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THIS STORY LAST UPDATED: 10 March 2004 1317 GMT
Walking the web
Screen grab of Walkweb's Castle Combe page
Screen-grab of Walkweb's Castle Combe-Ford page
A new walkers' website created by Wiltshire rambler Trevor Walker (yes that IS his real name!) promises to inspire the most weary of walkers who are looking for new routes and rambles.
SEE ALSO

Check Wiltshire's weather before you set out

BBC - Wiltshire Talk - The path of destruction

WEB LINKS

Walkweb

Visit Wiltshire

Ramblers Association

Bridleways Association

Walking-Britain.Net

Wiltshire County Council

British Waterways

Go4awalk.co.uk


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FACTS

Trevor's favourite walk: "I am often asked about my favourite walk and avoid answering because my taste changes. However, if pushed, I would say Castle Combe to Ford, primarily because it was my first taste of Wiltshire and it has happy memories of walking with my father."

Walkweb features 21 walks in Wiltshire and seven in Gloucestershire.

Walks range from four miles to ten miles in length.

Each walk comprises a description and details of how to find the start point; map references and compass bearings; points of interest and places to eat and drink.

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Trevor, who lives in Chippenham, has been a keen walker for many years, walking his way through the UK, Europe, and the USA.

Byway
Getting away from it all: one of Wiltshire's byways.

"I was born before Gore-Tex was invented, and survived! I moved from London 25 years ago and can still taste the freshness of Wiltshire air each morning," he says.

As a keen member of the Ramblers' Association (he served as Wiltshire Area Chairman before pressure of work forced him to give it up), Trevor hopes to make good use of the experience he's gleaned over the years.

With this in mind, one of the projects that he's embarked on is the Walkweb website, a new resource for people keen to explore routes around Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

The website includes a selection of walking routes complete with maps, details of places to eat and drink, points of interest and help for those new to countryside walking & navigation.

There's also an opportunity to submit your favourite walk to the website, helping others to share in your love of a preferred route.

One other aspect of Walkweb is a route sponsorship scheme for anyone wanting to support the ideals of the website.

White Horse Trail
Hidden delights: Wiltshire's White Horse Trail

Trevor says: "I realised that many people who visited the countryside did not venture far from their car for fear of getting lost or facing an irate landowner.

"Some had tried and given up because the intricacies of map reading or an out of date guide book had led them astray and I began to think how I could improve things.

"Publishing my own experiences on the Internet seemed a perfect solution. This led to the central theme of my website - encouraging others to enjoy the outdoors."

Trevor believes that Wiltshire is seriously underrated as a place to walk and suggests that the county has lived under the shadow of the very popular Cotswolds for far too long.

"We have villages as good as any in the Cotswolds, throw in our sweeping downland, add the proliferation of historic sites such as Stonehenge and what do you have, something unique with a taste of its own," Trevor argues.

On the Route Introduction page of Walkweb Trevor has portrayed what each walk means to him in the hope that his enthusiasm will be infectious. "Get out there and enjoy Wiltshire", is his simple message.

Castle Combe
Favourite: Castle Combe (picture by Trevor Walker)

So what does Trevor himself make of the countryside he loves to explore?

At the heart of every walk is an opportunity to relax he suggests.

"The very minute my eyes lift to the horizon my spirits start to soar, I begin to wonder what's over the next hill or round the next corner and my cares drop away; I come alive again.

Even when the weather is bad or the route is hard and tiring I slip into a mellow haze after a day's walking, what more could you want?"

bullet STOP PRESS: See Trevor's latest Wiltshire walk, which reflects the countryside around those villages featured in BBC 2's "A Country Parish" series. Click here for more.

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