Although the UK might not be home to the tallest mountain in the world nor the steepest waterfall, it certainly is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery that you will ever lay your eyes on. From the glorious wonders of the Scottish Highlands to the wild splendour of Snowdonia, picking the best hiking trail from the UK will not be a walk in the park (pun absolutely intended). Luckily for you, I always have your back. I do all the necessary research so that I can bring you only the best. So, without further ado, here are the top 7 hiking trails to tackle the next time you set foot in the royal land of Britain.
1. Hadrian’s Wall Path in England
If you are looking to have a hiking itinerary across England then Hadrian’s Wall Path should be on your list. This 135-kilometre World Heritage trail will take you through one of the most magnificent monuments in the UK. Expect to be accompanied by fascinating museums, forts, and ancient settlements.
The best section of the Hadrian’s Wall trail takes place at a 32-kilometre stretch from Chollerford to Birdoswald Fort. This portion of your hike will take you to the highest point of the Wall and offer you picturesque lake views that you cannot help but savour. What a great place to do some breathwork! 135 kilometres sure sounds like fun but it’s no joke. Why not do the hike over a weekend? Many superb lodges like Hill on the Wall and Hadrian’s Wall Studio are ready to accommodate you throughout your hiking journey.
2. West Highland Way in Scotland
Located north of Glasgow, this 154-kilometre hiking trail will take you from Milngavie to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. It was the first long-distance footpath in Scotland to be officially opened in 1980. It is a section of the International Appalachian Trail and one of Scotland’s Great Trails. Why not take on the challenge of hiking all or part of Scotland’s best long-distance trail? You even have a chance of establishing some companionship with other hikers from across the world along the way.
Be sure to take stunning pictures as you pass by the Highlands’ landscapes. Some of the most beautiful include Ben Nevis, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. After your tour is over, why not spend an extra day in Fort William to climb Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK? You should also consider taking the Harry Potter steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. You are guaranteed to have a magical ride.
3. Pen-y-Fan in Wales
Although Pen-y-Fan is the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the trail is rather simple. You might think that surmounting Pen-y-Fan is difficult but don’t worry, it’s possible to reach the summit without making a severe effort.
Despite being an ‘easy’ route, there are also some challenging sections up this mountain. So if you’re searching for a challenge, you’ll undoubtedly find one here too. It is crucial to remember that the weather can swiftly change at the summit. So make sure you pack some warm clothing before you make your way to Pen-y-Fan. It may very well be much colder at the top.
4. Helvellyn in England
This challenging trek is slightly over 14 kilometres long and is situated in Cumbria’s stunning Lake District. Despite how beautiful its name sounds, Helvellyn has some steep and exposed sections as well as scrambling parts with dangerous drop-offs on each side. You need to come prepared and well-equipped for this hiking trail. Suffice it to say, a tolerance for heights is pretty much required for this one.
When you reach the top, the alluring Red Tarn Lake will be waiting to captivate you. Before starting the loop back to Glenridding, take some time to relax. Having a small picnic there would be worth it. There is no better way to end your hike than to kick back at one of Lake District’s cosy hotels. May I recommend the breathtakingly beautiful Another Place? It is a wonderful location where you can rejuvenate your mind and body for a few days.
5. Slieve Donard in North Ireland
Slieve Donard, which towers over Northern Ireland, presents an incredible hiking opportunity for beginners who seek a strenuous climb that will be rewarded with beautiful scenery. With an elevation of 850 meters, it is the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland. The climb is relatively shorter in comparison to other mountains. However, the steep elevation of the path is guaranteed to give you an effective workout. On top of that, the vivid vistas of the Isle of Man make this trail all the more worthwhile.
The most effective way to reach the top of Slieve Donard is through a well-outlined track that travels beside the Glen River through a dense forest of pine, birch, and oak. There is no need to worry about getting your boots wet because there are numerous bridges that will transport you across the river.
6. Stac Pollaidh in Scotland
Stac Pollaidh is one of Scotland’s top “mini-mountains”. Standing at just 613 meters tall, this mountain boasts a rugged Torridonian sandstone top. It’s often compared to a porcupine because of its numerous pinnacles and sharp gullies. The journey only lasts around three hours as you make your way up the steep, winding path.
As you scramble to the summit ridge, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic and pristine wilderness views. You might want to spend some time at the top to take in the 360-degree views. Some of the landscapes to look out for include Scotland’s wild and watery west coast as well as mountains like Cul Mor and Suilven.
7 . The Glyders in Wales
Tackling the Glyders may seem like a difficult journey. However, the photo opportunities that lie ahead make hiking this trail well worth it. Leave your car at Ogwen Cottage and proceed around the east side of Llyn Idwal, behind the buildings. Your breath will be taken away by the Devil’s Kitchen ascent.
The highest summit of the day, just over 1 kilometre high, will follow shortly thereafter. The Castle of the Winds rock structure and the group of boulders that make up the Glyder Fach mountain are both accessible from here. The famous Cantilever stone, which lies immediately ahead on a plateau, is a must-have for your photo album.
Now that you know the top hiking destinations in the UK, why not tackle Norway next? Behold, the 5 most breathtaking hiking trails in Magic Norway.