A new walking route has launched in the north of the county, thanks to avid walkers in Malmesbury.

Starting from the town's historic Market Cross, the new White Walls Way offers seven delightful countryside walks on a twenty mile trail linking Malmesbury, King’s Heath, Norton, Sherston, Luckington, Alderton, Easton Grey and Foxley.

The White Walls Way - officially opened last Saturday - is the inspiration of former Malmesbury Mayor, Steve Cox, who raised the funding to create the sign boards, waymarks and website in his year of office that help make the route easy to navigate and provide interesting information at strategic points on the walks.

"We live in such a beautiful part of the country and the footpaths we have linked together create some lovely walks," said Steve.

"I started this project a few years ago and I am really pleased that we now have a new experience for residents and visitors to our local area.

"We hope the signposting and information we have created to go with the walks will encourage even more use of these fantastic footpaths, and for the more adventuresome the trail links well with local bus services and the pubs and cafes in Malmesbury and the villages."

New walking route

New walking route

Asked about the name for the Trail, Steve explained that the project group picked the name of the Roman settlement, White Walls, that used to exist on the Fosse Way near Easton Grey and is on one of the walks as reflecting the character of the walk.

He said: "We are walking over rock formations laid down more than 100 million years ago in a landscape that has been lived in for thousands of years, part of which was owned by a Saxon King of England and donated to local people; walkers on the White Walls Way can let their imaginations run free."

The formal launch of the White Walls Way took place when more than 50 walkers, starting in two groups from Malmesbury and Sherston, met at the Vine Tree Pub in Norton.

After Steve welcomed all those joining the inaugural walk and gave thanks to those who have worked with him to create the walk, the route was declared open by local celebrity and footpath walking advocate Caroline Pym.

New walking route

New walking route

More information about the whole White Walls Way and the routes of each of the seven linked walks can be found at www.whitewallsway.org and www.exploremalmesbury.com , at the Town and Tourist Information centre in Malmesbury Town Hall, and on the information boards at strategic points on each stage of the Way.