best hikes in britain

The Best Hikes in the Britain – UK hikers love these trails

Looking for the best hikes in Britain? These trails span across England, Wales, and Scotland and are great option for hikers looking for beautiful places to go trekking. This list includes multi and single day hikes for all abilities, so check out the information provided and find the perfect trail for you.

OLD MAN OF STORR

by Helena from HelenaBradbury.com

Located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, the Old Man of Storr is a popular UK hike for those visiting the Scottish highlands and islands.

The sharp pinnacles of the ‘Old Man’ rocks can be seen from miles around on a clear day and with a large car park and clearly marked footpath, this is a hike that’s accessible and doable for even the less experienced hikers. Although a word of warning, conditions can change rapidly on the hike and proper caution should be taken, with suitable footwear and clothing.

The Old Man of Storr hike can be reached on the main road north out of Portree, just a short 10 minute drive away. It’s also a regular stop on coach tours if you prefer to travel on a group trip.

The hike starts and ends at the Old Man of Storr car park and the route is clearly marked until you reach the top. From there, you will find several paths through the huge jagged rocks of Storr if you want to explore more.

In total, the hike is around 4km, taking around 1.5-2 hours to complete depending on the number of stops you make! The trail is steep at the start and can be a bit tricky if the ground is muddy on the way up. The trail is usually considered easy to medium difficulty depending on conditions.

The climb is well worth it for the views at the top. On a clear day, you’ll have views of the sea and the surrounding Trotternish Ridge, the ancient landslip that created the Old Man of Storr formations. Even on low visibility days, this is a truly stunning hike as the rock pinnacles emerge eerily from the low cloud and mist.

NORTH-WEST HIGHLAND

by Bernadette from Explorer Chick

The Scottish Highlands are truly unspoiled land and it is easy to find yourself all alone enjoying the serene views. It is best to start in Edinburgh and then take the train ride to Inverness which will give you a taste of the beautiful vistas of Scotland. Then you will need to take a bus or train to Torridon or rent a car to have more freedom to explore.

A “Munro” is a Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet and there are 282 possible peaks to conquer in Scotland. So outdoor enthusiasts set out for “Munro bagging” and you can start with Slioch and the 12-mile hike to its summit. Along the way is a boggy and rocky trail that leads to the summit and views of Loch Maree below.

To bag two Munros in a day, there is a hike up the Cul Mor. Well, it is more of hiking boggy sections and a boulder field and a scramble to the summit. This is a more challenging hike but rewards hikers with expansive views of mountains and the countryside. Creag nan Calman is a nearby satellite peak and that will complete the goal of two Munros in a day. 

To take a break from all the mountains, consider doing a coastal hike and visit the Old Man of Stoer, a stone stack that is popular with climbers. Or if you really want to make the most of the hiking in the area there is the trio of peaks on Quinag. It will be a full day of hiking and on the way back make sure to check out the ruins of Ardvreck Castle.

BEN NEVIS

by Rachel from Average Lives

Undoubtedly, the mighty Ben Nevis is one of the best hikes in the UK. Not only is it the highest mountain in the UK, but also if you are fortunate enough to visit on a clear day, then you will be rewarded with spectacular vistas over the Scottish Highlands.

Ben Nevis is 1.5 miles from Fort William in Scotland, and the best place to park your car is the Ben Nevis Car Park next to the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. It is where you will begin and end your magnificent hike.

Climbing Ben Nevis is a memorable experience because it is a great accomplishment to climb. Knowing that you have reached the top of the UK at 1345m is something you will never forget. It is a popular route with over 125,000 people taking on the mountain every year, but the crowds add to the atmosphere of the walk. You are all in it together!

The distance of the walk is 10.5miles (17km), and you should allow for 7-9 hours to complete with a recommended time of 3.5-4.5 hours to reach the summit.

It is difficult to say how challenging the hike is because of too many factors, such as fitness and mountain climbing experience. Ben Nevis is not an easy hike, especially if you have not trained for it. It is good to climb some lower Munros first and check the Met Weather Forecast because the weather can change suddenly. Remember, as the primary path (The Mountain Track) is an up and down route, you can always turn back if you feel uncomfortable!

If you are looking for somewhere to have some food or a drink after the hike, you should visit either the Ben Nevis Inn or the Glen Nevis Restaurant and Bar. You will deserve it!

PEN Y FAN

by Angela from Where Angie Wanders

Pen-y-Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales is one of the best hikes in the UK. The 886m summit is only slightly less than the formidable Mount Snowdon in North Wales but offers some of the most sensational views of the Brecon Beacons you could ever wish to see.

The starting point of the hike is at the Pont-ar-Daf car park by the wooden bridge and babbling brook. An undulating stone pathway takes you to the summit and the hike can be done over a few hours depending on your fitness levels. In total, the hike is around four miles though quite strenuous.

For me, hiking up Pen-Y-Fan as a novice was difficult however, it could prove to be a lot easier for someone younger or with a very good fitness level.

Despite the difficulty level, the exhilarating views of the surrounding mountains as you climb higher is fantastic and worth every step. At the summit, the feeling of achieving the hike to the top of Pen-Y-Fan is phenomenal and the 360-degree views to the Black Mountains and Exmoor and out to the Gower Peninsula and Bristol Channel are breathtaking.

The return down to ground level can be done in reverse or via Corn Du, a smaller mountain (873m) that leads you to a different car park at the Storey Arms.

SEVEN SISTERS CLIFF WALK

by Bev and Shams from Bev & Shams Adventures 

The Seven Sisters Cliff walk has to be one of the best hikes in the UK. Offering incredible scenic views over the South Downs and the East Sussex coast.  

The coastal route between Eastbourne and Seaford or vice versa covers about 13 miles of various terrain from pathways and pebbled beaches, to grassland and steep cliffs. You’ll need between 6-8 hours to complete this exhilarating hike. 

A good level of fitness is required to take on the challenging ascents and descents, but it is well worth it, with the amazing scenery and wildlife that surrounds the area.

Start either in Eastbourne or Seaford for the Coastal route, offering stunning views of the Seven Sisters white rolling cliffs, Belle Tout Lighthouse that’s now a luxury hotel and down to the Cuckmere River that leads into the English Channel.  

On a hot summer’s day when the tide is out, rather than taking the detour inland, you could try dipping your toes in the cold shallow waters of the Cuckmere River. You’ll have to be brave to walk across the stones that form the beach at Cuckmere Haven. If you haven’t packed any food, snacks or drink with you, then fear not, there’re a number of facilities along the way to rehydrate and fuel your body. The Kiosk at the bottom of Beachy Head, the Beachy Head Inn, Birling Gap Café, Saltmarsh Rooms & Café and the Cuckmere Inn are the most popular and come highly recommended. 

There’s plenty of parking along the route and the bus 12, 12A and 13X Coaster can drop you back to either Eastbourne or Seaford.  

Regular train services connect London and the southeast coast with Eastbourne and Seaford. Making this an ideal day hike, that’ll get you out across the scenic coastal countryside of the Seven Sisters. 

LULWORTH COVE TO DURDLE DOOR

by Alice from Adventures of Alice

Located in Dorset, one of the best hikes in the UK is from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door. Durdle Door is an extremely popular tourist destination both for its beauty and for its history. It is most famous for its natural stone arch which dates back all the way to the Jurassic period, which was roughly 190 million years ago.

Lulworth cove is another amazing place to see, it has beautiful views and cliffs of many different colours. The walk from Durdle Door to Lulworth cove is quite easy and only takes about 25 minutes (35 if you stop to take in the views). If you are driving to your start location there is an all-day parking charge of around £10, which is valid from 9am to 9pm, any time outside of that the car park is closed. 

You can also choose a cheaper parking fair of £5 but this only gives you 4 hours, at any time between 9am and 9pm. Once you’ve walked to Lulworth cove from Durdle Door, you can stop for lunch or dinner in a nearby cafe, such as the Boat Shed Cafe, and then relax and take in the views before walking back.’

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