Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Saturday, 21 March 2009

New trail hopes to draw tourists

The trail crosses an area of Dartmoor

A new cycle and walking trail through part of Dartmoor, which Devon councils hope will attract more tourists to the area, will officially open later.

The Drake's Trail network is a series of routes for cyclists and walkers around the area where Elizabethan sailor Sir Francis Drake once lived.

It includes an off-road cycle path from Tavistock to Plymouth and took two years to devise.

It will be opened by Olympic gold medal winning rower Zac Purchase.

Phil Baker, the trail's project officer, said: "The combination of increasing numbers of walkers and cyclists and a significant number of people choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays means that now is the perfect time to be launching a project such as the Drake's Trail."

Councillor Robert Sampson, from West Devon Borough Council, said: "The increase in visitor numbers will be a timely boost for the area but it is just as important to have more walking and cycling opportunities for the communities of West Devon."

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