A road trip in the UK is just great. But why not make it memorable by adding some glorious walking trails to your itinerary? Not only will it increase your fitness level but it will also ease your worries and boost creativity. Discover our guide to the best hikes in Wales, Scotland or England, then pack your hiking gear and leap into your rental car.
You haven’t seen non-synthetic green grass in 6 months
Then, put on your dusty walking shoes and hike to Mam Tor in Derbyshire between Sheffield and Manchester. To find the stone footpath, you only have to get out of your car at Castleton and walk past Treak Cliff and Blue John Cavern to reach the 517 m summit. Once you have admired from the viewpoint that stretches north over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors, you can follow the steeper flagstone path to reach the top of Back Tor and then on to Lose Hill Pik.
Good to know: 4.8 km – 2 hours
Mam Tor, Hope Valley S33 8WA
Your annoying watch requires you walk 10,000 steps a day (or else!)
Located in the South Downs National Park in Sussex, between Brighton, Worthing and Portsmouth, the Seven Sisters Country Park will blow your mind. The 280ha of chalk cliffs, the river meandering through the valley, cattle grids and open grasslands will satisfy your bossy smartwatch. Thanks to the easy access trail, you can discover the beach and its wading birds. And if you are not afraid of heights, you can enjoy the view from the highest cliff of 77 m and scream at the top of your lungs that you’re the king of the world.
Good to know: 13 km – 6 hours
Seven Sisters Country Park, E Dean Rd, East Sussex, Seaford BN25 4AB
You have the iron legs of an Olympic medallist
There are so many jaw-dropping places to explore in Wales. So, if you are in good shape and in desperate need of a challenge, why don’t you walk Glyndwr’s Way Trail? From the Town Clock at Knighton (2-hour drive from Birmingham), you can roam through the lovely Radnorshire Hills, the shores of the Llyn Clywedog ending up beside the Montgomery Canal in Welshpool. And the good news (or bad news, for your sacred connectedness) is that the network cover is rather patchy.
Good to know: 217 km – 9 days
Glyndwr’s Way, Wales
You want to avoid your great-uncle’s monthly visit
What’s so special about Upper Coquetdale, only an hour drive from Newscastle that could save you the trouble of hearing about your uncle’s hip replacement? Everything! If only he could trek its grassy ridgelines, hay meadows, mythical moors and ancient droving routes of Northumberland’s Cheviot Hills, he would understand. Do we need to mention that between the villages of Holystone and Alwinton, you can check Rob Roy’s Cave, where the outlaw is said to have hidden from his enemies?
Good to know: 13 km – 6 hours
Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland
You need to exercise after devouring that delicious lasagna
The Falls of Glomach, a 2-hour drive from Inverness in Scotland, might not be the highest ones in the country but they are without a doubt some of the most magnificent waterfalls. Park at the National Trust for Scotland Morvich countryside centre then keep on going until you see that gorgeous cascade of 113 m that cuts through Scotland’s green countryside. By then, the pasta will be long forgotten.
Good to know: 17.5 km – 5 to 6 hours
The Falls of Glomach, Kyle IV40 8DS
Your ex has just signed up at your gym
To escape his bulging biceps, you can work up a sweat at Loch Muick, near Aberdeen. Begin your hike at the Balmoral Estate visitor centre, just down the track from the car park. The circuit provides good views of the surrounding hills, and you may even fancy taking a look at the Glas-allt-Shiel lodge built by Queen Victoria. You will know you have reached the end of your trip when the woods and buildings of the Spittal of Glenmuick come into view.
Good to know: 12.5 km – 3.5 hours
Loch Muick, Ballater AB35 5SU
You are afraid of nature, trees and silence
Then, the Leeds to Liverpool canal (the longest in Northern England) is perfect for your mindset. Once you have left the city, the canal climbs into the Pennine hills, also called “the backbone of England”. After eating a potato pie in Wigan, discover Blackburn and Burnley where old Victorian mills can still be seen. You will then wander through every remote and magnificent English landscape possible. Once you have learnt to appreciate nature again, head to the market town of Skipton into the Yorkshire Dales and on towards the city of Leeds
Good to know: 204 km – 5 days
Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Northern England