This paper explores the educational value of a rural trail -a field visit on foot - using as an example a trail in a small area of countryside near Lancaster in northern England. This trail provides those teaching rural geography in higher education with a means of developing their studentsâ�� skills of informed observation and interpretation of field evidence based on study and discussion on-site. A trail can enhance the appreciation and teaching of conceptual matters such as cultural approaches to rural geography. It also encourages the integration of diverse theoretical approaches to rural studies (based on culture, planning and management) and the simultaneous consideration by students of both local (often personal) details and national (or even global) pressures for change. The paper concludes that the rural trail has considerable pedagogical and academic merit for rural geographers.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 21 (2), 1997, © Informa Plc