At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that England has little diversity as far as hiking trails are concerned. Yet for a relatively small country there’s a huge variety to suit vastly different types of trekking enthusiasts. Whether it’s history, food, idyllic villages, or simply the nature you wish to immerse yourself in, English trails have something for everyone. Here are three of the most popular and readily accessible routes geared towards all skill and experience levels.
Stretching along the meandering path of Hadrian’s Wall, this journey will see you spending anywhere from four to eleven days retracing the footsteps of Roman soldiers from a bygone era. After nearly two millennia, the fortification is still intact and well-preserved for great chunks of the route. Built in order to protect the outer reaches of the Roman empire in its province of Britannia, Hadrian’s Wall will keep history enthusiasts amazed throughout. Hikers will have the chance to stop and explore the ruins of countless turrets, forts, and ‘milecastles.’
Another highlight is Sycamore Gap, containing the highly photogenic “Robin Hood Tree.” The UNESCO World Heritage Site and accompanying pathway run a total of 84 miles (135 kms) from Wallsend on the east coast of England to Bowness-on-Solway over on the west coast next to the Irish Sea. A great jaunt for those seeking a hike in England for beginners, the Hadrian’s Wall Path is mostly flat and undulating with only a few minor steep climbs.
As the trail’s name suggests, the route sees hikers winding their way through the Cotswolds region of south central England. Although surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and numerous rivers, walkers are never too far from civilisation as they have plenty of towns and quaint villages to stop at. As such, hikers can take their time, overnighting and dining at each successive hamlet. Alternately, the more energetic can pick up the pace and cover a longer portion of the 164km trail in a matter of days. Designated a national trail twelve years ago, the Cotswold Way suits newcomers to the world of hiking as it is one of the most well-waymarked paths in England. This is also the location of Cooper’s Hill, made famous by its annual – and hilarious – cheese-rolling festival. If you’ve somehow never heard of it before, have a quick Google and check out some of the many comical photos and videos from the yearly event. Foodies will delight in the readily available fresh produce, including well-known Gloucester cheese. Perfect for young couples to enjoy some fine dining by candlelight, single travellers can also rejoice in the ample supply of traditional English taverns along the way.
The peninsular region of Cornwall is found at the extreme southwest corner of England, jutting out towards the Atlantic Ocean. It is here that hikers will find one of the most rugged and popular English hiking routes. The journey dazzles with steep climbs and dramatic descents, while a fresh sea breeze clears the heads of even the most office-weary city-dwellers. Those wishing to take a walk on the wild side are in for a treat here, with intense 400-metre high cliffs plunging into the sloshing waters below.
Nature lovers will be able to see plenty of wildlife, from seals sun-baking on the sandy beaches and slick rocks, right through to a multitude of coastal birdlife. Unlike other regions of England, the South West Coast Path is mostly devoid of trees and forests, providing ample views out across the ocean toward the distant horizon. The hugely popular television series ‘Poldark’ was filmed here as well, with visitors sure to recognise the picturesque countryside and striking landscapes of where land meets sea. The South West Coast Path is the longest waymarked hiking trail in England, however hikers can choose to undertake as little or as much as they please. One last thing – don’t forget to bring your camera as you’re sure to wake up to some beautiful misty vistas and bid the day farewell as the sun vanishes over the ocean to the west.
All in all, something for everyone seeking to undertake one or more hikes in England on a future visit over to Europe.
|Hiking Tours in England|
|Self-guided tours from £359! Accommodation and bag transfer included.|