The United Kingdom, with its rolling countryside, craggy peaks, picturesque towns, lochs, moors, dales and vales is a paradise for walkers. With dramatic landscapes and coastal views, epic hikes and short strolls, there is something to suit all abilities and moods. So, whether you want to roam England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, here are some of the best walks in the UK.
7 Scenic Walks in the UK
1. Cave Hill Country Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland
At Cave Hill Country Park there are waymarked walking trails suitable for casual walkers and serious ramblers. Rising some 1,207-feet (368 metres), the Hill’s eastern slopes are cut into a series of plunging cliffs. The imposing hill is visible throughout the city and its most prominent feature is ‘Napoleon’s Nose’. So-called because it looks like a face when viewed from the south. This feature inspired Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver’s Travels.
2. Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Yorkshire, England
If you like your walks with helping of history and heritage, then you will love the Leeds and Liverpool Canal route running from Skipton to Saltaire. At 127 miles long, this is the longest watercourse of its kind in northern England. As you stroll along the lazy canal you step back in time and glimpse the area’s rich industrial past. Old factories and mills including a huge Victorian textile mill in Saltaire, line the canal. Saltaire village, which is near Bradford, is such a well-preserved industrial area that UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site.
3. The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Scotland is a walker’s wonderland with its dramatic seascapes and landscape features. One of the regions most famed for its picturesque, painterly scenery is the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. You start the 4.2-mile (6.8km) Quiraing looped route in either Staffin or Uig. A road links the two villages. The Quiraung walk wows with its impressive cliff views and rock formations. See if you can find and one called the ‘Prison’ (shaped like a medieval keep), ‘Needle’ (a 120-feet jagged pinnacle) and Table (it’s really flat). Bring your camera, wear sturdy footwear, and be prepared to be blown away by the views, and the wind too.
4. Mourne Way, County Down, Nothern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s countryside is incredibly beautiful and lots of the time practically deserted, too. So, if you like walks filled with peace and solitude, you are in the right place. The Mourne Way in County Down is 23 miles (37km) long, and you’ll be able to complete it in two days. The route is mostly off-road and well waymarked. It begins in Newcastle and ends in Rostrevor and you follow the north-western foothills of the Mourne Mountains. The varied walk takes you through enchanted woodland and along scenic mountain paths and down through wild valleys. You’ll even summit Butter Mountain.
5. The Wales Coast Path, Wales
Looking for an epic walking route that will allow you to see as much of wonderful Wales as possible? Then lace up your boots and pack your tent and tackle the 870-mile Wales Coast Path. This is one of the few footpaths in the world that allows you to follow a nation’s coastline. It runs from the Welsh border to Chepstow and you’ll finish the whole route in 6-7 weeks if you average 20 or so miles a day. En route, sweeping vistas will mesmerise you. Wonderful wildlife will entertain you, and plenty of heritage sites will wow you. This walk showcases the best that Wales has to offer.
6. Llangollen Canal Path, North Wales
For a walk that takes you through the tranquil, picturesque villages for which Wales is famed, follow the canal path from Llangollen to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The Victorian engineer, Thomas Telford finished the construction of the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world in 1805 and nowadays it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along this gentle 6-mile walk you’ll also pass the weir designed by Telford, the pump-house, which is still operational today, and Pentre Fellin.
7. The Pennine Way, England and Scotland
The Pennine Way is one of the UK’s most famous long-distance walks. It stretches for 268 miles (431km) along the Pennine hills and runs from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District and finishes at Kirk Yetholm, a village in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland. Along the way, you’ll pass through the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park. The Pennine Way is full of history and serves up some spectacular scenery. This walk takes in some of England’s wildest landscapes.