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Hiking trails in the UK are considered to be among the best in the world! They can take hikers from the shores of St. Margaret’s Bay in Kent to Northern Ireland’s Giant Causeway.
From hiking trails of just a few miles to walks of up to 84 miles, such as Hadrian’s Wall Path, there are many popular and hidden gems in the UK trail world for all adventurous spirits.
1. Hadrian’s Wall Path, Wallsend
Best for: Long walks
Known across Europe, Hadrian’s Wall Path is one of UK’s iconic trails. With its 84 mile length, it starts at Wallsend in northern England and stretches to Newcastle upon Tyne. It can take 6 – 7 days for an experienced hiker to complete the walk. You better do a good stretch, though!
However, it is not just about the walk itself as it is about the historic places seen along the way. The Roman sites seen on the trail can inspire hikers of all ages to get immersed in local history.
The good news is that the trail is kept in a top condition as 60 volunteers are responsible for its maintenance. In terms of food, hikers are advised to pack hiking essentials and to visit local restaurants such as the Fisherman’s Lodge.
2. The Lizard Coastal Walk, Cornwall
Best for: One-day hikes
With a length of just 7 miles, the walk is perfect for an active day spent outdoors.
Starting at Kynance Cove, the trail ends at Lizard Point. It takes hikers from the coast, through car parks and back to the coast. There are plenty of attractions along this short walk. These include the Pentreath beach and the Lizard Lighthouse.
For a quick snack, hikers can stop at Pen Olver with its impressive views. Reaching the trail is easy. There’s a car park in Lizard as well as in Helston from where hikers can take the bus to Lizard village. Since it is a short hike, there’s no need to pack too much food.
Essentials, outdoor gear, and actions cameras are a must-have on this scenic hike. You can find some special discount codes available for buying such gear.
3. The Causeway Coast Way Walking Trail, Northern Ireland
Best for: 3-day hikes
Somewhere between a one-day hike and a 7-day hike, the Causeway Coast Way Walking trail is perfect for those who’ve already been on their first long outdoor walk. With a length of 34 miles, the full walk can be done in three days.
The first day starts at Ballycastle, and it ends at Ballintoy.
During the second day, hikers go from Ballintoy to the Giant’s Causeway.
On the third day, the hike can continue from the Giant’s Causeway to Portstewart.
Plenty of food should be considered for the trip since there are plenty of detours you should visit, such as the Kinbane Castle.
4. The Coniston Round Walk, Lake District National Park
Best for: Group hikes
Starting and finishing at the Coniston tourist information centre, the walk is as picture-perfect as hikers dream for. Old mines and the Grey Friar are among its attractions.
Since there are a few places to shorten the trail, the hike might be the group activity sought after by families.
5. Kintyre Way, Scotland
Best for: Coastal views
Starting from Tarbert, the long hike is perfect for a few days on the Kintyre Peninsula. The route is particularly interesting for those who love Scottish history with its Skipness Castle. If no hiking snacks in your pocket, great food is found at local cabins. But hikers can also admire a few seals along the coast as well.
Guided tours are available as well, for those seeking a more convenient way of exploring the peninsula.
6. Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Pembrokeshire National Park
Best for: Maritime tradition culture
Open to the public in 1970; the Pembrokeshire Coast Path lies in a conservation site and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The areas are known for its fishing activity, but there are many historical sites along the way, steeped in Viking history.
Wildlife is impressive as well, and it includes birds such as razorbills, fulmars and various species of gulls.
7. Costwold Way, Bath
Best for: New trails
Inaugurated in 2007, the trail starts in Bath, and it ends in Chipping Campden. With a total length of 102 miles, it represents an attractive option for its varied landscape. Unique points of interest include the site of the Battle of Lansdowne.
But most importantly, it can be one of the top trails for those looking to snap a few photos in picturesque villages such as Snowshill and Painswick.
8. The Great Glen Way, Scotland
Best for: Highland adventures
The long-distance hike links the Atlantic with the Moray Firth in Eastern Scotland. With a length of 78 miles, the hike is relatively new, being inaugurated in 2002. 5 – 7-day hikes are usually the case on the walk. Cycling is an alternative to cut the route’s time in half. However, the trail is most impressive in its forest sections such as the part near Loch Laggan.
9. South Foreland Lighthouse Walk, Kent
Best for: Lighthouse visiting
The South Foreland Lighthouse has been closed since 1988. But it still offers a unique view for avid hikers. Starting at the White Cliffs visitors centre, the route is part of the Saxon Shore Way. Ending at the lighthouse, the hike is perfect for National Trust conservation projects fans. Hikers need to know that visiting the lighthouse is only possible between April and October.
10. Perranporth to St. Agnes, Cornwall
Best for: Short hikes
The 3.6-mile hike is a must for cliff top walking. With a rich mining heritage, it can be an inspiring first walk for those experiencing what the UK has to offer. Some walkers even take their dogs with them since the trail is so short. Reaching Perranporth is possible via bus from St. Agnes. A car park is available in Droskyn as well.
With such a wide variety of short and long walks, the UK has an impressive offer for hikers of all levels. Even more, the country can offer various landscapes from cliff tops to forests. This variation is what makes it a unique hiking destination. The best part is that most of these trails are marked and well maintained either through public bodies or by volunteers.