THE MOST BEAU­TI­FUL ROAD IN ALL THE WORLD

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - The View -

This month marks the cen­te­nary of the end of the First World War, so it’s a good time to men­tion the West­ern Front Way: a plan to cre­ate a long-dis­tance walk­ing trail fol­low­ing the line of the West­ern Front from the Swiss bor­der in the south, through France and Bel­gium, and up to the Chan­nel coast.

The idea orig­i­nated way back in 1915. Three months be­fore his death, 2nd Lt Alexan­der Dou­glas Gille­spie wrote a let­ter from the Front to his old head teacher, dream­ing of a bet­ter time to come.

“When peace comes, our gov­ern­ment might com­bine with the French gov­ern­ment to make one long av­enue be­tween the lines from the Vos­ges Moun­tains to the sea,” he wrote.

“I would make a fine, broad road, with paths for pil­grims. We might make the most beau­ti­ful road in all the world.”

To­day the West­ern Front Way is a reg­is­tered char­ity, work­ing with French, Bel­gian and Cana­dian or­gan­i­sa­tions to bring Gille­spie’s dream to life. You can find out more about the plan, and do­nate to the cam­paign, at www. west­ern­front­way.com

And for some mov­ing walks to mark the cen­te­nary on Bri­tish soil, see p56.

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