The Best Walking Routes in Britain

published on 10 November 2022

Walking and hiking have always been popular pastimes in Britain and it is the perfect way to get yourself outdoors to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, quaint villages, and even the bustling cities of England, Scotland and Wales. Each part of the nation offers a unique experience; England, Scotland and Wales alone have more than 3000 miles of public access walking trails with many of them taking you through stunning national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

If you are itching to get your hiking boots laced up and head out for an adventure you might be wondering which trails are the most popular. Ideally it would be nice if you could experience the best trails from all over Britain, but because this would make walking a bit more difficult to plan we will be giving you some examples of the best routes per region so you can hopefully get started with something close by. 

Walking routes in Scotland

Whether you are looking for short, leisurely walks or plan to be out for a whole day, or are more adventurous and want to try out a multi-day hike, Scotland has something for everyone. Known for its breathtaking vistas, wild woods and romantic, ancient lochs, Scotland has an almost complete right to roam, so you’ll be able to get to places in Scotland that would be out of bounds in England and Wales. 

The climate in Scotland is similar to that of Britain in general, but it does tend to be chillier in the spring and autumn than it is further south. Many parts of Scotland also have higher than the national average rainfall, so if you plan on visiting Scotland for a day or for a walking holiday over a few days you’ll need to be well prepared for the weather. 

In Scotland you will be able to choose walks ranging from mountain paths, fell walking, coastal hikes and loch trails. Some routes are extremely remote while others are busier and you’ll likely be sharing the trail with a number of other walkers and their dogs. These are some of our Scottish favourites.

  • Mull of Galloway Trail
  • Berwickshire Coastal Path
  • Arran Coastal Way
  • West Highland Way
  • Three Lochs Way
  • Cross Borders Drove Road
  • Caledonian Canal

Walking in England

Walking anywhere in the UK often requires good walking clothes to protect you from the weather and terrain, and there are many walks in England that are rugged enough to require special care. There are also some very gentle walks that can be as long or short as you like such as the canal towpath routes. From rolling hills, to ancient forests and fens, England has a lot of variation despite its small size. Here are some trails in England you may like to look into.

  • Pennine Way
  • Norfolk Coast Path
  • Cotswold Way
  • South Downs Way
  • Lake District
  • Peak District
  • Yorkshire Dales
  • Malham Tarn 
  • St Cuthbert’s Way

Walking routes in Wales

Even when you consider Wales in a global context, you cannot deny that it has some of the most beautiful rural and wild scenery in the world. Home to some of the most iconic national parks in the UK such as Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, walkers visiting Wales will be rewarded with a huge choice of varied trails, with a load of short, medium, long and multi-day hikes to be savoured. 

Due to its mining history, many walking routes in Wales have a certain historical importance and evidence of mining in the area can be seen in the hills and valleys of this lush and lovely place. This adds to the character of many of the walks, and the mining industry that once thrived in the hills of Snowdonia, for example, make for a fascinating addition to the experience. These are some of the best walking and hiking trails that Wales has to offer.

  • Snowdon’s Watkin Path
  • Pen y fan Loop
  • Llanberis Path
  • Cadair Idris
  • Pembrokeshire Coast Path
  • Offa’s Dyke Path
  • North Wales Pilgrim’s Way
  • The Cambrian Way
  • Brecon Beacon Horseshoe Circular

These are only a small handful of the walking paths you can enjoy in Britain but there are thousands more to explore. Pack up your daypack, lace up those boots, and get yourself out there!


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