Hiking | 8 Of The Best Hikes In The UK
Where are the best hikes in the UK? Which hikes are the best for beginners? Which hikes are the best for rock climbers? We have the answers...
Want to go for a hike in the UK this weekend but don't know where to head for the best walk and spectacular scenery?
Hiking is an amazing way to spend your weekend. Whether you want to hike near London or further afield, there are some great trails all over the UK. While sports like climbing and surfing require equipment, skill and probably a significant amount of travel time, a good old hike is the easiest way to have a last minute adventure.
Once just the pastime of old ramblers in the moors or young backpackers in Thailand, hiking has now become a popular and serious sport for many people over the weekend and during holidays away from the office. Whether you're a casual walker or a hardcore scrambler, there's a hike for you.
Going for a hike is good for both you body and your mind and one of the best ways to leave the stress of the week behind.Grab your hiking boots and hiking backpack, and go explore the country the old fashioned way!
Hadrian's Wall is mainly known for the remains of the Roman Emperor, Hadrian's northern defensive fortifications, but this area is actually full of amazing trails that shouldn't be missed.
Hikers can walk the famous 84-mile long-distance footpath from coast to coast following the World Heritage Site of Hadrian's Wall along ridges and crags and past the Roman settlements and forts.
If 84 miles sounds too long for new or more casual hikers, then there are shorter walks available in the surrounding area, suitable for all abilities and no less picture-perfect in their views. Walking to the top of Steel Rigg does require a little more effort, but the views are worth the climb.
Make sure you have the right hiking boots for the harder trails and keep some hiking essentials in your hiking backpack, you can hike all the way past open countryside, cosy pubs, bustling market towns and breathtaking views....
Helvellyn, Lake District
At 590m, Helvellyn in the Lake District has the third highest peak in the UK, along with some amazing trails and hikes, past lakes, fields and peaks.
Hikers who like to take their adventures further than just one day of hiking will love this area for its lapse attitude towards wild camping. People regularly camp near to Red Tarn which has amazing views of Striding Edge, Swirral Edge, and the summit of Helvellyn itself.
While camping in England is illegal without the permission of the landowner, in Helvellyn there is a tradition of wild camping and unofficial campers are usually overlooked and accepted by the local authorities,so long as they leave their camping spot as they found it.
The best known trail in the area stretches across Striding Edge and is a route which involves scrambling, linking the summit ridge of Birkhouse Moor to Helvellyn's summit. Perfect for a weekend of hiking and enjoying the great outdoors.
Read our full guide to hiking in the Lake District here.
Any hiker worth his salt has hiked to the top if Mount Snowdon. The famous mountain is the biggest not only in Wales, but in England also.
The various hiking routes around Mount Snowdon are some of the most popular in the UK. To reach it's 1085m peak, you can choose between six different hiking paths. Choose between The Llanberis Path, PYG Track, Miners’ Track, Watkin Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path and the Snowdon Ranger Path.
There are also many activities around Snowdonia to experience between hikes. Bounce Below features a maze of underground trampolines and zip wires to explore and Surf Snowdonia is the UK's first artificial wave garden, for perfect waves every time you want to surf.
The trails around Snowdon can be unpredictable at different times of the year so before you hit the muddy path, make sure you always check the Snowdon Summit weather forecast.
One of the UK's great Yorkshire hikes, Stanage Edge is the name of the cliffs that line Sheffield's moorland.
The most popular hike around Stanage Edge is a circular trail which begins and ends at Hathersage, situated in the Hope Valley on the A6187 between south Manchester and south Sheffield, which takes approximately four hours to complete.
Leading through the Peak District, the hike is made up mainly of clear paths, with a few stiles and less definite paths during the trail. Many people come to this trail to learn the basics of trad rock climbing, at the many available sports in the area.
During this hike, make sure to look for the upland views to the east, of Higger Tor and Hathersage Moor, when Standge Edge is straight ahead.
Read our full guide to hiking in the Peak District here.
5) Cleveland Way
The 109 mile long Cleveland Way is one of our favourite hikes. This is a trail that not only features dramatic coastline, but beautiful heather moorland also. Cleveland way is unique in its views, as well as in its castles, ancient stones and traditional villages.
Often described as a 'little long distance' hike, the trail is great for people who want to stretch their hiking legs a little further and see what they're capable of, without throwing themselves too far in the deep end.
The Cleveland Way is one of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales designated by the Secretary of State and are administered by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales. These trails are protected and are usually some of the most picturesque parts of the UK countryside.
6) South Downs
The South Downs are a 100 mile trail from the old English capital of Winchester, all the way down to the coast and cliffs of Eastborne. A trail that cuts across the country like the South Downs is great for hikers looking to see lots of different types of countryside and trails, with scenery ranging for Country Parks to national museums along the way.
Follow the whole of the 166.4Km trail, or just give a a portion of the route a go, between the regular walking festivals to local farmers markets, you'll find something going on along the way.
7) Southern Upland Way (Scotland)
The Southern Upland Way claims to be the UK's first official coast to coast hike. Running from the It Portpatrick on the south-west coast of Scotland to Cockburnspath on the eastern seaboard this is no training ground, running a whole 212 miles from start to finish.
While the trail is mainly smooth, with paths throughout and little need for scrambling, the official Southern Upland Way website warns that hikers may find the route difficult to complete if carrying luggagein their hiking backpack, suggesting a luggage transfer service.
To complete the whole trail takes between 12 and 16 days, depending on how many stops are taken throughout a day of hiking. Booking accommodation beforehand for most sections of the journey is a good way of keeping on track with your walking schedule.
8) Three Peaks
If you live in Yorkshire, hiking the Three Peaks is basically your go-to for any sponsored event. It seems you can't go a week without another person posting a Just Giving page to get sponsors for them to conquer those three big old hills.
The Three Peaks is an amazing hike and because of the way its split into sections, it can really feel like a test of endurance. Situated in Pennine range, the mountains encircle the heads of the valleys of the River Ribble and The Yorkshire Dales National Park.