Skip to main content

The United Kingdom is packed with spectacular hiking trails, each offering their unique charm and perspective of the British landscape. From the rolling green hills of Scotland to the dramatic coastal paths of the Isle of Wight, there is something for hikers of every skill level. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll which provides stunning views, a challenging trek across remote mountains, or capturing beautiful moments on fun trails in the UK, we’ve got you covered. Think of this as your definitive guide to the best hiking trails in the UK. Let’s dive in.

Hiking in the UK: A Trail for Every Hiker

The UK caters to every kind of hiker:

  • Casual treaders looking for a leisurely stroll
  • Seasoned mountaineers yearning for a challenging climb
  • Adventurous spirits who desire playful, fun-filled trails

Rest assured, there’s a path that resonates with your spirit.

Embarking on British Trails: Our Handpicked Selections

In this article, we journey through the range of British trails to present a curated selection of the best ones. Our guide reveals:

  • The best hiking trails in the UK
  • A hidden gem on the Isle of Wight
  • Fun trails that spike your adrenaline

Welcome to your definitive guide to the best hiking trails in the UK. Got your shoes laced up? Let’s hit the trails.

Best Hiking Trails in the UK: Where to Start?

When searching for some of the best hiking trails in the UK your options are plentiful. This small but versatile island is renowned for its vibrant green landscapes, offbeat trails, and steep, challenging routes. Below, we cover some of the top hiking trails in the UK, discussing their unique features, difficulty levels, and duration of the journey.

pennine way

Pennine Way

First up is Pennine Way. Often named as one of Britain’s best long-distance walks, this trail is not for the faint of heart. Key features include:

  • 268-mile long path
  • Takes between 16 to 19 days to complete
  • Starts in the Peak District and walks up to the Scottish borders
  • Notably challenging, with boggy grounds and dramatic weather
  • Offers great rewards, such as picturesque landscapes and glorious sunsets

southwest coast path

South West Coast Path

With the title of England’s longest waymarked footpath, the South West Coast Path is a geological and historical treasure. Some of its features are:

  • Stretches 630 miles
  • Takes you along stunning seaside paths
  • Passes through the heritage coast of Dorset to the surf-clad shores of Cornwall
  • Can be divided into smaller, manageable walks for flexibility

pembrokeshire coast path

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

In the heart of Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path presents a sensory delight. What can you expect?

  • 186-mile long trail
  • Majestic sea cliffs, beautiful beaches, and charming little villages
  • Suitable for almost every type of hiker, with well-maintained paths and signage

Best hiking trails uk west highland way

West Highland Way

For those willing to explore the highlands, this trail features:

  • The 96-mile-long trail across some of Scotland’s most famous landscapes
  • A trek from the lush green lowlands to the rugged Rannoch Moor and wild beauty of Glencoe
  • Moderate difficulty level with scenic views to compensate for the sore feet

Remember, the best path isn’t always the hardest or longest — it’s the one that fulfils what you’re seeking, be it a challenge, relaxation or stunning panoramas. The importance of enjoying the journey is equally important as reaching the destination. So dust off those hiking boots, it’s time to hit the trails.

Isle of Wight Walking Festival

Best Hiking Trail on the Isle of Wight: A Hidden Gem

Tucked away off the southern coast of England, the Isle of Wight has a brilliant spot reputed amongst hikers—Tennyson Down Trail. Named after the famous British poet Lord Alfred Tennyson, this trail is a real find for those who like their hiking seasoned with a touch of maritime flair.

Route Highlights

The Tennyson Down trail, stretching 15 kilometres, offers:

This moderately difficult trail is suitable for beginners, with only occasional uphill stretches. Most hikers complete the course in roughly four to five hours, though you may take a while longer if you decide to pack a picnic — and with these views, why wouldn’t you?

Experience an Adrenaline Rush

Hiking here means you’re constantly in the company of breathtaking coastline views, from chalky cliffs dropping steeply into the muddy blue waters to an ever-changing panorama of sights. Sometimes you may see seabirds wheeling around the stark white cliffs, and at other times, you may stumble upon a scene of grazing cows dotting the green fields.

A Walk Through History

Tennyson Down isn’t just a nature trail. By walking here, you’re following the same paths Tennyson himself once walked, drawing inspiration from the invigorating sea air and impressive, rugged island landscapes.

A Hidden Gem in UK Hiking Trails

In conclusion, hiking on the Isle of Wight’s Tennyson Down trail is walking in the very footsteps of poetry while surrounded by natural beauty—truly, a hidden gem in the realm of UK hiking trails.

Fun Trails to Walk in the UK: Adding Excursion to your Hiking Experience

Ready to add a twist to your hiking escapades? Let’s branch away from the traditional trails and venture into the world of fun, interactive hiking paths across the UK.

Best hiking trails uk chess valley walk

Chess Valley Walk

First up, we have the Chess Valley Walk, a delightful hike that weaves through the stunning Chiltern Hills. This course includes:

  • River crossings,
  • Picturesque villages, and
  • A look into charming English countryside life.

Spanning approximately 10 miles, the gentle terrain makes this a leisurely hike for families and nature lovers, rather than a tough, high-level challenge.

Best hiking trails uk hadrians wall path

Hadrian’s Wall Path

Next, take a ‘time travel’ with the Hadrian’s Wall Path. Spanning England’s neck, this trail gives hikers a glimpse into Roman Britain’s legacy. The highlights include:

  • Stone wall remnants, &
  • A Roman fort

These aren’t just markers of distance—they serve as historical landmarks that add another dimension to a departure from the typical hike.

Best hiking trails uk poets path

Poet’s Path

If you fancy the idea of strutting along the world’s first-ever public footpath, the Poet’s Path is perfect for you. Located in the Forest of Dean, this trail was originally launched to protest against forest encroachment by landowners. Today:

  • It is studded with statues of whimsical forest creatures, and
  • Lyrical signs.

Spanning seven miles, the sculptures add a playful dash of magic and mystery to the journey.

Best hiking trails uk ironbridge

Ironbridge Gorge Walking Route

Last but not least—how about an on-foot exploration of an open-air museum? The Ironbridge Gorge walking route offers just that, with industrial heritage sites marking the birth of the British iron industry. Located in Shropshire, this 6-mile trail includes:

  • Museums,
  • A vintage Victorian town, and
  • The iconic Iron Bridge itself.

A true bridging of history with physical activity and adventure.

The sheer variety on offer in these trails—the historical hints hidden in plain sight, the idyllic countryside views, the quirky sculptures, and the legacy of industrial prowess—is what makes them more than just hiking paths. They are an experience, a journey through time and culture, all while getting your steps in. In the world of hiking, can it get any more fun than that?

Expert Tips for Hiking in the UK

Hiking is more than a hobby; it’s a lifestyle. And, it can be an absolute walk in the park (literally and metaphorically), if you keep a few things in mind. Here are some expert tips for splendid, hassle-free hikes in the UK:

Best Time for Hiking

Firstly, let’s talk about when to hike. The best seasons to hike in the UK are typically between March and October. During Spring and Autumn, the British landscapes come alive with an explosion of colours, making them exceptionally beautiful. However, traversing the trails during winter offers a unique, crisp and quiet spell that only the brave dare to experience!

Packing Essentials

Secondly, packing is crucial. Depending on the time of year and trail difficulty, adjust the contents of your backpack wisely. It is always essential to have:

  • A map or trail guide
  • Water and snacks
  • A first-aid kit
  • Suitable clothing

For remote mountain trails, remember to carry a compass, a whistle, and even a hiking pole. In cooler weather, pack layers and waterproof gear, considering the British weather can switch its mood in a snap.

Safety Procedures

Safety is paramount. Always inform someone about your hike – where you’ll be going and your estimated time of return. This practice can mean the difference during an emergency, particularly given irregular cell signal in extensive areas of the UK, especially in Scotland and Wales.

Respect the Countryside Code

Lastly, remember the countryside code:

  • Stick to the designated trails
  • Take your litter home
  • Avoid disturbing wildlife

This connection with nature is a privilege; let’s do our part to preserve it for future generations.

Embrace the Journey

Consider every hike as a unique journey. It’s an opportunity to create new memories while basking in the stunning natural beauty that the UK has to offer. From Sussex’s lush landscapes to Yorkshire’s towering cliff trails, every trek will challenge you, change you, and leave you in awe. So lace up those hiking boots, the UK’s best trails await your footprints.


So there you have it, folks—a comprehensive guide to the hidden gems of the UK’s hiking trails. We dived deep into the landscapes, examining trails that cater to a varied range of hiking styles and preferences. We kicked things off with an overview of the UK’s best hiking trails, covering a broad spectrum of natural splendour that awaits adventurous spirits.

Then we ventured across to the Isle of Wight, exploring this beautiful island that offers a blend of delightful scenery and a trail that combines serenity and challenge. Not to be left out were the fun trails; those that bring an added dose of excitement to your hiking experience. Think fantastical woodland critters, fascinating folklore, and captivating historical sites. Also, of course, we shared some expert tips to keep handy for your hikes, ensuring a safe yet thrilling experience.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, the UK’s trails are just waiting to be discovered. Take this guide, lace up those boots, and set out on these trails to drink in the unique beauty each has to offer. Remember, the most exciting part of the hike isn’t just the destination, but the journey itself. And who knows? You might find a favourite trail or sight among the ones we’ve listed. So check for updates, prep up, and happy hiking!

Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson is a recent University graduate who is now specialising in SEO and Digital Marketing with Minty Digital

Leave a Reply