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350,000 Walking Routes Downloaded

The National Trust is helping to point ramblers in the right direction, with figures showing a rise in demand for its downloadable walks. The trust revealed that more than 350,000 walking routes were downloaded from its website last year, with the most popular map guiding walking enthusiasts across the Bath skyline. The site saw its range of 240 walking guides downloaded at a rate of one in every one-and-a-half minutes. Some 100,000 more people downloaded one of the trust's guides in 2010 than in the previous year, with the figure growing from 250,000 in 2009 to 350,888 last year. Jo Burgon, outdoor programme director at the National Trust, said: "We have seen a remarkable growth in the popularity of walking in the past couple of years. "Our downloadable walks cater for a wide range of walkers with everything from short circular routes to the more challenging hill walks. "We're finding that more people want to get out into the great outdoors but often need to be pointed in the right direction." The Bath route held on to the title of most popular route for the second year running, with 140,000 people opting to download the route through the World Heritage city. The silver medal went to Alderley Edge in Cheshire, with Flatford Mill in Suffolk, notable for Constable's painting the Hay Wain, taking third place.