarborough
  • Distance or area: 110 miles (177km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

Those of us who like variety on a walk are well served by the ever changing landscape of the Cleveland Way.
It is often described as two walks in one. The first half showcases the North York Moors and the second half brings walkers along a spectacular coastal route.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/clevelandway

Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path

  • Start point: Knettishall Heath Country Park, 5 miles (8km) east of Thetford
  • End point: Cromer Pier
  • Distance or area: 93 miles (150km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: East of England

This is a tale of two routes, linking inland East Anglia with its coastal counterpart. The Peddars Way was deemed too short to be a long distance route so was teamed up with Norfolk’s coastal path and opened in 1986 as the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/peddarsway

Pennine Bridleway

  • Start point: Hartington Station OR Middleton Top, near Middleton-by-Wirksworth (routes merge south of Parsley Hay)
  • End point: Street (planned extension to Byrness)
  • Distance or area: 205 miles (330km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: East Midlands and North West England

Riding helmets off to Mary Towneley who rode from Derbyshire to Northumberland in 1986 to underline the poor state of the country’s bridleways and to launch the idea of a Pennine Bridleway. It is the only national trail specifically designed for horse riders but a great route for walkers too.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway

North Downs Way

  • Start point: Farnham, A31 junction near station
  • End point: Dover Esplanade
  • Distance or area: 153 miles (246km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: London and South East England

If you want picture-postcard villages, iconic sites and glorious countryside this is the trail for you. This 153 mile route follows ancient ways along the chalk ridges and wooded downland of Surrey and Kent through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, touching the southern edge of Greater London and ending at the famous White Cliffs of Dover.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/northdowns

Scottish National Trail

  • Start point: Kirk Yetholm
  • End point: Cape Wrath
  • Distance or area: 537 miles (864km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Scotland

Devised by outdoors writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish, the Scottish National Trail runs the length of Scotland from the southerly Scottish Borders to the wild Cape Wrath headland, taking walkers along established footpaths and into more demanding terrain.

More information:www.scottishnationaltrail.org.uk

Hadrian's Wall

  • Start point: Segedenum Roman fort at Wallsend on Tyne
  • End point: The Banks Promenade, Bowness-on-Solway
  • Distance or area: 84 miles (140km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: North East England and North West England

Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is a 84-mile sign-posted trail that stretches from Wallsend in North Tyneside in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to the west, taking in beautiful countryside, vibrant cities and coastal views not to mention fascinating archaeological sites.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall

Thames Path

  • Start point: The source of the Thames 2 miles (3km) north west of Kemble
  • End point: The Thames Barrier, Woolwich
  • Distance or area: 184 miles (294km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: London, South East England and South West England

This glorious riverside trail trail shows off England’s most famous river, from its origin in the Cotswolds to the capital itself, taking in beautiful countryside and bustling urban areas such as Oxford, Henley, Windsor and Greenwich.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thamespath

South Downs Way

  • Start point: City Mill, Water Lane, Winchester
  • End point: The Western End of Eastbourne Promenade
  • Distance or area: 100 miles (160km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South East England

This beautiful, accessible path, described as the ideal introduction to long-distance walking, is along the rolling chalk downs of Sussex and Hampshire.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/southdowns

The Ridgeway

  • Start point: Overton Hill, 2 miles (3km) from Avebury
  • End point: Ivinghoe Beacon, 1.25 miles (2km) from Ivinghoe north of Tring
  • Distance or area: 87 miles (139km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South East England and South West England

Welcome to Britain’s oldest road, where you can retrace the steps taken by prehistoric man. The route takes you on a broad track along a chalk ridge past the ancient hill forts of the North Wessex Downs, across the Thames and then along low lying paths through the wooded countryside of the Chilterns.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ridgeway

Yorkshire Wolds Way

  • Start point: The Humber foreshore at Hessle – near the Humber Bridge 2 miles (3km) from Hull
  • End point: Filey Brigg outcrop, on the coast 7 miles (11km) south of Scarborough
  • Distance or area: 79 miles (127km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

This 79 mile long curving route goes from the North Sea to the Humber, around and across the Yorkshire Wolds via Market Weighton, taking walkers through some of the most peaceful countryside in England.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/yorkshirewoldsway

South West Coast Path

  • Start point: Quay Street Green at Minehead
  • End point: South Haven Point, Poole Harbour
  • Distance or area: 630 miles (1014km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South West England

This incredible trail is the longest of the National Trails at a staggering 630 miles. It truly is a glorious walking experience rich in wildlife, geology, scenery and heritage.

More information:www.southwestcoastpath.com

Glyndŵr's Way

  • Start point: The Town Clock at Knighton
  • End point: The public park next to the canal in Welshpool
  • Distance or area: 135 miles (217km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: Mid-Wales

Situated in mid Wales, this scenic path visits many sights associated with the 15th century hero Owain Glyndŵr. The route is shaped roughly like two sides of a triangle, running from Welshpool southwest to Machynlleth, before turning southeast to Knighton.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/glyndwrsway

Pennine Way

  • Start point: The Nags Head pub in Edale
  • End point: The Border Inn, Kirk Yetholm
  • Distance or area: 268 miles (429km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: East Midlands, North East England and North West England

Enshrined in Ramblers history, the brainchild of the charity’s former Secretary Tom Stephenson and offering the ultimate long distance walking challenge, it’s hard not to eulogise about this iconic path.

More information:www.nationaltrail.co.uk/pennineway

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

  • Start point: The slipway north of St Dogmaels, near Cardigan
  • End point: The bridge east of Amroth Castle, near Tenby
  • Distance or area: 186 miles (299km)
  • Type: National Trail
  • Location: South West Wales

If a proper ‘blow away the cobwebs’ type walk is needed look no further than the Pembrokshire Coast Path. This imposing 186 mile route along the cliff tops of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park promises to rejuvenate even the most jaded soul!

More information:nt.pcnpa.org.uk