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Walking to happiness

Medical experts agree that the key to good health is exercise; and there is no healthier, or simpler, form of exercise than walking.

It is therefore welcome news that the routes and paths taken by medieval pilgrims to Whithorn have been rediscovered and mapped out to help satisfy the public appetite for the great outdoors.

Pilgrimage paths such as these could also bring financial rewards through increasing visitor numbers to the area. We need only look to the Santiago de Compostela route from the French to the Spanish border to gain an inkling into the interest that could be aroused. It has been proclaimed a European Cultural itinerary by the Council of Europe.

Scotland is blessed with long-distance walking trails, with the West Highland Way, and the Southern Upland Way to be supplemented later this month by the opening of the John Muir Way. Mull hopes to join in with a proposed route from Craignure to Fionnphort. A study has found it could bring almost £1m a year into the local economy. Walking gives us the space to think; thoughts that could also well be of increased economic wellbeing.

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