Today (Monday 13 January 2014) will see the official launch of the new National Trails Website - www.nationaltrail.co.uk.
There are 15 National Trails offering over 2,500 miles of some of the best walking, riding and cycling experiences in Wales and England. Three of these Trails are located in Wales; Glyndwrs Way, Offa’s Dyke Path and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
The new website has been developed by Walk Unlimited and is the result of an innovative partnership between themselves, Natural Resources Wales and Natural England. The site uses high quality mapping thanks to support from the Ordnance Survey which will show the Trails in great detail as well as the attractions and facilities nearby.
Day walks, itineraries and ideas for activities including geocaching trails are all easily downloadable to help families and visitors plan days out based around the Trails.
Anne Clark, Walk Unlimited Managing Director, said:
"We're really excited to have the responsibility for promoting National Trails. National Trails pass through many stunning and diverse landscapes and we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy them. The new website is just the start of our work to raise awareness of these fabulous Trails."
The new interactive features mean that for the first time businesses can upload details of the services they provide to visitors. This can be anything from accommodation to outdoor equipment shops, or pubs and cafes. Trail users and local residents can also add content including events, photographs and provide recommendations, to give an insiders view on their favourite places to eat or their most memorable views and attractions.
The site can even be used to report any relevant “breaking news” issues – making the website a topical, as well as useful, resource for planning your Trail visit.
Emyr Roberts Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales said:
“Walking is hugely popular here in Wales with both local people and visitors who enjoy our beautiful and varied countryside – bringing with them a welcome boost to our economy.
“As well as the financial benefits walking also brings with it many health benefits, we already know that *34% of visitors to National Trails are motivated by the health benefits they will get from the exercise. The website will be a really useful tool for everyone looking to get out and enjoy our magnificent environment.”
John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport at the Welsh Government said:
“This development should enable businesses to further benefit from our well established National Trails, as well as improve the experience of visitors.
“The Wales Coast Path has provided a significant economic boost for Wales and local businesses since it opened, and capitalises on the Welsh countryside and coast being a fantastic draw for visitors to Wales. It’s important that we continue to invest in the trail facilities and information so that they are up to the job of giving people a quality experience.”