Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
How to boost tourism? It’s a walk in the park
Buy this photo » Tony Graeme, Peter Kenrick, Kathryn Fairhurst with son Robin, Sandy Fairhurst, Richard Fairhurst and Andrew Chapman take a stroll in Cornbury Park
CHARLBURY has become the first town in the county to be given a special accolade for welcoming walkers.
The town hopes the official “Walkers are Welcome” accreditation will bring tourists to its shops and give local business a boost.
The initiative is aimed at improving the walkways and signage around the town and developing tourism.
Charlbury is the first town in Oxfordshire to join the list of about 100 towns and villages with the accreditation across the UK.
About 30 people took part in a guided walk on Sunday to mark the milestone.
The six-mile route through Cornbury Park and Wychwood Forest followed routes which are not usually open to the public, after approval was given by Lord and Lady Rotherwick.
Town councillor and member of the Walkers are Welcome committee Richard Fairhurst said: “By getting people into the town we are hoping it will mean the shops and businesses can stay open longer on weekends and therefore boost our local economy.
“By promoting walks in Charlbury we think we will get people coming up from London on the train. It’s not far for them to come and who wouldn’t want to come to this lovely area of the country.”
The group will have to create an annual audit to inform people how the scheme has benefited the town.
The scheme has been welcomed by ramblers.
Jim Parke, spokesman for Oxfordshire Area Ramblers and chairman of the Oxfordshire Field Path society, said: “This is a good idea and the area is already a popular walking route.
“Charlbury is a good spot as well because it has a very useful car park in the centre and we know some people already come there by bus to go on walks.”
For details of walking routes around Charlbury visit charlbury.info/walking
Author of Paws Along The Way, a dog-friendly walking guide of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds, Helen Peacocke, said: “There are some superb walks around Charlbury. It is so beautiful.
“If the facilities are made even more walker-friendly that will be, as far as I am concerned, brilliant. I walk with my dog there often.
“One of the advantages of Charlbury is the train that goes right into the town and the public transport to the town is quite good.
“This is a very pretty town and the services are there for people to get there to explore this lovely area.”
Comments are closed on this article.