Outdoor lovers Guide to UK trails
Walking is considered one of the most peaceful forms of exercise and a chance to get in touch with nature. For nature lovers, trails aren’t just strolls around the countryside, they’re life-affirming escapes packed with adventures in majestic forests, rugged coastlines, and remarkable terrains.
The UK offers an abundance of hiking trails for any outdoor lover. Just looking at Britain’s geological map gives you an insight into one of the world’s most complicated geologies and a variety of landscapes.
Here are some of the best UK hiking trails that offer stunning coastlines, picturesque views, and gorgeous river trails.
South Downs Way
For some fantastic trails on South Downs Way, check them out here: https://www.mickledore.co.uk/walking-holidays/south-downs-way/.
South Downs Way encapsulates everything you can think of regarding the Great British countryside. Badgers, bridleways, tranquillity; this amazing hike offers it all over a stunning stretch of land.
It’s an easy-to-follow trail connecting up to some of the most charming villages in Sussex. You will come to discover some fantastic historic pubs and inns. The best way to hike the South Downs Way is from Winchester to Eastbourne, 96 miles of pure magic walking towards the south coast passing the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.
From there, you can look forward to your lungs being filled with a refreshing sea breeze in Eastbourne.
West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is a world-famous hike in Scotland, and often considered one of the finest hikes in the UK. It’s a 96 mile (154 km) multi-day hike that can take about 5 to 9 days to complete.
Some of the most popular spots and undoubtedly a must-see are Loch Lomond, Beinn Dorain and Glencoe. The trail guides you through stunning highland escapes and ends in Fort William. The trek challenges adventure seekers with the option to conquer one of Britain’s highest summits, Ben Nevis.
South West Coast Path (West Lulworth to Weymouth)
Britain’s longest national trail, the South West Coast Path consists of 630 miles (1013 km) of superb coastlines. The stretch from Lulworth to Weymouth is a 13 mile (20.9 km) walk, offers plenty of things to see along the way.
There are also quaint towns to visit and accommodations to stay in, should you extend your hike. Along this stunning hike, you will come to cross Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, two of the UK’s most archetypal landmarks.
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If you love bird watching and beaches, and enjoy stunning views, this hike is perfect for you! As you continue your magical walk along Weymouth, you will come across some of Britain’s most beautiful terrains.
Besides the beautiful beach coves and cliffs, you will get to see one of the most photographed landmarks in Dorset, Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast. Also, something amazing to see is the ‘Tyneham ghost village’. A village abandoned during World War II and never reclaimed.
Great Glen Way
The Great Glen Way is arguably one of the best long-distance hiking trails. Although it may be challenging, this hike offers dramatic scenery of Scotland. It’s a total of 79 miles (127 km), and start’s where the West Highland Way finishes in Fort William.
The trail winds around two of Scotland’s most iconic lochs: Loch Ness and Loch Lochy. With enchanting features like the lochs and surrounding mountainous landscapes, this hike is certainly an amazing walk. A short diversion from the trail south of Drumnadrochit, and undoubtedly a must-see, is the Meall Fuar-mhonaidh – it offers incredible views of the Loch and Great Glen at the summit.
Besides the panoramic views of the Loch Ness, there are heritage sites along the route to explore. The route is suitable for all levels.
Lairig Ghru (Cairngorms)
The Lairig Ghru hike is an adventurous 19-mile (30,5 km) hike along steep, rugged terrain on Scotland’s Cairngorms.
Walking outwards from Aviemore you will be welcomed by a steady incline through the Rothiemurchus forest before ending up at Lairig Ghru. If you want to stop over for the night, Corrour Bothy is ideal for a restful night’s sleep.
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The final stretch of the trail leads through the forest of Mar into Braemar. It’s a magnificent walk, bearing more of a resemblance to Mordor than any other place in the UK.
Warning: This trail is easy to fall away from if you don’t have a map (or wits) with you. Before you set off on this trail, it’s crucial you take a head torch, warm clothes and other hiking essentials.
South Foreland Lighthouse Walk
One of the shorter walks, perfect for the less experienced trekker, is the South Foreland Lighthouse walk. It’s a 3.7-mile walk beside the southeast coast and takes you to one of the country’s most iconic landscapes, the White Cliffs of Dover.
This scenic route winds along the clifftops, past Langdon Hole – an underground system of tunnels that was previously used during the war as a radio command centre. You’ll pass through this before ending up at South Foreland Lighthouse, built-in 1843.
At the top of the Lighthouse, you will be rewarded with the most awe-inspiring views across the English Channel.
Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail
Hadrian’s Wall Path was named one of Britain’s top-class long-distance trails. A 6-day trek along the wall takes walkers through the moorlands and rolling hills, to bustling cities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Carlisle through to historical sites such as Housesteads.
Hadrian’s wall path stretches 84 miles (135 km) from Wallsend on the east coast to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast of England. The frontier wall was built from AD 122 onwards to protect the Roman Empire. For adventure walkers attempting the whole trek, there are plenty of welcoming accommodations along the way.
Final Thoughts For Outdoor Lovers
The UK boasts a spectacular landscape waiting to be explored. From the stunning coastline of Cornwall to dramatic walks through the South Downs and breathtaking views of Scotlands’ West Highland Way.
Whether you’re going for a week-long trek or just for a few hours, the UK has a range of hikes for any nature lover. Reclaim your sense of adventure on an incredible outdoor adventure route. Breathe in the crisp fresh air along the cliffside or enjoy the dewy forest smells, let the tall grass brush your legs as you pass through the countrysides. What hike are you looking forward to?