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Hiking in the Scottish Highlands

For this post, we’ve collaborated with The Tourist Trail – a tourism platform helping you explore the UK through unique county trails.

The UK is filled with fantastic places to go walking and hiking. With so many interesting landscapes and beautiful destinations, there is a lot to explore. We have put together a list of top destinations for a UK walking holiday to give you all the inspiration you need to plan your perfect break.

We have chosen these destinations as they are suitable for all levels of experience – so whether you’re after somewhere you can explore at your own pace on a leisurely day out, discovering interesting places along the way, or you are looking for a challenge as part of a wider county trail, you can tailor your holiday accordingly.

Continuing reading to discover 10 of the best UK walking holidays… 

1. West Lulworth, Dorset

Best for… Coastal Walking Holidays

Durdle Door at Lulworth Cove in West Lulworth, Dorset

The Jurassic Coast makes a fantastic destination for a UK walking holiday. Not only does it have stunning scenery, but the cliffs also tell the story of three different historical time periods.

Spanning all the way from Devon to Dorset, the area has received UNESCO World Heritage Site status due to its global geological importance, and the dynamic coastline offers some incredible views.

For a walking holiday, we recommend following the South West Coast Path. There are lots of little towns and villages dotted along the Jurassic Coast so you can make your holiday as long or as short as you like, with plenty of interesting places to visit along the way.

We recommend planning your route to include West Lulworth, because the iconic Durdle Door is breath-taking and it will be the highlight of your holiday. Just be sure to bring your camera because you’ll want to take plenty of photos.

Find a number of other walks in Dorset by browsing our handy travel guide.

2. Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Best for… Literary Walking Holidays

Boat on the banks of the River Avon, with a view of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Second on our list of the best places to go walking in the UK can be found in the Warwickshire town of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

If you love Shakespeare, this is the walking holiday for you. Plan your route to include plenty of time in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Here you will find all sorts of interesting literary attractions suitable for a day out, including Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre.

Once you have been around the main Shakespearean attractions in Stratford-Upon-Avon, you can always extend your walking holiday if you wish by following along Shakespeare’s Avon Way, which runs alongside the River Avon.

3. York, North Yorkshire

Best for… Historical Walking Holidays

View of Cliffords Tower in York, North Yorkshire

Those with an interest in history will enjoy a walking holiday in York, where you can stroll its ancient walls, uncover its Viking past and find Roman roots at every corner. With an array of historical attractions, there are lots of things to see and interesting places to stop.

Wander through medieval, winding streets discovering fascinating attractions, such as York Minster Cathedral, the JORVIK Viking Centre, York Dungeon, and Castle Museum, which is an award-winning museum home to a variety of events throughout the year. Choose this destination for the ideal ramble through time before grabbing a bite to eat and unwinding in one of the many cafés and restaurants in the area.

York truly promises to be a superb UK walking destination!

4. New Forest, Hampshire

Best for… Woodland Walking Holidays

Herd of fallow deer in the New Forest, Hampshire

If you enjoy forest walks, you will love the ancient woodland of the New Forest in Hampshire. Make sure your route includes the Ashurst Wood area of the New Forest. With free-roaming ponies and deer, the area is filled with beautiful wildlife and animals.

However, it is worth noting that due to the amount of wildlife, it is best to stick to one of the recommended routes to avoid disturbing the rare breeding birds, especially between April and July. This is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of your busy, everyday routine.

5. Lake District, Cumbria

Best for… Relaxing Walking Holidays

Bench overlooking Buttermere Lake in the Lake District, Cumbria

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to go walking with a backdrop of huge, tranquil lakes, the Lake District National Park is a great choice. The whole of the Lake District is incredibly scenic so you can’t really go wrong – but if you’re looking for a particularly beautiful place to go, we recommend including Buttermere.

For a fantastic view, climb Haystacks on the southeast side of Buttermere Valley, and glimpse across a jagged landscape whilst taking in the fresh Cumbrian air. Find many more inspirational walks in the ultimate Lake District mountain and fell guide.

6. Cheddar, Somerset

Best for… Foodie Tour Walking Holidays

Cheddar Gorge in the Mendip Hills, Somerset

If you are a bit of a foodie, Cheddar in Somerset is a fantastic choice for a walking holiday. The limestone cliffs at Cheddar Gorge offer spectacular views to take in whilst you are walking, and there are all sorts of local attractions to punctuate your holiday. The National Trust’s Cheddar Gorge Walk provides a circular walking route around Cheddar Gorge.

Visit the caves and see where the cave-aged cheese is matured- and make sure you visit the local shops so you can treat yourself to cheese, cider, or other delicious food and drink from local suppliers.

7. Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Best for… English Countryside Walking Holidays

Helmsley market town in North Yorkshire

If you’re looking for a gentle place to go walking, where you can soak up the classic English countryside, North Yorkshire is a great option. With miles of green fields, hills, and traditional English market towns, you can take things at your own pace, rambling along and stopping off every so often at tea rooms, cafés, and pubs.

Helmsley is an ideal place to stay during your walking holiday as it gives you the option of exploring the North York Moors if you are feeling more energetic, or just having a wander and relaxing in one of the local tea rooms or treating yourself to a pub lunch if you fancy a more relaxing day.

8. Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd, Wales

Best for… Adventurous Walking Holidays

The Miners Track in Snowdonia National Park, overlooking Lyn Lydaw Lake

Snowdonia National Park is ideal for more adventurous hikers. If you are an experienced walker and you are after a challenging route, try following Llanberis Path to the summit of Mount Snowdon. There are some amazing views on the way up, so make sure you stop regularly to take it all in.

Less confident hikers can follow the Miners Track, which doesn’t go all the way to the summit but still provides fantastic views. Discover a selection of walks in North Wales with our travel guide and pick just the ramble for you.

North Wales is truly one of the best places for a walking holiday in the UK.

9. Peak District National Park, Derbyshire

Best for… Wildflower Walking Holidays

Field of purple heather in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire

Our next UK walking destination is The Limestone Way, taking you through the White Peak area of the Peak District National Park. As well as the limestone cliffs, pastures, and small towns and villages, this route is blanketed with pretty wildflowers, purple heather, and wild orchids – the ideal backdrop to your family photograph.

This trail leads through the southern part of Britain’s first National Park, meandering along the stunning Derbyshire Dales and through picturesque villages. Make sure you have your walking boots strapped on, as this walk finds its way along many country tracks and through sheep-filled fields, though it is a relatively gentle trail.

If you’re not too bothered about completing the whole walk and you want to avoid getting caught in a flatter section of the route with fewer landscape views and muddy fields, a helpful tip is to maybe cut out the part between Rocester and Thorpe. No matter how you choose to tackle the walk, this 46-mile waymarked trail is a superb way to spend a day or two.

10. Edinburgh, Scotland

Best for… Cultural Walking Holidays

Edinburgh Castle & The Ross Fountain, Edinburgh, Lothian and Fife

Concluding our guide to the best places to go walking is the Scottish capital.

If you enjoy the arts or you are in the mood for some cultural days out, a walking holiday in Edinburgh is ideal, with many attractions and points of interest begging to be discovered.

Edinburgh is filled with museums and art galleries, including the National Museum of Scotland and The National Galleries of Scotland, as well as beautiful old buildings, monuments, and plenty of hills and areas for walking.

Climb the historic fortress of Edinburgh Castle and uncover its 11th-century secrets or find the 18th-century City Chambers offer a fascinating insight to the way of life at that time. There are also plenty of green open spaces for you to enjoy a stroll just outside the city centre. Find Arthur’s Seat, the towering remains of an extinct volcano perched a stone’s throw away from Holyrood Palace and take in the glorious views.

Browse our collection of cottages for walking and find your ideal spot to be whisked away from your everyday routine. We have covered some wondrous destinations to take a hike and enjoy a change of scenery with your family and friends!

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