The Top 10 Hiking Trails in the UK

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Britain is home to some of the most breathtakingly scenic hikes in Europe, so some might say that choosing the top 10 is impossible. But we have done our best! So here are our top 10 hiking trails in the UK.

England

1. Hadrian’s Wall Path, Northumberland, and Cumbria

Video by Duane Hewitt

Distance: 73 miles

Why not start off with the path that inspired George R.R. Martin to write A Game of Thrones?

Hadrian’s Wall, named after the Roman emperor who built it in the second century A.D., was a divider between the Romans and the Scottish Picts in the north.

The highest section of the wall can be found (along with beautiful views of the Lake District) along the 20-mile section between Birdoswald Fort and Chollerford.

2. Southwest Coast Path, Cornwall

Video by South West Coast Path

Distance: 630 miles

As Britain’s longest national trail, this path winds for 630 miles along a beautiful coastline. Choose the stretch of path that works for you; walk around the most southern point of the mainland (called the Lizard) or explore the white cliffs in Dorset.

3. South Downs Way (Sussex to Eastbourne, Seven Sisters cliffs) – 8 days

souths-down-way-trekking
Photo by Joseph Pearson

Distance: 100 miles

This iconic trail runs from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex, winding in an easy path through charming villages and bridleways on its way east to the sea. Perhaps the most breathtaking stop on this hike is at the Seven Sisters Cliffs near Birling Gap.

Related Article: The Top 10 Hiking Trails in Ireland

Scotland

4. The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The-Quiraing-trekking
Photo by George Hiles

Distance: 4 miles

This unique natural landmark in northern Skye, created by an ancient landslide along the Trotternish Ridge, attracts many visitors. From the top of the cliff, you will be able to take in astounding views of the Scottish islands, the people below, and the intricate natural formations of the Quiraing itself.

5. West Highland Way

hiking-west-highland-way
Photo by Sigge Bjerkhof

Distance: 96 miles

The West Highland Way is one of the UK’s most visited trails, and it is not hard to see why. This trail starts in Glasgow and passes Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, and Glencoe on its way to Fort William in the Highlands, where you can climb Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.

6. Great Glen Way

Video by following the arrows

Distance: 78 miles

This enchanting trail starts where the West Highland Way leaves off, passing Loch Ness (home of the infamous monster) on its way to Inverness.

Scotland’s lochs are unforgettable and not a sight to miss; they are nearly black thanks to peat washed downhill by rainwater from the surrounding highlands. This unique coloring and usually overcast sky make for a magical, otherworldly landscape. 

Related Article: Top 10 Plant-Based Restaurants in London

Wales

7. Aberglaslyn Gorge and Cwm Bychan, Snowdonia

Distance: 6 miles

This charming loop begins and ends at Beddgelert’s footbridge, covering some of the most amazing views in Wales. You will marvel at the Aberglaslyn Gorge as the stormy Glaslyn River rushes nearby. Do not forget to stop and take in the tranquility of Llyn Dinas, the lake fed by Glaslyn.

8. Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia

Video by National Trust Wales

Distance: 3 miles

If you are looking for a manageable distance with dramatic mountain views, Cwm Idwal is your best bet. Named for a mythical giant called Idwal, the mountain resides in the oldest National Nature Reserve in Wales. Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of this hike is Llyn Ogwen, the lake where legend claims King Arthur’s sword is hidden. 

Northern Ireland

9. Causeway Coast Way, County Antrim

Video by Hendrik Morkel

Distance: 33 miles

This breathtaking cliff-top hike in Northern Ireland is a popular spot for fans of seaside towns and dramatic ocean views. You will explore the ancient basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, which legend claims are all that is left of a seawall built by an Irish giant. And do not forget to stop in at the famous Bushmills distillery to try some Irish whiskey!

Related Article: The Best Hiking Trail Apps

10. Slieve Donard

slieve-donard-hiking
Photo by Ardfern

Distance: 6 miles

If you are up for a challenge, Slieve Donard will not disappoint. The five hours you will spend climbing Mourne Mountain, the highest peak in Northern Ireland will reward you with an incredible view of Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man on clear days.

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