For former headteacher Penny Kelly, National Cycle Network Route 51 is more than just a connection from Thurston and Bury St Edmunds, it’s a way for her to stay active into her retirement whilst enjoying the great outdoors.
“It’s so handy having the traffic-free path so close to my home. It means I no longer have to rely on public transport to get around and can build exercise into my everyday routine without really thinking about it. I use the route to walk to Bury St Edmunds a couple of times a week as Thurston is a small village.
“Travelling on the path means I can get from A to B without having to go on any busy main roads. The route is about four miles each way, so I like to walk one way and get the bus back!
“Staying active is really important to me. Not just for my fitness but also for my mental wellbeing. It’s a peaceful route which takes about an hour each way, so gives me plenty of time to think and reflect on the day.”
Walking on the National Cycle Network
As Sustrans’ extensive review has shown, Penny isn’t alone in using the Network to fit walking into her life. In fact, over half of all journeys on the Network in 2017 were made by walkers (410 million against 377 million cycling trips), with an estimated 77,400 walking trips being made for every traffic-free mile of the Network.
Sustrans also found that 18% of users of the Network were over 61, showing that age is no barrier to getting out and about on it.