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On Saturday 25 June a new long-distance path, the Welcome Way, will be opened in Otley, West Yorkshire. The 28-mile circular walk is unique because it was created through the collaborative effort of three West Yorkshire Walkers Are Welcome towns: Otley, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Baildon, linking all three. There is an additional nine-mile loop taking in the Walkers Are Welcome town of Bingley.
The route will be launched by our general secretary Kate Ashbrook who is also patron of the Walkers Are Welcome Towns Network and vice-president of the Ramblers. Kate wrote the foreword to The Welcome Way guidebook.
The launch is at the start of the Otley Walking Festival, at 9am on Saturday 25 June 2016 at Otley Parish Church, Kirkgate LS21 3HW.
Says Kate: ‘This is a first. Three Walkers Are Welcome towns have collaborated to produce and promote a route which not only introduces walkers to their splendid countryside, but takes them in to the heart of the towns themselves.
‘From the breezy heights of The Chevin and Baildon Hill, to the wooded valley of Glovershaw Beck, this walk takes you through fascinating, varied landscapes right on the doorsteps of the three towns—which has become four with the addition of Bingley.
‘I am confident that the Welcome Way is the first of many inter-town initiatives. As Walkers Are Welcome Towns grow in number, they will increasingly be able to forge partnerships which will provide great opportunities for walkers, as well as demonstrating to their local businesses that walkers is excellent for the local economy.
‘The Welcome Way is a fine example of what Walkers Are Welcome towns can achieve and is a fabulous experience for all who enjoy walking in our glorious countryside. I am delighted to declare it open!’