The weather continues to improve, and the phenomenon that is known as the Great British Summer looms ever closer – heralding the start of the holiday season proper, and a great opportunity to see more of our country’s fantastic wilderness. Britain is a uniquely brilliant place for its walks, with a whole host of hiking trails for all kinds of ramblers; here are 4 of the best.
The South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is one of the best long-distance walking routes in the UK; the route follows the coast around Britain’s south-west peninsula, spanning 630 miles of stunning landscapes in Somerset, Cornwall, Dorset and Devon.
The gargantuan scope of the walk in its entirety attracts all manner of hiking enthusiasts, whether for the endurance gauntlet that the whole thing represents or for a leisurely, extended holiday drinking in the best of the south-west coast. The walk encompasses some of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations, as well as taking you through the unbridled wilderness landscapes of St Agnes and the Roseland Heritage Coast.
The West Highland Way
The West Highland Way is an unmissable route for walking enthusiasts, and the perfect choice for taking in the best of Scotland’s varied wildlands. The route is just shy of 100 miles, and tracks from the northern reaches of Glasgow to Fort William, at the tip of Loch Linnhe.
On its way there, though, the route traces the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, passing up the Falls of Falloch before touching Loch Tulla and charting a course around Ben Nevis. The walk has various stages, which vary considerably in difficulty; still, the walk as a whole is too good to pass up, and provides a unique opportunity to discover some of Scotland’s worst-kept natural secrets.
Scafell Pike is the highest peak in England, standing tall at nearly 980 metres and cutting an imposing figure in the Lake District landscape. Walking Scafell Pike’s peak trail is practically a rite of passage for domestic holidaymakers, and an excellent day out for even less experienced hikers.
Being in the Lake District, this mountain walk is a little harder to get to on public transport than other routes on the list, making a drive up to Wasdale an important thing to factor in. Be sure to get car insurance for a day if you’re borrowing a car for the road trip – but the hassle is worth it, as what awaits you is one of the best views in the North.
Yorkshire Three Peaks
For the other best views in the North, look no further than the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. At just 24 miles in length, this hike is the shortest of the lot – but the short length disguises a rich walk, and belies the overall difficulty of the hike.
The walk takes in the Pennine peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, by virtue of a route that rounds the Ribble Valley. It is a common choice for charity walks and hiking challenges, but all the more popular for the excellent views of the Yorkshire Dales.