Heading to the UK can be an amazing experience what with its cities and towns steeped in rich and vibrant history and amazing scenery all rolled into one. Depending on where you go in the UK you can experience beaches and coastline, ancient towns and villages, high peaks and rolling hills lined with dry stone walls holding in herds of snow white sheep and more. One thing is for certain – while most people come to the UK to experience cosmopolitan cities like London or Bath, walking holidays in the UK are just as popular and enthralling and can really show you how wild and wonderful the countryside is between the bustling towns and cities. Here is a roundup of our favourite nature-based destinations in the UK that you need to check out now.
Cornwall is one of the perfect UK destinations filled with rugged coastline and enough trails to keep you busy for quite literally weeks. With tiny villages along the way with unique and inviting tea houses to stop off in for a Cornish cream tea the coastline here, especially on the south coast near Bolventor is steeped in history featuring smugglers of all kinds that used to wreck ships on the shore and then bring the goods deep into the UK to sell. A dramatised story of this history exists in Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 novel ‘Jamaica Inn’. The Jamaica Inn still stands to this day on the moors near Bolventor where walkers, tourists and the like can stop for a meal, a cup of tea and to take in the eerie backdrop amid the tales of smugglers, pirates and more. Do not miss this location if you’re in Cornwall for any length of time.
Isles Of Scilly
A string of beautiful islands off the south west coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are some of the most stunning islands in the UK. With turquoise seas and white sands, it’s easy to see why so many people make the trek out here to enjoy the island life in the summer months. Home to subtropical gardens as well as several small and welcoming towns and villages, walkers will find that choosing just one island in the Isles of Scilly is a difficult task at best. The islands of St Mary’s, Tresco, St Agnes, St Martin and Bryher are the top destinations for tourists, with Tresco being home to the capital city of the region, also called Tresco. With plenty of coastline and narrow pathways throughout the islands, a walking holiday in the Isles of Scilly might be just what the doctor ordered.
While much of Wiltshire is rolling hills and the Salisbury Plain, don’t discount a walking holiday here. The hills provide a challenge to those who are well versed in rambling, and the tiny hamlet villages you can stumble across while walking make this a walker’s dream. We suggest taking the countryside walks near Melksham and Chippenham, where you will come across the small and beautiful National Trust village Lacock. Another good Wiltshire walk is near to the village of Avebury where you can explore neolithic monuments including a burial mound at the West Kennet Longbarrow, Silbury Hill and the Avebury Stone Circle which literally includes huge hills, ditches and a stone circle that encircles the whole village. Don’t forget to stop off in some of the best in country pubs for a locally made cider and a bite to eat. With so many unique and interesting places to check out by foot in Wiltshire, it’s easy to see why so many people choose Wiltshire time and again.
We could probably go on about Snowdonia for days, but we’ll keep it short. Snowdonia National Park in a pocket of northern Wales is simply put, a walker’s dream come true. Notwithstanding climbing the mountain itself, the whole area is awash with trails of all kinds and you could literally get in eight, ten or twelve hours walking a day if you were so inclined. We recommend staying in the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed, a well placed town with all tourist amenities, great hotels and guesthouses as well as easy walking access to gorgeous spots like Swallow Falls. Likewise there is a regional bus that costs only £1 per ride that can take you to other areas such as Beddgelert, another great spot to take a wander down any of the country trails that tickle your fancy.
Another part of Wales, this one in the south, is stretched along the very south western coast. With hills, valleys, rocky beaches and long stretches of twisting and turning coastal path, Pembrokeshire is simply put, beautiful. Some of the walking can be challenging but breathtaking, taking you to cliff edges where you can spy untouched beaches below with turquoise shallows and caves that lead to who-knows-where. We recommend staying in Solva, a small working fishing village set in a sheltered bay between two great rolling hills which features a whole host of pubs, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses as well as providing easy access for many to get to local walking trails such as near Newgale to the south or St Davids to the north west. For a beach day out be sure to check out Whitesands Bay near St Davids, a perfect getaway for the kids and a great option for a rest day seaside.
What walking holiday article would be complete about the UK if we didn’t include the Yorkshire Dales? The Yorkshire Dales are probably one of the best (if not the best) locations in the UK for walking holidays of all kinds. With varied inclines, lots of paths and lovely scenery all around to choose from, it’s easy to see why the Yorkshire Dales continue to draw crowds year after year. To take full advantage of the natural beauty and scenery, which stretches on for miles, we suggest staying in Grassington, a lovely village made almost exclusively of stone and cobble for a real traditional old time English experience. Have a pint or two of locally brewed craft ales after a long walk through the lush green valleys and winding roads of the gorgeous Dales. Take a visit to Harrowgate to enjoy this beautiful spa town along with their delicious, crisp and pure water, bottled at the source. Don’t forget to have a day out in York, wandering the backstreets and visiting the birthplace of Guy Fawkes at the Guy Fawkes Inn, with his former childhood home in the back.
So if you’re looking for the ultimate walking holiday in the UK, look no further than one of these great stops. With so much to see and do from top to bottom and side to side (and we haven’t even touched on Scotland or Northern Ireland here!) it’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with the UK time and again, over and over.