Information about the various long distance paths in the UK used for walking, riding and/or cycling.
This category is for sites offering services to walkers, and for personal sites describing the author''s experiences of doing the coast to coast walk.
A moorland and coastal feast. Fact File Length: 176km Start: Helmsley Finish: Filey Brigg Terrain: Some parts strenuous, undulating coast path, path surface generally dry in Summer, wet in Winter. Attractions: Public transport for most sections, circular walks, historic castles and abbeys, bird life and flowers. - From The Countryside Agency
In 1972 A Wainwright devised the Coast to Coast Walk, which traversed what he described as 'the grandest territory in the north of England'. The walk starts at St Bees, on the West coast, in Cumbria, travelling through the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park, heading towards Robin Hood's Bay, on the East Coast, in North Yorkshire.
This category is for sites offering services to walkers, and for personal sites describing the author''s experiences of doing the coast to coast walk.
The jewel in the crown of the Cotswolds. This National Trail was approved in 1998 and work is currently under way to bring the trail up to National Trail standard, prior to its official opening. Fact File Length: 163km Start: Bath Finish: Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire Terrain: Easy but with some steep climbs. Highest points can be exposed. Attractions: Public transport for most sections, archaelogical features, pretty Cotswold villages. - From The Countryside Agency
The Dales Way is a long distance path that runs for nearly 100 miles from industrial Leeds in West Yorkshire, to the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, Cumbria. The main section passes through the magnificent Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its windswept moors and limestone pavements, its rocky gorges and lush, fertile valleys.
A 132 mile (212 km) National Trail through some of Mid-Wales' finest scenery, ranging from rolling hills, woodland and country lanes to open hills and mountains.
Where Romans once stood. The Hadrian's wall National Trail opened May 2003. Fact File Length: 130km Start: Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne Finish: Filey Brigg Terrain: This is not a challenge walk, the highest point being 1300 feet above sea level. Much of the trail will be on grassy surfaces. Attractions: Public transport for most sections (Hadrian's Wall Bus) and railway links, historic Roman sites, a National Park. - From The Countryside Agency

Officially designated long distance paths.

In England and Wales, they are managed by National Trails (funded by the Countryside Agency and the Countryside Council for Wales).
In Scotland, they are called LDRs (Long-Distance Routes), and are managed by Scottish Natural Heritage.

An inspirational journey. All of the route is available for walkers, some limited sections are suitable for horse riders and cyclists. The trail is easily accessible from neighbouring countries in Europe. Fact File Length: 246 km Start: Farnham, Surrey Finish: Dover or Canterbury Terrain: Wide variety of terrain so condition varies along length and in different seasons. Close to villages and towns. Attractions: Good for day walks and longer distances. Close to London and Continental Europe. The trail is well served by rail and bus services. Various circular walks exist. This 157 mile (251 km) route traverses some of the finest landscape in South East England and is one of the most accessible and easy to follow long distance routes in the country. Travellers have long used the scarp of the North Downs as a guide for a safe route across south east England. In prehistoric times the chalk scarp linked with France to form a natural bridge allowing our ancestors to migrate here from other parts of Europe. Pilgrims used the scarp as a marker on their pilgrimage from Canterbury to Winchester for the festival of St. Swithin and then, after the murder of Thomas Beckett at Canterbury, the pilgrimage changed direction from Winchester to Canterbury! The North Downs Way loosely follows the Pilgrims Way, a 19th century interpretation of where the pilgrims trod, a Victorian National Trail! The North Downs Way passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs ? landscapes which have inspired - amongst many others - Vaughn Williams, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll and George and Mary Watts. With excellent rail links to London it is easy to reach the trail. The North Downs Way can either be walked as a whole or in sort sections over a period of time. Whichever way you chose, walk in the footsteps of history, discover the three cathedrals, three palaces, eight castles and a landscape which has inspired many. - From The Countryside Agency
Where England meets Wales. Fact File Length: 288km Start: Chepstow, Severn Estuary Finish: Prestatyn, North Wales Terrain: Gentle valleys and steep sided ridges, woodland and exsposed hills. Attractions: Midly challenging trail, both wild and spectacular scenery and gentle landscapes. Rail and bus links to many points along the trail. - From The Countryside Agency
A tale of two trails. The coast path runs beside sensitive dunes and salt marshes, and much of the coast is a Site Of Special Scientific Interest. Fact File Length: 150km Start: Kenttishall Health Country park, Suffolk Finish: Cromer, Norfolk (via Hunstanton) Terrain: Easy going on free draining chalk soils with low annual rainfall Attractions: The whole area enjoys a fine quality of light and is noted for its sunrises and sunsets. All the coast path is accessible from the Coastliner bus service. Rail links exist to both ends. Much of the trail is barrier free for equal access making it suitable for people with a disability. - From The Countryside Agency
Horses for courses. Work is currently in progress to develop the route. The southern section, to North Yorkshire will open by 2002 and the rest of the Trail by 2003. Consultation is underway on a proposal for a northern extension, which would ake the route through Cumbria into Northumberland, ending at Byrness in the Kielder Forest Park, just south of the Scottish Border. Fact File Length: 330km Start: Carsington Reservoir or Middleton Top, Derbyshire Finish: Fat Lamb Inn, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria Terrain: No steep gradients, no stiles, mostly on tracks with a mix of surfaces including some grassy sections. Suitable for mountain bikes not touring cycles. Some exposed terrain on the northern section. Horses, riders and cyclists need to be fit to complete the whole route in one journey. Attractions: 2 National Parks, links to interesting towns and villages including the Settle to Carlisle railway. Bridleway link routes. - From The Countryside Agency
Along the backbone of England. Fact File Length: 412km Start: Edale, Derbyshire Finish: Kirk Yetholm, Scotland Terrain: Moorlands and steep sided dales, peat soils can be boggy. Attractions: Challenging trail, wild and spectacular scenery. Rail and bus links to start and finish. - From the Countryside Agency
England's oldest road. The whole trail is open to walkers, whilst horse riders and cyclists can enjoy all the western half. Off road vehicles can also use most of the western half, but they are very much in the minority. The Ridgeway Code of Respect should be followed, and is available from the National Trail Office. Fact File Length: 137km Start: Overton Hill near Avebury, Wiltshire Finish: Ivinghoe Beacon, Buckinghamshire Terrain: Some parts exposed, broad track sections can become muddy and rutted in winter. Generally easy going walking. Attractions: Numerous archaelogical sites, good bus and rail links to eastern half. 137 km (85 miles) long, much of it following the ancient chalk ridge route used by prehistoric man, The Ridgeway offers the chance to get away from the bustle of life in this busy part of England. Perfect, but not too strenuous, for long distance use, this Trail is also ideal for day trips or less. - From The Countryside Agency
A precious landscape. This trail is a bridleway along its entire length (designated in 1972 as the first long distance bridleway) and is suitable for cyclists. Fact File Length: 161km Start: Eastbourne, East Sussex Finish: Winchester, Hampshire Terrain: Wide grassy tracks, well drained soils, lack of stiles makes it suitable for all ages and abilities. Attractions: Historic sites and towns and circular routes, rail and bus links to start, finish and places in between. The 161 kilometre long trail follows the old routes and droveways of ancient man along the chalk escarpment and ridges of the South Downs. The route provides the visitor with the opportunity "to get away from it all" without having to travel too far in this busy part of England. The undulating route provides a wonderful trip for long distance riders as well as walkers. It also provides interesting day trips and short breaks. - From The Countryside Agency
Fact File Length: 982km Start: Minehead, Somerset Finish: Poole, Dorset Terrain: Cliffs and valleys mean steep climbs and descents. Many stretches can be challenging. Attractions: Wild and spectacular coastal scenery. Seaside resorts, beaches, fishing villages, circular walks, bird life and flowers. Rail and bus links to start and finish and points in between. Information: Official National Trail guide, accommodation guide, route descriptions,circular walks, - From The Countryside Agency
A walk along the river. Fact File Length: 288km Start: Near Kemble, Gloucestershire (the source of the River Thames) Finish: Thames Barrier, Woolwich, London Terrain: Gentle level walking along the riverbank through farmland, villages, towns and cities. Easy to follow. Attractions: Good access by bus and train, many historic towns and houses along the way. The trail follows England's best known river for 294 km / 184 miles as it meanders from its source in Gloucestershire through several rural counties and on into the bustle of the City of London. On its way the Path passes peaceful water meadows rich in wildlife, historic towns and many lovely villages, finishing at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich. Easy to reach by public transport, the Thames Path is accessible for walkers of all ages and abilities. This National Trail can be enjoyed in many ways, whether for an afternoon's stroll, a weekend's break or a full scale, but relatively gentle, trek of its whole length. - From the Countryside Agency
Yorkshire's best kept secret. Fact File Length: 127km Start: Hessle, Kingston Upon Hull Finish: Filey Brigg Terrain: Easy going, no really remote sections, low annual rainfall, quick drying chalk hills means conditions underfoot generally good. Attractions: Start and finish both within walking distance of railway stations. Circular walks, historic villages, bird life and flowers. - From The Countryside Agency