Those looking for an active holiday destination in Europe will soon find walking routes in England. Good accessibility, friendly people and a wide variety of nature reserves make England ideal for surprising hikes. The National Trails are well-maintained and signposted long-distance walks through some of the UK’s most beautiful natural areas, quaint villages and historic highlights. Whether you are looking for breathtaking coastal walks, a trip through one of the most atmospheric nature reserves in England or a trip back to the days of the Romans, these three hiking routes in England have it all!
Cliffs and beaches on the Atlantic coast
On the South West Coast Path, walkers follow the dramatic coastline of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. This is the southwestern tip of England, where water from the Atlantic Ocean beats roughly against the cliffs. A winding path leads past the beautiful beaches, cliffs and coves of this unspoilt coastal area of England. Breathtaking natural areas are interspersed with fascinating historic buildings, such as old lighthouses and remains of mines.
Of all the hiking trails in England that are official National Trails, the South West Coast Path is the longest. The entire route spans over a thousand kilometers, from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset. Many walkers choose to just hike part of the path, such as the attractive Cornish coast route section.
Rustic villages in the south of England
The Cotswolds, the green heart of southern England, lies between Bristol, Birmingham and Oxford. This fascinating region is known for idyllic farm landscapes, authentic British market villages, enchanting woodlands and green, rolling hills. Much of the Cotswolds has been designated by the British government as a “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” as early as the 1960s.
In addition to the abundance of green natural areas, the Cotswolds is known for the many castles, manors, cathedrals and gardens tucked away among the hills. The characteristic countryside was therefore used as a setting for various films and television series. In the scenic countryside and villages of the Cotswolds, you can easily imagine yourself in a scene from Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice.
The Cotswold Way is one of the most beautiful walking routes in England. The trail spans over 100 miles, from Chipping Campden to the historic city of Bath. With constant slopes and valleys it takes you through the hilly Cotswolds, occasionally crossing villages and towns. For many, one of the highlights is Bath’s end point. In the magnificent historic center of this southern English city, including impressive Roman baths, walkers can rest completely from the tour.
Back to the time of the Romans
The Roman baths in Bath are impressive, but in Northern England there is a walkway that is all about Roman heritage from start to finish. Hadrian’s Wall Path is one of the most popular walking routes in England. The trail follows the remains of Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire in the second century.
Parts of the wall, including gates, watchtowers and fortresses, can be admired along the iconic long-distance walk. Its archaeological heritage is set in a charming setting of rolling meadows, the quintessential Northern England countryside. The middle part of the hike is characterized by steep asymmetrical rocky hills. Hadrian’s Wall Path is the perfect choice for those who want to combine a long distance walk with a visit to historical and cultural heritage.