Image: Tim Regan
Introduction to hiking trails in the UK
Are you stuck in a lifestyle of only working, eating, and sleeping? With the day jobs most of us have, that’s the harsh reality. However, doing something exciting on the weekend can refresh both your mind and your health. And there is no better way to do it than go hiking. Let’s look at some of the best hiking trails in the UK to get you started.
We are not talking about some random walks outside the parks here. We are talking about some real getaways full of rugged wonders, stunning scenery, draw-dropping views, and adventure sprawling trails.
Today, we are going to talk about the UK, one of the countries in the world that has the best and the most significant varieties of hiking trails from which you can choose from. Despite being a small isle, the UK has so many hiking trails for both its locals and tourists. Therefore, whenever you are in the UK, you will never feel that you are far away for an outdoor adventure.
From Yorkshire peaks to the outstanding beauty of the Scottish Highlands, there are almost too many choices that you will feel stuck choosing one eventually. The best thing about the UK hiking trails is the fact that they are mostly all of them marked, accessible and you can find nearby accommodation sometimes.
To make things more comfortable for you, we have compiled the top 10 hiking trails that you can find in the UK. Remember, the list doesn’t stop here, as this country has so many scenic hiking areas that you should also add to your bucket list. Be sure to pack your backpack with the best hiking equipment and ask yourselves how many trails you can cross off from your list.
Top 10 Best Hiking Trails in the UK:
1. Hadrian’s Wall Path
Image: Robert Linsdell
- Distance: 75 miles
- Time required: 7– 8 days
Situated in Northern England, the Hadrian wall path is on top of our list of the best 10 hiking trails in the UK. Unlike what most people think, the Hadrian wall, which was built during the Reign of the Hadrian emperor, does not trace the borderline between Scotland and England.
In fact, this ancient roman wall is located wholly inside England. Yet, it makes only about half a mile to the southern part of the Scotland border.
Blending both outstanding natural scenery with history on a walk alongside the wall. This might be the best way to explore a little of the country’s history as well as some exciting and exciting ancient stories.
While hiking around this area, there are a couple of things you should explore. This includes short stops at the ruins of ancient Roma forts as well as discovering the different museums along the trail path. These can be a great way to explore the history behind this part of England while hiking.
If you are looking for the best way to get majestic panoramas of the Lake District and the Pennies, then the segment stretching from Collerford to Birdoswald Fort is one of the best and the highest section of the wall. Don’t miss it out.
2. South West Coast Path, Cornwall
Image: Tim Green
- Length: 630 miles
- Time to finish: 8-9 weeks
The South West Coast Path is considered one of Britain’s longest hiking trails measuring its ways to 360 miles. This can be a great challenge for pro hikers that are seeking to step up their hiking game. You can enjoy the magnificent Coastline that stretches from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset.
If you are looking for one primary and non-touristic touch to this place, then check out the rugged mountainous peak of the Lizard. This is about 13 miles, and it displays some of the most distinctive hallmarks of this trail. We definitely recommend visiting this trail during the spring period Tas it gets super busy and crowded during the summer days. The last thing you want to explore while enjoying nature is a crowded place.
The walk on the entire trail offers a spectacular sea view, and observing the white rocked cliffs is a rare opportunity that only some Hikers can live it.
3. Helvellyn, Lake District
Image: Giuseppe Milo
- Distance: 14 Km
- Time to finish: 1 day
A captivating hiking area that is located in the Lake District of Cumbria, which measures around 14 kilometers and might be a little hard to hike for some. While it may not be considered as one the highest trail that can be found in the UK but it is definitely one of the most majestic and romantic mountains out there.
In fact, the Helvellyn is considered as a popular destination for many hikers and walking lovers. The mountain may look like one of the easiest to climb, but in fact, you have to be well prepared for this one. You will be coming across very precipitous, unsealed places as well as areas where you are clambering on a track with exposed and rocky drop-offs on both sides.
This makes it clear to understand that you have to be well prepared to tolerate such heights. Once you reach the peak of the mountain, you will probably know why it is so popular and worth the hike. Your hiking efforts will be rewarded with majestic sceneries that will keep you in aw for minutes. The beauty is surrounding every part of this area wherever you look.
4. South Downs Way
- Distance: 100 Miles
- Time to finish: 7 to 8 days
The South Downs way is considered one of the best hikes in London, and it definitely earned its spots in today’s top 10 best hiking trails in the UK. Refresh your mind and clear your eyes with the holistic greens everywhere you go.
Alongside the wildlife and the white chalks cliffs, this place is the best destination for a weekend getaway hike with your beloved ones. With a distance that measures around 100 miles, it takes about 7 to 8 days to accomplish the entire hike. The trail of this hike is easy to track and walk, making it the best of all.
You can either divide the trail into small sections or start your journey from the west side all the way to the east side. You can also stop by different pubs to refill yourself and make sure to visit the Seven Sisters Country Park. All in all, this is one of the iconic landscapes in GB that you should consider paying a visit to it.
5, Scafell Pike, Lake District
Iimage by Terry Kearney
- Distance: depending on the route
- Time to accomplish:
Scafell Pike is considered as one of the tallest mountains that exist in England, which is also situated in the Lake District, Cumbria. This is already enough reason for you to want to climb it; this is the real deal. Not forget to mention that you can reach this area from several routes depending on where you are coming from, making it another excellent choice for hikers.
While we have mentioned that there are several routes to reach the summit, the short and the most popular and crowded one is from Wasdale, the western part of the Lake District. While it is one of the most perpendiculars one, it remains the shortest trail to reach the peak, almost around 3 miles.
However, if you are looking for a less crowded route, you can start from the more picturesque area in Seathwaite Recognized as the “Corridor Route.”
6. Snowdonia: Snowdon horseshoe
Picture by tonyjgreen
- Distance: 7 miles
- Time to finish: less than a day
Another great trail for hiking in the UK is Snowdon Horsehoe in Snowdonia. The best thing about this place is the fact that it is also accessible from different and several routes. You will be able to scramble over the Crib Goch as well as the Snowdon.
You can begin your hiking journey in this mountain by climbing the Pyg Track until you arrive at Bwlch y Moch. Here you’ll have scenes of Llyn Llydaw, including the miners’ causeway. Once you reach that point, you will only be some steps ahead from your 1st scramble Crib Goch.
Be careful and attentive to where you place your feet and hand, they can be quite dangerous and knife edge. The last thing you want to do is to hurt yourself while climbing. Make sure to take your time when climbing, and don’t forget to enjoy the views whenever possible.
Keep in mind that getting closer to the peak means that the route will get narrower and bit perilous, use your hiking skills, and always be attentive.
7. Stanage Edge
- Time to accomplish: less than a day
Another popular hiking destination in England, UK; the Stanage Edge will show what a real peak feels and looks like in the peak district. You can start your hiking journey from the Hathersage village, climbing all the way up.
Along the moderately green paced path, you will be amazed by the built-in series of rocks compositions that will keep you in awe. The formations of the gritstone make the whole place utterly impressive. Not only that, but you will also get to capture unforgettable scenes of the Hope Valley.
However, whatever route you take to climb to the peak, you will be surrounded by panoramic and magnificent views. The whole hiking experience in the Stanage edge is rewarding and mesmerizing. To make your hiking trip even more memorable, make sure to stop by the ancient and historic George Hotel. You will be amazed by the old vintage decoration of this place.
8. West Highland Way
- Distance: 96 miles
- Time to accomplish: 9 days
Another popular hiking trail in the UK that must be included in this list is the West Highland Way. The attraction of this place is out of this world. Starting up from the northern area of Glashow all the way up to the Fort William, the trail takes around 96 miles to accomplish.
One thing about this trail: If it is taken from the Kingshouse, it is a little harsh, especially if you’re not a professional hiker, so it demands some skills. However, reaching the summit is the most rewarding thing about this hike.
However, if you are interested in less rough tracks, you can always look for other guided routes that can help reach your milestones
9. Causeway Coast Way, County Antrim
- Distance: 12.4 miles
- Time to finish: 8 to 9 hours
Aside from the southwest coast path, the Causeway Coast Way, County Antrim features another beautiful cliff view in the UK.
Built-in by the mythical Irish Giant, the causeway is one of the exciting trails you can come across in the UK. The area extends from green mountain peak trails to causeway rock. Alongside the path, you can also stop by the seaside cities of Portballintrae and Portbradden, the majestic Dunseverick Castle and Harbour, which is the first UNESCO heritage site in the north of Ireland.
This hiking path starting from the Ballintoy area to Bushmills includes seasides, jagged lands, and clifftop trails, and more.
10. Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge
- Distance: 24 miles
- Time to finish: 12 hours
Located in Yorkshire Dales, the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge is another hiking mountain that you should add to your list. While the whole hiking experience can be done in one day, you still have you hike for an about 24-mile circuit with more than 1,600m of climbing as you go higher and above Pen-y-Ghent.
Quite often, the starting point for this trail is Horton in Ribblesdale. However, this area is usually very crowded and hard to get through, especially on weekends and national holidays. Therefore, if you are looking for a less crowded trail, then you can kick it off from Chapel-le-Dale and continue your way through the anti-clockwise direction.
Wrap-up of hiking trails in the UK
Hopefully, this article has helped you to check out the top 10 hiking trails in the UK that you should give a try at least once in your life. The list certainly doesn’t stop here when it comes to great hiking trails in the UK. While the country may not have the highest mountains in the world, it has, for sure, the most beautiful and mesmerizing landscapes that will keep you in awe. Whether looking mild strolls in the countryside or a rough trek in the highlands, there is something for everyone here. Something packed with ups and downs and a lot of fun and excitement. Now is the time to reclaim one of these incredible hiking trails.
More hiking inspiration and equipment
Best hiking trails in Ireland: Best Hikes in Ireland – RedBull
Quality hiking and trecking shoes: Halti
More hiking inspiration: Top 25 hiking blogs
Featured image by Terry Kearney