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10 Fantastic Long Distance Hikes in Great Britain

The UK is home to some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes and National Parks in the world. And with this, there are thousands of miles of long distance trails to explore all corners of the UK. From the rugged coastlines of the South West to the beautiful and rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the UK has something for everyone.

In this article, we will highlight the top 10 long-distance trails in the UK, showcasing the unique features and attractions of each one.

Whether you are an experienced hiker looking for a fresh challenge or new to the wonderful pastime of long distance hiking and looking to explore the great outdoors, these trails offer unforgettable experiences and breathtaking scenery and will be sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a beautiful coastal trail that winds along the rugged coastline of Pembrokeshire, a county in southwest Wales. The trail stretches for 186 miles (299 kilometers). Along the coast path. Along the way hikers can enjoy continuous views of the Irish Sea, as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The path starts in the fishing town of St. Dogmaels in the north, and ends in Amroth in the south. Along the way, hikers can visit a number of charming towns and villages, including Tenby, which is known for its beautiful beaches, colourful houses and medieval walls.

One of the highlights of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is the stretch of coastline known as the “Green Bridge of Wales.” Here, hikers can see a striking natural arch formed by the sea, as well as a number of secluded coves and bays.

Other attractions along the trail include the National Trust-owned Colby Woodland Garden, which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. In addition Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort also makes an excellent rest-day excursion and offers a glimpse into Wales’ rich history.

Overall, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a must-do for any hiking enthusiast, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural history.

The Dales Way

The Dales Way is a beautiful long-distance walking trail that runs for 78 miles (126 kilometers) through the stunning, yet delightfully quiet Yorkshire Dales in Northern England. The route starts in the historic market town of Ilkley and ends in the charming town of Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.

Along the way, walkers will pass through idyllic countryside, rolling hills, and picturesque English villages and hamlets. The trail takes you through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in England.

One of the highlights of the Dales Way is the breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales. The rolling hills and valleys offer plenty to see and enjoy. The route also takes you through some charming villages, where you can stop and sample some of the local produce, including delicious Yorkshire cheeses and ales.

Overall, the Dales Way is a wonderful trail that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a relaxing stroll, this trail is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way

The Yorkshire Wolds Way is a National Trail that runs for 79 miles (127 km) across the Yorkshire Wolds in northern England. It starts in the market town of Hessle, near Hull, and ends in the town of Filey, on the east coast. Along the way, it passes through picturesque villages and rolling hills, offering beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

The trail was officially opened in 1982, and has become a popular destination for walkers and hikers. It can be tackled in one go, or in smaller sections. There are also several circular routes that allow you to explore the area in more depth.

One of the highlights of the Yorkshire Wolds Way is the views across the River Humber and the Humber Bridge.

As you walk along the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of wildlife, including sheep, cows, and birds of prey. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the rich history of the area, with many historic landmarks and attractions along the way, such as the old market town of Beverley.

Overall, the Yorkshire Wolds Way is a beautiful and varied trail that offers something for everyone. It’s also much quieter than other more popular trails, making it an excellent retreat away from the crowds of the Lake District. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, you’ll find plenty to enjoy on this delightful National Trail.

The Anglesey Coast Path

The Anglesey Coast Path is a stunning hiking trail that runs along the beautiful coastline of Anglesey, an island off the coast of Wales. The trail is approximately 186 miles long and offers outstanding views of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia National Park.

The path is a great way to explore the island’s diverse landscape, which includes sandy beaches, rocky coves, and lush forests. Along the way, hikers will come across several charming villages and historical landmarks, including the old fishing village of Cemaes Bay and the medieval castle of Beaumaris.

One of the highlights of the trail is the Parys Mountain Copper Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once one of the largest copper mines in the world. Hikers can take a guided tour of the mine and learn about its fascinating history.

The Anglesey Coast Path is also a great place for birdwatching, with over 200 species of birds spotted along the trail. Some of the most commonly seen birds include peregrine falcons, redshanks, and guillemots.

The trail is well-marked and well-maintained, making it accessible to hikers of all levels. There are several options for accommodation along the way, including campsites, B&Bs, and hotels.

For those looking for a shorter hike, the Anglesey Coast Path can also be broken down into several shorter sections, allowing hikers to choose a route that suits their ability and interests.

Overall, the Anglesey Coast Path is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and memorable outdoor adventure. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and diverse wildlife, it offers something for everyone.

The Fife Coast Path

The Fife Coast Path is a scenic walking route located in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. The path stretches for 117 miles (188 km) along the coast, offering stunning views of the North Sea and the Firth of Forth. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming fishing villages, sandy beaches, and stunning cliff-top landscapes.

The Fife Coast Path is a great way to experience the rich history and natural beauty of this part of Scotland. You’ll have the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and a multitude of seabirds.

One of the highlights of the Fife Coast Path is the town of St. Andrews, known worldwide as the home of golf. Here, you can visit the historic Old Course, where the game of golf has been played for over 600 years.

As you walk the Fife Coast Path, you’ll also have the chance to sample some of the local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Scottish dishes. There are plenty of cozy pubs and restaurants along the way where you can refuel and relax after a day of walking.

Overall, the Fife Coast Path is a must-do for anyone who loves the great outdoors and wants to experience the best of what Scotland has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, the Fife Coast Path has something for everyone.

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Path

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Path is a challenging yet rewarding long-distance walking route that stretches across northern England, from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. The path is approximately 190 miles (306 km) long and passes through some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the country, including the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors.

One of the standout features of the Coast to Coast Path is the variety of landscapes it passes through. As you walk, you’ll encounter everything from rolling hills and peaceful meadows to rugged fells and stunning coastlines. The route also passes through a number of charming villages and towns, providing opportunities to stop and explore along the way.

In addition to the beautiful scenery, the Coast to Coast Path is also rich in history and culture. As you walk, you’ll pass by a number of historic landmarks, including medieval castles and ancient monasteries. You’ll also have the chance to learn about the region’s rich industrial heritage, with stops at old mines and former mills along the way.

Overall, the Coast to Coast Path is a true adventure that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenging trek or a nature lover in search of stunning views and rich history, the Coast to Coast Path is the perfect choice.

The Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is a long-distance hiking trail in Scotland that stretches for 117 miles (188 km) from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east. The trail passes through the Great Glen, a series of valleys and lochs that includes Loch Ness, famous for its alleged monster.

The Great Glen Way offers a variety of landscapes and experiences, from the rugged mountains of the Scottish Highlands to the calm waters of the lochs.

Along the way, hikers can visit historic sites such as the ruins of Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus Abbey, and take in beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The trail is typically completed in 7-8 days, although experienced hikers may be able to finish it in less time.

Accommodation is available at various points along the route, including bed and breakfasts, hotels, and campsites. The Great Glen Way is a challenging but rewarding hike that offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a national trail in northern England that stretches for 72 miles (116 km) from Ulverston to Carlisle. The trail passes through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled countryside in the Lake District National Park. Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to explore picturesque villages and bustling market towns, as well as a number of natural wonders such as Tarn Hows and Coniston Water.

The trail is suitable for experienced hikers and is typically completed in six to eight days. It can be walked in either direction, but many people choose to start in Ulverston and end in Carlisle.

The Cumbria Way is well marked and easy to follow, with clear signposts and waymarks along the route. There are also a number of guidebooks and maps available to help hikers plan their trip.

Overall, the Cumbria Way is a fantastic trail for anyone looking to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Lake District. It offers a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged mountains to tranquil valleys, and provides a great opportunity for hikers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this picturesque region.

The Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 108-mile long-distance footpath that runs through the North York Moors National Park in northern England. The trail was first opened in 1969 and is maintained by the National Park Authority and the Cleveland Way Association. The route begins in Helmsley and winds its way through the North York Moors, passing through picturesque villages and dramatic coastline before ending at the bustling town of Filey.

Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of landscapes, from heather-covered moors and ancient woodlands to rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. The Cleveland Way also passes through some of the most historic and culturally significant sites in the region, including the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, the imposing Whitby Abbey, and the charming seaside village of Staithes.

One of the highlights of the Cleveland Way is the stunning views it offers of the North Sea and the surrounding countryside. Hikers can stop at any of the numerous viewpoints along the route to take in the breathtaking scenery and spot some of the local wildlife, including red grouse, curlews, and even the occasional peregrine falcon.

The Cleveland Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that is suitable for experienced hikers. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire trail or just a section of it, the Cleveland Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

The Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile long-distance footpath that runs through the Cotswold Hills in England. The trail was first officially designated in 2007 and is maintained by the National Park Authority and the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens. The route begins in the historic market town of Chipping Campden and winds its way through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, passing through quaint villages and charming countryside before ending in the city of Bath.

Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to explore a variety of landscapes, from green fields and rolling hills to ancient woodlands and historic sites. The Cotswold Way also passes through some of the most picturesque and well-preserved villages in the region, including the honey-colored stone buildings of Broadway, the charming market town of Tetbury, and the beautiful gardens of Hidcote Manor.

One of the highlights of the Cotswold Way is the stunning views it offers of the surrounding countryside. Hikers can stop at any of the numerous viewpoints along the route to take in the breathtaking scenery and spot some of the local wildlife, including red kites, badgers, and even the occasional deer.

The Cotswold Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that is suitable for experienced hikers. It is typically completed in 10 to 14 days, although some dedicated hikers have been known to complete the entire route in a single week. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire trail or just a section of it, the Cotswold Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

The Pennine Way

The Pennine Way is a 268-mile trail that runs through the beautiful and rugged landscapes of the Pennines in northern England. The trail begins in the Peak District National Park and ends in the Scottish Borders, passing through some of the most stunning and remote areas of the country along the way.

Hikers on the Pennine Way will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of landscapes, from rolling hills and peaceful meadows to rugged moors and wild moorland. The trail also passes through some of the most historic and culturally significant sites in the region, including the beautiful waterfall at High Force, and preserved remains of Hadrian’s Wall.

One of the highlights of the Pennine Way is the stunning views it offers of the surrounding countryside. Hikers can stop at any of the numerous viewpoints along the route to take in the breathtaking scenery and spot some of the local wildlife, including red grouse, curlews, and even the occasional golden eagle.

The Pennine Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that is suitable for experienced hikers. It is typically completed in 15 to 20 days, although some dedicated hikers have been known to complete the entire route in a single week. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire trail or just a section of it, the Pennine Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is a 630-mile long-distance walking route along the coast of South West England. Designated in 1973, it is maintained by the National Park Authority and South West Coast Path Association. Starting in Minehead, Somerset, the path follows the coast around the peninsula to Poole Harbour in Dorset.

Along the way, hikers can explore the diverse and beautiful coastline, including rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and tranquil estuaries, as well as charming coastal towns and villages. The path offers stunning views of the sea and surrounding countryside, as well as the opportunity to spot local wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, and seals.

Although challenging, the South West Coast Path is suitable for experienced hikers and can be completed in 40 to 60 days, although some hikers have completed the entire route in one season. Whether tackling the entire trail or just a section, the South West Coast Path offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers.

West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is a long-distance walking route in Scotland, stretching for 154 miles from Milngavie, a suburb of Glasgow, to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

The West Highland Way passes through a variety of landscapes, including moorland, forests, and glens, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK.

Along the way, hikers can explore charming villages and towns, such as Drymen and Tyndrum, and stop at a number of viewpoints to take in the breathtaking scenery. The West Highland Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that takes most hikers around a week to complete. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire route or just a section of it, the West Highland Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

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2 Comments

  1. Wonderful. I have never done any long distance hiking before.

    Sure would love to!

  2. I wold have added the West Highland Way to that excellent list of LDW that would have capped it off.


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