Scottish National Trail to be officially opened on 30th October
Scotland’s longest walking route, the 470-mile Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail, will be officially opened by the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MSP, on October 30th at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Slateford, Edinburgh at 1pm.
The trail forms Scotland’s first ever end-to-end walking route through Scotland, from Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders (the northern terminus of the Pennine Way) to Cape Wrath, the most north-western point on the British mainland, and has been compiled by author and broadcaster Cameron McNeish, who has also co-authored a book about the route called Scotland End to End. Gore-Tex Footwear based in West Lothian partnered with Cameron McNeish to sponsor the creation of the new walking route.
Meandering through some of Scotland’s most beautiful and rugged landscapes, the route follows many existing trails and rights of way and in doing so creates a long distance walking route that compares with the best in the world.
The Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail not only runs through some of Scotland’s finest landscapes but it also connects us with the history of those landscapes, a history that has recorded the plundering raids and battles of the Borderlands; the growth of industrialization in the Central Belt; and the march of armies, saints, drovers poets and vagabonds through these wild lands that have since, in many areas, been emptied of people.
“For some time I have believed passionately that Scotland should have a long-distance trail that ran the length of the country,” said Cameron McNeish, “and I also wanted to walk through my own country of birth, simply to get to know it better, to weigh up aspects of its character and culture, to remind myself of its history and factions, its nuances and its remarkable diversity of landscape at a time when Scotland is beginning a process of re-discovery and seriously examining the question of independence.
“I wanted to re-discover my country for myself, especially those areas that I wasn’t so familiar with, and in doing so walked a route that I believe can stand comparison with the best walking routes anywhere in the world.”
Willie Fletcher, GORE-TEX Footwear Associate comments: “We believe The Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail will provide local, national and international walkers with a fantastic experience to sample the breathtaking and extremely diverse landscapes that Scotland has to offer. We are proud that our support has helped this project come to fruition and hope it will help to increase tourism and help the economies of the remote towns, villages and settlements that the route runs through.”
The Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail is a route that enthusiastic backpackers can enjoy as a single entity, taking in some of the most prized and wildest landscapes, or as a series of shorter routes that can be broken down into several sections, each offering a magnificent walking route in its own right.
The book of the route, Scotland End to End, is written by Cameron McNeish with photographs by Richard Else. It is published by Mountain Media Productions Ltd and costs £20.