Our Favourite Walks in England
Follow in the literal footsteps of Jane Austen and William Wordsworth on these inspiring walks.
You don’t have to walk from Land’s End to Hadrian’s Wall to enjoy the lush countryside and natural landmarks of England’s green and pleasant land. That would, according to Google Maps, take you 154 hours. That’s if you don't take breaks or sleep. That may suit some people, but it might not be the holiday you had in mind. Fortunately, we’ve got a list of some of the nicest and most leisurely walks in England, whether you’re cantering through the Cornish countryside, sauntering in Suffolk or…yodelling…through Yorkshire. Now, that’s what we call alliteration. In any case, our Plum Guide experts have spent years checking out the homes so that you can relax and rest your weary walking legs in total comfort and luxury once back from your walk.
Since this is where you’ll find the famous Land’s End (England’s most south-westerly point), we thought it’d be a great place to launch our list of walks in England. Encircling the limb that juts out of the corner of the country are around 300 miles (480 kilometres) of nature paths. You’ll even find Neolithic ruins amid the rugged cliffs and sea views. Spot colonies of grey seals (bet you didn’t know their group name was colony) and grab fish and chips from one of the traditional eateries in the villages. Lizard Peninsula, Kynance Cove and St. Just are among the highlights by the Cornwall Coast Path. Embark on the Camel Trail or the Levant, Botallack and the Crowns Trail to encounter more crumbling vestiges and coastal vistas.
Quaint villages and crumbling ruins are what put the old in Cotswolds. There’s nothing more charming than strolling through the winding country lanes and village centres of this region, just northwest of London. So, here’s the big question. Do you have six miles (ten kilometres) of walking in those legs? If so, get walking from Broadway to Toddington alongside the Warwickshire Steam Railway. Avoid the temptation to climb aboard. This is a walking holiday, remember? Another hike of equal distance is the path from Chipping Camden to Broadway Tower. For something of a less ambitious walk, meander along the cobbled lanes of the area’s most charming hamlets, from Bourton-on-the-Water and Burford to Stanton and Stow-on-the-Wold. Look into our lovely homes scattered among the villages and countryside.
We’ve moved from Cornwall in the south-east through the Cotswolds of central England, and are now reaching Suffolk, jutting out from the eastern rump of the country. The county is one of our favourite hotspots when it comes to scenic walks in England. Ramble along the nature trails of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB. Hang around the Ipswich Waterfront and consider stealing some of the yachts. Make your way through the myriad quaint towns and villages, stopping for some fine dining. There’s the Maison Bleue Restaurant in Bury St Edmunds (that’s a town, not a command), the Scutchers Restaurant in Long Melford and the Bull at The Auberge in Yaxley. Walk off all the expensive food the next day, with a saunter through Alton Water, Flatford or Rendlesham Forest.
Up in Yorkshire now, and you’ll be spoilt for choice for walks. You’ve got the Trans Pennine Trail, of course, if you fancy ambling along for 210 miles (330 kilometres) from one coast to the other. No? We didn’t think so. Comparatively, an 8-mile (13-kilometre) hike seems like nothing, even though it’s absolutely ages, and has the potential to set off your dodgy knees. But if you are up for it, take on the Wainstones Walk up and down the hills of the North York Moors. Then, there’s the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you might just bump into the ghosts of the Bronte sisters. If not them, you could see more than 100 species of nesting birds, as you walk through the Malham Tarn or take on the riverside promenade of Grassington.