Before you take your next hiking trip, be sure to consult this list of the very best hiking routes on offer throughout the UK. From well-trodden treks to hidden gems.
Made famous by countless poets, artists and photographers the world over, the British landscape is one of the most celebrated across the globe. On top of that, the history embedded into every last walking route in the country means that, every time you reach a peak or gaze along the stormy coast, you’ll be hit with the realisation that thousands of others have done the very same. Here are our top 5 routes to explore in 2021.
1. West Highland Way (Glasgow to Fort William)
Widely considered to be one of the world’s best hiking routes, the West Highland Way was Scotland’s first long-distance hiking trail. Take in the beauty of the industrial age by beginning in the Glasgow suburbs, and experience the breathtaking scenery at the end of the trail as you stand at the foot of Ben Nevis.
This route is normally walked south to north with the easier southern stages preparing walkers for the more demanding northern stages and leaving views of Ben Nevis as a highlight to end your hike.
2. Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, Southern Section (Amroth to Pembroke)
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a 300km (186 mile) route along some of the very best of the British coastline. The southern section from Amroth to Pembroke is the easiest and most popular section passing many of the highlights of the route from Norman castles at Pembroke and Manorbier to the remains of a castle and extensive town walls at Tenby to Iron age promontory forts, early Christian churches built into cliffs and some of the best beaches and coastal scenery in the UK.
3. Hadrian’s Wall Path (Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway)
The Hadrian’s Wall Path is a 135km (84 miles) long route running coast to coast from Wallsend, Newcastle on the west coast to Bowness-on-Solway on the east coast of England. For much of it’s length, it follows close to the remains of Hadrian’s Wall, the defensive wall built by the Romans on the northern border of their empire in 122AD.
There’s history on every step of this route as you pass fine examples of Roman settlements and forts together with cosy pubs, bustling market towns as well as great views along the way.
4. Cornwall Coast Path (Padstow to Penzance)
This 173km (107.5 miles) stretch of the 1,014km (630 miles) South West Coast Path may not be as famous as some of the other routes on this list, but what it lacks in celebrity it more than makes up for in unbridled beauty. Walk over miles of fine, sandy beaches, through secluded coves and along remote clifftops while looking out for seals, dolphins, basking sharks and maybe even whales.
This dramatic trail is also home to some of the rarest flora and fauna the country has to offer and in addition, hikers are often reminded of it’s industrial past and six areas adjacent to the path are now part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.
5. Causeway Coast Path (Ballycastle to Portstewart)
This route on Antrim’s beautiful coastline covers some world-renowned spots, such as the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and you will also see recognisable locations from the hit tv show, Game of Thrones.
From the coastline, you will get glimpses of the distant Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, as well as numerous islands dotted around the coastline including Rathlin Island – a must visit for bird lovers and puffin enthusiasts!