Just over a year ago, I was part of a team which met in person or virtually to begin the process of creating the Slow Ways network, initiated by Dan Raven Ellison. As we approached lockdown, the idea of walking for exercise and exploring our local areas became increasingly attractive.
I worked on creating some walks in familiar locations: close to home, along the Norfolk coast and in and around Ely where I work.
Slow Ways is an initiative to create a national network of walking routes connecting all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages. The beta website is now live. Take a look.
Using existing paths, ways, trails and roads, people can use Slow Ways routes to walk or wheel between neighbouring settlements, and combine them to create longer distance trips. It’s designed to make it easier for people to imagine, plan and go on walking journeys.
There are currently over 7,000 Slow Ways stretching for over 100,000km. This network of routes was created by 700 volunteers during the Spring 2020 lockdown, creating a unique Slow Ways map in the process.
The next challenge in 2021 is to walk, review and verify them all - checking 100,000km of Slow Ways in the process.
Slow Ways aims to inspire and support more people to walk more often, further and for more purposes.
While there are thousands of miles of paths linking places across Great Britain, there isn't a comprehensive and trusted network designed to help people walk off-road between towns and cities. That’s what the Slow Ways initiative, with its distinctive geometric connections, is creating.