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Ten of the Best: City Trails

Think of European cities steeped in heritage and culture, and too many of our minds jump straight to places abroad like Rome, Paris and Bruges. There is no need to travel so far though, as Britain is home to plenty of cities brimming with interesting architecture, culture, folklore and history. If you want to take a break from walking in the countryside mud, simply fancy trying something a little different, or want to expand your mind with some home-grown heritage and culture, then look no further than iFootpath’s city trails…


kings collegeThere are plenty of cities that deserve your attention across the UK, but sometimes it is hard to know how to select one and where to start with your exploration once you arrive. Here at iFootpath, we have put together a number of city trails that allow you to discover some of the best bits on foot. You will be taken to some famous landmarks, such as Kings College Cambridge and Salisbury Cathedral, as well as some lesser-known gems like the secret sandstone tunnel in Nottingham, Exeter’s pedestrian ferry and Manchester’s old wharf.

Don’t take our word for it, here’s some of the things walkers have had to say about our city trails…


“Loved discovering secrets in Nottingham. Blown away by the tunnel at the start of the walk. Lived here 48 years and never knew this existed!”


“We did this walk on a sunny day and enjoyed wonderful views of London. It really does take in a huge amount of London landmarks and is well worth the 9 miles!!! Lots of opportunities to stop for refreshments & to eat & drink well!!! Plus numerous add on activities at the various landmarks. Great walk!”


“Thanks to this suggested walk we really made the most of our 4-hour stay in Exeter. My 3 children truly enjoyed it.”


cardiff bayCardiff

Penarth and Cardiff Barrage and Bay: A fascinating 7 mile circular walk from Victorian Penarth in Glamorgan, with views over its pier and heritage coast all the way around Cardiff Bay. The walk goes around Penarth Marina, then over the River Ely, past the international pool and across the River Taff to Cardiff Bay. Once docklands, the bay is now a huge leisure lagoon. The route leads you past the Millennium Centre (the Welsh opera house with its glowing copper roof), the old ornate pierhead buildings and the Welsh Senedd or parliament building. Continuing, you will follow a lovely walkway lined with sculptures and a pretty Norwegian church, passing the Doctor Who Experience with its TARDIS over the water and along the barrage with beautiful views over the Bristol Channel and Flatholm and Steepholm islands. For the final stretch you will head over the barrage locks and bridges, with its rushing waters, swing bridges and fish ladder before heading back to Penarth.


Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk: A 2 mile circular walk around the city of York in North Yorkshire. The walk takes place in the spookily good bits of historic York, where the highwayman Dick Turpin was rumoured to walk with his dog Little Nell. It is rumoured that the highway man and his little dog had many adventures in and around York. The following walk attempts to give you a glimpse of the old York that Dick and Little Nell might have inhabited. Of course, the story here is fictitious but it gives a fun slant on this city trail. 


cardiff sculptureNottingham’s Hidden Treasures: A 3 mile linear walk through Nottingham city centre discovering some of the hidden treasures within the city. This walk is one of the Nottingham Walks By Bus series, created to allow walkers to access some of Nottingham’s best walking routes via Nottingham City Transport bus routes. The walking route explores the city streets to discover some of the more unusual attractions including a secret tunnel, the old canal and the buildings of the lace district. 


The Wharf Manchester City Trail: A 2.5 mile circular pub walk from The Wharf in Castlefield, Manchester. The Wharf is a great city pub with lots of nooks and crannies, open buzzy areas and a really cracking menu. The walking route takes in some of the highlights of Manchester from the old canals and Gothic Revival town hall to the more recent additions such as the Civil Justice Centre. 


Chester City Walls: A 2 mile circular stroll around the city walls of Chester in Cheshire. The Grade I listed walls are the best preserved city walls in Britain and encircle the site of the medieval city. A footpath runs along the top of the walls and they are complete except for one small section of about 100 metres. On route you’ll have chance to see Chester’s many attractions including the castle, cathedral and racecourse. 


Exeter City Trail: A short walk of 3 miles through the ancient city of Exeter following, in part, the city wall of which 70% is still standing. The walk starts at the popular quayside area and passes by the cathedral and through the spectacular Northernhay Gardens with its many statues and Norman castle.


cambridge riverLondon River Circular: A 9 mile city centre walk from and to Green Park Underground Station taking in many London landmarks and travelling along the River Thames along the South Bank until Tower Bridge and returning along the North Thames Path.


Cambridge City Trail: A 4 mile circular trail around the university city of Cambridge. You’ll have chance to enjoy many of the famous parks and open spaces including Jesus Green and Parker’s Piece, see the beautiful architecture of many of the famous university colleges and also see the range of bridges that cross over the River Cam throughout the city. 


Norwich Bridges and Churches Trail: A 5 mile circular walk around the city of Norwich in Norfolk. The first half of the walk follows the banks of the River Wensum, criss-crossing back and forth via the numerous bridges – the oldest dating back to around 1340 and the newest having only been built in 2012. The return leg takes you through the centre of the ancient city itself, and you’ll have glimpses of the old city walls, the castle and the numerous churches as well as an opportunity for some retail therapy should you wish! The city walk is one of the most varied we know, with a true mix of ancient historical buildings, industrial heritage and modern architecture. 


Salisbury Cathedral and Water Meadows: An easy 2 mile circular walk in the city of Salisbury in Wiltshire, following in the footsteps of the artist John Constable. The walk starts at Salisbury Cathedral, before passing out through the famous water meadows and the Old Mill then returning through residential streets and over the River Avon back to the cathedral.


28 March 2018

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