With lockdown restrictions easing in the UK, a lot of people (us included) are itching to get our boots on and make up for lost hiking time. Although other countries have some amazing hikes on offer, the choice of what you can get on your doorstep here in the UK is endless. So we’ve put together a list of some fantastic hikes to add to your list this summer.
Hadrian’s Wall, Northern England
If you’re after a fairly straight forward, coast to coast hike that’s dotted with culture, look no further. This historic wall was named after the Roman emperor who requested it to be built, between AD 122 and 128. It’s a grand total of 73 miles and goes from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne. There’s a path that runs alongside the wall, as well as fascinating museums along the way. If you’re after more of a challenge, the 23 mile section between Chollerford and Birdoswald is the most difficult, with numerous climbs and descents. This is also where the highest part of the wall is, offering fantastic views of the Lake District and the Pennines.
As one of the most recognisable Welsh landmarks, Snowdon stands tall as the country’s highest mountain at 1,085 metres. Based in Snowdonia National Park, this giant mountain has several different available routes to reach the summit. If you’re wanting to take a longer but easier ascent, we’ve got the trip for you. Carla’s Hike Up Snowdon trip will take you past all three lakes en route, with a clear view of the summit - weather dependent of course. If you want to challenge yourself a little on the way back down, Carla will take you on the PYG track which has more technical sections. If not, you can return down the route you came up on.
Helvellyn, Lake District
Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in the Lake District and England. There’s several routes to get to the peak, but the most popular is to climb it’s neighbours in the process - Striding Edge first and Swirral Edge afterwards. Start off in Glenridding and make your way towards Striding Edge, which is classed as a Grade 1 scramble. This is the most challenging part of the hike but in good weather conditions it’s achievable for ambitious beginners. This leads you to Helvellyn, which has a level summit and offers fantastic views of the surrounding area. The descent down Swirral Edge’s path is much easier than the ascent and you’ll eventually end up back in Glenridding.
Brecon Beacons, Wales
With it’s vast open space and green scenery, the Brecon Beacons is a walker’s dream. The infamous mountain range takes center stage, attracting millions of people each year. Pen Y Fan is the highest one of them all and Dorian has the perfect trip for reaching the summit on a quieter route. On Dorian's Hike to The Top of Pen Y Fan trip you’ll pass waterfalls en route and have the best views of the glacial valleys in the area. But this fantastic location isn’t just for the day time. As the only International Dark Sky Reserve in Wales, the light pollution-free conditions will leave you mesmerised with the endless stars in view. Nia has the ideal trip for soaking up the amazing views, with her Brecon Beacons Sunset & Stars trip. You’ll start your walk with Nia through golden hour, with the aim of reaching the summit for sunset and then descend under the stars.
South West Coast Path, Cornwall
At 630 miles long, the South West Coast Path is a long distance hiker’s dream. It starts in Somerset, runs along the coastline of Exmoor and then Cornwall too. After crossing the River Tamar and continuing along the south coast of Devon, it finally ends at Poole Harbour. This trail is known for it’s fantastic views so in summer months it can understandably get quite busy, however if you plan your route and head out early, you’ve got a better chance of beating the crowds. Typically taking 7-8 weeks to complete the whole trail, there’s plenty of smaller sections between 9-15 miles which can be completed in a day, weather dependent of course. Furthermore, the path is easy to follow and has magical views throughout, making it perfect for a hiking beginner.
Langdale Pikes, Lake District
Great Langdale is a valley in the Lake District that’s popular with climbers, hikers and fell-runners. The Langdale Pikes are a great attraction of the valley and are based on the north side of the dale. They include Pike of Stickle, Loft Crag, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark. As well as being fantastic for hikes and climbs, this group of peaks have history attached, being the centre of production for fine stone axes in the Stone Age. Bill has the ideal trip for immersing yourself in this historical location, called Hike the Cumbria Stone Age Way. With Bill, you’ll follow in the footsteps of our Stone Age ancestors and see their old quarrying sites.
Berwyn Mountains, Wales
Often overlooked by Snowdonia National Park, the Berwyn Mountains are an ideal location for hikers, mountain bikers and wildlife watchers. The Berwyns are much less busy than Snowdonia and it’s not uncommon to not see another person when walking in these mountains. This is appealing to many but it also highlights the importance of being prepared before you head out. If you want to experience these mountains with confidence, Tom has got the perfect trip for you. His Guided Hike Through The Berwyn Mountains trip will take you on a circular walk up Cadair Berwyn and Bronwen. You’ll cross the intersection of three Welsh counties and also reach the highest point in Wrexham.
South Downs, England
At 1,600km squared, the South Downs National Park in Southern England isn’t one to miss. Starting at Winchester and going all the way to Eastbourne, there’s lots of room to explore. But if you’d rather go for a day-hike at this fantastic location, there’s plenty of smaller sections to have a go at. One way to make the most of this scenic trail is to learn about navigation which will build your confidence for being outdoors. Adam has his Full Day of Hillwalking and Navigation Coaching trip based here, which is ideal for beginners and covers 10 miles of walking in total. With Adam you’ll learn how to use a map and compass, plan a route, pacing and timing and much more.
We hope this blog post has given you some inspiration for hikes to complete in the UK! If you’d like to view our full range of pre-planned trips (including international), click here.