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Dartmoor National Park launches 108-mile walking route

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image copyrightCraig Joiner/Loop Images via Getty Images
image captionHikers can see attractions Dartmoor has to offer on the route, including the Venford Brook Falls

A 108-mile walking route has been launched across one of the largest wilderness sites in the UK.

The Dartmoor Way will give hikers the opportunity to walk around the entirety of Dartmoor National Park in Devon.

The route has been waymarked from scratch as part of a project led by the park's authority and local rambling groups.

A 95-mile cycling route has also been updated to provide a similar circuit for cyclists.

image copyrightCraig Joiner/Loop Images via Getty Images
image captionThe ruins of Foggintor Quarry works can be found on the route map

The idea for the pathways was first conceived in 1999 by members of the Dartmoor National Park Authority, local businesses, and walking and cycling groups.

However a lack of funding meant the walking route remained "map and description only" since its initial unveiling in 2002.

image copyrightTim Graham/Getty Images
image captionThe sections of the route are all of a distance that offer a comfortable days walking, according to the team behind it

In 2013 local cycling charity Sustrans relaunched the waymarked cycle track with some improvements.

An additional 26 mile-long High Moorland link has been introduced this year to create a "figure of eight" route.

The route is split into 12 sections which mostly start and finish in the towns and villages located around the route, enabling accommodation, shop, and hostelries to be accessed.

image copyrightEducation Images/Universal Images Group via Getty
image captionDartmoor Way's project manager hopes the route will bring in visitors to surrounding towns, such as Moretonhampstead, pictured

Project manager of Dartmoor Way, Michael Owen, said a big part of the route was about "bringing in visitors".

"A couple doing a day on the Dartmoor Way and staying in a B&B or a small hotel and then lunch and things, their average spend is about £200 a day," he said.

"So if there are quite a few people doing that, that's a lot of income coming into the communities."

Kathryn Downing from Cornwood Stores agreed, saying: "Anybody that is coming in and spending money locally are not only helping me, they're helping all my local suppliers and keeping them in a job as well - which is so important at this time."

Related Topics

  • Cycling
  • Hiking

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