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The Best Hikes in the UK for your Bucketlist

The Best Hikes in the UK - View from the Summit of Snowdon

The British countryside is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the outdoors.  I had the pleasure of doing some of the best hikes in the UK last year, and hope to explore more once it is safe to do so.  To celebrate the best of Britain when we can travel again, I asked my fellow travel bloggers to suggest their favourite hikes in the United Kingdom. 

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So, here are some of the best hikes in the UK, in no particular order.  Take a look and plan a trip for when it is safe to travel again so you can enjoy hiking in this green and pleasant land!  Who needs a holiday abroad when you have all this??

The Best Hikes in the UK

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Old Man of Storr is probably the most famous hike on the Isle of Skye, just of Scotland’s west coast.  It was my favourite activity during my week in Scotland, and the weather was glorious. 

The Storr was created by an ancient landslide, and the ‘Old Man’ is a pinnacle of rock that can be seen for miles around.  The hike is steep in places but isn’t overly difficult.  It is about 1km directly to the Old Man of Storr, and you will ascend over 250 m before returning down the same path.  There is also a loop trail which you can do around the Old Man, which is about 4km in total.

I took the direct route and continued further up to another viewpoint, which was definitely worth the effort.  If you are a fast hiker, you can get to the top in an hour or even less, but I took an hour and a half, including stops for rests and photos. 

The hike was quite steep but definitely worth the effort!  If the weather is good, you can sit up here and enjoy your picnic lunch while soaking up the magnificent views. 

Unfortunately, parking is limited, so you’ll probably have to park along the roadside as close as you can get to the start of the path.    

The Old Man of Storr - Scotland is a wonnderful place for a Hiking Holiday
The Old Man of Storr – Scotland is a wonderful place for a hiking holiday in the UK

The Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

The Causeway Coastal Route is actually a driving route which hugs the Northern Irish coastline, from Belfast to Londonderry, however, you can also walk along the coast which is easily one of the best hikes in Northern Ireland, and the whole of the UK. 

We walked the route from Dunseverick Castle to the Giant’s Causeway, which was a stunning hike along the cliffs.  The walk is not a difficult one as the Causeway Coastal Path is very well maintained and is mainly flat.  However, there are some ups and downs, and in steep areas, there are steps to climb and descend, including some steep steps down to the Giant’s Causeway site. 

All along the walk, we could see striking rock formations, coves and cliffs.  The scenery was absolutely gorgeous.  I loved walking along the cliff tops, gazing out to sea and spotting Scotland in the distance. 

The views inland were pretty good too, I could wax lyrical for hours about the rolling green hills but I won’t bore you.  Suffice to say the walk is beautiful and is a must-do when you visit Northern Ireland.

Arguably, the highlight of the walk is arriving at the Giant’s Causeway.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a natural wonder made up of around 40,000 basalt columns which were formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.  However, legend has it a giant named Finn MacCool had something to do with it!

If you time your hike to arrive late afternoon, you may miss the bulk of the tourists at the site and you can enjoy the sunset over the rocks.

The Causeway Coastal Route - The Best UK Hikes
The Causeway Coastal Route – The Best UK Hikes

Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe undoubtedly is one of the most beautiful valleys in Scotland and if you’re in the area, there is no better way to admire its beauty than “from the above”. 

One of our “all-time favourite” hikes in Glencoe is Buachaille Etive Mor. A ridge walk through a set of two munros Stob Dearg (1022 masl) and Stob na Broige (956 masl).  It is a rather strenuous hill walk, with a total elevation gain of 1110 meters, suitable for seasoned hikers.

This 13km circular hike follows unmarked, although well-trodden trails and only initial section needs some careful navigation. Ascend and descend are steep in places and going up involves a short section of scrambling (easy).

The hard work is however rewarded by amazing views of Glencoe, Glen Etive and Rannoch Moor – all famous Scottish landmarks. Not to mention the splendid views of other famous Glencoe peaks and ridges.  In good weather, you may even be able to spot Ben Nevis in the distance.    

Best place to start the hike is a small car park at Altnafeadh. And the best map for navigating during your hike is Ordnance Survey OS Explorer no 384.

This hike takes up to 9 hours in summer conditions.

by Beata from Stunning Outdoors

Glencoe - One of the Best Hikes in Scotland
Glencoe – One of the Best Hikes in Scotland | Credit: Stunning Outdoors

The Best Hikes in the UK – Mam Tor, Peak District, England

Mam Tor, meaning ‘Mother Hill’, is a 517 metre high hill overlooking Castleton and is one of the most popular walks in the Peak District, the UK’s oldest National Park. The stunning views from the top stretch north over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors. Although arrive early during school holidays and weekends to avoid the crowds as it’s quite a popular spot.

You don’t actually have to endure a long hike to get there. There is a car park just 500 metres away from the summit.

But, to truly appreciate Mam Tor from different viewpoints and make a day of it, start your hike by Peveril Castle (one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses) in Castleton and climb up Secret Valley. Follow the footpath across Windy Knoll and up to Mam Tor. After taking in the views, follow the flagstone paths across to Lose Hill and back down into Castleton.

Once you’re back in Castleton, we recommend purchasing some melt-in-the-mouth homemade fudge from The Real Fudge Company, and a pint of Peak Ale in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn. Whilst in Castleton, it’s also worth exploring one of the deep caverns and perhaps discovering deposits of the rare Blue John stone.

The circular walk is 8 km and requires a moderate level of fitness with steep sections. Allow 3-4 hours.   

By Jenny from Peak District Kids 

Mam Tor in the Peak District - Hiking in the UK
Mam Tor in the Peak District – Hiking in the UK | Credit: Peak District Kids

The White Cliffs of Dover, England

The White Cliffs of Dover are incredibly famous so seeing them and hiking along them is very memorable, and luckily, a day trip to the White Cliffs of Dover from London by train is actually very easy.

Take the train to Dover station, walk through Dover Town down to the coast and from here you’ll see signs to the mighty White Cliffs. The footpath will you away from the road and before you know it, you’ll be walking through fields with a countryside view one side and a coastal view with the White cliffs the other side. You might even see France on a clear day!

You’ll have enough time to visit Dover Castle so I recommend this. I recommend hiking along the cliffs until you reach South Foreland Lighthouse, or you can go a bit further to St Margaret’s Bay. Either one of these are good places to turnaround back to Dover town.

The hike is relatively easy and flat after the first incline that takes you up the cliff. Certain footpaths can take you down and back up if you’re looking for a more intense hike, but they are easily avoided by taking a different footpath if you’re not.

What I love most is that there are so many footpaths to choose from so you can easily get away from any other hikers that are there.

By Ellie from The Wandering Quinn

White Cliffs of Dover - The Best British Hikes
White Cliffs of Dover – The Best British Hikes | Credit: The Wandering Quinn

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland

Arthur’s Seat is a relatively easy urban hike in Edinburgh and often quoted as one of the must-do attractions in Edinburgh.  The hike only takes around 1-2 hours, depending on your ability, and the views on offer are worth setting aside a morning or an afternoon for. 

During the incline and from the summit, hikers can see Edinburgh’s most popular landmarks such as Holyrood House, Dynamic Earth, the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Castle. Views go as far as The Kingdom of Fife over the River Forth.  

It’s a popular hike so unless you go for sunrise, it is unlikely you will be doing it alone.  Arthur’s Seat has been used a filming location too. Check out the movie One Day is see it on the silver screen. 

Kick off the trek at Holyrood Park, follow the beaten grassy path to the summit at 251 m.  If you want an even easier hike, go for Salisbury Crag which runs alongside Arthur’s Seat but takes less time.  These cliffs are only 46 m high so less time is required. 

Looking for something more challenging? Check out the Pentland Hills in the south-west of the city. This regional park range is 20 miles so there is greater scope for full-day routes as well as camping spots.  

Gemma from Everything Edinburgh

Arthurs Seat Edinburgh - The Best British Hikes
Arthurs Seat Edinburgh – The Best British Hikes | Credit: Everything Edinburgh

The Best Hikes in the UK – The Cumbria Way, England

This is a fantastic 112km (73 mile walk) that literally clefts the Lake District in two, and is usually walked over 5 days from South to North. It begins in the sleepy Cumbrian town of Ulverston, before heading into the Lake District and finishing in the historic town of Carlisle north of the Lake District.

Traditionally a 5-day itinerary would be as follows. The first day is Ulverston to Coniston, and the big draws here are the start sign and the walk up Coniston water towards the end of the day.

Day 2 to Dungeon Ghyll takes in the chocolate box perfect Tarn Hows and heads along the Langdale valley. Whilst the first two days are low level, Day 3 over the Langdales will reach a height of 480m and bring you down to Derwent Water and Keswick. Day 4 is onwards to Caldbeck village before more low-level walking will take you into Carlisle.

No day is over 24km, although Langdale to Kewsick can feel like a slog – break this into two and finish at Roshwaite/Borrowdale if you fancy. Then you can have an easy day around Derwentwater and relax in Keswick town.

It’s not an easy walk, some stamina is needed. Summer is great as the hours are long, but Autumn will give you quieter paths – however you have shorter days due to less light, and less availability of accommodations. In Summer you’ll have the choice of camping, hostels (including YHA), B&Bs and hotels.

However, you do it – it’s a fantastic walk as each day feels very different.

By Dave from Dave Chant

The Cumbria Way - The Best Hikes in the UK
The Cumbria Way – The Best Hikes in the UK | Credit: Dave Chant

Brecon Beacons, Wales

Brecon Beacons National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in South Wales. The hiking trails vary from short, easy hikes that you can do in half a day to longer, challenging hikes for more advanced hikers. 

Of all the hikes available in the Brecon Beacons, one of the most accessible is Mount Sugar Loaf. This modest peak, which stands at just under 600m in elevation, is a fairly easy hike that hikers of all levels can enjoy.

Sugar Loaf mountain sits just outside the town of Abergavenny – and can be seen from town – making it really easy to get to. You can easily complete the full hike in a couple of hours, but I recommend taking your time to stop and soak up the views. It’s also worth packing a hot drink to enjoy at the top if you’re hiking in winter or a picnic if the weather is nice.

Even if you’re a more advanced hiker, it’s worth spending a morning hiking the 5-mile trail because it’s one of the most beautiful spots in Wales. For more of a challenge, the Sugar Loaf and Usk Valley circuit is a moderate hike that continues on through woods and past the Severn Estuary.

By Jodie from Alajode

Sugar Loaf in the Brecon Beacons - One of the Best hikes in Wales
Sugar Loaf in the Brecon Beacons – Hiking in Wales | Credit: Alajode

Kentmere Valley, Lake District, England

The Lake District is packed full of incredible hiking routes, but as the park is so popular it’s sometimes hard to find a quiet trail without the crowds, especially in the summer – which is why I love the Kentmere Valley in the South Lakes so much.

It is really easy to get to, just a 10-minute drive from Kendal or Windermere, but a world away from the bustle of the busier areas of the park. We rarely see anyone else hiking here!

The route is circular, beginning in the village of Kentmere (where there is a small amount of honesty box parking, so it’s best to get there early), and continuing up the valley through farmland and past slate mines to a small reservoir at the top, which is a great spot for picnics.

There are a series of small plunge pools above the head of the reservoir which are fun for quick dips if you can stand the chill! The walk continues back down the other side of the valley on a wider track, alongside the river and past caves, returning you to the village.

The paths are easy underfoot, and there’s only a little height gained throughout so really this is a walk anyone could do. It takes around 3 hours, but with a lunch stop it makes a great half day stroll.

By Heather from Conversant Traveller

Kentmere Valley Hike in the Lake District - The Best Walks in the UK
Kentmere Valley Hike in the Lake District – The Best Walks in the UK | Credit: Conversant Traveller

The Teesdale Way, Cumbria, England

The Teesdale Way starts high on Cross Fell, near Dufton, Cumbria, at the source of the River Tees and follows the route of the river to its end in the North Sea, near Redcar. 

This 92 mile (147 kilometres) route takes around 7 days to hike and incorporates a huge variety of terrains.  If you choose to start at the source of the river you will take in high fells and the spectacular waterfalls of Cauldron Snout, High Force and Low Force. 

This part of the route follows part of the considerably more famous (and more difficult) Pennine Way until you reach the town of Middleton-in-Teesdale.  The amble down the riverbanks to the lovely market town of Barnard Castle is delightful. 

From Barnard Castle towards Redcar, the route becomes increasingly urbanized and then industrialized.  The route passes through and close to small villages and towns at the beginning and is a great opportunity to stay in local bed and breakfasts and enjoy the ambience of the area. 

We recommend the Ordnance Survey Os Explorer Maps 26,31, 304and 306 (or their app) for this route.

By Sarah from A Social Nomad

Low Force Waterfall on the Teesdale Way Hike in Cumbria
Low Force Waterfall on the Teesdale Way Hike in Cumbria | Credit: A Social Nomad

Scafell Pike, Lake District, England

Stranding at 978 metres high, Scafell Pike in the Lake District is England’s tallest mountain. This alone makes the hike to the top special, but when you couple this fact with breath-taking views and pristine scenery, Scafell Pike no doubt becomes one of the best hikes in the UK. 

Managed by the National Trust, thousands enjoy the well-maintained paths and amenities that can be found on Scafell every year. The ascent (which starts in the charming hamlet of Wasdale Head) takes around 2-3 hours, but while the hike can be easily conquered by most fit walkers, it shouldn’t be underestimated!

It’s essential to take a map and be well prepared. Weather conditions on the mountain can easily change… In fact, it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons on the way to the top.

However, the reward of reaching the summit far outweighs any bad weather you may encounter! There’s simply something empowering about passing above the summits of other mountains as you make your way to the top. Plus, the final view over the whole valley, and the vast Wast Water Lake, is truly magical.

Once you’re back down from the mountain, don’t forget to stop off at the Wasdale Head Inn. This inviting pub is the perfect place to refuel and rewarm after a hard hike!   

By Rachel, Earth’s Magical Places

Scafell Pike From Wast Water Lake - The Best Hikes in the UK
Scafell Pike From Wast Water Lake | Credit: Earth’s Magical Places

The Best Hikes in the UK – Dartmoor, England

If you’re in southern England and want to hike (or just stretch your legs), the best place is Dartmoor, in Devon in the south-west of England.

Dartmoor is the largest National Park in the south of England and combines everything from huge granite tors and boulders, forests, streams and (my personal highlight), hundreds of wild moor ponies which graze and roam all over the place. 

You can (and should!) expect the ponies to wander into the road right in front of your car- and huge traffic jams can develop if a particularly stubborn one refuses to move!

It’s a great place to take children- a lot of the moor is relatively flat and they can run, play (and watch ponies!) to their heart’s content.

There are plenty of parking spaces all over Dartmoor and you can choose whether you want a quick stroll or a day-long hike.

There are many set paths and hikes so I would suggest buying a local hiking guide book to help you stay on track; it’s very easy to get lost on the moor if you go too far away from the road and all the tors can start to look very similar.

Be aware of the weather, which can change very quickly but, with appropriate clothing, you can hike Dartmoor all year round.  Some of our favourite walks have been in mid-winter without anyone else around but the ponies. 

By Kat from Wandering Bird

Dartmoor - Hiking in the UK
Dartmoor – Hiking in the UK

The New Forest, Hampshire England

The New Forest is a National Park situated in Hampshire south of England. It covers a vast area of lush woods, pasture lands and beautiful heathlands. Tourists come to the New Forest form all over the UK to experience its natural beauty through hiking, cycling and camping.

There are hundreds of different routes to take varying in length and difficulty.  My favourite time to enjoy the New Forest is early Autumn when heathland plants turn into a gorgeous shade of purple, making forest walks even more picturesque.

Besides the stunning scenery, you can encounter here wild living ponies, wild boars and fluffy donkeys. The New Forest is their natural habitat, and they do what they please often obstructing car traffic. If you visit in the spring, you will be able to see their offspring so cute that you won’t mind them being in your way.

Don’t forget to visit the New Forest’s capital – the village of Lyndhurst. Its history dates back to the 11th century when Lyndhurst was a centre for kings and queens visits and royal hunting base. Today, the village is a charming tourist base with various cute cafes selling the local New Forest ice cream and afternoon tea.

By Mal from Raw Mal Roams

The New Forest - The Best Walks in the UK
The New Forest – The Best Walks in the UK | Credit: Raw Mal Roams

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England

The United Kingdom is full of amazing hiking trails. One of the most stunning ones is Cheddar Gorge. Located in Somerset, just 20 miles south of Bristol, Cheddar Gorge is a very popular destination for hiking lovers in this part of England. In fact, it is the largest limestone gorge in Great Britain, so it does attract many visitors every year!

The Cheddar Gorge includes several show caves, which are open for tourists. According to archaeologists, the gorge has been the centre of settlement since the Neolithic times. It was here that the oldest human skeleton in Great Britain was found in 1903, estimated at 9,000 years!

The route around the Cheddar Gorge is a great choice for anyone who wants to go for a short hike and at the same time enjoy the scenic views. Set off early in the morning to avoid the crowds of tourists as most of the days there are no parking spaces available after 10 am.

The hike is considered as very easy and it takes only 3 hours to complete the whole loop. Having said that many people will spend a whole day on top of the gorge while having picnics and enjoying the panoramic views.

So, if you are looking for amazing day hikes in England – head out to Cheddar Gorge!

By Darek from Darek and Gosia

Cheddar Gorge - The Best Hikes in the UK
Cheddar Gorge – The Best Hikes in the UK | Credit: Darek and Gosia

The Best Walks in the UK – Hadrian’s Wall, England

Hiking alongside Hadrian’s Wall will appeal not only to nature lovers but also to history buffs. Built by the ancient Roman emperor Hadrian in 122 AD, this wall runs all the way across the north of England, roughly from Carlisle to Newcastle.

If you want to hike the entire length, it’s 73 miles and will take six to seven days.  However, it’s also possible to walk shorter sections.

There’s a hop-on-hop-off bus service, called AD 122, that will bring you to main sights along the wall. This is useful not just for sightseers but also for hikers, as you can take the bus to whatever starting point you choose and then pick it up again when you’re finished.

The town of Hexham makes a good base, as it’s close to the most famous part of the wall. From Hexham, you can easily visit Housesteads Fort, Chester’s Fort and several of the milecastles that are spaced out evenly along the wall, always with one Roman mile between them.

In addition to the many historical sites, you’ll also pass through rolling hills and sheep pastures along the way. Stop in at Milecastle Inn, near the 42nd milecastle, to fuel up on some hearty pub grub.

By Wendy, from The Nomadic Vegan

Hadrian's Wall - One of the Best British Hikes
Hadrian’s Wall – One of the Best British Hikes | Credit: The Nomadic Vegan

The Seven Sisters, England

The Seven Sisters Country Park is an ideal place to go hiking near London. It makes a great day trip from the capital, and it can easily be reached by public transport. You can take a train to Brighton or Eastbourne and then there is a local bus that serves the area.

The Seaford to Eastbourne hike along the white, chalk cliffs is a popular choice among outdoor lovers. It has some scenic views throughout the walk. You will be able to spot some nice wildlife like sheep and horses.

The Beachy Head Lighthouse is one of the highlights of the journey. It is an impressive sight with the white cliffs in the background. However, the 14 miles hike, might be too exhausting for some. Most people chose to do a shorter section.

From the visitor centre, you can do a circular walk to Birling Gap. This 8 miles hike is easy, although not flat. On a hot, summer day you should head down to the beach after your walk, as there is an opportunity to go for a swim there.

In fact, the Cuckmere river flows into the sea here, which also provides a nice place for recreational sport like kayaking or paddleboarding. 

By Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl

Beachy Head Lighthouse on The Seven Sisters Walk in England
Beachy Head Lighthouse on The Seven Sisters Walk in England | Credit: Travel Hacker Girl

The 3 Peaks, Yorkshire England

Yorkshire is one of the best counties in England for people who love hiking and green nature walks. Whenever I have visitors, I recommend that they explore the countryside and try to get out of the cites by getting off the beaten track.

When people ask me where the best hikes in the United Kingdom are; one of the first places I always say is the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Within this National park, you have the 3 Peaks which is a well-known adventure trail that spans over 38.6 kilometres and includes 1585 of ascent.

The most spectacular thing about this trail for me is the views, they are absolutely breathtaking. Also, if you see yourself as fit enough, you can do the full hike and you will get to cover all the three of the peaks (Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough) which make up part of Northern England’s Pennine range. 

If you decide to do the Three Peaks Challenge which is held in October, then you will need to train for the event as it is very popular with marathon runners and enthusiasts. The last time I did the hike it took me and a friend just under 10 hours to complete and by the end of the day, we were completely exhausted.

Depending on how far you want to go on this hike I would class it as medium/hard based on the amount of time it takes to complete the full trail.  

By Daniel from Urban Abroad

One of the 3 Peaks in Yorkshire - The Best UK Hikes
One of the 3 Peaks in Yorkshire – The Best UK Hikes | Credit: Urban Abroad

The Best British Hikes – Ben Nevis, Scotland

Ben Nevis is one of the best hikes in the UK and one of the most popular as it is the highest mountain in the UK at 1,345 metres above sea level. 

It is an amazing hike with beautiful scenery but be prepared for a tough hike. It is best to park in the visitors centre and to start early so that you can take your time and enjoy the amazing views that you will see.

Depending on your level of fitness it will take you between 3-5 hours to reach the summit.  It is a difficult hike, though in summer the path is easy to follow, though be prepared for rain and strong winds at the top. 

Make sure you take layers to keep warm, even in July and August there can be snow at the summit and freezing temperatures.  Also make sure you have plenty of snacks and water as this is a full day hike.

The first part of the hike is steep as you wind your way up the mountain and out of the valley.  In the middle, it levels off into an easier hike for 1-2km before the rocky switchbacks start.  The second part of the hike is slippy with the rocks so it is best to have hiking poles with you to stop you sliding.

If you are lucky enough to reach the summit and it is a clear day then the views from the top are amazing, you can see the lochs in the distance, the nearby mountains and you can see for miles. 

By Clare from I Live For Travel

Ben Nevis - One of the best walks in the UK
Ben Nevis – One of the best walks in the UK | Credit: I Live For Travel

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mt Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in Welsh) is the highest mountain in Wales at 1085m and reaching the peak provides one of the best hikes in the UK.  Located in Snowdonia National Park, this iconic mountain dominates the skyline of North West Wales. 

On a clear day, views from the top offer spectacular photogenic scenes of Snowdonia, as well as even further afield to Ireland.  The hike itself offers incredible vistas as lakes, valleys and jagged rocks reveal themselves.

There are 6 different walking routes available to summit Mt Snowdon; Llanberis Path, Pyg Track, Miners’ Track, Watkin Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path and the Snowdon Ranger Path.  These tracks differ in length and difficulty, but each takes approximately 6-8 hours there and back.  All six tracks are considered hard, strenuous hikes. 

Llanberis Track is generally listed as the easiest.  Although it is the longest route, it provides the most gentle, gradual incline.  Conversely, the Watkin Path requires some scrambling and has a challenging steep ascent before reaching the peak, despite being a shorter track in terms of distance.

Whichever way you decide to hike to Mt Snowdon, be sure to check the weather forecast and make sure you’re prepared.  All of the hikes are challenging with minimal shelter from the elements.  While a gruelling hike, the views are absolutely worth the effort! 

By Sophie from We Dream of Travel

Mt Snowdon Hike via Pyg Track - We Dream of Travel
Mt Snowdon Hike via Pyg Track | Credit: We Dream of Travel

Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor England

Dunkery Beacon is located in the heart of Exmoor in the south west of England.  It is the highest point in the south of England outside of Dartmoor and can be visited with a varied hike across open moorland and through woodlands. 

The hike starts in the picture box village of Horner where there is a large National Trust car park (cash only pay and display) for Horner Woods and a lovely tearoom.  The walk initially follows the River Horner upstream before heading up the side of the steep valley and out onto the wilds of Exmoor and Cloutsham Farm.  The summit has a trig point and large cairn.  

The whole hike takes about 5 hours but a car park at Webbers Post can half the walking time but misses the beautiful walk through Horner Woods.

Whichever route you take you will encounter wildflowers that are beautiful and Exmoor ponies who graze the woodland.  In the autumn Dunkery Beacon is one of the key places to find the red deer rutting.

The hike is strenuous with large sections of steep uphill walking and you really need to have a map with you as the paths criss-cross and aren’t always clear.  It is, however, worth the time and effort for the stunning views across Somerset, Devon and the Bristol Channel.

By Suzanne from Meandering Wild

Hiking on Exmoor - The Best Walks in the UK
Hiking on Exmoor – The Best Walks in the UK | Credit: Meandering Wild

The South West Coastal Path, England 

The South West Coastal Path is the longest National Trail in the country, once thought to be a 19th century coastguard patrol route to restrict smuggling.

The 630-mile trail travels through Somerset, Exmoor, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset showcasing outstanding areas of natural beauty, world heritage sites, UNESCO biospheres and geoparks.

The recommended route takes 52 days but many who take on the challenge complete the trail through day walks (82 in total), weekend breaks or in weekly stages over the course of a few months, a year or more.

The trail has been likened to scaling Mount Everest four times, with a total ascent and descent of 115,000 feet (35,000 metres)! It’s a little disconcerting when you put it like that, but 9 million people of various skill and experience visit the path each year, and no matter how long it takes, you’ll have the satisfaction of joining the hall of fame with a badge and certificate on eventual completion.

By Charlotte from The Millennial Runaway

Godrevy Lighthouse on the The South West Coastal Path
Godrevy Lighthouse on The South West Coastal Path

UK Walks – The Wye Valley, England

Hiking along the Wye Valley can either be a day walk or a long fortnight in your boots. The River Wye stretches 136 miles in total.

The most beautiful section is from Lydbrook, Via Symonds Yat to Monmouth which is about 12 miles of riverside walking. The area consists of meadows, ancient woodlands of The Forest of Dean and the river which is spectacular in places.

The walk starts in Lydbrook a small village on the banks of the Wye and takes you through farmland and wild meadows with lots of butterflies to spot. Approaching Symonds Yat Rock you head up the hill through some great forest and back down to the river.

As a side option, the viewpoint has some breathtaking views of the valley as well as the opportunity to see nesting peregrine falcons.

From Symonds Yat, a riverside village with a nice gastropub the Saracens Head the trail takes you past the river rapids and then downstream towards Biblins. Biblins is home to a footbridge that is a must cross, or at the very least to enjoy the view of the countryside from above.

The walk then takes you deeper into unspoiled woodland at the edge of the river with the chance to dip your feet in the river. Note the rocks poking out of the forest on the other bank called Seven Sisters Rocks.

The walk opens up into some multipurpose farmland with views of the Kymin and entering Monmouth.

By Rich from RJ On Tour

Wye Valley Hike - Walking in the UK
Wye Valley Hike – Walking in the UK | Credit: RJ On Tour

Thorney Island Walk, England 

The Thorney Island hike is around a little-known island off the south coast, near Chichester in West Sussex. Thorney Island is a small island, owned by the MOD. Thankfully for us, the coast of the island is public, making it a great option to walk the 9 miles around. 

You can’t walk across the island, as it’s private property, but walk around and you’ll pass beaches, fields, a harbour and even an RSPB nesting ground. The Thorney Island hike will take about three hours, depending on how often you stop to admire the view.

It’s easy and mostly on flat ground, unless you decide to jump down to walk along the beaches, like I did. You’ll barely see a soul on this hike, making it great for some peace and quiet. 

You will need to pass through security cameras at gates and be buzzed through. This won’t be a problem though. There’s a small car park near the start, or you can park in Emsworth and walk a mile or two extra. You’ll need to take everything you’ll want on the walk, as there are absolutely no facilities. Bliss! 

By Vicky, Day Out in England

Views-from-Thorney-Island-Victoria Philpott Day Out in England
Views from Thorney Island | Credit: Day Out in England

I hope that has inspired you to get out and explore some of the beautiful hikes in the UK once it is safe to do so.  We have such beautiful countryside here, and it will soon be time to enjoy it.

If you’re looking for travel insurance for your trip to the UK, get a quote now from World Nomads.

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Last updated: May 19, 2020

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