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10 Best Hikes in the United Kingdom

The best hikes in the UK for occasional hikers and enthusiasts alike.

Hiking around the UK

With the gyms closing down, the pandemic has gotten people to look for other physical activities, such as hiking, walking, and cycling. 

Although the UK might not have the highest peaks, its dramatic scenery allows hiking to be a popular pastime. 

Whether you’re a once-in-a-year hiker or frequently go hiking to stretch your legs, there’s a trail for you somewhere in the United Kingdom. Ensure you pack your best travel accessories and get ready to hit the road.

Here are some of the best hikes in the UK for occasional hikers and enthusiasts alike.   

Best Hiking Trails in the UK

While some of these hikes will take you on a whirlwind of a natural ride, others are more historically inclined with forts and UNESCO sites.

Hadrian’s Wall Path

Situated in northern England, Hadrian’s Wall is 73 miles long, making it one of the most majestic monuments in Britain. A Roman emperor ordered to build this wall back in AD 122, and it has been named after him. 

Originally, the wall was supposed to create a physical division between the Scottish Picts and the Romans. Over the years, its significance has been limited to a tourist destination since it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

While hiking along the path, you’ll see forts, museums, and several ancient settlements, hinting at the presence of Roman ancestry. If you’re enthusiastic, walk up to the highest point between Birdoswald Fort and Chollerford. 

From here, you can see the Lake District and marvel at the natural beauty of the area. If you want to give your legs a break, stop at the Roman Army Museum and watch the exhibit showing the history of the Wall. 

hadrians-wall-in-northumberland

The Quiraing 

A landslip in northern Skye, Quiraing is popular for its irregular and unique rock formations. Previously, it was just a fascinating place for geologists, but it has now become a wonder for photographers and avid hikers too. 

The four-mile trail is a bit tough, but once you count in the surrounding view, it’s worth the effort. 

You can start the trail from Uig or Staffin village and continue all the way to the island of Rona. Once you find yourself at the top of a cliff, don’t forget to look down because you can see people from atop. 

hiking-the-quiraing

South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is the longest hiking trail in the region, so you’ll have to free up your schedule for this one. It starts from Minehead and goes to Poole. 

On your way, you’ll see everything from fishing villages to rugged cliffs. Make sure to take a lot of pictures and buy souvenirs or eat at local places. 

Although it will take you about 52 days to reach the end of the trail, you don’t necessarily have to take a two-month break off from work. Instead, start from any signpost in the coastal path to walk a manageable section of the trail. 

south-west-coast-path-hike

Coast to Coast Walk

It’s another long hiking trail that’s pretty popular among local and international tourists. Considering that it passes through St Bees, the Irish Sea, and the North Sea, it’s easy to say this trail is pretty scenic. 

If you take the local route, you’ll find yourself walking through three national parks; the North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, and the Lakes. They’re the perfect places to stop for a meal, drink, or pictures. 

It’s a 192-mile trail that goes all the way from one English coast to the other. So, you’ll need to stop at a few places on your way. Besides the national parks, you might also be interested in the Grasmere village or the Wordsworth Museum. 

sheep-on-a-yorkshire-dales-hike

Scafell Pike 

Since it’s the tallest English mountain, Scafell is understandably a popular hiking spot for tourists. Moreso, there are plenty of ways to get to the mountain, and you can choose the one that suits you best.

A common route taken by hikers is the one from Lake District. Start from Wasdale, and you’ll find yourself accompanied by other walkers too. However, if you want to take a quieter and less crowded route, you can take the path from Seathwaite. 

It’s the Corridor Route and runs for nine miles, taking you through ravines and rocky walls all the way up to the top of England. 

hiking-in-cumbria-scafell-pike

Causeway Coastway 

If you prefer to be tagged along by the sea, this is the best hike for you. You’ll find yourself surrounded by spectacular cliffs and much more. 

Plus, the trail has the Giant’s Causeway, which is said to be made by a giant from the Irish myths. You can start the trial from Portstewart and go to Ballycastle. The trail is lined by many aesthetic seaside towns, such as Portrush and Coleraine. 

If you’re in the mood for a drink, do stop at the Bushmills Irish distillery to enjoy the local whiskey. 

giants-causeway-northern-ireland

The Ridgeway

It’s known as the oldest road in Britain and was a popular route taken by traders and travelers in prehistoric times. Even today, tourists and local hikers use the path for occasional hikes to witness the stunning beauty of the Chiltern Hills and North Wessex Downs. 

The lush green hiking trail is 87 miles in total – much shorter than some other hikes on this list. Ensure you pack lightweight travel clothing that you can shed if it warms up. 

The-ridgeway-walk-berkshire

Pennine Way

Although not as popular as some other hiking trails in the UK, the Pennine Way is an absolutely stunning place to spend the day. It connects the border of Scotland to northern England, featuring many hills. 

So, you’re definitely in for a leg workout – thanks to the hilly trail – but your eyes will be grateful to you after the toil. 

In total, the hike is 268 miles, but you don’t have to walk the whole way since there are pit stops and signposts in the way to direct you. 

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South Downs Way

If you don’t mind wildlife on your hiking trip, you should take the South Downs Way, which runs for 100 miles, taking you through the transverse English countryside. 

Start your route from Winchester and walk all the way to Eastbourne, where you’ll be welcomed by chalk cliffs. If you’re planning to take the whole route, you’ll need to free up eight days in your schedule. 

Alternatively, you can divide it into manageable sections to make the hike a weekend activity. However, don’t get too close to the cliff edges because there are no fences. 

Some highlights not to miss on the trail include the Devil’s Dyke and the Amberley Working Museum. If you’re a fan of drinking after a long hike, you’ll find many pubs along the way to give your body a break. 

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Ceredigion Coast Path 

The 60-mile Welsh hiking trail takes you up and down the fishing villages, headlands, and sweeping bays. If you plan on walking the whole way, it will take you about a week. 

Most pit stops have scenic beaches for you to rest your feet and enjoy being close to water. 

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With that, we’ve come to the end of our list of the best hiking trails in the UK. Since the region is known for its mesmerizing landscape and geology, hikers are spoilt for choice. While some trails only span a few miles, others require a week-long itinerary.

Therefore, there’s something for everyone, and every trail is lined by beautiful sceneries, villages, pubs, local attractions, cliffs, and other natural wonders. 

Author Bio: Kyle Kroeger is the owner of ViaTravelers.com. Via Travelers is a modern travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to ensure you have an amazing adventure. Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.