The UK offers a dazzling combination of modern cities and historic countryside. For those who love the outdoors, the country also offers imposing mountains, rolling hills and fantastic walkways. From quaint lakeside villages nestled among huge peaks to an ancient wall that separates England and Scotland, walkers are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a route.
Strap on some walking boots from the likes of Brantano and get ready. Here are five of the best walking routes in the whole of the UK.
West Highland Way
Scotland plays host to the UK’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. The West Highland Way is a 96-mile route that treks from the suburbs of Glasgow into the forests of Loch Lomond and beyond before ending at the foot of Ben Nevis. Consisting of foreboding forestry, deep and mysterious Scottish Lochs and some of the most spectacular mountains in the world, this is a walk that will both test and inspire you.
While it is a single mountain, the surrounding area of Helvellyn in the Lake District is a must-see during a visit to the UK. The whole of the Lake District is unmissable, full of towns that sit on the bank of immense lakes, shadowed by mountains you can summit with a bit of patience and tenacity.
Of them, Helvellyn is the best. Not as tall as England’s biggest mountain (Scafell Pike, also in the Lake District) but beloved by writers such as William Wordsworth and Alfred Wainwright, Helvellyn offers a challenging climb over a knife-edge arête. It is not to be taken lightly but for those fit and determined enough, Helvellyn offers a truly amazing walking route.
Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland and Cumbria
Originally built by the Roman’s to repel Scottish forces, Hadrian’s Wall was built in 122 AD and marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. It begins near the River Tyne in the suburbs of Newcastle upon Tyne and ranges across the country to the Solway Firth in the Irish Sea.
Hadrian’s Wall can be enjoyed via the 84-mile Hadrian’s Wall path. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has withstood the centuries and features the remains of Roman forts and castles. For history buffs, it’s an unbeatable experience.
Snowdonia in Wales is a stunning national park that stretches over 823 square miles. It houses Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. However, the peak of Tryfan offers a greater challenge as you need to use your hands to climb it – a true scramble for enthusiastic walkers. Reaching the summit makes you feel like a true mountain explorer, and you can make the famous leap between the Adam and Eve stones that sit on the summit.
If greenery and rolling countryside is your thing, you’ll love the idyllic Cotswolds. This 101-mile path stretches out from the ancient city of Bath to Chipping Campden. This is not a mountain-strewn route and mainly consists of beautiful greenery and stately towns. It’s a gorgeous route and testament to the picturesque nature of southern Britain.