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National Trails - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a list of the National Trails?

Do I have to be a member of the LDWA to enter the Register?

How do I obtain a Claim Form?

Can I fill in the Claim Form online and summit it electronically?

May I submit my claim in the form of a letter or email, or simply written on my own sheet of paper?

I have no proof that I have walked these Trails. Am I therefore ineligible for entry into the Register?

My friend (or spouse/partner) and I have completed the trails whilst walking together. Do we need to fill in separate Claim Forms?

I cannot remember the exact dates on which I finished some or all of my National Trails. Does this exclude me from making a Claim?

Is there a time limit on entry into the Register and can claims be made retrospectively?

Is there a fee for entry into the Register?

Will I receive an acknowledgement of my Claim?

When will I receive my certificate(s) and when will my name and trail walking achievements be entered on the Register on the LDWA website?

What personal details will appear on the Online Register?

How do I find my National Trails completion data on the online LDWA NT Register?

My full names appear on the Register and on my certificate, but I didn’t want that?

Will I see my name in print?

Do I have to walk the NTs “in one go” to qualify for entry into the Register?

Can I walk the trails in either direction and in any order?

I have mountain biked the South Downs Way / Pennine Bridleway. Can I include these completions for entry into the Register?

I have walked the Cleveland Way twice (for example). Can I count this as two completions for the purposes of entry into the Register?

I have walked the Cornish Coastal Path (for example). Can I include this in my list of National Trails?

When I walked the South West Coast Path (for instance) I took the alternative route inland from Weymouth, not the route that goes through this coastal town; when I hiked the Pennine Way (for example) I did not make the official detour to the summit of The Cheviot. Can I therefore count these trails in my claim for entry into the Register?

I walked the Cotswold Way, for example, before it was officially designated as a National Trail. Can I count this for Register entry?

I am on the Bronze Register (for example) which I applied for and entered when I had completed 5 National Trails. I have just completed another NT: although this is not sufficient for me to be raised to the next level (Silver in this case) do I need to need to inform the Recorder?

I have completed (for example) 15 National Trails, so qualify for a Gold award. Can I also claim certificates for Silver and Bronze?

I am just back from walking Glyndwr’s Way (for example) on which I had a marvellous time and enjoyed the landscape and the experience so very much, that I would like to share it with others. Can I submit some photographs and a short report of my trip?

Have we answered your question?


Q. How do I find a list of the National Trails?

A. A full list of the 19 National Trails will be found on these web pages, and are also listed on the NT Claim Form. Make sure that the trails that you have walked are National Trails before making a claim (some very popular walking trails, such as Wainwright's Coast to Coast and the Dales Way, are often erroneously thought to be National Trails; they are nevertheless exceedingly fine walks, and lack of NT status should certainly not deter anyone from walking them).


Q. Do I have to be a member of the LDWA to enter the Register?

A. No. Non-members who request a certificate along with their claim will be sent an LDWA information and application form, but there is no requirement to take out membership of the LDWA in order to enter the National Trail Register. Only current LDWA members will receive the magazine Strider, three times a year; the April edition contains a full Annual Report of the Register, together with interesting statistics and a published list of those walkers who have gained Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond awards.


Q. How do I obtain a Claim Form?

A. You can download a NT Register Claim Form from this website. Alternately, please send a SAE to the Recorder with a request for a NT Register Claim Form (only one form will be sent - please photocopy the form, before you begin filling it in, if more than one Claim Form is required).


Q. Can I fill in the Claim Form online and summit it electronically?

A. To help prevent errors creeping into the Register, please post a hard copy of each Claim Form to the Recorder. It makes life so much easier for the Recorder to have hard copies of all Claim Forms, rather than hard copies of most, but a few others stored electronically on his PC. If you would like a certificate, and around 90% of those who enter the Register request a commemorative certificate of their achievement, then you will have to post a cheque to the Recorder in any case. Finally, and most importantly, entry on the Register is voluntary, only with the consent of the claimant. Therefore, in order for the claimant to give permission for his or her name and trail details to be entered online on the Register, it is essential for the claimant to sign his or her Claim Form and post it to the Recorder. Sorry, but if no hard copy of a Claim Form is received by the Recorder, then your entry will not be added to the Register. Compared with walking any of the trails it is a very minor chore indeed.


Q. May I submit my claim in the form of a letter or email, or simply written on my own sheet of paper?

A. Claims will only be accepted on an official Claim Form. The main reason for this is to keep details of all claimants in the same format, and stored in one place, in order to reduce the chance of errors occurring. It will only take a few minutes to complete a Claim Form, and when you do so, you will greatly please the overworked and underpaid Recorder! Thank you.


Q. I have no proof that I have walked these Trails. Am I therefore ineligible for entry into the Register?

A. Certainly not! Very, very few people will have proof that they have walked the trails. Your total honesty is assumed. Anyone silly enough to make a false claim will be not only be making a hollow, deceitful boast, but will also run the risk of ridicule should his or her deception ever be discovered.


Q. My friend (or spouse/partner) and I have completed the trails whilst walking together. Do we need to fill in separate Claim Forms?

A. Yes. In order to prevent errors appearing in the Register, which are often very time-consuming for the Recorder to correct, it is necessary to send in one Claim Form per person. It only takes a few minutes to complete the one-page Claim Form. Claim forms from two or more different claimants may be sent in one envelope.


Q. I cannot remember the exact dates on which I finished some or all of my National Trails. Does this exclude me from making a Claim?

A. It is preferable to give the exact completion date if possible, otherwise "month/year" will be accepted. If it was a very long time ago and you really cannot even remember the month that you finished a walk, then entering simply the year of completion will suffice (but not for completions within the last 5 years please).


Q. Is there a time limit on entry into the Register and can claims be made retrospectively?

A. There is no time limit on walking any of the trails. Even if you completed a trail forty or more years ago it can still be counted for purposes of entry into the Register.


Q. Is there a fee for entry into the Register?

A. Entry to the NT Register if free-of-charge, but those wishing to receive (a) commemorative certificate(s) of their achievement(s) are requested to send a cheque of £2.50 per certificate to the Recorder (this fee includes postage and posting in a large stiff-carded envelope).


Q. Will I receive an acknowledgement of my Claim?

A. If you request a certificate along with your Claim, then please accept receipt of this as your acknowledgement. If you make no request for a certificate, but wish to receive an acknowledgement that your claim has been received and accepted, then please either send a SAE for acknowledgement, or request an email acknowledgement clearly on your Claim Form (please make sure that your email address is given on the form, and that it is legible; use upper case lettering please).


Q. When will I receive my certificate(s) and when will my name and trail walking achievements be entered on the Register on the LDWA website?

A. Often within a couple of weeks or less, but sometimes, depending on the circumstances of the Recorder (remember that this is all volunteer labour!) some time later. The Recorder guarantees that all claims will be fully dealt with, at the outside, within three months. It has been known that, in some cases, the new claim is entered on the online Register within a few hours of the Recorder having received it, and the certificate posted out on the following day! Don’t forget to include your cheque if you request a certificate!


Q. What personal details will appear on the Online Register?

A. The Register of National Trail Walkers contains only the names of those who have walked the various trails together with their completion details. No contact or other personal details appear on the Register.


Q. How do I find my National Trails completion data on the online LDWA NT Register?

A. Select your relevant level of award on the web page (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Diamond). The names are listed firstly by the number of qualifying trails completed, e.g. the Bronze level list starts with those who have completed 9 different trails, then those who have walked 8 trails, then 7, 6 and finally the minimum of 5 different trails. Within each of these categories, the names are then listed alphabetically by surname; if there are two people with the same surname, these are sorted alphabetically by first name. Data given here includes the mileage walked on the different trails (multiple completions of the same trail are not included here - but see below) and the dates when the first trail and the last trail were completed.

Click on your name: all of the National Trails that you have completed will then be displayed, together with the combined mileage of each of your different completed National Trails. Multiple completions of any of these National Trails are also recorded, if appropriate, together with your total mileage walked on the trails, including multiple completions.


Q. My full names appear on the Register and on my certificate, but I didn’t want that?

A. The third box on the Claim Form states: “Name as you wish to be recorded on Register and Certificate (please complete this box)”. If you do not fill in this box then you will be recorded with your full names on both NT Certificate and Online Register (but do please also fill in your full names in the first and second boxes on the Claim Form, to prevent errors being made by the Recorder - there are many “Smiths”, etc, in this world!). Provided that the third box on the form is completed, then only the name(s) given there will appear on Certificate and Register.


Q. Will I see my name in print?

A. The National Trails Register Annual Report is included in the April edition of Strider magazine which is despatched to current LDWA members. In this Report the names are published of all new entrants to the Register during the previous year, and those who had been promoted to a higher level (e.g bronze to silver) during the same period.


Q. Do I have to walk the NTs “in one go” to qualify for entry into the Register?

A. No. Please read Rule No. 3 in “Rules for Entry into the National Trails Register” on these web pages, for the various logistical ways in which the trails can be walked for acceptance into the Register. The only real requirement is that you walk every step of the way over as long a period as you wish.


Q. Can I walk the trails in either direction and in any order?

A. Yes. See Rule No. 4 in “Rules for Entry into the National Trails Register”


Q. I have mountain biked the South Downs Way / Pennine Bridleway. Can I include these completions for entry into the Register?

A. This is a Register of National Trail Walkers, and so the answer is "No". Remember that it is only permissible to cycle/mountain bike on bridleway sections of our long distance trails in England & Wales; cycling on footpaths is illegal.


Q. I have walked the Cleveland Way twice (for example). Can I count this as two completions for the purposes of entry into the Register?

A. One of the main reasons behind the NT Register scheme is to encourage people to explore more of Britain on foot, along some of the varied, excellently waymarked and maintained trails. Some of our NTs are largely ignored by the walking public, such as the first-rate Glyndwr’s Way in mid-Wales, whilst others, the West Highland Way for example, are walked very frequently. Overuse of paths can lead to erosion problems, whereas underuse often results in overgrown paths and the failure of B & B and other tourist facilities. Whilst the popular trials are justifiably so, many of the less walked routes are of equal or even superior quality. So rather than walk the same trail repeatedly, explore other trails, other landscapes, other regions of the country. It is necessary to walk five different NTs as a minimum entry into the Register, and repeats of trails do not count towards advance into the higher levels of the Register (but please do not confine your trail walking to NTs, as there are very many other excellent LDPs in the country).


Q. I have walked the Cornish Coastal Path (for example). Can I include this in my list of National Trails?

A. The excellent South West Way Association have always maintained that the South West Coast Path is a continuous trail, and that lengths of the path such as those in Cornwall, North Devon and Somerset, Dorset, etc, are merely sections of this one long trail. The unofficial divisions of the trail cannot be counted separately for purposes of entry into this Register. The South West Coast Path is the longest of our National Trails and this, of course, will be reflected in the total mileage that members of the Register are shown to have walked.


Q. When I walked the South West Coast Path (for instance) I took the alternative route inland from Weymouth, not the route that goes through this coastal town; when I hiked the Pennine Way (for example) I did not make the official detour to the summit of The Cheviot. Can I therefore count these trails in my claim for entry into the Register?

A. Where there is an official alternative route in a National Trail, then walking either path is acceptable for entry into the Register. Official detours on NTs are also not essential for purposes of the Register. There is, of course, no reason not to walk such options if time and circumstances permit. See Rule No. 2 in “Rules for Entry into the National Trails Register” elsewhere on this website.


Q. I walked the Cotswold Way, for example, before it was officially designated as a National Trail. Can I count this for Register entry?

A. Yes. See Rule No. 8 in “Rules for Entry into the National Trails Register” elsewhere on this website.


Q. I am on the Bronze Register (for example) which I applied for and entered when I had completed 5 National Trails. I have just completed another NT: although this is not sufficient for me to be raised to the next level (Silver in this case) do I need to need to inform the Recorder?

A. It is not necessary to let the Recorder know each time that you complete a new trail (or do a second and subsequent round of a previously walked NT), until you have walked a sufficient number to advance to a higher level of award (Silver, Gold or Diamond). Nevertheless, if you do have a great urge to let the Recorder and the world know of your newly completed trail, then by all means do so (by email is preferable) and I will add your new trail to your list of achievements on the NT web pages of the LDWA website.


Q. I have completed (for example) 15 National Trails, so qualify for a Gold award. Can I also claim certificates for Silver and Bronze?

A. Yes. All four certificates carry a different design. Silver level walkers are entitled to purchase both a Silver and a Bronze certificate, Gold level can also claim the Silver and Bronze certificates, whilst those who have completed all of the National Trails qualify for all four certificates. Some people like to collect all four certificates, whilst others are content with just one, representing the level of award that they have achieved. Just a few people want no commemorative certificate at all. The choice is yours!


Q. I am just back from walking Glyndwr’s Way (for example) on which I had a marvellous time and enjoyed the landscape and the experience so very much, that I would like to share it with others. Can I submit some photographs and a short report of my trip?

A. The Recorder is always in need of photos of people walking the various National Trails and short accounts (absolute maximum 400 words please) to include in the annual report of the National Trail Register that is published each year in the April edition of Strider magazine. If you have a special story to tell (to give just one possible example, you walked your first NT whilst still a young child and completed your latest at a grand age of 85) then this would be particularly appreciated. If possible please send your contribution as a Word document attached to an email (or just in a plain email if you are without Word software). Typed submissions are also acceptable, but hand-written accounts must be perfectly legible! Digital photos must be posted to the Recorder on a CD (not sent as an email attachment please). Prints and transparencies are also acceptable.


Q. Have we answered your question?

A. Each section of this website contains separate Frequently Asked Questions pages, so if you haven't found what you want here please try one of the following:

If still cannot find the answer to your question then please contact the National Trails Registrar at trailwalker@ldwa.org.uk