The North Downs Way is to become the first National Trail in the UK to be fully captured by the Google Trekker. Earlier in the year the intrepid North Downs Way explorers headed out into the great British countryside with the Google Trekker to record a 360 degree panoramic experience of the trail. Following in the footsteps of some of the World’s most famous treks and National Parks, the North Downs Way is blazing the trail for showcasing how great the UK’s countryside is.
The North Downs Way is one of only 15 designated National Trails in England and Wales with diverse appeal and many unique features. Passing through 153 miles of stunning and varied countryside, the North Downs Way passes through the protected landscapes of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Kent Downs AONB. This makes the trail a great place for a family day out, short walks, life-changing long distance walks, rides, and always triumphs with a fantastic, rural, rustic pub lunch.
The North Downs Way provides tranquillity from the daily grind, lying just south of London it’s easily accessible by train for the urban populations of South East England and London. The route begins at the impressive new start sculpture in Farnham, Surrey (designed locally by the Utopia Forge in Guildford www.utopia-forge.com ) and follows a chalk ridge that winds over hills and grassland, passing through valleys and ancient woodland emerging onto the White Cliffs of Dover. Much of the trail follows the historic Pilgrims’ tracks travelling between the World Heritage Site in Canterbury to Winchester. The trail reveals no end of English treasures – Archbishops’ palaces, stately homes and gardens, Neolithic sites, Roman and Napoleonic forts, medieval castles and World War II fortifications, to name but a few.
In the summer of 2015 the North Downs Way was captured by the Google Trekker; a streetview camera mounted on a backpack and walked the length of the trail, providing the world with a 360° panoramic experience of the trail. These images will be made available for public use via Google Maps in the Spring of 2016 and will showcase the many and varied benefits the trail brings to its users and to the local economy. The North Downs Way is the first National Trail to be captured using this new technology and aims to entice more people to come and enjoy the trail at first hand. To plan your visit go to www.nationaltrail.co.uk/north-downs-way