There are a total of 15 long distance hikes in England and Wales that bear the title of ‘National Trail’. England’s National Trails are a diverse mix of coastal, meadows and mountainous trails. England’s varied and impressive landscapes prove that you don’t have to travel far to experience an unforgettable walking holiday.
Explore the dramatic Cornish coastline, learn about Northern England’s Roman heritage or discover some of the most charming villages in the British countryside. These are our five favorite long-distance hikes in England!
This winding route follows the coastline of the southwestern tip of England. With over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of trails, this tour is the longest of the long-distance hikes in England. Many walkers therefore choose to just hike part of the South West Coast Path. For example, explore the impressive cliffs of the Jurrassic Coast, walk the rolling hills of Exmoor National Park or enjoy the dramatic landscapes along the southwest coast of Cornwall.
This 140-kilometer (87 miles) walking route leads through two distinct regions designated as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: North Wessex Downs and Chilterns. England, Wales and Northern Ireland have some 40 of these areas, which enjoy the same protection as national parks. The natural beauty along The Ridgeway’s route is in the form of remote valleys and ancient woodlands.
The Cotswold Way is one of the most popular long distance walks in England. The path cuts through the Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful regions of the English countryside. This area is not only known for the picturesque landscapes of green hills and meadows, but also for the iconic villages that lie there. Of all the long-distance hikes on this list, the Cotswold Way is arguably the most literal embodiment of British charm. Medieval architectural styles, idyllic streets and stately country houses ensure that the route never gets boring.
This path in Southern England cuts through South Downs National Park. The conservation area lies around the South Downs, a chalk ridge on the British coast. In addition to the imposing chalk cliffs, hikers can enjoy green valleys, attractive forest trails and gentle slopes on this long-distance route.
One of the most famous long distance walks in England, Hadrian’s Wall Path has all the best in the UK. Vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, quaint villages and historical treasures both pass by on this route from coast to coast. Remains of Hadrian’s Wall can still be seen along large parts of the route, as well as remains of Roman villages and army posts. So here, hikers not only take a journey through the idyllic British countryside, but also a journey through time!