23rd March 2015

Scotlands walk and cycle routes to be extended by 500 miles

Great news for walkers, cyclist and horse riders in Scotland after the recent announcement that the current 4,000 miles of cycle trails, walking routes and towpaths is to be increased by a further 500 miles.

Many new long distance routes will be created by the £25 million project which will increase the number of walkways and paths over the next five years. The new National Walking and Cycling plan is behind the project and they hope to make the new routes more accessible for people of all ages and abilities to be able to enjoy outdoor exercise and fresh air. There will be improvements to current walking trails like the Clyde Coastal Path and the Cowal Way. Amongst the new routes to be created will be a new coastal path at North Solway and a Hebridean Way in Lewis and Harris.

Scotland already boasts some fine long distance walking routes which have been in place since the 1980s starting with the West Highland Way, the Speyside Way and just a few years later the Southern Upland Way. The walking routes have been complimented by the national cycle network which has been developed over the last thirty years and was officially launched in 2000. Scottish Natural Heritage the government agency in conjunction with Scottish Canals and Sustrans Scotland are behind the plan and the SNH chairman Ian Ross has described how the initiative will enable people to enjoy the outdoors close to their homes which will encourage more active and healthier lives for all the community. The Scottish Canals chairman Andrew Thin has stated how towpaths connect communities and currently attract over 22 million visitors each year. Improvements to the towpaths should encourage more people to venture forth and enjoy all the scenery and wildlife that the nation's canals and waterways can offer.

More resources on walking and cycle routes in Scotland:

Walking in Scotland, long walks, great walks from Visit Scotland - click here

Cycle routes and bike rides in Scotland - click here