Marking the beginning and the end of the Cotswold Way National Trail
One of the most popular, and arguably most beautiful, long distance walking paths in the country will soon have a fitting marker at its starting, or finishing point, in Chipping Campden.
The 102-mile Cotswold Way, which follows the length of the Cotswold escarpment between Chipping Campden and the World Heritage City of Bath, is walked by thousands of people every year. Now, thanks to the fundraising efforts of many dedicated individuals and organisations in Chipping Campden, a new hand-carved stone marker will be installed at the Cotswold Way’s northern end in front of the Market Hall.
The Chipping Campden marker echoes a similar one launched at the Cotswold Way’s southern end in Bath in 2012, creating a resonance between the northern and southern extents of the trail.
The marker was created by stone carver and artist Iain Cotton and takes the form of an impressive limestone disc carved with the names of places and historic sites along the Cotswold Way. The iconic National Trail acorn logo is inlaid in brass in the centre of the disc. The names are bounded by a quote from TS Eliot’s ‘East Coker’ a wordsmith who stayed in and drew inspiration from the town. His words were chosen to most evocatively communicate the experience of walking the Cotswold Way and the landscape of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
James Blockley, Cotswold Trails and Access Officer at the Cotswolds Conservation Board who has been leading the project said: “The Cotswold Way appeals to so many people and I am thrilled that we now have a very fitting way of marking both the start and the end of the trail with this beautiful and intriguing marker. The project couldn’t have happened without the support of the many people who actively raised the required funds. Thanks to them, future walkers now have a unique and very special way to not only set off on their journey, but also to celebrate the end.”
The unveiling of the marker at Chipping Campden will take place on 8 November.
For further details of the Cotswold Way and story behind the marker project, visit: www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold.
Notes to editors:
Members of the media are welcome to attend the launch of the Chipping Campden marker which takes place on Saturday 8 November at 12noon. Please contact James Blockley for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 01451 862034.
- The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape. www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
- The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
- The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas. There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland. For further details, visit: www.landscapesforlife.org.uk. For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit: www.nationalparks.gov.uk
- Over 300 Cotswold Voluntary Wardens dedicate thousands of hours of practical conservation work every year across the AONB, as well as lead an annual programme of guided walks and undertake a range of promotional and educational work.