Natural England says “Walk this ‘Cotswold’ way”
A new flagship recreational route through some of England’s most breathtaking countryside opened on 24 May 2007. The Cotswold Way joined the elite National Trail family, funded by Natural England, becoming the 14th in England and Wales.
The Cotswold Way National Trail winds its way from the picturesque market town of Chipping Campden to the World Heritage City of Bath through 102 miles of butterfly-filled rolling grasslands and ancient beech woods, past miles of dry-stone walls and honey-stoned cottages.
The church bells of St Peter’s rang out at Stanway House, near Winchcombe to mark the opening of the National Trail by Sir Martin Doughty, Chair of Natural England. Two groups of relay walkers, who set off from opposite ends of the National Trail a week before, converged on Stanway House, bearing a shepherd’s crook symbolising the heritage of the Cotswolds.
Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, said: “The Cotswold Way joins an outstanding family of National Trails, providing a network of healthy, green recreational routes for people to enjoy.
“National Trails are clearly signed and maintained to the highest standards, bringing confidence to all levels of walkers that they can go out and explore England’s breathtaking countryside, without harming the environment through which they pass.”
To preserve the character of the route, appropriate local materials are used to make the signs and surfacing and all signs on the Cotswold Way National Trail show the National Trail logo – the acorn.
Further celebrations, including the launch of Wickwar Brewery's Cotswold Way National Trail commemorative beer, take place throughout the weekend at the Dursley Rural Festival, which runs from 25 – 28 May 2007.