Other National Trails

National Trails are routes for walking, cycling or horse riding through the finest landscapes in England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent trails are called long distance routes.

They have all been created by linking existing local footpaths, bridleways and minor roads and by developing new ones where there were gaps.

The acorn symbol is used on waymarks on all the National Trails.

The trails provide continuous routes through about 2,500 miles (4,000km) of countryside an offer opportunities for both long and short distance walks and rides. There are 15 National Trails in England and Wales (when complete 2 of these will be suitable for use by horse riders and cyclists along their entire length) and 4 in Scotland. There are trails throughout Britain from the south coast of England to the Highlands of Scotland, from the coast of Norfolk in the east to the Welsh coast of Pembrokeshire in the west. Each one is distinctive, but there are certain characteristics that they all share:

  • They provide continuous walking through our finest scenery;
  • The routes are sensitively waymarked with the acorn symbol in England and Wales and a thistle in Scotland;
  • They are carefully maintained to a high standard;
  • There is a special guidebook for each of the fully developed trails.

Despite these shared characteristics each trail remains unique. Three cross bands of chalk downland; two follow man-made structures built hundreds of years ago; some cross moors and mountains; others hug the coastline; while one is almost completely beside a river. There is plenty of variety along the forest tracks, field paths, old military roads, ancient trade routes, drove roads, Roman roads and mountain passes that they follow.

In England, the shortest trail (the Yorkshire Wolds Way) is 79 miles (127km) from end to end, while the South West Coast Path (which is the longest) measures 630 miles (1015km). These long distances inevitably provide a challenge, but they also provide the freedom to walk at your own pace and to choose how far to walk in any one day. There is no reason why you have to complete any trail from beginning to end; many people walk them a section at a time over many years.

To find out more about the other National Trails visit www.nationaltrail.co.uk.