The UK may not be home to the highest mountains, but its rugged coastline and vast National Parks do boast some incredibly beautiful hiking options. In fact, certain areas of the country are famed for their idyllic scenery.
From the heather-clad Scottish Highlands to Snowdonia’s attractions, there are plenty of spots to choose from, including a handful that we’ve listed below. So what are you waiting for? Lace-up your hiking boots and get exploring!
South West Coast Path, Cornwall
The South West Coast Path, Cornwall, is certainly a hike to add to your to-do list. Spanning an incredible 630 miles, it’s renowned for its stunning coastline, passing smuggler’s bays and sandy beaches between Harbour in Dorset and Minehead in Somerset. If you visit in the summer months, be sure to stop at one of the trek’s many hidden coves for a refreshing dip.
Other attractions in the area include an array of secluded beaches, the mainland’s most southerly point, and picture-perfect turquoise waters, accompanied by the pale white sand of Housel Bay. Here you’ll discover everything from dolphins to wildflowers.
Other sights to look out for include Tintagel, the home of Arthurian legend, and St Michael’s Mount, accessible via an ancient tidal causeway.
The Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Situated in the wild terrain of Northern Skye, one of Scotland’s many picturesque islands, Quiraing is a landslip in the shape of unique yet picture-perfect rock formations. It’s a hot spot for everyone from photographers and travel influencers to geologists and more.
However, the easiest way to embrace its stunning landscape is to hike it, provided that you’re fit! Luckily, an impressive four-mile loop allows you to do just this. The views certainly make up for the climb which begins at either Staffin or Uig village.
Keep your eyes peeled for some of the impressive wildlife in the region too, including white-tailed eagles, golden eagles, red deer, and puffins, as well as sea life such as dolphins, whales, and seals.
Hadrian’s Wall Path, Northumberland and Cumbria
Boasting an impressive 73 miles of the ancient monument, this is one of northern England’s most prevalent hiking spots located in Northumberland. Named after the Roman emperor who requested it to be built between AD122 and AD128, the wall’s initial function was to draw a line between the ‘barbarian’ Scottish Picts and the frontier of the Roman Empire.
Today, it’s a must-visit UNESCO World Heritage site, dotted with ancient settlements and awe-inspiring museums. One of the preferred sections to acquaint is the stretch between Birdoswald Fort – just east of Carlisle – and Chollerford – near Hexham – which spans around 20 miles.
This point is the highest part of the Wall and boasts idyllic views of the Pennines and the Lake District. Alternatively, head to Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum to discover about life for soldiers stationed at the wall nearly two millennia ago.
South Downs Way, Hampshire to East Sussex
If white cliffs, wildlife, and watering holes is your thing, a trip to South Downs Way (East Sussex) is a must! It is here you will discover a quintessentially British walk spanning an impressive 100-miles. Some describe it as one of the best hikes south of London.
The hike starts in the city of Winchester and meanders through idyllic countryside, opening up to Eastbourne’s rippling chalk cliffs. It takes a total of eight days to walk the complete route, which makes it one to come back to time and time again.
Most choose to hike from west to east, or alternatively, to split the route into several sections. One thing to note, when walking close to the cliffs, steer well clear of the edges as there are numerous landslips.
Renowned attractions you will spot along the way include Devil’s Dyke in the heart of the South Downs National Park, as well as the Amberley Working Museum and Seven Sister’s Country Park.
You’ll also discover a handful of cutesy pubs, should you get thirsty, while Brighton is renowned for its seafront and independent shopping including in the area known as the Lanes.
West Highland Way
Feeling brave? This is certainly one way to experience some pretty impressive landscapes, spanning from Fort William in Scotland to Glasgow. The West Highland Way is a popular hike for many, situated close to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
It is here you will discover sparkling lochs, lowlands enveloped by heather, and a huge variety of steep mountain paths. You’ll finish this hike right at the base of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain.
Now you’re aware of a handful of the top hiking spots in the United Kingdom, it’s time to embrace the great outdoors and enjoy the stunning views they have to offer.
Just be sure to pick a sunny day, take plenty of water with you, and always wear the correct shoes!