Long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

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Ivinghoe Beacon from The Ridgeway

Many long-distance footpaths can be found crossing the United Kingdom, many of which are named, marked on maps and widely recognised. Some are termed by bureaucracy "National Trails" and maintained by the National Trails organisation.[1] Long Distance Routes or Great Trails within Scotland are administered and maintained by the local authority areas through which they pass, or in one case by its commercial sponsor.

A few of the routes are ancient ways, whose origins we may never know; the Icknield Way for example is so named in a document over a thousand years old and the way itself may be thousands older than that. Most others are new-minted, established in the twentieth or twenty-first centuries but created largely from pre-existing rights of way, of which countless cross the land.

The Devil's Staircase on the West Highland Way
The paved surface of the Pennine Way on Black Hill

The principal long-distance footpaths include:

Cleveland Way 110 miles round the edge of the North York Moors
Cotswold Way 101 miles Somerset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire
Glyndŵr's Way 135 miles Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire
Great Glen Way 73 miles Inverness-shire
Hadrian's Wall Path 84 miles Cumberland, Northumberland
Moray Way 95 miles Morayshire, Banffshire
North Downs Way 153 miles Kent, Surrey
Offa's Dyke Path 177 miles Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Brecknockshire, Herefordshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire, Shropshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire
Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path
(treated as one by National Trails)
93 miles Suffolk, Norfolk
Pembrokeshire Coast Path 185 miles Pembrokeshire
Pennine Bridleway 119 miles Derbyshire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Co Durham, Cumberland, Northumberland, Roxburghshire
Pennine Way 267 miles Derbyshire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Co Durham, Cumberland, Northumberland, Roxburghshire
The Ridgeway 86 miles Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire
Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail 466 miles from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath
South Downs Way 99 miles Sussex, Hampshire
Southern Upland Way 211 miles Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Dumfriesshire, Peebleshire, Selkirkshire, Roxburghshire, Berwickshire
South West Coast Path 630 miles
the UK's longest
Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset
Speyside Way 84 miles Morayshire, Inverness-shire, Banffshire
Thames Path 183 miles Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent
Ulster Way 625 miles Co Antrim, Co Londonderry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Co Armagh, Co Down
West Highland Way 94 miles Stirlingshire, Argyll, Perthshire, Inverness-shire
Yorkshire Wolds Way 79 miles Yorkshire

European walking routes

Several European walking routes pass through the United Kingdom, on the assumption that a man may walk from Constantinople to Edinburgh, to which certain physical objections may be raised, not to mention political ones. Nevertheless, European bureaucracy decrees them, maps them and spends our money to promote them for its own reason. They all use sections of British long-distance paths.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom)


Long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

Cleveland WayCotswold WayGlyndŵr's WayGreat Glen WayHadrian's Wall PathIcknield WayNorth Downs WayNorfolk Coast PathOffa's Dyke PathPeddars WayPembrokeshire Coast PathPennine BridlewayPennine WayThe RidgewayScottish National TrailSouth Downs WaySouthern Upland WaySouth West Coast PathSpeyside WayThames PathUlster WayWest Highland WayYorkshire Wolds Way