Mendip Way Project – The AONB Unit aims to raise the profile of the Mendip Way through route improvements, improved information, signage and promotion. The Mendip Way is a 50 mile long-distance footpath across the Mendip Hills from Weston-super-Mare to Frome that is sometimes referred to in two sections:
• The West Mendip Way that is largely in the Mendip Hills AONB starts near the Bristol Channel at Uphill and climbs the Mendip Hills escarpment onto the Mendip plateau and across the top of Cheddar Gorge and down to Wells.
• The East Mendip Way continues from Wells to Frome passing to the north of Shepton Mallet and close to some of the limestone quarries.
Infrastructure Improvements – the first stage will be to survey the route to cost the improvements needed to access furniture and signage. Developing links off the Mendip Way to nearby villages and key points of interest will be developed in consultation with local communities.
Information and Interpretation – the project seeks to develop a range of interpretation to assist visitors and to learn more about the landscape they are exploring. Current ideas include:
• On-site interpretation at key gateways and sites/viewpoints of interest.
• A Mendip Way website
• Full route guide with description and directions in 2 versions (eastwards and westwards) available to download as a PDF.
• Printed or downloadable (PDF and GPS) circular walks along the route.
Supporting local tourism businesses – raising the profile of the Mendip Way and enhancing the experience for walkers on the route will attract more visitors to the area and encourage longer length of stay. The project will aim to improve the tourism offer and support rural economic growth. Ideas to be explored with businesses include:
• Using the website to link the route to attractions, accommodation and local food providers.
• Networking accommodation providers to offer luggage transfer and other visitor services
• Offering bespoke Mendip Way holidays offering guided walks and other activities.
• Promoting family friendly accommodation and activities for family members not walking the full route.