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Written by
Frances McCann
Frances McCann

7 Things you didn&'t know about the National Trails

The official National Trails of England & Wales add up to over 2500 miles of walking wonder, introducing hikers to some of Britain's most fascinating history and most beautiful landscapes, not to mention some of the best country pubs! Amongst the many, many great reasons to walk (or cycle) them all, we've collected some fascinating facts highlighting just SOME of the reasons to visit and fall in love with the National Trails.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path: "Climb Everest"

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales has an elevation gain & loss of 35,000 ft! Sounds tough, but the rewards far outweigh the efforts and the distractions of puffin-spotting mean you won't even notice. [caption id="attachment_15637" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Pembrokeshire Coast Path Pembrokeshire Coast Path[/caption]

The Ridgeway, Britain's Oldest Road

The 87 mile Ridgeway national trail is adapted from an ancient trading route, over 5000 years old. Consequently, there is lots of history to be discovered, including the famous bronze age white horse hill. [caption id="attachment_15642" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Standing Stones, Avebury Standing Stones, Avebury[/caption]

Hadrian's Wall: Stay Back, Scots!

One of the primary purposes of Hadrian's Wall was as a defensive structure for the Roman empire against the barbarians in the north. With our HQ sitting north of the border, we're delighted that today the wall is just a fascinating heritage site, along which runs the wonderful Hadrian's Wall Path. [caption id="attachment_15643" align="aligncenter" width="300"]A re-enactment along Hadrian's Wall A re-enactment along Hadrian's Wall[/caption]

Happy 50th Birthday, Pennine Way

The Pennine Way forms the backbone of England and was the first designated National Trail in 1965. It is also home to "Britain's most brutal race", should you choose to run the 268 mile non-stop Spine Race. Ouch! [caption id="attachment_15640" align="aligncenter" width="199"]High Cup Nick view, Pennine Way High Cup Nick view, Pennine Way[/caption]

The Cotswold Way is Haunted (Maybe)

With so many historic points of interest over 102 miles, associated legends of ghostly goings on along the Cotswold Way come as no surprise. Look out for the reported apparition of Queen Catherine Parr near the grounds of Sudley Castle, her burial place. Spooky! The Cotswold Way, steeped in history.

Winning the Popularity Contest, the South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is the longest national trail at 630 miles. Amongst other accolades it has been ranked in CNN's Top 10 most amazing long-distance trails, and made it into Lonely Planet's Great Adventures, making it the prom queen of the National Trails. [caption id="attachment_15638" align="aligncenter" width="300"]What's not to love? Port Isaac Cove, just one of many beauty spots. What's not to love? Port Isaac Cove, just one of many beauty spots.[/caption]

Flat Out: Norfolk Coast Path & Peddar's Way

East Anglia, home to the Norfolk Coast Path & Peddar's Way, is the flattest area in the UK, but don't let a lack of mountains fool you into thinking the views aren't up to scratch. The "big sky county" is aptly so-called with glorious expansive vistas. Hunstanton is also the only east coast town in Britain from which you can watch the sun set over the sea. [caption id="attachment_15641" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Big Sky Country Big Sky Country[/caption]

Walk the National Trails

You can find out all about the national trails at www.nationaltrail.co.uk, or see Macs Adventure's range of walking tours on the trails to help you enjoy some of the UK's finest long-distance routes. Contact [email protected] for further information.
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