Best Places For Hiking In The UK

Woman walking across a bridge in a forest with hiking gear on her back

With the pandemic limiting travel and the need to get out of the house after being indoors for over a year, hiking seems to be the perfect option for a staycation.  Not only is hiking great for your physical health, but the alluring views of nature that the British landscape holds will help you forget all the anxieties of your daily life. From beginners to more advanced routes, this list has an option for hikers of all abilities.

Thames Path

Distance: 184 miles

Level: beginners

Starts: Kemble, Gloucestershire

Ends: Woolwich

This well marked path is perfect for beginners, looking for an easier stroll. It follows the meanders of the River Thames through a range of different views, from towns to meadows, so be sure to carry a camera!

South Downs Way

Distance: 100 miles

Level: beginners

Starts: Winchester

Ends: Eastbourne

This ancient route has been travelled for many years. Today, it is used by hikers, cyclists and horse riders. On the way you can enjoy quaint villages and the views of poppy fields. 

Scafell Pike, Lake District (Seathwaite Route)

Distance: 12 miles

Level: Advanced

Starts: Seathwaite, Borrowdale

Ends: Esk Hause

If you want to really test your stamina and orientation skills, this hike is for you. Enjoy the views that this tough terrain brings and you may see a few sheep along the way. This hike should only be attempted in good weather conditions and with appropriate equipment. An easier option is the Wasdale route up Scafell Pike. However, there are not as many views and the route tends to be more crowded.

Meall Fuar-mhonaidh, Inverness

Distance: 5.5 miles

Level: Intermediate

Starts: Drumnadrochit

Ends: Drumnadrochit

This walk through forests and bogs to see the breath-taking views of Loch-Ness will only take a few hours, making it perfect for a one day hike. The walk to the summit can be steep and rocky, so do not attempt this hike with injuries. The route is fairly easy to navigate and after reaching the summit, you will return the same way.

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

Distance: 4.5 miles

Level: Beginners

Starts: Beechenhurst

Ends: Beechenhurst 

This short walk through the famous Forest of Dean takes you on a trail around sculptures by various artists. Each piece of artwork is inspired by the environment. The full trail takes a couple of hours but can also be done in smaller sections.

Dorset Coat

Distance: 23.5 miles

Level: Intermediate

Starts: Knoll beach

Ends: Lulworth Cove

This walk covers the many types of terrain from sandy beaches to grassy cliffs and arguably has the most breath taking views of all mentioned in the list. On the way you will see the glistening horizon, charming villages, St Aldhelm’s Chapel and you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some bottle nose dolphins! 

If you are looking for a short break after a long year of isolation, get your walking boots on and try a hike. You will not be disappointed by the picturesque views that Britain has to offer, making this summer unforgettable.