16 National Trails span to every corner of England and Wales, making open
and accessable walking spaces for all to enjoy the virtues of Long Distance Hiking
There was a time when there was just 1 National Trail.
The Pennine Way, was the first of the 16 National Trails
The route opened at a ceremony at Malham in the Yorkshire Dales on 24th April 1965.
That was Thirty Three years after the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass.
I always wondered if those who attended realized the significance of that single act of defiance.
The Cleveland Way opened four years later in 1969, and the rest is history.
Our National Trails are National Treasures. They are officially recognized long-distance walking routes spanning the length of the country, all well waymarked, funded, and with facilities to make walking them a joy.
These long-distance trails are the cornerstones of long distance hiking in the UK. They are often the entry points for new hikers wanting to give long distance hiking a go, who then often discover other trails as their interest in thru hiking develops.
The National Trails also support a thriving seasonal economy, stretching from March to late October, when the majority of people walk the trails. B&B’s, hotels, hostels and campsites along the trail support walkers, baggage movement businesses lighten the loads and pubs, bars, cafes, and shops feed walkers as they travel along the National Trails.
The National Trails also support other jobs, such as the walking holiday companies, for which there are more than one can count now, and a whole cohort of passionate long-distance walkers, such as the Distance Hiker community who love to share their experiences on these routes. There have been numerous TV shows on the trails, books and articles written, music composed, artwork created and more.
The National Trails have transcended being just paths and pavements. They are embedded in the very foundations of Britain.
The National Trail’s Directory
Over the course of the coming months, we will be updating Distance Hiker with information on all 16 National Trails. We hope in the long term to be able to develop the most comprehensive resource available on the web for helpful information on the National Trails.
The National Trails Prints
If you have walked a National Trail, perhaps treat yourself to one of our fabulous Trail Prints, available in sizes A3 – A2. Our artwork is printed on high quality paper, designed to look great framed and mounted in your living room or home office. They also make great unique gifts, which can be personalised with some text of your choice, or an amendment of the miles.
Check out our National Trails prints below, or visit our store here.