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Search is on for the best walks in the Westcountry

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 05, 2012

  • Above, visitors on the rocks at Morte Point, North Devon. Left, near Portreath on the coast path from Perranporth in Cornwall

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The Westcountry has more diversity when it comes to walking than any other region – so anyone wanting to suggest a local route in a bid to be included in the National Trust's new scheme to list the country's 10 greatest walks is going to have their work cut out.

This week the charity launched a competition to find the country's 10 Greatest British Walks – and organisers are already saying it will be particularly fascinating to see which Westcountry routes are put forward.

Would you, for example, name one of the region's amazing coastal walks, for which the peninsula has become world famous?

Or would you choose a meander around the intimate and beautiful coombes of Exmoor National Park?

Perhaps you would prefer a route-march across the wild plateau of tor-strewn Dartmoor? Many would vote for a saunter through one of Devon's ancient forests.

A trudge across Cornwall's dunes at Hayle or Perranporth would top other people's list – while a march along one of Dorset's panoramic ridge-ways would suit others.

Others still will rave about a march across the rocks at Morte Point, North Devon.

All walkers need to do to take part is go to the Great British Walk website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk and describe their walk – stating what makes it so special and plot it on a digital OS map.

Once submitted, the walk will appear on an online map – users will also be able to share the walks that they have nominated via social networking sites.

The competition will run until Sunday, November 4 – and anyone making a successful suggestion will win a free stay in one of the charity's holiday cottages. As the trust's North Devon ranger Jonathan Fairhurst put it: "We all know that the counties of Devon and Cornwall are famed not only for their outstanding natural beauty, but also for the wealth of historical features that you can come across on a walk.

"Now is the chance for local people to highlight their top places to walk, and remind everyone of just how much we have to offer."

Mr Fairhurst mentions Devon and Cornwall, but Somerset walkers will no doubt be putting forward favourite hiking routes from places like the Quantock Hills, while Dorset's hikers may plump for the airy downs behind places like Abbotsbury.

The competition, which forms part of the trust's two-month long annual festival of walking, is being organised in partnership with PruHealth and is designed to enable people to share their passion for local walks, and help others to discover new routes. The Great British Walk event will feature more than 3,000 events at National Trust properties.

Hikes in the Westcountry will include a woodland walk at Buckland Abbey (September 18), a "glorious gardens" walk at Antony (September 19), a hike around Bucks Mills in North Devon (October 3), and a stroll around Baggy Point (October 1).

Some of Britain's Top Ten Best hikes are bound to be in the Westcountry – and the Western Morning News walks page will feature the walks which are voted this region's favourites in the New Year.

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  • Stork  |  September 05 2012, 11:24AM

    Lynton to Hunter's Inn ?

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