A trailblazing plan could see walkers on a long-distance route staying in continental-style eco huts.
Authorities in the North York Moors national park are looking at the possibility of building the huts – low-cost accommodation for small groups or families – along the 175km (109-mile) Cleveland Way. The camping huts would be placed along the full route of the way, which runs from Helmsley in North Yorkshire to Filey, on the Yorkshire coast.
Part of the Cleveland Way is shared by Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast Walk, so any buildings could potentially be used by walkers on the final leg of their West-to-East trog.
Development agency Yorkshire Forward has put up the cash for a feasibility study by the Yorkshire Moors and Coast Tourism Partnership, which includes the North York Moors National Park Authority, to look into the project. If it goes ahead, the network of huts, using green technologies to generate power, and constructed of eco-friendly materials, would be a first for Britain.
Malcolm Hodgson, national-trails officer for the Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way, said: “Eco huts have proved popular on the continent, particularly in the Netherlands where they provide simple, low cost accommodation for those who don’t want to carry a tent while they’re walking.
“There are already some in the UK but creating a network where people can walk from one to the other along the Cleveland Way would be quite unique for this country. It’s still early days and there some careful considerations to be made, but the huts could provide a real boost to tourism in the area and encourage more people to walk this wonderful route.”
The Cleveland Way was opened in 1969. It follows a horseshoe route skirting the edge of the North York Moors.