The Best Walks in the UK
The UK is full of remarkable landscapes just begging to be explored. Here are some of the best walks in the UK, from coastal strolls to city rambles.
OK, so the UK may not have the towering heights of the Alps, or the great expanses of wilderness that America has. But don’t dismiss it just yet – you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the UK is home to a whole range of fantastic landscapes fit for walking. Whether you want to explore the coast, head deep into National Parks, explore cultural cities or, despite what TLC says, go chasing waterfalls – the UK has it all.
Fancy getting out into the great outdoors but not sure where to start? Here at Plum Guide we’ve picked out some of the best walks in the UK. Once you’ve chosen a walk, all you need is a place to stay. Luckily, our expert home critics have picked out the very best homes near some of the UK's best walks, so you can fully unwind after all that exercise.
Ingleton Waterfalls, Yorkshire
With a nickname like God’s Own Country, it seems pretty rude not to include Yorkshire on a list of the best walks in the UK. Luckily we have plenty of homes in Yorkshire to accompany the countless walks all around the county. One walk that stands out is the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The trail has been described by legendary British fell walker and author A W Wainwright as “the most delightful walk in the country” and who are we to dispute the words of a man who wrote the seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells?
The trail is a moderate 4.5 mile walk that shows off some of the best bits of the National Park (although this is quite an easy feat!). Set within picturesque woodland, the trail follows two rivers and passes a variety of waterfalls. The most well-known waterfall is Thornton Force, which drops 46 feet into the River Twiss. For the more laidback, this is the perfect spot for a picnic and a laze. Feeling bold? Go for a dip in the plunge pool or brave the slippery walk behind the falls.
The Ingleton Glens have been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England for the range of unique geological features and rare flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for giant mature oaks, rare mosses and brown trout leaping up the waterfalls.
Lizard Peninsula Coast, Cornwall
Looking for that fresh sea breeze? Head down to the most southerly point of Britain’s mainland. The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall is home to a unique landscape and coastline which is dotted with traditional Cornish villages and picturesque coves. Check in at one of our homes in Cornwall before heading out on a refreshing breezy walk.
The South West Coast Path is England's longest waymarked long-distance footpath. It stretches for 630 miles and runs through the counties of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Unsurprisingly, the full route can take weeks to complete (gasp). Luckily, a section of the footpath runs along the Lizard Peninsula which you can tackle in a few hours (everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief).
This seven mile, intermediate level walk is one of the most popular stretches of the coastal path and is just bursting with views everywhere you turn. Start at Kynance Cove, one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall. As you take in the white sands and turquoise waters you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re somewhere in the Caribbean.
Make your way over dramatic cliffs and heathered hills and enjoy the wild and rugged scenery. If you’re lucky, you might even spot seals and dolphins. Keep walking until you reach Lizard Point, where you can stop at one of the cafes and reward yourself with a Cornish pasty or five.
While the UK isn’t short of vibrant and cultural cities, we think Edinburgh really takes the biscuit (or should we say, the haggis?). If you’re after a city break, there’s nowhere better than Edinburgh in Scotland. While cities may not be your typical go-to for walks, Edinburgh is a walking paradise. See our range of apartments in Edinburgh and strap on your comfiest shoes.
The most obvious walk is Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano in the centre of the city. Depending on your fitness level (or how many Scotch whiskeys you’ve had) the climb up this 800 ft landmark can take anywhere between one and two hours. Although it may be slightly strenuous, the views across the city are totally worth it.
Looking for stunning views without the huffing and puffing? Take the easy 2.7 mile Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill walk. Make your way through a wooded nature reserve and climb up the 500ft Blackford Hill, where you’ll find the Royal Observatory, an astronomy centre dating back to the Victorian era.
For something a little flatter, the Water of Leith Walkway runs for 12 miles through the city from Balerno to Leith. The great thing about this walk is that you can stop by and explore any of the places on the way, such as Haymarket and Juniper Green.
If you fancy venturing out even further, Edinburgh is in an ideal location to explore the great Scottish outdoors. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails just a short drive away from the city.
Hound Tor, Devon
The 5.2 mile Hound Tor trail takes in some of Dartmoor’s most famous tors, including Saddle, Haytor, Howell and Hound Tor. These tors are full of legend, and if you’re superstitious enough you might even spot witches, ghosts and dragons.
Start at Haytor Rocks with its imposing granite rocks and far-reaching views of the coastline and across Dartmoor. The trail then passes Hound Tor which is one of the most famous attractions on Dartmoor, especially for rock climbers. It’s also considered one of the best viewpoints in Dartmoor. Near the summit of Hound Tor, you’ll spot the remains of a medieval village, with several houses and barns dating back to the 13th century.