Rhossili cliffs from The Spreads
(Llwybr Arfordir Cymru / Wales Coast Path)
Though devolution has brought the administration of paths in Wales to be separate from that of paths in England, the basic structure was conceived as one. Of course, Offa’s Dyke Path, which plays hopscotch with the boundary along much of its length, is the classic example of an English/Welsh path.
At the top of the tree, there are the National Trails. Those in Wales (at least in part) are
The next stratum contains the routes which are essentially at county level, maintained by the local authority. There was a great swell of these routes in the 1980s (the centenary of county government in 1989 was a particular spur): some are all but ghosts on today’s landscape, but many are still maintained as part of the local leisure structure. Analogous routes, such as canal towpaths and former railways, probably belong here.
Then there are the others: the pipe-dreams of individuals, and of special-interest groups. Many rise and fall, while some become established classics.
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