A walk for ‘every day of the year’ is promised as one of the many highlights underpinning Welcome to Yorkshire’s new groundbreaking #Walkshire campaign which launches on New Year’s Day 2021. The aim is to promote Yorkshire as the walking capital of the world and the year-long project will see 365 walks covering all corners of the county to showcase the very best of the region across the globe.

Walkshire will demonstrate Yorkshire’s rich diversity of place, landscapes, people, architecture, heritage, history, economies, attractions and of course food and drink all through the medium of walking with a strong emphasis on inclusion and accessibility with walks planned for all abilities.

The largest county in England has a wealth of wonderful walks, from short strolls to hilly hikes, some challenging, others more accessible to all and with three national parks, a breathtaking coastline, vibrant cities, stunning countryside, rich in heritage, delicious dining, perfectly placed pubs and amazing arts, the top trails will take you on a voyage of discovery through vast open gorgeous green spaces and inspiring inner city strolls. Fantastic for fitness, families, friends, for yourself and your four-legged friends.

At a time when health, well-being and the great outdoors are a top priority for all, whatever age and ability, #Walkshire will show spectacular Yorkshire and all it has to offer on foot and with wheelchair access, regionally, nationally and internationally, highlighting world-class walks and wildlife watching, as well as businesses and tourist attractions en route to a huge audience, welcoming walkers to all parts of the county, whilst considering current Government guidelines.

People will be invited to participate in Walkshire by sharing their own favourite walks and inspire others by using the hashtag #Walkshire, as well as sharing on Welcome to Yorkshire’s social media channels. The destination marketing organisation believe this will be a great PR opportunity for the county and its visitor economy, as Welcome to Yorkshire’s annual social reach is almost 20 million and has a global brand reach of over 23 million.
A whole host of happy hikers, celebrated celebrity walkers and social media influencers will be sharing their favourite walks with daily details and GPX maps for all to see at walkshire.com with a grand launch planned for New Year’s Day when the whole county will walk as one.

The campaign will feature a daily walk with businesses and organisations invited to sponsor and nominate routes. There are four big seasonal walks with some very special plans for Yorkshire Day on August 1st as well as a very special Tour de Walkshire to replace the postponed Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. Welcome to Yorkshire have partnered with Yorkshire Cancer Research as the official charity partner for the Walkshire campaign with plenty of fundraising opportunities planned throughout the year.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said, “2020 has been a tricky year for all and certainly a time to reflect on the importance of health and well-being, so what better way to start the new year and continue through 2021, than promoting walking in Yorkshire to the world and welcoming visitors to the most diverse of counties, offering outdoor enjoyment in stunning surroundings. #Walkshire is the most inclusive of campaigns and we really hope visitors in and out of county will understand the rich depth and layers of this campaign. Everyone and everything will be included.
Walking during the various lockdowns has provided many with a daily or weekly sanctuary combined with a new appreciation of what is on our doorsteps. Walkshire will not only show the county as the perfect place to step out in, or into, but will also promote tourism businesses and the need for them to be supported and cherished."

Welcome to Yorkshire Chair Peter Box added: “I am in no doubt that this fantastic year-long Walkshire initiative from Welcome to Yorkshire will be a great boost to the whole county, showcasing the stunning scenery and the brilliant benefits of walking in magnificent Yorkshire across the world, promoting fitness and well-being, plus tourism businesses and attractions too. I’m looking forward to getting outdoors and being involved.”

Yorkshire is THE place to Visit, Live, Work and Study, with wonderful walking to be enjoyed by all, and participation can be en masse or on your own. Yorkshire’s tourism industry was worth a staggering £9bn annually pre-pandemic and Welcome to Yorkshire is committed to a step by step approach to building back brilliant tourism opportunities.