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.
Before you take your next hiking trip, be sure to consult this list of the very best walks on offer throughout the UK – from well-trodden treks to hidden gems.
West Highland Way, Glasgow
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. If you’re looking for a convenient base for your walking holiday, you’ll find holiday homes throughout Scotland – offering hikers a cosy place to relax and refuel after a hard day tackling the trails.
Helvellyn, Lake District
Romanticised by Wordsworth in 1816, Helvellyn’s stunning scenery casts a potent spell that is sure to leave you awed, amazed and well and truly refreshed. Just don’t stray too close to Striding Edge – a sharp ridge that’s sure to prove more than challenging for even the most experienced climber.
Famous as the only trail on the British mainland that requires a scramble as part of the main ascent, Tryfan is actually a much easier climb than you might imagine. Impress on Instagram with the impressive views of Snowdonia from twin peaks Adam and Eve – if you can stomach the 5-foot leap between the two, of course. Don’t forget to bring your GoPro along for this adventure!
Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall
This 600-mile stretch of the South West coast 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. The dramatic, 7-mile Lizard trail is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna the country has to offer, including the peculiarly named hairy greenweed – as well as the red-billed chough, famously found on the Cornish crest, which has been enjoying a resurgence since the 1970s.
Even if birdwatching isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of exploring to do. Head over to Asparagus Island or take a trip to Mullion Cove for a healthy dose of nostalgia if your childhood featured the adventures of the Famous Five.
Lagan Towpath, County Down
Originally designed in the 18th century to transport goods in bulk during the Industrial Revolution, this hidden gem is one of the Emerald Isle’s best kept secrets. The towpath is now a scenic and tranquil trek along 11 miles of wetland, meadow and woodland that follows the river Lagan from Belfast, over the historical Shaw’s Bridge and into the Union Locks area.
There’s an option for experienced hikers to extend the walk another few miles, giving you the opportunity to marvel at some extraordinary modern art – including local favourites ‘Nuala with the Hula’ and the 10m ceramic statue known as ‘Big Fish’.
Whether you’re in it for the rugged wilderness or the outdoor workout, there’s nothing quite like a hike in the Great British countryside – and there’s no denying the UK has plenty of awe-inspiring ascents to push even the most ambitious hikers to their limits.