There are plenty of things which are synonymous with the UK, from grey skies and unseasonably cool summers to delicious fish and chips and full English breakfasts, the UK really does seem to have it all.
For anybody with an interest in hiking and the great outdoors, you’ll also likely be aware that the countryside in the UK is as good as anywhere in the world, and I’ll quite happily put that in writing and put my reputation at stake on that.
For me, there’s no better way to spend a weekend than by throwing on my hiking boots, packing my backpack, and heading out into the stunning UK countryside to enjoy a hike through the wilderness before stopping off at a pub for a pint and a homemade pie and chips before making my way home to relax.
If you’re in the UK and are looking for hiking inspiration, here’s a look at se7en of the best hiking trails in the UK.
Hadrian’s Wall Path, Northumberland and Cumbria
The first hiking trail for you to learn about today is the 84-mile hike known as Hadrian’s Wall Path.
Hadrian’s Wall is the UK’s most prominent and famous Roman monument that makes for one of the best weekend hiking trails you could ever imagine.
Hadrian’s Wall was named after Hadrian, the Roman Emperor who ordered that it be built to separate England from the Scottish.
Now, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers amazing countryside views, ancient settlement ruins, museums, forts, and a whole lot more besides.
As you’re in the North and not too far from the coast, the weather can be chilly so be sure to dress accordingly, even in the summer.
Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall
Up next, I’m taking you to one of my favourite places in the UK, good old Cornwall.
Cornwall is a county largely dominated by farmland and stunning coastal regions, and wow, is it a county to behold.
The Lizard Peninsula hiking trail is ideal for people who just want a gentle stroll by the sea, without pushing themselves too hard.
Stretching just 7 miles, you will begin and end the trail at Kynance Cove, which you will probably recognise from Instagram as, in the summer, it is absolutely stunning in the sunshine.
If you enjoy the coast, you’ll love this trail as you’ll experience coastal paths, cliffs, beaches, coves, caves, subtropical plants, and all manner of wildlife, including lizards.
For the ultimate weekend, why not go camping and cover the trail over the span of a few days, as that way you can enjoy the beaches, tuck into some fish and chips, and wash everything down with a refreshing pint of Rattler cider. Yum!
Wester Ross, Scotland
Och aye, now it’s time for us to visit bonnie Scotland.
Apologies for my terrible Scottish accent there, it won’t happen again.
The Wester Ross hiking trail is located in the rugged Scottish Highlands, and best of all is the fact that there are so many different routes and paths for hikers to enjoy, as opposed to just sticking with one trail.
If you head on up to the Wester Ross trails, you’ll enjoy lochs, purple heather, wildlife, and panoramic vistas the likes of which you’ll surely have never experienced before in your life without visiting the Highlands.
Whilst in the area, be sure to pick up a delicious Haggis to take home, and maybe even enjoy a tour around one of the many whiskey distilleries in the area.
South Downs Way, Sussex
If you want a hike to pass a day or two, give the South Downs Way hiking trail a miss.
This trail spans more than 100 miles and will take at least 8 days to complete, perhaps even longer still.
This southern hiking trail is quintessentially British as you’ll enjoy British wildlife such as badgers, foxes, deer, and more besides, along with rolling hills, lush green pastures, farmlands, and bridleways.
This trail is great for those looking to explore the south, as it links up some of Sussex’s most tranquil villages and towns.
If you’re partial to a pub lunch and a real ale, there’s also an abundance of pubs along the way. So, whether you want to cool off in a beer garden in the summer, or, warm your cockles in front of a roaring fire in the autumn, the South Downs Way trail has got you covered.
Great Glen Way, Scotland
Now, we’re heading way back up north to Scotland, to learn more about the Great Glen Way hiking trail.
Many hiking and outdoor enthusiasts agree that the Great Glen Way trail is one of the best trails for a week-long break, as it stretches for 79 miles through the Highlands.
Starting in Fort William, you’ll enjoy two of Scotland’s most famous lochs, Loch Lochy, and of course, Loch Ness, home to Nessie, Scotland’s most famous and likely mythical creature.
If you’re looking for a break from the lochs and from hunting for oversized prehistoric creatures which may or may not exist in the waters of Loch Ness, you can also enjoy enormous mountains and barren moorlands which are home to an abundance of Scottish wildlife.
Looking for the ultimate snack to replenish the calories you burnt whilst hiking? If so, then head to your nearest fish and chip shop and order a battered Mars Bar. Seriously, it’s the future of chocolate and a staple in Scotland.
Cumbria Way, Cumbria
No list of the best hiking trails in the UK would be complete without mentioning the Lake District.
The Lake District National Park is as good as any National Park in the world, and I truly mean that as it is stunning.
The Cumbria Way hiking trail, therefore, is very popular indeed.
Spanning 76 miles, the suggested time for this hike is 9 days as the weather in the lakes can turn very quickly, and the mountainous terrain can be treacherous. That isn’t the only reason, though, the last reason is simply that you should take it slow so that you can admire it in all its glory.
Coast to Coast, Cumbria and Yorkshire
Finally, from one stunning county of Cumbria to one equally stunning county of Yorkshire, I present the Coast to Coast trail.
Beginning in St Bee’s Head and stretching to Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, where you can enjoy the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, and finally the North Yorkshire coastline which I believe to be the finest in the UK.
Spanning 192 miles, you’ll really want to take your time here, but when you consider the reward is fresh Whitby scampi, chips, and mushy peas in Robin Hood’s Bay, you’ll enjoy every second of this hike.
Pack your bags, put on some boots and let’s wander through these wonderful places! What do you say?
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!