Slow Ways: New network of walking routes will connect all towns, cities and villages across Britain

A new network of 7,000 walking routes aims to connect some 2,500 British towns, cities and villages.

The project, known as Slow Ways, will create a network of walking routes that connect all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages.

Using existing footpaths, people will be able to use the Slow Ways to walk between neighbouring settlements or daisy-chain routes for long distance journeys.

Slow Ways is the brainchild of guerilla geographer and creative explorer, Dan Raven-Ellison, who spearheaded the London National Park City campaign.

During lockdown, 700 volunteers from across the country collaborated to produce a first draft of the Slow Ways. The incredible effort led to the creation of 7,000 routes that collectively stretch for over 100,000km.

Dan Raven-Ellison said: “This is an important, positive and timely project. Walking can improve health and wellbeing, tackle the climate and ecological emergencies, save people money, improve our environment and bring joy to people’s lives.

“While there are thousands of miles of paths linking places across the country, there isn’t a comprehensive network designed to help people walk off-road between all towns and cities. That’s what the Slow Ways project aims to do.”

Later this year, the Slow Ways team will be sharing the routes and putting a call out for 10,000 volunteers to help explore, test and feedback on them.

The entire Slow Ways network will eventually be published online and made freely available via Ordnance Survey.  

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.

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