The Best of British Hiking

When you are looking for a weekend or longer away, but often we’ll look abroad.

Decathlon

The Best Of British Hiking

The Best of British Hiking

Decathlon

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We all love a few days on the Costa Del Sol, but you might want to look closer to home for a short break, we have some fantastic spots ourselves.

The British Isles are full of hiking treasures, and we’ve given you our two cents on one day escapes and weekend stays. We’ve already covered our Top UK Walking Holidays, all of which could feature here, but those aside these are our favourites when it comes to defining the best of British hiking.
1) North Downs Way, England

This one has historic roots as a pilgrim’s path from Winchester, in Hampshire, to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Cantebury, in Kent. The 153-mile journey is a twelve-day affair that will require planning, overnight stays and, or camping, and provide beautiful rolling meadows, farmers fields, woodlands and a section of the White Cliffs of Dover. The route is fairly easy terrain-wise but does have some steeper sections particularly the slope of the North Downs.

One for the real ale lovers, this route is supported by #AlesOfTheTrail. For every beer you drink that is affiliated with the scheme, a portion of its cost is donated to the National Trust. The extra funding is then put toward preserving and renovating the trail. Drink beer, help nature. You can download the beer map at: https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/north-downs-way/ales-trail

2) Blencathra, England

This hiking classic is a Lakeland ridge walk in the heart of the Lake District. There are several routes for varying levels of experience, for the beginner the grassy ridge of Scales Fell is recommended – requiring minimum scrambling and crossing the mossy Mungriddale Common and descending over the Bannerdale Crags into the beautiful Glenderamckin river valley. For a real challenge and the more experienced hikers, ascend via Hall’s Fell.

This is not recommended in bad weather or low visibility (fog) because of the tricky navigation along the way. People have fallen and died here, so really don’t tackle this until ready and even then with guidance and meticulous planning. Despite the risk, it has been described as the finest route to any mountain top in the district. One onto the ridge you will scramble along its knife edge ridge – again, something that should be built up to. This high-level route will provide adrenaline and adventure aplenty.

3) Cotswold Way, England

This is another long-distance hike, with 100 miles of incredible sloping greenery, hedgerow and fields with views reaching far across the Cotswold ridge. You will also find yourself trailing through idyllic villages full of sleepy ale houses and delicious hot meals, perfect after a long walk. If you are going to tackle the full 100 miles, then its advisable to book B&Bs in advance, or plan your camping stop offs. You can also select shorter portions of the Way for weekend or day trips – there is always lots going on along the route, from walking festivals to year-round museums and lovely farmer’s markets. Get planning today.

4) Glyndwr’s Way, Wales

This Welsh wonderland will treat you to moorland, sweeping meadows, woodland and forests in the mid-Welsh region. Another heavy hitter, the 135 mile trek starts off at Knighton and ends at Welshpool, though of course, you can split up smaller hikes across the route. One of our favourites include Llandgadfan to Llandwddyn (yeah, try and say that). This shorter hike will take you through a pristine forest walk, past the majestic Lake Vyrnwy and through to its Dam. Here, you’ll find an array of lovely ale and grub spots!

5) West Highland Way, Scotland

Keeping in line with our majority long-routers, this absolutely magnificent hike through Scotland is a 96-mile challenge beginning in Milngavie north of Glasgow and ending at Fort William. The route is also the home to the West Highland Way Race, an ultramarathon which runs the whole stretch! Whether you are hiking or running (good luck), you will be treated to the sheer beauty of the Scottish Highlands. You will pass the awe-inspiring tranquillity of Loch Lomond, the vast Rannoch Moor and then through sloping hills to Loch Leven before reaching Fort William through Glen Nevis. A truly glorious introduction to hiking Scotland.


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